“We kept things simple early,” said Zorn, the Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach, of the team’s training camp preparation. “We didn’t get into a pile of stuff early. So you could tell things might be tough for us for a while.”
Turns out Zorn was right. But it didn’t take someone of Zorn’s football acumen to see it coming. The Chiefs spent their training camp and preseason working more on conditioning than football, so their 0-3 start — they were outscored by 82 points in the process — was predictable.
One thing that might happen: We could see major strides made by Jonathan Baldwin. If so, it will erase memories of a horrible first NFL summer for the 2011 first-round pick. Baldwin’s rookie season was defined (and soiled) by a reported late-training camp fight with then teammate Thomas Jones. Baldwin broke his thumb in the reported incident.
Baldwin, who entered the NFL with some red flags, missed the first five games of the season. He ended up with 21 catches and he flashed some of the superior athleticism that got him drafted in the first round. Baldwin had a good offseason and the Chiefs want him to take a major step in training camp. Let’s see if Baldwin is ready to make training camp positive experience this year.
The next start Brandon Flowers makes at cornerback will be his 60th. It’ll also be the first one he makes without Brandon Carr on the other side of the formation.
Carr inked a five-year, $50 million free agent deal with the Dallas Cowboys last March. So Flowers, who signed a long term extension with the Chiefs at the beginning of the 2011 season, will take the field against the Atlanta Falcons in Week One without his longtime friend and fellow corner from the 2008 draft class.
Admittedly, it took a while for Flowers to accept his new role as the only veteran Chiefs cornerback.
“Being here as a rookie and playing there, you kind of experience that early so you understand that it’s a business right now,” said Flowers during Chiefs OTAs. “But you just need to keep going with different guys back there, different personalities.”