On Thursday afternoon, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid addressed the media at the conclusion of the second OTA session. Reid has to be pleased to this point with none of his players getting seriously injured, although he did have a couple minor scares over the last couple days.
First, Derrick Johnson sat out with inflammation in his knee. While it sounds like nothing, you always worry about your 32-year-old inside linebacker who is coming off a torn Achilles. Then it was Dontari Poe, who was forced to leave practice Tuesday with a back injury. He sat out the final two days to nobody’s surprise. Finally, second-year receiver Albert Wilson hurt his hamstring and also sat out the remainder of the OTA session.
However, Reid spoke about the issues and put most minds to rest, per the Chiefs press conference.
“Alright, just as far as the injuries go, we’ve got Dontari Poe, had some back spasms. He’ll be fine here. And then Albert Wilson has a slight hamstring, really it’s more of a knot than a tear, so he’ll be back when we start back up most likely. Good to get this work in. The guys have been working very hard. You can see both sides getting better as we go. The timing is getting better and understanding of the offense, defense and special teams is getting better.”
Obviously, this is great news. It wasn’t that we were expecting something terrible from any of those three injuries, but you simply never know. The Denver Broncos originally thought left tackle Ryan Clady just tweaked his knee before understanding he tore his ACL. Things happen.
Reid also praised second-year cornerback Phillip Gaines. Many have forgotten Gaines to a degree with the emergence of Sean Smith and the drafting of Marcus Peters in the first round. Yet, Gaines projects to be a major piece of the puzzle both inside and outside.
“Listen, he’s smart and he’s fast and he’s got good hips. He hit a low during training camp where nothing was going right for him for about two days there. And then he kind of picked himself off the mat and whether he rearranged his thought process – whatever it was that took place – he just kept getting better from that point. And he had some good downs for us last year and now coming out here, he’s jumped right in and he looks terrific.”
Louis Riddick of ESPN.com, who was a defensive back during his brief NFL career before becoming a front-office executive, apparently agrees.
Lastly, Reid talked about the way this team is coming together, with most of them having been around each other for years.
“Yeah, they challenge each other, they get along, they take care of each other. In these kind of camps you can have collisions and they’ll pull off. They’re not going to go out and try to spike a guy out here. That’s not what they do. But yet they challenge each other. That’s a tough blend. But it’s because they work hard together and they like being around each other.”