The Kansas City Chiefs were back in full pads today for the first of two practices. As always, Josh Looney @ KCChiefs.com, Bob Gretz @ CBSSports.com/BobGretz.com and the staff at UWRF all filed reports on the session.
Derrick Johnson (injury) and OT Damion McIntosh (conditioning) both returned to practice and took their reps with the first team during the walk thru. However, immediately following the walk thru, Johnson headed straight for the rehab area in the corner of the practice fields. Also missing from practice: TEs Brad Cottam, Tony Curtis and Jake O’Connell. That leaves Sean Ryan and Tom Crabtree as the only healthy tight ends for today’s practice.
Todd Haley continues to make a player run if they jump offsides. The latest victim: Branden Albert. He was sent off to run 200 yards and was replaced by Barry Richardson.
Ryan Succop — the only kicker in camp — hit on three of his four attempts. He hit the upright from 35 yards, but was good from 39, 42 and 44 — with room to spare on each kick.
During a running game drill, Tamba Hali leveled pulling guard Mike Goff. The impact was heard on all three practice fields.
During the practice session, Ryan made a diving, one-handed, over the shoulder catch of a Matt Cassel pass down the right sideline. Cassel had time to throw thanks to a blitz pickup by rookie RB Javarris Williams. Later, Brandon Flowers had excellent one-on-one coverage guarding Dwayne Bowe down that same sideline.
The defense has made some noise as well. Tank Tyler had a number of nice plays in stopping the rush when the offense was backed up near their goal line. Rookie LB Jovan Belcher has shown a strong pass rush. On one play, he knocked over McIntosh.
Another UDFA mention! I realize it’s unlikely, but I would love to see both Belcher and Pierre Walters make the roster. They are both incredible athletes and the coaching staff would be able to mold them however they want, unlike some of the veterans that are more likely to revert to what they know. This is all these kids know at this level.
Yesterday the word on Johnson’s leg was that it wasn’t anything serious, but you have to be worried if he’s feeling it during a walk thru. His time on the sidelines get more reps for the younger guys, but if the defense is going to go this year, it will be on the back of Derrick Johnson. I truly believe he is ready to break out in ways a lot of us have expected for the past few years, but he needs to get and stay on the field.