Training Camp Practice Report – 7/31

From St. Joseph, Missouri

As far as the Chiefs players were concerned late Sunday afternoon, their head coach was a maniacal madman.

For the first time in this year’s training camp the Chiefs were on the field twice on Sunday. They put in a 65-minute walkthrough session in the morning and then a 2½-hour practice in the afternoon.

At the end of the afternoon workout that went down under sunny skies and oppressive heat and humidity, Todd Haley did not make his players run gassers, laps or sprints. At the point of the day when they were the most tired, most worn out and most distracted by their misery, Haley ran them through a concentration drill.

The players lined up in rows five yards apart. Every player was required to take a three-point stance, bending over and placing one hand on the ground while standing or crouching. They had to wait in that position until Haley blew his whistle. They then had to sprint five yards before stopping and doing it all over again. The idea is this – at their most tired, say near the end of the fourth quarter, players are susceptible to making mental mistakes. On offense it’s a false start; on defense it’s jumping offside. They are the type off plays that drive coaches crazy and kill momentum. Haley varied the time between the times he blew his whistle. He threw in some shouted signals, varying the pace and level of his voice.

When it was all done, Haley had just two players jump. The Chiefs players were able to quickly refocus and they got off the field once they put together five consecutive plays without illegal movement of any kind.

It’s just another example of the mind-body game that Haley plays with his players. It’s a wonder that the players didn’t try to outlaw the drill and others like it in the new agreement with the league.

Here are observations on what went down on Sunday in both sessions:

– The morning walkthrough did not provide much in the way of news or observation. The first 30 minutes were spent on conditioning, as strength and conditioning Coach Mike Clark put the entire group through some stretches. The next 35 minutes were spent on special teams and some offense and defense plays. We’ll provide any notes from the morning with our report on the afternoon or evening practices.

– The afternoon session was the same sort of practice that Haley staged on Friday and Saturday. It went some 150 minutes, with 10 minutes spent with the offensive and defensive lines wearing shoulder pads. They went through a quick strike drill, where the idea for the defense is to force a stalemate and the offense needs to move the defender off the ball. The pace was not full speed so it was of dubious analysis.

– This is probably jumping the gun after just three practices, but from the group of undrafted college free agents keep an eye on No. 79, OT Butch Lewis. Out of Southern Cal, Lewis started games at both guard spots and right tackle. It’s at RT where he is working in camp and he shows good footwork and power. The Chiefs list him at 6-5, 295 pounds, while he was listed at 6-4½, 312 pounds during his senior season with the Trojans. Once they get into pass protection drills, it will be interesting to see how he handles rushers like DE Wallace Gilberry and OLBs like Andy Studebaker and Cameron Sheffield.

– In the morning walkthrough, the defense did go into the nickel scheme. It featured LB Demorrio Williams and S Donald Washington coming into the game, with ILB Jovan Belcher and OLB Pierre Walters left the field. Walters is running with the first-team defense in place of missing franchise player Tamba Hali.

– TE Tony Moeaki (right knee) and RB Tervaris Johnson (right knee) both continued to work in the rehab area, riding the stationary bikes.

– Rookie WR Jonathan Baldwin showed no ill effects of the sore left hand he picked up in Saturday’s practice courtesy of a Matt Cassel rocket throw. In fact, Baldwin stood out in the afternoon. The first-round choice caught a long completion from Cassel, as he went up in the air and took the ball away from CB Javier Arenas who was in coverage.

– In the teamwork portion of practice, ILB Jovan Belcher reacted quickly to a screen pass thrown to his left by Cassel to RB Jamaal Charles.

– Rookie QB Ricky Stanzi connected on a nice throw to RB Dexter McCluster down the field.

– P Dustin Colquitt got his first extended kicking in and looked good. His eight punts fell between 38 and 55 yards, with an average hang-time of 4.4 seconds.


13 Responses to “Training Camp Practice Report – 7/31”

  • July 31, 2011  - Gump says:

    I swear, the more I hear about Haley, the more I like him.


  • July 31, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    Saw a couple of things today that caught my attention:

    – After practice, Jonathon Baldwin was teaching #9, Josue Paul, the proper technique for catching the ball. Paul dropped three or four easy passes in drills. Credit to both players.

    – After practice, QB Coach Zorn was working with Ricky Stanzi. It appeared he was working to quicken Stanzi’s release. Not sure if this would have happened last year.

    Of the three QB’s, Stanzi appears to have the strongest arm.

    David Mims, #70, is an unusually large human being. I hope he can play. Speaking of large human beings, Shane Bannon is quiet large for a running back. The guy is fast and has good hands. He is a load.

    Baldwin appears to be the real deal. Soft hands, quick feet, fast. If he takes to Haley’s coaching, we’ve got a good one. No way anyone can beat him for a “jump ball.” Isn’t going to happen.

    Bowe looks fantastic.

    At camp last summer, the QB’s just didn’t seem to get much coaching. Zorn is working with them constantly. I have to believe our QB’s will all grow as the season progresses. This was a terrific move by Haley.

    After watching the entire practice, I would be shocked if Haley isn’t calling the plays. He’s still the Alpha Dog out there and is picking up where Charlie Weis left off. I will say that Jim Zorn seems to get a little bit more time with the offense than I would have guessed, but Haley is the guy. Muir is there, but is also working with the O line.


  • July 31, 2011  - Tenand6 says:

    Almost forgot, Rodney Hudson didn’t take any snaps at guard that I saw.


  • July 31, 2011  - Gump says:

    Thanks tenand6. There’s no way I can make it up there, but good to hear from fans. By the way, my son’s favorite player is Bowe. told him your observation and he was extremely pleased to hear it.


  • August 1, 2011  - KC_Guy says:

    Harr not losing his lunch again? Looks like he makes progress ;-)


  • August 1, 2011  - RW says:

    Keep up the good work Bob. You too, Tenand6. These observed nuggets are more telling than the standard reporting from mainstream media.


  • August 1, 2011  - Kel says:

    Just wanted to add my thanks to Bob for doing these awesome reports! Loved reading the post from Tenand6 as well. THANKS!


  • August 1, 2011  - Fansince93 says:

    Tenand6, nice write-up man. That’s great stuff.


  • August 1, 2011  - el cid says:

    May moan and groan about the lack of effort in signing vets and roster players but it seems TIME has the potential of hurting the Chiefs more than anything else. In the past two year is was different, the emphasis in training camp is different, how will that play out when the season starts.


  • August 1, 2011  - Iowa Jim says:

    nice report Ten I would agree on everything u said and would add Jer Horn to the list of improved WR from last year. Interesting to watch Q. Lawrence trying to make the switch to CB.Lots of speed needs a lot of work on technic. Noticed all the rook OL using the collage stile Knee braces. Stanzi looks much more like a pro prospect that Palco at QB.Dexter working at RB not WR. B Albert is bigger and does not look comfortable yet.


  • August 1, 2011  - Jimbo says:

    Between Bob’s reporting and the informative comments and observations I feel like it was me at training camp. Thanks guys.
    Go Chiefs.


  • August 1, 2011  - Mike in St Louis says:

    Thanks Bob and Tenand6. Keep us informed!


  • August 1, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Thanks for the camp updates!
    Iowa Jim- when you say B Albert is bigger is that bigger as in stronger or fatter? Hopefully stronger.

    As far as Stanzi, hopefully he has grown up. I heard 2nd hand he was a heavy partier at Iowa. Their AD admitted to having a faulty drug testing program back in January.




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