Following the Kansas City Chiefs informal practice on Thursday, a couple of players identified LB Derrick Johnson and S Jon McGraw as the leaders on the defensive side of the ball when it came to getting everyone together for workouts.
Johnson was the first Chief to break away from the pack and step into the media area to take questions. Maybe he missed us? Doubtful, but here's what DJ had to say following Thursday's practice.
What kind of football practice was this?
"It's more of a mental practice. Not a lot of physical going on here. We're running around of course...it's just a good time to get back with your teammates, get the cameraderie going and see the guys. Just to freshen up on the mental aspects of the game and some basic plays."
Was it good to be with the guys?
"Definitely. It's always good to be back with your teammates. These are your brothers away from home and it's always good to see these guys. It's a family atmosphere here with the Chiefs. We definitely got a lot of work done in the last three days and it was definitely great to be here and we accomplished a lot."
How much has not having an offseason affected you guys?
"We won't know if it hurts until or if guys aren't working out. If guys are working out, it'll work out for us. If you're not, it's going to hurt us."
How many guys are working out, staying in good shape?
"I can't speak around the league. I'm sure some guys aren't. But I'm working out. I know a lot of my teammates are as well so that's what I worry about."
Did you notice anyone out there who wasn't in shape?
"No, like I said, it wasn't as physical where you run around and it's eye popping when someone is really fast, or really slow. It's just a mental rep of calling plays and getting checks in."
What kind of stuff are you hearing from the negotiations?
"There's a lot of stuff coming out but I haven't even been keeping up with it because I know it's going to clear up soon and we'll be back to football."
Are you hearing anything about a full training camp or anything?
"Yeah, I don't really know a lot about what's going on. I really try to stay out of it because I know after everything is done, it'll be football again, and we'll be back."
How close is this to what a regular offseason practice would be?
"It's close enough. It's probably not as long but we're definitely getting a lot of work done. And then the mental part, there's so much that goes into football with checks, adjustments on defense. But the last three days, there are a lot of checks we have to brush up on."
Have you seen Matt Cassel's leadership role grow this season?
"Definitely. Matt's a guy that is the leader of our team and definitely follow him and he's stepping up. He set up everything for us to be here. My hat's off to him and we follow him."