From St. Joseph, Missouri
If the type of storm that blew through Missouri Western State University on Friday afternoon had happened in River Falls, Wisconsin, the Chiefs opening practice of training camp would have been a washout.
But on their first full day in new camp facilities, they were able to begin practice indoors and then move it outside to finish up. That’s thanks to the $13 million indoor facility that was built by the school, Chiefs, the state of Missouri and the city of St. Joseph.
It allowed the Chiefs to accomplish everything their head coach wanted to get done on the first day of the 2010 pre-season.
“It wasn’t the best of circumstances, but it was a productive day for the Chiefs,” Haley said. “This game is about adjustments on the fly and the guys did a good job of focusing and adjusting.”
By getting outside they did not disappoint the crowd that showed up to watch â€“ estimated by the Chiefs and the college at over 3,000 people. It wasn’t so much the heavy rain, but the lightning that had Haley making decisions on the fly. The first hour of practice went down inside, and then the last 90 minutes happened on the two new practice fields built for the Chiefs camp.
Since it was the first day of camp, veteran LB Mike Vrabel was not complaining, although he might later if it happens again later in the team’s stay in St. Joe.
“As a player, you hope for storms like that where they have to cancel practice,” Vrabel said. “I guess the indoor facility we have now is OK, but sometimes rain in camp is good.”
The Chiefs were in full pads and ended the afternoon with a live goal-line session where the offense had a slight edge on the defense. It was action that pleased Haley.
“There was great enthusiasm, great competition among the players, coaches and everybody involved,” Haley said. “I thought it was a good end of the practice with good spirit and competitiveness.”
Here’s more of what went down on the fields at Missouri Western:
– First-round draft choice S Eric Berry tweeted earlier in the day that he had a contract agreement with the team. But he did not make it to practice and Haley said after practice he wasn’t sure where things stood with Berry and his deal.
– Although Haley would not confirm, two players failed the conditioning test â€“ DL Dion Gales and OL Ikechuku Ndukwe. They were not practicing and spent a lot of time running sprints on the sidelines with the strength and conditioning staff.
– Starting LG Brian Waters did pass the conditioning test on Thursday, but he did not practice on Friday. Haley wouldn’t address why, but it seemed to be the lingering effects of the foot/ankle injury that Waters suffered on the first day of training camp last year. He should not be out long.
– On top of the injury report is offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, who worked the practice from a scooter, occasionally standing with the help of a cane. Haley said that earlier in the week Weis left knee “gave out” and he had surgery. But he was on the field for the entire practice.
– A July depth chart is frequently never worth the paper it’s printed on, so take these next few items on their face value – the personnel moves of the first practice. On offense, it was Thomas Jones and Tim Castille behind Matt Cassel, with Leonard Pope at TE and WRs Chris Chambers and Dwayne Bowe. The offensive line from left to right was Branden Albert, Darryl Harris (for Waters), Rudy Niswanger, Ryan Lilja and Ryan O’Callaghan.
– The first team defense was Glenn Dorsey, Ron Edwards and Tyson Jackson across the front, with Vrabel, Tamba Hali, Demorrio Williams and Corey Mays at linebacker. In the secondary, the cornerbacks were Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr, with Jon McGraw and Reshard Langford working at the safety spots.
– Here was the No. 2 defense â€“ Wallace Gilberry and Bobby Greenwood at end, Derek Lokey at the nose, Andy Studebaker and Pierre Walters at OLB, with Derrick Johnson and Jovan Belcher inside. The cornerbacks were Maurice Leggett and Travis Daniels, with Kendrick Lewis and DaJuan Morgan at safety.
– And the No. 3 defense was â€“ Jeffrey Fitzgerald and Alex Magee at end, Shaun Smith at the nose, Justin Cole and Cameron Sheffield at OLB, with David Herron and Cory Greenwood inside. At the corners were Javier Arenas and Mike Richardson, with Donald Washington and Ricky Price at safety.
– Working as deep snappers behind Thomas Gafford were Cory Greenwood and Lokey. Catching balls on returns were Dexter McCluster, Maurice Leggett, Jackie Bates, Quinten Lawrence and David Grimes.
– Some plays that stood out â€“ nice block by Lilja in the 9-on-7 drill that gave Jones a lane to crack a nice run â€¦ good penetration by Johnson in filling a gap on a running play â€¦ another nice run by RB Kestahn Moore who showed good balance getting through the wash at the line of scrimmage â€¦ Cory Greenwood the Canadian linebacker keeps showing up, filling gaps nicely in the 9-on-7 â€¦ Cassel and Chambers hooked up on a nice 40-yard TD play, with a great throw by the QB. Carr was right on Chambers in coverage but the ball was placed perfectly.
– Leggett always seems to find his way to the football; he picked off a pass in the 7-on-7 drill.
The Chiefs have a pair of practices set for Saturday. We’ll have reports after each.