As mandatory minicamps continue to play out in NFL cities throughout the land, an interesting storyline has emerged via questions posed to members of the Chiefs on Tuesday.
For some reason, it was regarded by some in the assembled media as noteworthy that unsigned first-round defensive tackle Dontari Poe was taking part in the minicamp.
Asked one writer of coach Romeo Crennel: “Dontari Poe is out there when he doesn’t have to be, does that say something about that young guy?”
“It says he wants to make the team,” Crennel said.
Actually, what it says is that Poe is not an idiot. With a letter of protection in hand, he has no reason to hold out of any offseason drill, voluntary or mandatory. But for Shawne Merriman in 2005, who refused to participate in offseason workouts absent his rookie contract, draft picks don’t boycott offseason workouts on the basis of not having signed their name on the dotted line.
It continued when Poe was questioned. “Was there any doubt that you were going to come to minicamp without a deal?” one reporter asked.
“No, no doubt,” Poe said. “I’m here to play football, so I’m doing that side of it. I leave that up to pretty much the other people to do that, so I’m just doing what I’m here to do.”
“There was no thought of it at all?” Poe was asked about the possibility of not participating in the mandatory camp. “You’re here to play football?
“Yeah, I’m here,” Poe said.