Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel preached patience with rookie nose tackle Dontari Poe, the team’s first-round draft pick. Poe is playing only on passing downs, having been unable so far to nudge Anthony Toribio from the starting spot.
“I know everybody wants the guy to be all-world,” Crennel said. “If he is all-world, then we’re all going to be happy. But there’s a process the player has to go through before he becomes all-world.”
Berry’s duty on Elam’s interception called for a zone pass drop.
“I was just reading my keys and saw the quarterback scramble while I was playing my deep part of the field,” Elam remembered of the play. “I was able to make a good break on the ball and got some solid blocks from my teammates. I was trying to take it all the way back to the end zone.”
Berry was one of the teammates who threw a block during Elam’s 37-yard interception return. The pick helped setup a field goal drive that gave Kansas City a 17-0 first half lead.
Maneri was the surprise of the preseason opener when he caught three passes for a team-leading 69 yards in a 27-17 win over Arizona. And all three were downfield routes where he found open spaces for gains of 28, 14 and 27 yards.
“Those are three pretty good catches, I have to admit,” said coach Romeo Crennel. “There are a lot of people who would have said, ‘There’s no way he could have made those catches.’’’
“Any time you’re not able to practice, your timing, your recognition of routes, your condition is not what it needs to be,” Crennel said. “We’d like to get him out there so that those things can get into game shape. That’s what we need him to be. We need him to be in game shape. When that first game comes, they don’t care what kind of problems you might have had or anything like that. If you’re on the field, you’re expected to produce. So we’ve got to get him on the field and get sharp so he can perform at a high level.”
Flowers was injured in a night practice on July 31 when the Chiefs worked on the stadium field at Missouri Western. The Chiefs at the time thought his return was imminent.
“It’s not (set) in stone,’’ Crennel said. “I can change it whenever I need to. They want you to put it out at the very beginning of the week. Like I told you last week, I had to put one out. So this week I had to put one out. It was very simple for me to say, ‘OK, let’s keep it the same as we had last week.’ But don’t read anything into the depth chart. As this week goes along and I feel like someone needs to move up or someone needs to move down, that will happen.’’
Yet, all these 2012 Chiefs know is what they have done to this point and Cassel admits, he is pleased with the progress this unit has made thus far.
Cassel was happy with the tempo of the offense. He said the average huddle break time was about 18 second, which he says is a good average for the regular season. Often, offenses are much slower early in the preseason.
“I really liked our tempo,” Cassel said. “That was a big thing.”
Cassel said it was important that all three offensive teams played well and clean. He says it shows the unit as a whole is coming along together.
The team passed another test, in Cassel’s eyes, when it returned to practice Monday and performed at a high level.
“Sometimes, when you come back to camp after a preseason practice is sloppy,” Cassel said. “But everyone worked at a high level and we got some things done. …It’s early, but I really like the way things are going.”