“They’re both great coaches; if you look at the success they had in Chicago (Bears). We’re looking to bring it here and have the same success and really help us win some games. For me, in particular, I work a lot with Kevin, because he’s more of the kicking coach and really understands the fundamentals and the mechanics. It’s been really a blessing to be able to work with him, because he’s able to point out things that I didn’t realize I was doing wrong. It’s going to make a big difference. I’m really excited about it.”
Succop, who made 28 of 34 kicks last season, is currently the lone kicker on the roster and has no complaints.
“I like getting all the reps,” Succop said. “I think that’s a good way to do it. I just have to go out and keep hitting the ball well and not worry about anything else.”
The guy responsible for holding the pigskin before Succop attempts to give the Chiefs three points or a PAT, is the aforementioned Pro Bowl punter Dustin Colquitt, who also spoke to the influence that coach Toub and coach O’Dea provide the team.
“A lot,” Colquitt said.
If there was a “play of the day,” Smith’s vote is for the one-handed reception made by his Pro Bowl RB Jamaal Charles.
“Yeah, I think so,” Smith said.
“That’s the one that jumped out at me. He caught it over the shoulder, one-handed grab and then the speed to house it; it was just a great play, especially for a back, running a route on the field and making a catch like that was an awesome play.”
Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson addressed the media after practice and spoke to Jamaal’s versatility out of the backfield.
“I think you can use him more in the passing game,” Pederson said.
Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe returned to practice on day after leaving early because of leg cramps. Wide receiver Dexter McCluster also practiced for the first time this week after missing the first two days because of a hamstring issue.
But McCluster’s work was limited to individual drills plus one play in team practice, so the Chiefs are obviously going slowly with him.
“We don’t need him right now,’’ offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said. “We need him in September. We’ll continue to put plays in for him. He understands what those are. We still want to utilize his strengths, move him around, create matchups for him. He’ll be a big piece of this puzzle.’’
Smith, like the other Chiefs quarterbacks, has had his successes and failures on the practice field. He is learning a new offensive system under a new set of coaches and throwing to a new set of receivers.
Smith and his teammates are prohibited under NFL rules from working in pads, so at this time of year, practice is conducted at something less than full speed, and a better quarterback evaluation is generally done at training camp, when teams are allowed to hold padded practice sessions.
Most teams are generally pleased with their quarterbacks at this stage, when there is no defensive pressure for them to worry about. The Chiefs, for instance, were content with Matt Cassel at a similar point after trading for him in 2009. Once the games began, Cassel never developed into the player they thought he could become, and in March he was released.
Romeo Crennel tries not to think about it much, about the horrible December morning he begged, unsuccessfully, for one of his Kansas City Chiefs players not to commit suicide.
But every so often, Crennel can’t help but think about Jovan Belcher, the Chiefs linebacker who shot himself in the parking lot of the team’s training facility after murdering his girlfriend in their home, six months ago Saturday.
“That was a traumatic time for all involved,” Crennel told USA TODAY Sports. “I know with myself, personally, I’ve tried the best I can to move on and enjoy my family. I think that I’m being able to enjoy them more and appreciate them.”
“I’d like to think my chances are good. But you never know until you go out there and prove yourself. This fall (that’s) what I plan to do, going out there and showing what I can do and then hope for the best.
“They need to see guys that can stand out, make plays for them, be consistent. Special teams is an area I’ll have to excel in this preseason to have a shot at a roster spot. They look for guys to give great effort every play. Even if they don’t make the play, they’re making a great effort, they’re doing their job. They’re just looking for guys that will go the extra mile.’’