KC Chiefs among rare teams leaving for training camp

Jul 27, 2022; St. Joseph, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kielce (87) during training
Jul 27, 2022; St. Joseph, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kielce (87) during training / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It's officially training camp time in St. Joseph, Missouri—and that's both a very welcome thing for Chiefs Kingdom and a rare thing in the National Football League.

Rookies must report today to Missouri Western State University in order to prepare for what will be a long and grueling training camp. What's in front of them: their ability to make their dreams of playing professional football come true. In just a few days, they'll be joined by their veteran counterparts and the Kansas City Chiefs will begin their title defense with training camp practices and study sessions.

Leaving for training camp is becoming an old-fashioned practice in the NFL.

The very fact that the Chiefs are meeting in St. Joe is an oddity in today's world. This year, only seven NFL teams will hold training camp away from their actual home stadiums: the Buffalo Bills, the Carolina Panthers, the Dallas Cowboys, the L.A. Rams, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Six of those teams stay regional but Jerry Jones actually takes his players to Oxnard, California.

While the Chiefs seem to enjoy the environment at Missouri Western as a chance to get away from the typical routine of life in and around K.C., it is something that could change over time. After all, the trend toward staying home is growing with each season. Back in 2000, only 32 percent of teams stayed at home for training camp. This year, that total is 78 percent.

At least as long as MWSU doesn't limit the Chiefs' ability to practice as they desire, the arrangement to come to St. Joseph every summer is a great regional opportunity to expand the fan base a bit. For now, everything is working for the Chiefs so it makes little sense to mess with anything—even if the rest of the NFL is giving up on the practice of huddling away together for a month to prepare for the season.