Training Camp Report – August 2

From St. Joseph, Missouri

The best of times, the worst of times for Chiefs No. 1 draft choice Eric Fisher have come on consecutive Fridays.

Last week he signed his contract, hitting the pay widow for $22 million-plus, all of it guaranteed.

(Rookie C Eric Kush points at the defense before making a snap in Friday’s practice. KC Chiefs photo.)

A week later Fisher had another day of learning about life as an offensive tackle in the NFL, as he had a tough day in the trenches. That was especially apparent in one-on-one pass protection/pass rush drills when DE Austen Lane simply ran him over. Lane hit him between the 7 and the 2 on the front of Fisher’s red jersey and kept moving like he wasn’t touched.

Fisher got off-balance and was bowled over by Lane, landing on his back to the delight of the defensive linemen that were waiting their turn.

It was just one of the highlights of the nitty-gritty of Friday’s practice. Here’s more:

Tight ends/running backs vs. linebackers

The tight end in this drill could do different things – they could block or they could go out for a pass. Either way, the linebackers had to react to their moves.

Good – FB Anthony Sherman was sensational in blocking, controlling several different linebackers including Nico Johnson and Frank Zombo. On one play he stopped Johnson in his tracks with two hands to the chest … maybe next to Sherman the best pass protector among the backs was Jamaal Charles. His snap where he blocked a pass rushing Johnson was text book blocking from a back … TE Travis Kelce ran a double-move pass route and made OLB Ridge Wilson look bad … rookie TE Demetrius Harris ran a nice route on one of his snaps for a catch and on another he did not allow OLB Josh Martin to get loose … TE Kevin Brock had several nice plays, as he did a good job of getting his hands on the linebackers and not allowing them to control the battle.

Not so good – On several running plays, Zombo not only could not shed the tight end blocking him, but he wasn’t aware of the location of the ball, as twice backs ran right past him … rookie RB Knile Davis was badly beaten in pass protection by ILB Zac Diles thanks to a spin move that left Davis grasping at air … OLB Edgar Jones had trouble all morning shedding the tight ends blocking him … Kelce ran away on a pass route against OLB Tamba Hali but a short throw allowed the defender to break up the pass.

9-on-7

This drill is for the running game and the run defense and the Chiefs hit it hard and heavy on Friday, including a good pushing and shoving match that almost escalated into camp’s first fight between C Rodney Hudson and ILB Akeem Jordan:

Good – QB Alex Smith continues to make things happen with his ball-handling; his fake in the backfield, and then a naked bootleg right went for big yards and completely fooled the defense … the offense ran quite a bit of option in the 9-on-7, sometimes looking more like a veer offense than anything that’s been seen in the NFL in recent years … the best run of the drill came on the last snap when rookie RB Jordan Roberts snapped off a good gainer off an option play between the center and left guard.

Not so good – the first and second offensive lines were not able to get much movement off the defense off the line of scrimmage. Running room was scarce for the backs … most of the run plays were set for between the tackles, with only a few running to the outside … twice the defense jumped offside.

Pass rush/pass protection

There is never a shortage of one-on-one battles in this drill as Andy Reid and his coaching staff devote a lot of time for this session where the defense has the edge because the offensive lineman has no help, just one-on-one:

Good – for the first time rookie C Eric Kush really showed his ability to pass protect. He was working with the No. 1 offensive line because Hudson was snapping for the quarterbacks in their 7-on-7 passing drill. Kush was able to handle NT Dontari Poe on his first rep and came back and did the same to DT Anthony Toribio. Against NT Jerrell Powe, Kush showed his strength by taking on the bull rush and stopping the rusher’s forward momentum … Lane did more than run through Fisher, he twice beat LT Branden Albert with an outside move, showing good quickness … more and more first-year DE Miguel Chavis is showing something as a pass rusher. Most of the time he’s working at the inside rusher spot in what would be the Chiefs nickel defense and he’s consistently winning the one-on-one battles against Matt Reynolds, A.J. Hawkins and Ryan Durand.

Not so good – Fisher struggled against DE Allen Bailey on the first snap of the drill. He came back later and did a nice job against DE Tyson Jackson, as he was able to reposition his hands and hold the pass rusher out of the pocket. But a few plays later, Fisher was beaten badly by Hali, first inside and then outside … DE Mike DeVito had problems getting past LG Jeff Allen in their two head-to-head matchups … Powe had trouble all day being able to disengage from the centers and guards that blocked him; thus he wasn’t much of a factor.

Special teams

The Chiefs worked against cards in the kicking game, preparing for another team’s special teams strategies. They worked the No. 1 defense against a scout team on field goals, and then they finished up the practice working on kickoff coverage.

First team kick cover squad with K Ryan Succop (from far left to far right) – CB Jalil Brown, S Quintin Demps, LB Nico Johnson, FB Anthony Sherman, LB Edgar Jones, Succop, RB Knile Davis, LB Zac Diles, S Tysyn Hartman, CB Neiko Thorpe, WR Terrance Copper.

Second kick cover team – WR Devon Wylie, WR Josh Bellamy, TE Travis Kelce, LB Orie Lemon, LB Frank Zombo, Succop, RB Shaun Draughn, LB Akeem Jordan, LB Travis Kilgore, WR Rico Richardson, WR Donnie Avery.

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