We continue our coverage of the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs training camp with out day two report. Our guys on the ground have been doing a tremendous job feeding us information of all the goings on.
Back again today are reports from Mike Gooding and Ryan James. Enjoy and be sure to thank those guys in the comments!
No one got hurt and no one was overcome by the heat even though it was warmer with less breeze. The difference in the conditioning of the players from last year is obvious.
Our strength & conditioning coach was really pushing the entire team at the two-hour mark he had them running wind sprints and was ON THEM to push through the exhaustion.
Practice was in helmets and shells only today. I am so excited for PADS tomorrow! There was definitely more contact today and adding the pads will truly start separating the keepers from the could have beens. Practice started at 3:20 and ran for over well over 2 hours.
Lewis, Charles, Moeaki, Berry and Cassel ALL practiced full speed the entire practice. NO ONE on the bikes! They better oil the chains so they don’t get rusty!
I met Ugoh’s wife, son and daughter who were yelling for Daddy! She was very sweet and said they have been overwhelmed by the friendly reception from the fans and community. They are here from Texas and she said that Coach Bicknell played a big role in Tony coming to KC. Interesting timing as Josh Looney just wrote about him on KCChiefs.com.
I spoke to Coach Daboll while he autographed my football before practice. He said he is very excited to be here and with the number of weapons he has to work with. Just as I was about to ask him about how he was planning on using JC, Hillis & DMC in the backfield at the same time some tard next to me in an OU cap interrupted me by asking “How do you pronounce your name?? He couldn’t get away quick enough – Good thing I’m not a man prone to violence.
Practice was very well organized, very upbeat with not a second wasted. It did seem to slow slightly after the wind sprints at the two-hour mark.
There were more F-bombs, couldn’t tell if it was players or coaches, the tempers were warming along with the temps and things got more vocal – even a little between players talking smack to each other. During the 11-on-11 scrimmage, Amon Gordan got really loud and was giving someone a lecture.
Charles was going not just full steam, making the cuts and looking explosive but unless it has the heat waves I swear he was getting his glide on!
Still no multiple back sets were run – can’t wait to see JC, Hills & DMC together.
Gray looks quick and can make the cuts like JC – great insurance policy.
Draughn looked very impressive AGAIN. Eachus even had some nice plays. Bannon got a few carries.
I’m not sure which is going to be the hardest position to make the cuts down to 53 – WR or RB – we have such depth and skill at both positions!
Cassel had some nice deep balls and was good about getting rid of the ball but was inconsistent. He dumped a screen to Dexter into traffic that gave me a SD game flash back and the next play threw an Int to DJ who dropped it. Then he came out and shot a great ball to Boss racing across the middle and a perfect deep ball to Josh Bellamy #8. He also threw a pick to Siler on another screen. Cassel stayed late working with Breaston – good sign.
Stanzi looked very good yesterday & even better today. Quinn looks good too but Ricki is definitely the #2 so far. Tanney had a few good throws – one really great one that got a big response from the crowd but don’t see Tanney making the team unless of course Quinn slips – maybe the practice squad? Stanzi was signing autographs and the crowd just loves him. Quinn and Tanney were working late with Markshausen, Newsome and Wylie. Wylie has had difficulty getting separation and doesn’t seem as fast as billed but that is probably due to learning curve and adjustment. I am concerned about him too since Dexter is playing so much WR.
I have not seen Baldwin drop a ball yet and his size/strength gives him space to make the catch. He IS a beast!
Josh Bellamy #8 is really looking great. Clean routes, separation, excellent hands and body control. Hemmingway and Newsome also are making plays and catching Daboll’s attention. He really went on about what a great job he was doing in front of all the WRs. Weaver and McKinny not so much. Horne is SO FAST, is able to get past the jam has been able to hold onto the ball (which cost him last year).
Dexter is looking good running routes but has NOT had a carry out of the backfield yet?? IS Daboll going to use him all over the field?
Breaston is so smooth and has a great rapport with Cassel. Tony Moeaki looks healthy but I would say the least impressive of the ACL3. Boss were talking a lot between plays again – developing chemistry. Boss is VERY impressive getting open, making the catches, YAC and blocking. Maneri – who I failed to mention yesterday was making great catches and finding separation across the middle, has been VERY impressive both days across the board. Looks like O’Connell is the odd man out.
Daboll is really working the skill players quite a bit, focusing on assignments more today. There were quite a few dropped balls and bad passes.
Winston was very good again, as was Asamoah. Defenses will not be able to game plan against us having to run left anymore. They are going to be a force to be (W)reckoned with!
Mims is gigantic, was moving well and stayed late after practice working one on one with DE Ethan Johnston #70 vs. #70. Ugoh looked strong and smart.
Donald Stephenson really showed his potential today. He was like a road grader out there plowing through everyone and put a guy on the ground! Albert was very supportive cheering him on and giving him high fives after the plays. Hudson seemed more aggressive today. I am confident the line is not just going to be strong and deep but the chemistry is developing too.
Lots of sled work and one-on-one drills for the big uglies. Pitoitua, Bailey, Jackson were the standouts.
DJ is clearly declaring himself the leader of the defense and is smart and fast in his play – can you say Pro Bowl? Tamba is dominant and Houston continues to impress not only in his pass rush and run stuffing but in coverage too. Nothing against Tamba but I am beginning to think Houston will push him for the best OLB on our team.
Siler really stood out in run defense and showed an incredible burst to slice past a block and pick off Cassel’s screen pass for a pick 6.
I still like Dexter Heyman too who looked fast and aggressive. Would like to see more out of Sheffield and Greenwood who did flatten Eachus on a screen pass.
Bailey was overpowering and is getting better every day. Bailey and Poe stayed late working the sled together long after most others left for the day. I really like that!
Poe looked strong in the middle and Coach Pleasant was working with him one-on-one in between drills.
The defense as a whole looked very strong against the run again with many plays getting stuffed at the line.
Routt dropped Baldwin flat on his back while breaking up a pass which brought out a murmur of wows followed by whispers of “he was the most penalized….”.
DJ flat out dropped a Cassel pass that was right in his hands which caused the crowd to groan very loudly in unison and even drew a few “come on DJ”…
DWash was there again and was talking and shaking hands with the coaches before practice – but NOT Coach Thomas.
Tyson Jackson looked bigger and stronger and quicker too – is that possible?? Amon Gordon was on a tear today recking havoc on all in his path.
Dorsey seems good but isn’t really standing out. If we are going to lose one of them next year I’m leaning toward him. But believe having Poe next to him will make him even better, so who knows?
Pitoitua is huge and his play stood out more today. Would really like to see more from Powe and Torribo.
Special teams coach McMahon was VERY vocal about focus and playing through the heat and exhaustion. “Maintain your focus” and “stay on your assignment”. There was a large portion of the practice devoted to kick offs and kick-off coverage. Succup made all of the FGs he attempted during the FG block drill which means there wasn’t sufficient penetration. ST will be a critical component of our success as we play a challenging schedule and I expect us to be in a number of very close games with ST’s making the difference. The faiders game last year should be a horrible reminder of how critical ST are to winning.
I don’t remember this much emphasis/time being spent on ST in camp before.
Arenas and McCluster and Wylie getting some reps on kick offs.
“Sing me a tune, A winning tune”! This is how Romeo Crennel starts every practice for the defense at the bags. That is the exact attitude that is flowing around training camp the first two days. The intensity is high and the atmosphere is riddled with anticipation of the season. Immediately the first thing that is noticed is the tempo of practice compared to the previous seasons with Todd Haley. Conditioning drills are more burst of speed and quickness than long runs. This is sometimes overlooked as an importance but it is a real simulation to in game conditioning. With an exception of the home run threats, no one on the field runs more than 30 yards on an average NFL play. Observe this quick conditioning drill to end the practice today.
There are basically three positional battles going on this summer that will draw the interest of fans. The first is the spot lighted battle between Quinn and Stanzi for the backup QB. Second is whether or not Brandon Siler can usurp Jovan Belcher as the strong side ILB. And third will be when Dontari Poe takes over as the starting NT. Yes, I said it! Poe will have the starting position at end of camp! More on this later.
My first impression of this years QBs is that Quinn believes he has a shot at the starting spot and it shows! The size of Quinn blew me away after the first day. I had heard that he was a big guy, but I did not anticipate how big he actually is. He has shown some great poise in the pocket and when he has been flushed from the pocket he made smart decisions. Stanzi is a little scatter brained and holds the ball a little too long. I naturally have a bad taste in my mouth when I see Alex Tanney out there because he is the shortest of the QBs and is wearing the number of last years mistake in 4 (I refuse to repeat that name again on a Chiefs blog). However, Tanney’s arm strength is pretty good and throws a pretty ball. Unfortunately, he will be the odd man out at the end of camp and hopefully he can be signed to the practice squad to further hone his skills.
I personally have mixed emotions about Cassel. He is truly a great person. He comes over every single day to sign autographs. Even after the coaches are telling him to go, he still signs. He searches and makes the children his number one priority. However, as a QB of my favorite team, I not as thrilled about him. I made the comment to a friend today that all four of the Chiefs QBs belong here except for Cassel. I believe that if Quinn was given the chance with this team, he would shine as an NFL QB. This magazine cover is not doctored or exaggerated. It is exactly what Quinn looks like.
Where we sit, we always have the defense in front of us. I have seen a lot of the linebackers and if Siler can return to form and be the thumper the Chiefs need in the middle of the defense and allow Belcher to come in on sub packages then it would increase our defense tremendously. It is the weak link on this defense and if it can be filled adequately, watch out. Siler has looked good so far and he is playing with a chip on his shoulder.
The absolute number one thing that I have walked away with after the first two days is the work habit of Dontari Poe! He is always jumping up to be the first in drills. Both days he was the last lineman to leave the field because he went over to the sled and spent another 15 minutes exploding and hitting the sled. While he was going through the bag drills to start practice, his quickness was equal to most of the defensive backs. It was absolutely impressive. I look at him in practice and can now see why Memphis used him at every position on the line! Now that RAC is making him an exclusive NT, he can take that hard work and drive and become the beast that we all hope he can become. He is also the only rookie to sign autographs both days. Definitely the Chiefs type of player that Pioli has been talking about.
Eric Berry is absolutely stacked! Definitely interested to see how it affects his speed being bigger and recovering from ACL reconstruction.
Call me crazy but Tyson Jackson looks bigger and faster this year.
Stanford Routt got an earful from RAC today when he failed to keep his eyes up when going through the bags.
My nickname for Stanzi is Sunshine. Those who have seen Remember the Titans will know why.
The players are ready for some hitting!
Overheard from Camp
“It’s easy to look good in shorts, we will see how they look when they get pads on.” (Romeo Crennel)
“Our defense was good last year but we have to step it up another notch this year.” (Brandon Flowers)
After the first day, I told Romeo it was good to see last year’s injured on the field to start camp. His response was, “That is it. It is huge to have them out here to start camp.” (Romeo Crennel)
“I am glad he caught that ball. The window closes fast out there.” (Matt Cassel referring to the catch in traffic Baldwin had on the first day)
Sunday is the first padded practice. It is much anticipated to see how they look. Once again follow me on twitter @ryanjames28 and tweet at me any questions you might have about camp.
You can also let me know if there are any pics you would like to see or crazy things you would like me to do, as well as questions you would like answered by players. Here’s to a season filled with excitement! GO CHIEFS!!