The Kansas City Chiefs have wrapped up their first OTAs under coach Todd Haley. The final session was open to the media and Bob Gretz got the scoop.
There were 81 players on the field for the workout, with 74 participating. Missing were Brian Waters, Mike Vrabel, Donald Washington, Tamba Hali and Larry Johnson. Haley would not comment on those missing, but said none were a surprise.
With Hali missing, Andy Studebaker stepped into the weakside OLB spot with the first team defense. Taking Johnson’s place was Jamaal Charles.
Those on the field, but not practicing due to injury were Glenn Dorsey, Tank Tyler, Turk McBride, Brian Johnston, Maurice Leggett, Brodie Croyle, Kolby Smith and Tony Davis.
Even in its most basic form it’s obvious that everyone needs to quit trying to put this defense into a 3-4 hole or 4-3 hole. It’s going to be a lot of things, and it’s going to change from down to down based on what they showed yesterday. One defensive set in the dime had six defensive backs and five guys standing at the line of scrimmage.
Rookie WR Quinten Lawrence finally showed a flash of his speed, catching a nice ball on a long pass from QB Ingle Martin. On the very next play, QB Matt Cassel tried to hook up on a similar play with WR Dwayne Bowe, but the play was covered perfectly by CB Brandon Carr. The difference in speed between Bowe and Lawrence was striking.
It’s interesting that LJ was missing for the final session, though I imagine Haley was being straight forward when he said it wasn’t surprised. Otherwise, I would imagine he would not have spoken so highly of Johnson in his Q&A session. Hali missing time could be concerning since he needs as many reps as possible at OLB, but with so much time before training camp I’m not going to get worked up over missing one practice. Just as missing one practice doesn’t break a player, making one play doesn’t make one so I don’t want to make too much out of Lawrence making a play. It would be nice to finally have pure speed on the field every down in the form of an actual wide receiver (and taller than Dante Hall!) so hopefully he can put together some good practices between now and training camp.