This past weekend the Kansas City Chiefs put on the pads for the first time at Training Camp. Usually, when the pads come on is when you really see who stayed in shape and who didn’t; and you also start to pile on a few injuries to the players. The Chiefs, thankfully, were able to make it through relatively unscathed from the first padded practices. The only injury of significance was to RB Charcandrick West, who sustained a concussion on Sunday. Overall though, it was a great opportunity to see what some of these guys, especially the new guys, could do at full speed. The Chiefs also had an officiating crew on hand for the practices this past weekend to help them begin to adjust to the rules changes for this upcoming season. Not just on kickoffs, but also the new helmet rule. It was very entertaining to see some of the personalities of the guys start to come out. Kendall Fuller for example was vocal about his disapproval of a couple decisions made by the officials. Not in a malicious way, but still letting them know. This morning’s practice was much more laid back as the pads came back off and the team did a lot of work on installing and running new plays and working guys in at different positions. As for what was learned the last couple of days…
- A lot is being expected of Cam Erving – Cam Erving was a first round pick for the Cleveland Browns back in 2015, one pick after the Chiefs selected Marcus Peters. Erving, much like Peters, developed a reputation as a bit of a malcontent in Cleveland and the Chiefs acquired him via trade last season. His versatility is his greatest asset and it was on full display today. Lining up with the 1st team offense at Left Guard, Left Tackle, and Right Tackle over the course of the day; and while he didn’t do it today, he has also spent time at center during both camp and OTAs. Erving is coming into the final year of his rookie contract, if you’re a person who believes in contract years bringing the best out in guys, the Chiefs may have a steal on their hands and a great asset in Erving.
- Eric Berry and Chris Conley look 100% – After season ending achilles injuries a year ago, both Eric Berry and Chris Conley look to be back in full form to begin camp. Conley is running crisp routes, getting in and out of his breaks with quickness and speed. Berry has been consistent in his backpedal and in his breaks from the safety position as well. Berry is the unquestioned leader of the Chiefs defense, and the heart and soul of the team. His absence last season was really felt by the secondary and the team never seemed to fully recover from it. Conley on the other hand was in the process of having a breakout season in his 3rd year, but was cut short by the injury. His size and great route running make him a solid possession style receiver which is a major compliment to the big play ability of Hill and Watkins. He also has the ability to beat defenders deep, although that doesn’t seem to be the role he’s designed to play in.
- Patrick Mahomes is still going to be a 1st year starter – While that may seem obvious, the big plays and exciting throws that he makes have everyone hyped up. He’s also had some poor plays in practice as well, and seems to be struggling particularly in identifying zone defensive looks. I fully believe that Pat will be successful in Kansas City, and I believe he’s going to be the Chiefs’ quarterback for a long LONG time. However, even I have to remind myself that this is still just going to be his first season as a starter and all the excitement and hype that’s being built up around him, needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
The Chiefs are off tomorrow and then back at it on Wednesday with just 8 days remaining until the opening of the preseason at Arrowhead Stadium against the Houston Texans on August 9th. Keep up to date with camp highlights as they happen by giving me a follow on twitter: @m_c_luckie. Until Thursday!