The Kansas City Chiefs went through their second day of team training camp practices yesterday. Our men on the ground, Mike G. and Trevor G. are back this morning with their camp report and some photos from the practice.
Still no pads – more fantastic weather vs the oven it has been the last 2 years – worst news of the day – Jeff Allen shoulder injury, Sean Smith went down getting tangled up with the WR while defending a deep pass and was slow getting up but he appeared to be fine. Bowe didn’t practice due to a virus but was there running the length of the field, then the width and then stretching with a coach and rookie Bronson. It has been reported that Braden Wilson FB has a tight right hammy but he was spotted under the tent taking fluids and left practice early walking without help. Dixon and new FA Black were also seen on the sidelines by the water tent.
Practice ran longer the announced 2.5 hours. Much more drill focused practice. The loud music was only played during the 11 on 11 with the QB’s working on audibles. The last few years there seemed to be lots of yelling and screaming and swearing – not this year. The players that make a mistake line right back up and run the play again and is seen being respectfully coached one-on-one after the play. There are coaches mixing in and working with the players in every drill. There was even a strength & conditioning coach running with Bowe & Bronson! This is the coaching we haven’t had since Vermeil and it will make a huge difference!
Alex Smith was looking great again launching deep balls on target. He has thrown more deep balls in two days than we threw all of last year. Smith looked sharp on the intermediate routes consistently hitting our receivers in stride which should explode our YAC. His short passes are also in stride or right on the money giving the receiver the chance to make a play after the catch. I told him while he autographed a picture for me that the way he is throwing the ball our YAC will explode. He got a grin on his face and paused before signing the next one to say “You haven’t seen anything yet”.
Stanzi was holding the ball too long and while I had hopes for his future I am beginning to have doubts. IMO Bray hasn’t shown anything one way or the other. I commented yesterday that Daniel physically looks like a high school kid out there with the much taller QB’s and today he played like one. He fumbled a snap that was recovered for a TD by Frank Zombo, he was off on his accuracy and way off a deep ball. He took too long to make decisions and even threw one pass into the back of one of his OL’s helmet. I thought we had addressed our depth at QB but am becoming concerned.
More swing passes and screens from play action and we even ran some option plays with Smith and McCluster. AS11 and Daniels ran designed bootleg run plays which I’m not wild about AS11 doing. More run plays were called today than yesterday.
Moeaki had a great practice with a long TD down the seam. IMO our TE’s will be Moeaki, Kelce and Fasano in that order. Kelce, Fasano, Avery and Davis all had pass drops with Davis doing it during kick returns as well. Reid says he’s not worried about it – I am. Davis has such potential but if he can’t hang onto the ball it will all be for not.
McCluster had the best practice in my opinion – AGAIN really impressive catches and appears to be our best returner so far. Wylie and Richardson were also returning kicks but Wylie is seeing quite a few reps at WR with Bowe out. Baldwin showed better routes and great hands. Sean Smith was working with him one-on-one with him between drills on using his hands and body position for getting separation from defenders.
The surprise players of todays practice were Austen Lane DE and Mike Catapano DE/LB, in the D-Line vs O-Line drill today Lane went against Brandon Albert and Donald Stevenson and smoked both of them multiple times with his impressive speed and inside moves. Catapano was equally as impressive but I give the edge to Lane who was a beast today and helped his chances of making the team.
With Allen leaving today with a shoulder injury the LG position battle may have been resolved, Schwartz is over 30 pounds heavier and more experienced than Allen and would be a better option to solve the problems we have had over the last 3 years with our interior OL being bull rushed. The competition at ILB is good but Jordan seems to have the upper hand for now but Nico is pushing him.
All of the players were taking catches from the ball machines at the end of practice while the QB’s signed autographs. I don’t remember the defensive players doing this last year. Reid also had the defense doing a drill where the LB’s & DB’s dropped into coverage with NO WR’s and the QB’s threw to them. I think he is wanting them to think more about catching the ball instead of just coverage. Great idea being we were dead last in INT’s last year with SEVEN! I saw Hali and Houston working between drills on hand to hand combat setting an example for the rest of the team. Charles, who has been lining up as a WR as expected, was watching Flowers working with a coach between drills. You could see Flowers was explaining to JC how he addresses the WR off the line. So freaking smart!
I heard we set a record for attendance yesterday! It is great to see the Sea of Red gathering again! There were probably a 3rd to a half of the fans there today but they were excited and very vocal inspired by a small but enthusiastic group of 3-4 fans who got really loud encouraging the players.
Your loyal camp reporters,
KCMikeG & TrevorG