The Kansas City Chiefs returned to the practice field this afternoon for the second of two practices today. As always, filing reports from River Falls are Josh Looney @ KCChiefs.com, Bob Gretz @ BobGretz.com & CBSSports.com and the staff at UWRF.
Zach Thomas, Kolby Smith, Tyler Thigpen and Tavares Washington sat out practice this afternoon. All four missed the morning practice as well. Thomas was very active in the rehab zone, doing a lot of running and change-of-direction drills. In the past, that type of work has been an indication a player is close to returning to practice.
Kickoff coverage was the emphasis of the special teams session this afternoon. The drills could be a conditioning test of their own. Every line was full speed ahead.
“If you want to make this football team, you have to be able to cover kicks.” – Todd Haley addressing players fighting for jobs on special teams.
Current first-team WR Devard Darling left practice today with medical personnel due to a shoulder injury. He moved on to a stationary bike in the rehab zone wearing a bag of of ice on his right shoulder.
After Darling left practice, Dwayne Bowe got some run with the No. 1 offense. He caught three passes from Matt Cassel.
During the red zone 7-on-7 session, Terrance Copper turned in the play of the day. He caught a fade in the right corner of the end zone and just got both feet down before being pushed out by Brandon Flowers. That catch turned out to be the only touchdown the offense scored on their 12 plays during the session.
Maurice Leggett just missed making an INT during that same red zone session, but made up for it during two-minute work when he made a one-handed leaping grab of a Matt Cassel pass in a deep zone drop. The pick came after Cassel had led the Chiefs No. 1 offense from their own 20 to the defense’s 43-yard line in seven plays.
The No. 2 offense responded well in their situation session. They had 50 seconds to play with one timeout from their own 40 yard lind and needed a FG to win. Brodie Croyle completed two short passes and was forced to use hit timeout. On third down, Brad Cottam jumped early and turned third and short into third and 7. But on the next play Croyle connected with Mark Bradley on a 55-yard bomb. Bradley got loose on a post, caught the ball in stride and motored past everybody.
After practice CB Jackie Bates, WR Rodney Wright, WR Taurus Johnson, CB Londen Fryar, Maurice Leggett, Quinten Lawrence and RB Dantrell Savage were all catching balls off the jugs machine.
And the search for a kick/punt returner continues! I still would love to see Jamaal Charles among the list of guys staying after practice. Of the guys catching balls today, we have seen Leggett and Lawrence out there before and both could end up being the guy, but the player that intrigues me is Johnson. Right now he has to be a long shot to make this roster and would go a long way to improving those odds if he can hold his own in the return game.
Every day in practice it seems to be the same story: Inconsistent offense, dominating defense. I’m still trying to decide if I should be more excited for the defense or worried about the offense. I realize it’s still early in training camp, but I would still love to see a little more give and take between the two units.