The Kansas City Chiefs were once again back in full pads for their one and only practice of training camp today. As always, Josh Looney @ KCChiefs.com, Bob Gretz @ CBSSports.com & BobGretz.com and the staff at UWRF all filed reports on the session.
Mike Vrabel returned to practice today, after missing both sessions yesterday. Sitting out today were Zach Thomas, Wes Dacus, Monty Beisel, Demorrio Williams, Kolby Smith, DaJuan Morgan and Wade Smith.
As has become customary, coach Todd Haley spent a lot of his time today on the wide receivers trying to get them to have better focus during their individual session. Even with the added attention, the WRs and TEs still managed to drop seven passes that were catchable.
During the team’s 11-on-11 portion of practice, the Chiefs defense forced a fumble by Jackie Battle. The ball was knocked out of Battle’s hands by DE Alex Magee and recovered by LB Andy Studebaker, who took the ball to the house for a touchdown. This prompted the rest of the defense to call Studebaker “The Sterminator”.
Later the defense made another solid play in the 11-on-11 when Corey Mays and Mike Vrabel teamed up for a sack.
S Jon McGraw broke up a pass picked off a pass in the back of the end zone during the red zone 7-on-7 session.
The practice ended with the team working on the two-minute drill with the No. 1 offense vs. the No. 1 defense and then the No. 2 offense vs. the No. 2 defense. As was the theme for most of the day, the defense prevailed both times. With NFL official Mike Carey officiating, Matt Cassel took the team down the field. He hit Rodney Wright, Jamaal Charles, Bobby Engram and Mark Bradley during the drive. Cassel went for the end zone twice but the passes were broken up by Brandon Flowers and Bernard Pollard. On 4th and 15 from the 23, Cassel hit Wright again, but was short of the first down. Brodie Croyle was terrible, with the offense only lasting four plays, all incompletions.
The story of the day, however, was Haley kicking WR Devard Darling out of practice earlier in the day.
During today’s situation period: the offense had the ball and the lead with only a limited amount of time left in the game. The goal of the offense was to protect the ball and kill the clock. The goal of the defense was to save as much time as possible and see if they could force a turnover.
When the offense came out of the huddle, Darling lined up on the wrong side of the formation. By the time Darling was made aware of his mistake, the head coach saw the problem and was very unhappy.
“Are you kidding me!” Haley yelled. “Devard run to the building and stay there for all I care.”
Darling took off running to the UW-River Falls fieldhouse and ice arena that holds the Chiefs locker rooms. Once he got there, he walked inside. Darling eventually came out of the building and took a seat in a cool tent set up next to the field and grabbed a Gatorade. When Haley saw him sitting there he made a bee-line for the tent, yelling the whole way.
“Take it inside, take it inside. You aren’t going to sit out here and watch. Get inside.”
Darling tried to say something, but Haley shouted him down and continued yelling at him to get out. The receiver finally turned and walked back into the building.
Afterwards the head coach didn’t have much to say about the incident.
“You all were here, you can take from what you want. I’m not going to talk about it. That’s between he and I.”
Yikes. We have seen plenty of Haley screaming and yelling over the past week, but this is the first time we’ve seen him go into full out attack mode. I’m pretty sure that’s a distinction that Devard Darling would have rather not had. Players make mistakes in training camp… it happens. But what could he possible have been thinking when he decided to sit in a “cool tent” with a cup of Gatorade? Haley isn’t happy when a player loafs on a run and you think he’ll let you sit on your butt and rehydrate after a mental mistake? Not the best of moves, Devard.
Croyle has had a decent week of camp, but 0-4 when you are supposed to lead the team down the field? Again, you can never put too much stock into one practice but a big goose egg is hard to swallow when you are fighting not only for the backup spot, but just to stay on the team now that Matt Gutierrez is likely here as the third QB.