From the Truman Sports Complex
The Chiefs offensive struggles in throwing the ball during the weekend mini-camp definitely got the attention of head coach Todd Haley.Â As the team went through its OTA session on Monday morning, there was extra time given to the passing game.
During individual position drills, Haley spent the time right in the middle of the wide receivers.Â Remember Haley’s background as an assistant coach was working with the wide receivers.Â During the practice, he savedÂ his sharpest retorts for the guys catching the ball, and especially those dropping the ball.
“We need work, we definitely need work, to improve our execution of just the basic pass game,” said Haley. “We are having a hard time in some simplier areas. We are making plays, it’s just that the execution has to pick up.Â ”
There were 81 of the 85 roster playersÂ on the field for the OTA.Â Missing were LB Brian Waters and OLB Mike Vrabel, thus keeping intact their string of not taking part in anything this off-season that hasn’t been mandatory.Â Also missing was the recently married TE Tony Curtis and rookie CB Donald Washington who is expected later this week once classes are over at Ohio State.
Here are some observations from the workout, which was held in very cool and windy conditions as the weather made a complete change from the hot, steamy weekend:
– The rehab crew remained the same as it has been for all these sessions: QB Brodie Croyle, RB Kolby Smith, DE Glenn Dorsey and DT Ron Edwards.
– Along the defensive line, the guy who is leading that group right now is veteran DE Alfonso Boone.Â During a team passing segment of practice he broke up a screen pass from QB Tyler Thigpen to RB Dantrell Savage in the backfield.
– Matt Cassel got the most work and he was 15 of 18 in the portions of practice where he threw against a defense.Â He did have one picked off as ILB Derrick Johnson jumped an inside route by TE Brad Cottam and made the interception for what would likely have been a pick six.Â It was hard to tell if it was a great play by D.J. or a bad route by Cottam.
– Thigpen was six of 11 in the work against a defense.Â He also threw an interception, as S Jon McGraw grabbed a pass that bounced off RB Jackie Battle.
– Ingle Martin was six of 11 and had one of the prettiest offensive plays of the day, when he hit a deep running Cottam in stride for a play that would have gone for 25 to 30 yards.Â Cottam beat CB Londen Fryar on the play and S Ricky Price didn’t get over in time to break up the throw.Â
– The Chiefs had their quarterbacks on the move in this workout, as both Cassel and Thigpen had multiple throws on short bootlegs to the left and right.Â Thigpen and WR Rodney Wright combined on a nice throw and catchÂ
– OLB Tamba Hali read a running play in the teamwork portion of practice and almost grabbed the handoff from Cassel to Battle.Â It was one of the better defensive plays of the off-season.
– WR C.J. Jones was wide open and Martin threw a nice pass, that was juggled and then dropped.Â Jones can’t afford to drop those kind of passes.
– In teamwork, RB Larry Johnson had a nice run off right guard, hitting the hole quickly and accelerating to the second level of the defense.
– Defensively, McGraw, S DaJuan Morgan and rookie LB Jovan Belcher all knocked down passes in coverage.