Pre-Season Practice Report – 8/29

From the Truman Sports Complex

While the intensity of the play has not gone up in Chiefs practices, certainly the tone of the conversation has become much more intense and that’s courtesy of the head coach.

Todd Haley was all over the field late Monday morning as the Chiefs went through their second practice of the week. They have just one more full practice before heading to Green Bay for the pre-season finale against the Packers. Haley’s voice carried across the practice fields, as he was in the ear of any number of people, from QB Matt Cassel, to WR Verran Tucker, to TE coach Bernie Parmalee, to WR coach Richie Anderson, to special teams coach Steve Hoffman, to the offense as a group, to the defense as a group and sometimes to no one in particular.

The elevated chatter was not so much due to the 0-3 pre-season record, but because the Chiefs are screaming towards the start of the regular season. Haley was making sure his guys remembered what’s ahead and he was making the point that performance, consistency and intensity need to be pushed forward another level. Essentially, the Chiefs have just six practices before facing Buffalo in the opener.

Haley not only turned up the heat, but changed the schedule to bring it back towards what the team will face come the start of the regular season. That means early morning workouts, meetings, a late morning practice, and then more meetings.

“It was a good day today,” Haley said after practice. “I thought it was a good lively day. We were able to create a number of situations out there throughout practice and I felt positive about the way things went.”

Here are some details and observations from the session:

– Haley had the team in shoulder pads, but they were wearing shorts.

– Not practicing were the following – OLB Gabe Miller, LG Ryan Lilja, C/G Darryl Harris, OL Bobby Greenwood, OT Ryan O’Callaghan, TE Jake O’Connell and WR Jonathan Baldwin. Greenwood and O’Callaghan were absent from the locker room and the practice field. Miller has a hamstring pull, O’Connell a sprained ankle, Baldwin a broken thumb, Harris a sprained knee and Lilja’s injury remains unknown. However, he was very active in the rehab area and seemed to be able to do everything asked of him, from stretches, to weights, to riding the stationary bike.

– When the Chiefs went to the team-run segment of practice, Demorrio Williams stepped in for Jovan Belcher at ILB. Throughout the pre-season, Williams has largely been working behind Derrick Johnson at the weak side ILB spot. But the season-ending injury suffered by ILB Brandon Siler seems to have the coaching staff searching for versatility from Williams.

– Baldwin spent some time with strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark, but it wasn’t just running. Clark was putting him through some pass patterns and Baldwin was getting conditioning running different routes over and over. The rookie WR’s right hand/wrist remains in a brace.

– The offense got the ball to RB Dexter McCluster in the open field and he about caused OLB Tamba Hali to break an ankle as the big man tried to break down and make the tackle. Hali came up grabbing at air.

– Haley worked Cassel’s ear during a water break about being more vocal in relaying calls to the players once they are lined up over the ball.

– Working on returning punts were CB Javier Arenas, RB Dexter McCluster and WR Steve Breaston.

– CB Brandon Flowers picked off Cassel in a third-down period, on a poor decision by the quarterback to fit the ball into a very small area.

– Later on a 3rd-and-3 play, Cassel audibled out of a pass to run play and RB Jamaal Charles was stopped for a three-yard loss. Haley made it loud and obvious that he wasn’t thrilled with the decision to change the play.

– On a 3rd-and-8 play, Cassel hooked up with Charles on a pretty screen pass where LG Rodney Hudson took ILB Derrick Johnson out of the play.

– In total, the Chiefs offense ran nine plays on third down, and converted five of them.

– Cassel and Breaston hooked up on a nice play where the receiver caught the ball with arms out stretched right at the goal line pylon.

– RB Thomas Jones coughed the ball up at the end of a play, with the fumble forced by NT Kelly Gregg who was hustling down field. FS Kendrick Lewis recovered.

– Cassel hooked up with WR Verran Tucker on a quick in-route at the goal line and Tucker was able to beat CB Travis Daniels.

– Near the end of practice, Haley set up a “May Day” field goal situation where time is running out, the offense gets stopped in bounds with the clock running, and the FG team has to get on the field and set before time runs out. K Ryan Succop made the 39-yard FG, but the kick likely would have been waved off because OT Jared Gaither did not report to officials –he was playing the right side end and because he wears an ineligible number (71) he must report to the striped shirts. A mental mistake there; Gaither is not usually on the end of the FG protection team.

17 Responses to “Pre-Season Practice Report – 8/29”

  • August 29, 2011  - Blake says:

    I am guessing Greenwood and O’Callahan are going to IR so KC will make the 80 man roster by tomorrow.

  • August 29, 2011  - TRUEGRIT says:

    I don’t see any reason to keep either of them. I think better players will be cut from other rosters.

  • August 29, 2011  - ChuckP says:

    Having Steve Breaston return punts sounds like a really bad decision to me. He is way too valuable to be playing that spot. Sounds like Haley is grasping for straws.

  • August 29, 2011  - Thomas Salmon says:

    I hate the preseason more and more each year!

  • August 29, 2011  - el cid says:

    I am with you Thomas. Just announced the Chiefs are 30 million under salary cap. I guess we are supposed to be proud of that, will keep us warm all winter after going into the season needing help on OL, DL, and maybe QB.

  • August 29, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    Fantastic report! Makes me feel like I was there.

    Rodney Hudson has been quietly establishing himself as a key contributor and a good pick.

    Demorrio Williams is a tackling machine. It will be interesting to see how well he performs in a new LB position. He’s undersized, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he took full advantage of the opportunity. If he can back up Belcher, that’s good, too.

    I’m excited to see if Baldwin comes back with a better attitude. We need a big body receiver who can go up and get the ball.

    Bob, who is taking snaps behind Barry Richardson? Will be interesting to see if the Chiefs think Gaither is healthy enough to play.

  • August 29, 2011  - ED says:

    Arenas or Mcluster will be returning punt Breaston just out there for the purpose of getting reps don’t read much into that. El cid kill the 30 million under the cap if you want to watch teams blow money in free agency check out the Raiders ask them how that has worked out last 10yrs owe not well they haven’t made the playoffs in almost a decade. These guys just won division title at least lets play a few regular season games before you start whinning. I expect us to use bulk of that money resigning Flowers, Bowe, Carr, Gilberry, etc and i’m cool with that.

  • August 29, 2011  - Mark says:

    Is Gaither practicing at RT?? If not, why not? If he(or Albert, if they go that way) are going to play RT, they need some practice snaps.

  • August 30, 2011  - Anonymous says:

    it’s just a preseason ! let wait till at least the first 3 regular season game and if they go 0-3 or 1-2 then start whinning, all of that money that avalaible now that it need to resigning Flowers, Bowe, Carr, Gilberry if they get better during the season, I think this guy know whats they’re doing ! just give it sometime. I agreed with ED, look at the RAIDER / REDSKIN / COWBOYS /EAGLE they all big spending team so when is last time they win anything .

  • August 30, 2011  - tuan says:

    it’s just a preseason ! let wait till at least the first 3 regular season game and if they go 0-3 or 1-2 then start whinning, all of that money that avalaible now that it need to resigning Flowers, Bowe, Carr, Gilberry if they get better during the season, I think this guy know whats they’re doing ! just give it sometime. I agreed with ED, look at the RAIDER / REDSKIN / COWBOYS /EAGLE they all big spending team so when is last time they win anything .


  • August 30, 2011  - Milkman says:

    Yes, it is just preseason. I just hope Haley has a huge on-off switch he can turn on before the Buffalo game. Because we have yet to see anything that even remotely resembles “ON”.

  • August 30, 2011  - el cid says:

    If Ed and tuan and the rest cannot see an issue with 30 million dollars not spent on players, 90 million over 3 consecutive years, enough to get another team the KC Chiefs II…..I must be missing something.

    Sign their younger players sure but, come on, the average for the NFL, good teams and bad, 9 million. We are missing parts and a little, say 10 million each year, might have make a big difference. For the easiest example, two years ago if we had spent a little on a WR? First we would not have had the bum of the week pass thru here looking for a WR. Second we would not have had to chance on a non “right 53″ type in Baldwin. For every action there is a reaction, or in this case lack of action.

  • August 30, 2011  - Andy says:

    To assume that nothing has been done or no action has been taken seems a little bit silly. We don’t have any idea who the chiefs talked to/who they may have wanted that didn’t want to come to KC. You can’t just say they didn’t do anything without knowing who was available and what happened with any negotiations they might have had. Maybe they targeted five guys and weren’t able to sign them for reasons we’re not privy to. Just sayin…

  • August 30, 2011  - fleaflicker34 says:

    El Cid is bit silly Andy. He is the resident whiner, clueless but harmless.

  • August 30, 2011  - DerekNY says:

    Why does anyone get worked up about preseason. I really do not understand this at all. The Chiefs are 1 – 10 with Haley as coach in the preseason. There is obviously a method to his madness. Relax people. In almost all of these games the 3rd stringers and everyone that has a 2% chance of making this team have been playing a majority of reps. We are in base offense and base defense with no scheming what so ever. Haley has brought the team from the gutter to division champs in 2 years. Lets have some faith in the man.

  • August 30, 2011  - jim says:

    The main reason it is easy, maybe not legitimate, but easy, to get worked up about pre-seaon is that you need to establish SOMETHING!!!! You need to create a little momentum going into the regular season and so far we’ve not seen anything of the sort.

    Yeah, pre-season, etc., but I’m seeing a trend here that is becoming a little alarming. If we were a constant playoff team and KNEW we could flip the switch, I wouldn’t be as concerned……we’re not. So…………..I’m concerned. Why is that hard for some to understand?

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