The Kansas City Chiefs had their first official practice of the Andy Reid era yesterday, as the team got together for a voluntary minicamp.
All the players, save LT Branden Albert, were present. The team was also relatively healthy, with only TE Tony Moeaki sitting out practice as he recovers from having his knee scoped.
While the team was limited in what they could do at practice per the terms of the new CBA, Reid said the Chiefs were busy practicing the offensive and defensive looks the team has been installing during the offseason program.
“The way we went about it was that we installed the last couple weeks,” said Reid. “We took it slow. We took the eight days to do the install, and then we came back and practiced those things that we had meetings on the first couple weeks. They’re hearing it a second time, digesting it and then we’re asking to go at it at a fast pace here. In other words, rapid fire pace of calling plays, getting to the line of scrimmage and executing. Like I said, is it all perfect? No, but we’ll get there.”
The Chiefs have a lot to learn. The organization has gone through quite a facelift this offseason. Along with a new front office and coaching staff, the team has a new starting QB in former San Francisco 49ers signal caller, Alex Smith.
“There will be some carryover from what he (Smith) learned in San Francisco,” said Reid. “I think that will be a positive for him. He seems to handle all the stuff really well. We threw a lot of different looks at him. That’s what our defense does. In return, we’re throwing a lot of looks at the defense, that’s what or offense does. It’s good work on both sides. I thought Alex handled it very well today.”
Reid went on to say that these practices are an excellent time for Smith to develop some timing with his new receivers.
“You want to develop timing with your receivers,” said Reid. “You’ve got to get to know those guys. You get down to the specifics like the different drops that you have within the routes that we’re calling, how you handle those against the different looks that you’re thrown by the defense.”
Reid was also asked about underachieving receiver and former first-round pick, Jonathan Baldwin. Baldwin has been a bit of a disappointment since being drafted by the Chiefs in 2011.
“I would tell you this, Jon is working hard,” said Reid. “You saw him out there today. Jon is a unique specimen being as big as he is. He can do some things that people can’t do just because of size and strength if he puts himself in the position to do that. He’s working hard at it. He had a good day today.”
Expectations were high for Baldwin in 2012. After missing a big chunk of his rookie season with an injury suffered in a locker room fight with former Chiefs HB Thomas Jones, Baldwin wowed fans and media alike with his athleticism in training camp. When the season rolled around, however, Baldwin, like the team around him, was a huge disappointment.
Reid and company will hope to change that.
And yesterday was the first step.