Tony Moeaki Impresses At Rookie Mini-Camp

There isn’t much you can take from a three day rookie mini-camp, but there was one player that seemed to impress the most and his name isn’t Berry.  Both Bob Gretz and The Star’s Adam Teicher took note of third-round pick Tony Moeaki.

Gretz

[I]f he can stay healthy, the Chiefs may have found something special with Moeaki.  The young man’s strength is supposed to be blocking, which again we didn’t get to see much of in the camp.  But he did show very good athletic skills in running deep patterns and being able to adjust to the thrown ball and still catch it in his hands.  That’s not easy to do for any tight end, let alone a rookie in his first camp.  I will go out on a limb and say this: he’s already the best pass catcher among the tight ends on the Chiefs roster.  Don’t pencil No. 81 into the first chair at tight end yet.  But if he keeps this up and handles the mental part of the game, he has a chance for extended playing time.

Teicher

Moeaki gave the defense fits during the only full-squad portion of practice that was open to the media.  His ability to get down the field exceeds that of Leonard Pope and Brad Cottam.  But Moeaki has a little to learn about route running.  On one third-down play, Moeaki cut off his route short of the first-down marker, prompting offensive coordinator Charlie Weis to loudly inform Moeaki that such an effort wouldn’t be tolerated again.

After a year long search for a starting tight end last year that produced nothing more than a late-season glimpse from Brad Cottam before he was injured, having Moeaki take control of the position early in training camp would be huge for the Chiefs offense.  I get that Todd Haley preaches competition at every position, but there’s also something to be said about knowing which players are going to lineup with the first team every day.

If Cottam can bounce back from his neck injury, he could be a factor but that has to be considered a big if at this point.  It’s a lot to ask any player to come back from an injury and play at a higher (and more consistent) level than before they were hurt, but when you are dealing with a neck or head injury there’s no way to gauge what they can contribute.

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