From St. Joseph, Missouri
Monday proved to be the best weather day of the Chiefs 2011 training camp so far. With temperatures in the low 80s and a nice breeze from the northwest blowing across the Missouri Western State University campus, it was a wonderful afternoon for a football practice.
Maybe that’s why Todd Haley turned up the verbal heat during Monday’s practice. His assistant coaches heard from him. So did his player. On the beautiful summer day, the Chiefs head coach wanted a faster practice pace from his team. Because of the unusual factors surrounding this training camp, Haley has been riding the brake when it comes to the intensity of his practices here in the STJ.
On Monday, he stepped on the gas a little bit. And it appeared that his team responded. Although they spent about the first one hour, 45 minutes in their shoulder pads, the Chiefs were going after each other pretty physically all during the two-hour plus practice.
The play of camp to date certainly went down on Monday afternoon. QB Matt Cassel threw a pass in the direction of WR Steve Breaston who was running down the hash marks about 10 yards from the end zone. CB Javier Arenas had great coverage on Breaston; he put his body between the ball and the receiver and went up and tipped it away. FS Kendrick Lewis was coming over the help in coverage and he got his hand on the Arenas tip and tipped the ball into the air again.
That’s when Breaston dove and caught the ball before it hit the playing surface. He then jumped up and ran into the end zone. It was quite a completion.
Other observations from Monday’s practice:
– TE Tony Moeaki is off the PUP List and he practiced on Monday. Moeaki did not take a full turn but he moved around without showing any problem with his right knee.
– RB Tervaris Johnson came off the PUP List on Saturday and practiced. But he was back in the rehab area on Monday.
– Joining Johnson in the rehab zone were DE Glenn Dorsey (left knee) and WR Jonathan Baldwin (right hamstring).
– At the end of practice, ILB Cory Greenwood picked off a Ricky Stanzi pass in the end zone.
– QB Tyler Palko must have nightmares about S Donald Washington by now. For the third time in the last five practices, Washington grabbed an interception when a Palko throw was tipped.
– OLB Tamba Hali ran a nice stunt on the pass rush in the nickel and came free up the middle and was headed like a rocket for Cassel. The Chiefs QB couldn’t help but see him, because he was right in his grill. Hali pulled up just in time.
– From the one-on-one pass protection/pass rush portion of practice β Hali literally made undrafted rookie Butch Lewis look like he was standing still, as he beat him outside and then on the inside rush β¦ the daily matchups between C Casey Wiegmann and NT Kelly Gregg are getting fun. It’s a couple of grizzled veterans going head-to-head, and trying all their tricks. They split in two snaps on this day β¦ rookie NT Jerrell Powe is strong; he threw aside G Mike Ingersoll to the ground, all 300 pounds of him.
– There were no less than 14 players returning balls off the machine after practice. Who knows, maybe they are all legitimate contenders for the duties. They were: Javier Arenas, Verran Tucker, Jackie Battle, Terrance Copper, Jerheme Urban, Quinten Lawrence, Dexter McCluster, Demond Washington, Steve Breaston, Josue Paul, Chandler Williams, Chris Manno, Zeke Markshausen and Jalil Brown.