From the FanPosts. Lots of detail, great stuff. -Joel
Conditions were perfect for a trip to training camp in St. Joe today. When practice began, it was in the mid to lower 70's and the clouds were providing some nice shade.
After some walk-through style drills for position groups and the punting team, the whole team lined up for warm ups. Romeo Crennel called the team together at that point and addressed everyone. Whatever he was saying lasted about two minutes, and then the team spread out on the sideline of the field closest to the bleachers and got ready to do sprints across the width of the field. They showed some team comraderie after Romeo's speech. A handful of the players yelled like warriors as they headed to their place on the line. Matt Cassel and wide receiver Jamar Newsome were among those running fastest during this opening warm-up exercise.
Cameron Sheffield, Brandon Flowers, and Travis Daniels were not in pads or a helmet, but did participate in all the warm-ups including the running. After that, they headed over to the rehab area. They were on bikes for at least part of practice. Flowers did a little one on one hand work with a coach on the sideline later in practice.
After warm-ups and stretching, most of the the offense worked on a drill that seemed to be about conditioning and fundamentals. Without a defense to line up against (they were on the other field), the offense would line up with more than usual o-linemen with their hand on the ground. The QB would snap the ball and the whole offense including the QB would run forward about 20 yards... Then they would turn around and do the same thing in the other direction before taking a break for another group to rotate in.
Nick Sirianni set up some cones and explained to the wide receivers how he wanted them to run through them. Each player would start off by hitting a cushion that Sirianni was holding and then would turn through the cone exercise and catch a pass from Jim Bob Cooter during their last turn in the cones. Brian Daboll watched this drill and would occasionally pull a player aside before the went through the rotation again.
While this was going on, Jim Zorn was leading the QBs in the exercise ball drill. This has been described a number of times on AP, but one QB stands in the middle and tries to avoid three exercise balls that are being thrown from three different angels by Zorn and the other three QBs. Alex Tanney was the last QB to do the drill. After the drill was clearly over and he had started to relax, Cassel jokingly threw an exercise ball at his back. That got a big laugh out of everyone in the stands.
The receivers started another drill in which they would run off the line of scrimmage and go around Nick Sirianni and then try to catch a pass. Daboll told Sirianni to give the players some contact off the line. Sirianni asked Daboll how far he wanted him to run with them and Daboll jokingly replied "I want you to beat them up the whole way, Nick." Sirianni gave a lot of contact to the first receiver to go through the drill but after that stood around 10 yards back off the line and usually moved out of their way. Brian Daboll's nickname for Dexter McCluster seems to be "twos."
A few minutes later, Sirianni led the receivers (yeah, the receivers were doing a lot of work in the area of the field I was near) in which they started off working on catching under thrown passes. Jim Bob Cooter would throw a pass and Sirianni instructed the receivers to slow down, plant their front legs, and jump back for the ball. He compared the action needed to catch an underthrown pass to getting the rebound in basketball. He used the phrase "attacking the ball" in this part of the exercise. They moved onto catching "normal" passes. Sirianni kept telling the players "Don't anticipate it!" I think he was telling them not to anticipate the ball coming their way so much with their bodies too early so as to give too much away to a nearby defender too soon. The receiver then moved on to catching the types of floater passes that go to the back corner of the endzone a lot. Jonathan Baldwin's long arms helped him catch a pass from Jim Bob Cooter in this drill that looked tough to catch. During all of this, the QBs were throwing to the tight ends who were running routes.
In 7 on 7 (I think I actually counted 8 on offense but I could be wrong), the crowd reacted when Jamaal Charles found a hole on the left side to move through with a burst. On the next play, Peyton Hillis had a nice looking run to the right... Of course, there was no tackling.
When Brady Quinn was in on 7 on 7, he called out "Obama" twice at the line of scrimmage. This brought chuckles from the crowd and people said "Did he say Obama?" I have no idea what it meant.
Later, in a special teams practice portion of the practice, Tamba Hali was in on the punt blocking team. Sometimes he would line up on the edge and sometimes in the middle. On one play off the edge, he made a nice play that probably would have pressured the punter.
Later, there was a drill in which one defensive lineman or OLB would line up against a few offensive linemen. It looked as if the o-line guys did not always know which of them the d linemen would try to take on, but once he did - the other o line guys backed off and it became a one on one thing. Sometimes it was obvious who the d line guy would go against - especially when it was an OLB. When Hali lined up, Donald Stephenson had to hold him to contain him and not let him get to the imaginary QB in the backfield. But Hali is used to that. It was fun to watch Brandon Albert and Justin Houston in this drill. They were a good match. Neither was letting up.
Pioli visited with the strength and conditioning coach on the sideline for a good little while. He may have been getting tips about his own ongoing muscle makeover - but it didn't appear that way. Pioli also spent a few minutes visiting with Allen Bailey during a water break.
During another special teams session, the team focused on blocking punts. You can tell the new special teams coach wants to emphasize blocking punts - which the Chiefs nearly did on Friday night against Arizona During a drill, the special teams coach would have his own "punt" blocked intentionally and then yell "Scoop and score! Scoop and score!" Players from each side would try to come up with the free ball.
The practice ended with some conditioning. The team sprinted the width of the field again. They were broken up into three groups and each group ran the width of the field and back five times. The first group was offensive and defensive linemen. Brandon Bair was the fastest in this group by far. Each time it was the linemen's turn to run, the defensive guys would finish just a few steps ahead of the offensive guys. The second group consisted of QB's, tight ends, and special teams players. The third group had running backs, DB's, and WR's. It was a tough exercise especially at the end of the practice. At the end of the exercise (each group had done it five times), Romeo let out a loud "GOOD!" And then brought the team together to huddle up.
Jim Zorn rode a bike up the path to the building from the practice field.
No Dwayne Bowe.