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Evaluating The Chiefs Defense Going Into Camp

For your consideration, here’s a look at the 2015 Chiefs defense position-by-position, where they stood on New Year’s Day and where they stand as the team enjoys a vacation before starting training camp in late July in St. Joseph. The rating system is based on the following:

- Not good enough.

- Improvement needed.

- Can win with them.

- Among best in division/conference.

The Chiefs defense is the strongest part of the roster going into the 2015 season. But there are big questions that remain to be answered with the unit’s best players like Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Eric Berry, Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito.

Here’s how it all breaks down: …Read More!

Evaluating The Chiefs Offense Going Into Camp

Unless one happens to be wrapped up in the Tom Brady-Roger Goodell soap opera of deflated footballs and inflated egos, this is the quiet time in the world of pro football. It’s vacation time and after a few days off, players around the country will get back to work on their individual conditioning programs, to stay sharp for the end of July and the start of training camp.

For your consideration, here’s a look at the 2015 Chiefs offense position-by-position, where they stood on New Year’s Day, where they stand now and the direction the arrow is pointing, whether it’s an improvement, or it’s a step backward. Stars are based on the following:

- Not good enough.

- Improvement needed.

- Can win with them.

- Among best in division/conference.

…Read More!

Chiefs Add WR; Roster Now At 90 Players

The Chiefs players and coaches have scattered on vacation, but general manager John Dorsey and his personnel group continued to grind away on Friday, filling an open roster spot by signing wide receiver Jeret Smith.

At 5-9ÂĽ, 218 pounds, Smith played four seasons at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. In the 2014 season for the War Hawks he caught 54 passes for 1,143 yards and 14 touchdown catches. He also scored a touchdown rushing and has done some returning during his career at the Division II school. He finished his college career with 2,729 receiving yards.

Smith attended the Seattle Seahawks rookie mini-camp as a tryout player and then did the same at the Chiefs rookie mini-camp. He joined the Chiefs this week as a tryout player in their full-team mini-camp for two days.

A native of Abilene, Smith runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, and has a vertical jump of 36 inches and a standing broad jump of 10-1.

These are the numbers at each position on the Chiefs roster here at the end of the off-season program:

  • Quarterbacks – 4.
  • Running backs – 5.
  • Fullbacks – 2.
  • Wide receivers – 13.
  • Tight ends – 6.
  • Offensive line – 15.
  • Defensive line – 11.
  • Outside linebackers – 6.
  • Inside linebackers – 7.
  • Cornerbacks – 10.
  • Safeties – 7.
  • Special teams – 4.

Chiefs set 14 public practices For Camp In St. Joe

Beginning on Saturday, August 1, the Chiefs will hold 14 training camp practices that are open to the public at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph.

Two of those sessions will have a $5 admission charge (August 1 and August 8) otherwise there is no admission charge. Parking at MWSU is $5 at every practice.

Rookies and quarterbacks will hit campus on July 28, and they will practice on July 29, 30 and 31, but those sessions are closed to the public. The rest of the veterans will report on the afternoon of Friday, July 31.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Saturday, August 1: first open practice, starting at 3:30 p.m. $5 admission and a team autograph session.
  • Sunday, August 2: practice at 8:15 a.m., Alumni Day with a team autograph session.
  • Monday, August 3: practice at 8:15 a.m.
  • Tuesday, August 4: practice at 8:15 a.m.
  • Wednesday, August 5: practice at 9:15 a.m.
  • Friday, August 7: Practice at 8:15 a.m.
  • Saturday, August 8: Practice at 8:15 a.m., plus family fun day $5 admission fee and team autograph session.
  • Sunday, August 9: Practice at 8:15 a.m.
  • Monday, August 10: Practice at 9:15 a.m.
  • Tuesday, August 11: Practice at 8:15 a.m.
  • Wednesday, August 12: Practice at 8:15 a.m., season ticket appreciation day with a team autograph session.
  • Monday, August 17: Practice at 8:15 a.m.
  • Monday, August 18: Practice at 8:15 a.m.
  • Wednesday, August 19: Practice at 9:15 a.m., Military Appreciation Day.
  • Thursday, August 20: Chiefs break camp; no practice.

Chiefs Roster/Injury Notes As Mini-Camp Is Completed

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs wrapped up their off-season work on Thursday with a shortened practice to close out their mini-camp.

Afterwards, they made several roster moves, signing cornerback Kenny Penny and releasing guard Melvin Meggs and cornerback De’Vante Bausby.

Penny spent the mini-camp working with the defense on a tryout basis. The 5-10, 186-pound Texas native came out of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. He was not selected in the 2015 NFL Draft, but signed with the Cleveland Browns. Penny was released earlier this month by the Browns.

In 42 games with the Runnin’ Rebels, Perry had 113 total tackles, one interception and 19 passes broken up.

Kansas City native Bausby, out of Pittsburg State University, underwent surgery on Thursday for his broken clavicle. He was released with an injury designation and is unlikely to be claimed. Bausby would then move to the Chiefs injured-reserve list.

Meggs was not a participant in mini-camp’s final practice. He was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent out of South Alabama.

Also absent from Thursday’s session was starting right cornerback Sean Smith. Head coach Andy Reid said he was excused for personal reasons.

Speaking after it was all wrapped up, Reid said there was no update on the status of safety Eric Berry in his fight against Hodgkin lymphoma. He said running back Cyrus Gray (knee) and tight end Demetrius Harris (foot) continued to improve in their rehab from injuries. Quarterback Tyler Bray (knee) was with the team during mini-camp as the team wanted to get an evaluation of his rehab.

Chiefs Touched By South Carolina Tragedy

From the Truman Sports Complex

It was with a heavy heart that Chiefs safety Sanders Commings worked through the team’s final practice of mini-camp on Thursday.

His cousin Rev. Clementa Pickney was one of the nine victims that were killed at the Emmanuel AME Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday evening. Pickney was a pastor at the church and was also a South Carolina state senator. He may have been the first victim as the gunman sat next to Pickney during a bible study session before opening fire on the group.

Commings did not speak after the Chiefs wrapped up mini-camp on Thursday, but earlier in the day he reacted on Twitter:

RIP to my cousin #ClementaPinckney#Prayers for Charleston.”

Commings went through the entire mini-camp practice and then was heading to South Carolina to be with his family.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sanders Commings and his family,” said head coach Andy Reid. “He’ll be able to head back and take care of business.”

Pickney was 41 years old, the married father of two and had spent 19 years in the South Carolina state legislature.

Commings was a fifth-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft out of the University of Georgia, but his career has been derailed with multiple injuries, including missing all of the 2014 season with an ankle injury. He’s played in just two of a possible 33 games.

The murderer, 21-year old Dylann Roof was arrested Thursday morning in Shelby, North Carolina.

Chiefs Push Through Day 2 Of Mini-Camp

From the Truman Sports Complex

The second of three mini-camp practices went down Wednesday afternoon at the Chiefs facility as Andy Reid and his coaching staff had 88 bodies to put through the paces.

Wide receiver Albert Wilson went down with a hamstring injury two weeks ago and he returned for the warmup period and positional drills, but did not take part in the full-team work.

Six of the 90 players on the roster were not practicing – outside linebacker Justin Houston (unsigned), safety Eric Berry (lymphoma), cornerback De’Vante Bausby (clavicle), quarterback Tyler Bray (knee), running back Cyrus Gray (knee) and tight end Demetrius Harris (foot).

Participating in Wednesday’s practice was guard Marcus Reed, claimed on waivers this week after he was released by the Green Bay Packers. Also working were four players on a tryout basis – wide receiver Jeret Smith from McMurray University in Abilene, Texas; wide receiver/returner Kealoha Pilareus from the University of Hawaii and the Carolina Panthers; cornerback Kenneth Penny out of Nevada-Las Vegas and the Cleveland Browns; guard Derrick Dennis from Temple University and time with Miami, New England, Chicago and Carolina.

Four men in the NFL’s developmental program for officiating have been on the field each day during practice.

On Thursday, the Chiefs hold their final practice of the off-season and then head for down time.

Chiefs Roll Through Mini-Camp Day 1


Chiefs first-round draft choice Marcus Peters was back on the field Tuesday, getting instructions on special teams from assistant coach Brock Olivo (KC Chiefs photo.)

From the Truman Sports Complex

Andy Reid and the Chiefs coaching staff had 85 bodies to work Tuesday afternoon in the first of three mini-camp practices at the team’s facility.

There were 82 roster players dressed and participating in the two-hour session, along with three tryout players. The best news for the Chiefs was inside linebacker Derrick Johnson and nose tackle Dontari Poe taking part with the No. 1 defense in team drills. Neither player has been full-go for practice in the last two weeks.

As expected outside linebacker Justin Houston was a no-show, as he continues to stay away from the Chiefs facility while waiting for a long-term contract to be negotiated with the team. Safety Eric Berry was not on the field as he continues to battle back from his Hodgkin lymphoma. …Read More!

Chiefs Sign Former K-State Offensive Tackle

Right tackle prospect Tavon Rooks was signed by the Chiefs on Monday, the day before the on-field work of the three-day mini-camp.

The 6-5, 299-pound Rooks was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 2014 NFL Draft, going in the sixth-round, at selection No. 202. He spent the 2014 season on the Saints practice squad, then signed back in January with the Arizona Cardinals. Rooks was released by the Cardinals on June 5.

A native of Maryland, Rooks began his college career with two seasons at Navarro College, a two-year school in Corsicana, Texas. He moved on to Kansas State University, where he was a starter over two seasons for head coach Bill Snyder.

Chiefs Set For Mini-Camp, Minus Justin Houston

The Chiefs players arrived at the team’s facility Monday evening for the start of the 2015 mandatory mini-camp.

Andy Reid will have his team on the field for three practices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, before the players and football staff head off for vacation time before the start of training camp near the end of July.

Missing will be outside linebacker Justin Houston. The team’s franchise player designee, Houston is not required to attend because he’s not signed the tender offer he received from the Chiefs. Last year, Houston boycotted the mini-camp while under contract and faced fines totaling nearly $70,000. That will not be the case this year. There is no other incentive for the league’s leading sacker in 2014 to break away from his training in Georgia. Obviously, missing time last year did not hinder Houston’s performance during the 2014 season.

Also, there have been no indications that safety Eric Berry will be at mini-camp as he continues to work on his return from his Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis. However, it would not be a surprise if Berry makes an appearance to see his teammates and the coaching staff. It would be an emotional lift not only for Berry, but the team and organization. …Read More!

Chiefs Wrap OTAs, Only Mini-Camp Left in Off-season

Teammates Charcandrick West and Andrew East watched Friday’s OTA. Chiefs need a North and South to cover all directions (KC Chiefs photo.)

The Chiefs hit the field for their 10th and final OTA practice of the off-season and now have just next week’s mini-camp to complete before they head off to vacation before the start of training camp at the end of July.

There were 76 of the team’s 90-man roster on the field and at full participation for the last session and fourth of the week.

“It’s been a good week of work; we got four good practices in,” said head coach Andy Reid. “The guys are competing; they’ve got good energy. We’re excited for next week to get here.”

That would be the team’s three-day mini-camp that begins Monday evening with the first of three practices on Tuesday. Other than the chance to have a bit more time on the field, there’s no difference between the OTA and mini-camp practices.

“This whole thing is a minicamp, that’s just a mandatory one,” Reid said of next week’s work. “I would expect the guys to continue to grow in the offense and the defense, special teams.” …Read More!

Progress Made on Chiefs OTA Injury Front

Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin was back on the field Thursday in the ninth OTA session for the Chiefs. Maclin missed the workout on Wednesday due to foot inflammation. His presence in the workout is an indication that the foot problem is nothing too serious.

Also back to full participation was inside linebacker Derrick Johnson. He’s been out since early in the month with knee inflammation. After several workouts where he took part only in position drills, Johnson handled the entire practice on Thursday.

Nose tackle Dontari Poe (back) did not practice and wide receiver Albert Wilson (hamstring) was limited in his participation.

Guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif did not practice on Thursday because of illness and outside linebacker Dee Ford was not present for the session due to personal reasons.

OTA #10 is scheduled for Friday. From there, the Chiefs will break for three days before the start of the team’s mini-camp next Tuesday.

Some tidbits that came from post-practice media access with selected players: …Read More!

Injury-Bug Continues To Bite Chiefs In OTAs

LB Josh Mauga chugs a Gatorade to compensate for the heat during Wednesday’s OTA (KC Chiefs photo.)

It’s June and there’s no reason for anyone in the red and gold universe to be looking for the panic button. But a series of injuries in the last few weeks has increased the fretting level around Arrowhead Stadium and it grew even larger on Wednesday as the Chiefs went through OTA session No. 8 at their facility in the Truman Sports Complex.

Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin did not practice because of a foot problem. Undrafted rookie cornerback and Kansas City native De’Vante Bausby suffered a broken clavicle on Tuesday and he’s done until training camp, at the earliest. Plus, Pro Bowl nose tackle Dontari Poe, inside linebacker Derrick Johnson and wide receiver Albert Wilson again were not full participants due to physical maladies.

There’s no indication of how serious these injuries might be, there’s no indication that any of the players with the possible exception of Bausby would miss training camp, the pre-season or the regular season. At this point in the league calendar the Chiefs are under no NFL rules about providing information on injuries. Unlike some teams however, they will acknowledge a player’s physical problems if they do not participate in the OTAs. There are always hopeful comments from head coach Andy Reid about the individual situations, but sometimes that’s wishful thinking and the head coach trying to establish keep a positive fame-of-mind. …Read More!

Final Week of OTAs Begins With Tuesday Workout

The Chiefs are allowed four more OTA sessions under the rules of the labor agreement between the NFL and its players. They ran through the seventh of 10 sessions on Tuesday at their facility in the Truman Sports Complex. The remaining three practices are set for Wednesday-Thursday-Friday.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Andy Reid made cancelled that last workout. For what a team can get done during these sessions in shorts and without pads, the Chiefs appear to be ahead of where they were last season at the same time. With three more practices next week in what is the team’s mini-camp but will look an awful lot like OTA practices, pulling off the reigns in June for one workout would not be a surprise.

(Left, that’s Frankie Hammond grabbing a pass in front of Marcus Cooper during Tuesday’s OTA session.)(K.C. Chiefs photo.)

Updating the injury situation, starting with the two biggest names – nose tackle Dontari Poe and inside linebacker Derrick Johnson. Poe has not been back on the practice field since he walked off a week ago with back spasms. Johnson went through individual position drills on Tuesday, but then was shut down by the Chiefs trainers and did not work in the team portion of practice due to swelling on his knee.

Joining Poe on the do not practice list was wide receiver Albert Wilson (hamstring). Undrafted rookie and K.C. product cornerback De’Vante Bausby suffered a left shoulder injury and left the field during Tuesday’s practice. Undrafted rookie Keshawn Hill returned to practice after missing a week due to a hamstring injury.

A few tidbits that came out of post-practice media sessions: …Read More!

Chiefs Wrap Up Second Week Of OTAs

(KC Chiefs photo)

Other than a few injuries that popped up during the week, the Chiefs had a good second week of off-season practices. They wrapped up work on Thursday with a session that started outside, but then moved indoors when the weather turned nasty.

“The guys have worked very hard,” head coach Andy Reid told the media after the week’s final practice. “We’re challenging each other, both sides of the ball are making plays. They’re getting good work on special teams, getting good work in the weight room, so I think all of those are positive things.

“I like that the mistakes – in particular with the ones and twos – are kind of smoothing out there. It’s way more functional than it’s been the last two years at this time. And then, I think the threes, because the ones and twos are doing well, those young guys are coming in and it helps them out.”

This week the Chiefs were physically nicked up as inside linebacker Derrick Johnson, nose tackle Dontari Poe and wide receiver Albert Wilson were not full participants in Thursday’s practice. Johnson took part in the warmup portion, but did not work with the defense because of swelling on his left knee. Poe was not practicing due to back spasms that began early in Tuesday’s workout. Wilson left Wednesday’s session with a hamstring issue.

Reid indicated that none of the injuries should be a major issue. Plus, at this time of the year the doctors and trainers are always very conservative in working players back into activity.

The Chiefs have now used six of their 10 OTA sessions. The last four are scheduled for Tuesday through Friday of next week. Then the off-season program ends with the team’s mini-camp.

Alex Works On More Consistency For KC Pass Game

From the Truman Sports Complex

Footwork has been on the mind of quarterback Alex Smith as he’s gone through the 2015 Chiefs offseason program.

Smith has been concentrating on being more consistent in his throwing mechanics. Even going into his 10th NFL season, the fundamentals remain a work in progress.

“Footwork is something that never goes away; you are constantly trying to get better with your feet,” Smith said. “For me it’s about working to be more consistent whether under center or in the (shot) gun. It’s something than when looking at the tape from last year I was all over the place.

“It’s (footwork) really so important to quarterbacks. It’s the foundation of throwing and I’m working to get to a point where I’m consistent with that. I think with that you are more balanced and over the long haul you are going to complete more balls and throw better balls. I’m trying to be as efficient as I can.”

Over nine seasons with the 49ers and Chiefs, Smith has completed 60.4 percent of his throws, but in his last 41 games he’s improved to 66.7 percent and last season he turned in one of the most successful passing seasons of his career, completing 65.3 percent of his throws. …Read More!

D.J., Poe Out Of OTA Session On Tuesday

From the Truman Sports Complex

Thank goodness for the Chiefs defense that it’s just early June. If there was a game to be played this coming weekend, they might have a problem. Two Pro Bowl starters were out of action on Tuesday during the team’s fourth OTA session held at the team’s facility.

Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson was on the field but he did not participate in the two-hour practice because of some swelling on his knee. Coming off last season’s ruptured Achilles tendon that kept him out for 15 games Johnson worked with no restrictions last week.

Nose tackle Dontari Poe left the field very early in the practice with what the Chiefs called a back issue. He was walked off by three members of the training staff. That’s never a good sign at any point and it was surprising because Poe has been the rock inside the Chiefs defense since he was drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid did not speak to the media after practice so there was no indication of how serious either of the problems were with Johnson and Poe. As always the test will be how soon either one gets back in the No. 1 unit.

Also off the field were quarterback Tyler Bray (knee), cornerbacks Steven Nelson and Marcus Peters (NFL rules), safety Eric Berry (lymphoma), running back Cyrus Gray (knee), running back Keshawn Hill (hamstring), linebacker Justin Houston (without contract) and tight end Demetrius Harris (foot). Offensive lineman Jarrod Pughsley returned to practice after missing last week with a hamstring injury.

OTA Question: How Deep Is Cornerback Depth?

Whether they get complete answers or not, there were four key questions attracting the attention of Andy Reid and John Dorsey this week when the Chiefs began on-field work in the OTAs and an upcoming mini-camp. The Chiefs passing game was addressed here, injuries here and the offensive line here.

  1. How much progress can Alex Smith make with his new cadre of receivers, topped by Jeremy Maclin and Chris Conley?
  2. How far along physically are injured starters inside linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive end Mike DeVito? What about safety Tyvon Branch, signed in free agency that missed most of the 2014 season in Oakland? Will they see safety Eric Berry in the next three weeks?
  3. What combinations will they create along the offensive line, with old and new faces?
  4. With draft picks Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson out of action because of NFL rules, what kind of depth can the Chiefs develop at cornerback, where they always seem to need talented bodies?

It has become a fact of life in today’s NFL – a defense can never have too many good cornerbacks. During the 256-game regular season, the league’s 32 teams averaged 4,028 passing yards. Last season, 11 of the teams had a starting quarterback that threw for more than 4,000 yards and the top half of the league’s passers threw for 3,398 yards or more.

(Right) rookie CB Justin Cox breaks up a throw to WR/RB De’Anthony Thomas during OTA work (KC Chiefs photo.)

…Read More!

Chiefs Secondary Leads The Way in First Week OTAs

From the Truman Sports Complex

The ebb and flow of NFL practices constantly shifts the advantage from offense to defense and back again, and again, and . . .

As the Chiefs wrapped up their first week of OTA practices on Thursday afternoon, it was Andy Reid’s defense that led the way. Specifically, it was the secondary that kept making plays and taking the football away from the Chiefs pass offense.

“The work has been good out here,” Reid said of the three workouts in the 10 off-season sessions he’s allowed to hold. “It’s been all positive. The guys are challenging each other. Offense makes a few plays, defensive plays and that’s how you like it.”

Cornerback Sean Smith had two interceptions, with cornerback Deji Olatoye and safeties Kelcie McCray and Daniel Sanderson hauling in passes in the middle of the field that were tipped by teammates.

“You need the turnovers on the defensive side,” said Reid. “You obviously don’t want them on the offensive side, but we’re getting good work in there where both sides are being effective. I like it. I like the way they’re challenging each other within the rules of you can’t tackle and you can’t play bump, so they’re doing a good job.” …Read More!

OTA Question: Who Will Start On The Offensive Line?

(KC Chiefs photo.)

The Chiefs will wrap up their first week of OTA sessions on Thursday with their third practice of the week. They are trying to answer a handful of off-season questions about their roster and units during the OTAs. Andy Reid and John Dorsey are focused on every move and play, especially four key areas where they will focus on personnel and how they are utilized. Those questions are:

  1. How much progress can Alex Smith make with his new cadre of receivers, topped by Jeremy Maclin and Chris Conley?
  2. How far along physically are injured starters inside linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive end Mike DeVito? What about safety Tyvon Branch, signed in free agency that missed most of the 2014 season in Oakland? Will they see safety Eric Berry in the next three weeks?
  3. What combinations will they create along the offensive line, with old and new faces?
  4. With draft picks Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson out of action because of NFL rules, what kind of depth can the Chiefs develop at cornerback, where they always seem to need talented bodies?

We covered the passing game and the status of injured players earlier this week. Today’s epistle tackles the offensive line. …Read More!

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AFC West Analysis 2014
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Game Coverage 2014
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