The Kansas City Chiefs were back in full pads today for the fifth day in a row during their 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.
Zach Thomas returned to practice after missing one yesterday. Conversely, Mike Vrabel found himself in the rehab zone today, missing his first practice of training camp. Joining him were Wes Dacus, Demorrio Williams, Kolby Smith, Brad Cottam, DaJuan Morgan and Wade Smith. Monty Beisel, who was shaken up yesterday, was also absent from practice but not in the rehab zone.
In the WR/DB on-on-one session, CB Londen Fryar made two great plays going up against Bobby Engram. The first play he jumped in front of an out route for an INT and the second he ran stride-for-stride with Engram down the sideline to break up the pass.
During that same session, WR Rodney Wright got behind his defender for a 50-yard touchdown, He celebrated by hi-fiving one of the fans watching practice from the back of the end zone.
Once again, Todd Haley is focusing on the wide receivers. For the first time, the receivers are getting multiple reps before taking a breather. Devard Darling use the reps to his advantage during 7-on-7 drills by logging three catches on consecutive plays.
Brian Waters did all the practice work today with the exception of one-on-one pass protection. When the lines went there, Waters snapped the ball for the quarterbacks in 7-on-7 drills.
Speaking of the offensive line, they turned in a nice performance against the defensive line during the inside run session. That solid play carried over into the first few plays of the 11-on-11 portion of practice. RB Jackie Battle reaped the benefits of their improved play, breaking loose for a few long runs. Two of those runs came on back to back plays over the right side of the No. 1 defense (Glenn Dorsey and Tamba Hali.
The Chiefs went with a short-yardage session, with the offense facing a 3rd-and-1 play. The offense appeared to convert on all six snaps, including a play where Charles burst through the line for wh at would have been a big gainer.
During the short-yardage session, Bernard Pollard put pressure on Matt Cassel. Pollard exchanged words with some of the offensive players on the sidelines and a small spat broke out. Haley send a simple message that seemed to end things: “I’ll make you run!”
Ryan Succop had another good day kicking the ball. He was 3-3 on his FGs. The first one was as the Chiefs went to a hurry up situation to get the field goal unit on the field and set up in time.
LB Corey Mays capped off the first practice of the day with a nice hit.
Good to see the O-line get a little recognition. Almost all of the accolades early on in training camp have been on the defensive side of the ball. Although clearly Haley has noticed Jackie Battle over the first batch of practices, as he noted in his post-practice press conference: “He has shown, during these first few days, of anyone on the team that I’d point somebody out as ‘getting it” That’s high praise from any coach, but especially Haley.
The Chiefs haven’t even had ten practices yet and already I just expect to see Succop to have a perfect number. As we’ve learned the past few years with Kansas City and kickers, training camp doesn’t mean anything, but it’s still promising to see a kick with such a big leg keep a high percentage.