From the FanPosts. Good observations. -Joel
I don't have all the photo/video highlights or grand synopsis of today's events at KC Chiefs training camp, but I will try to briefly share what I saw, what I liked, what I didn't, and what I came away with after watching the Cardinals against the Chiefs.
QBs: Matt Cassel was not nearly as polished today as he looked last week when I attended. He threw at least one INT that I saw (it was the result of a pass thrown behind the receiver and the ball being tipped up for an opposing defender to nab in the end zone), and during one drill, he actually took a sack thanks to the tight coverage of the AZ secondary. I was not impressed today with Matt Cassel.
*Note: For everyone that bashes Cassel, people were screaming for him after practice to sign autographs. He was like a celebrity after practice. I thought that was very interesting considering all the hate he gets from the media and the fans.
Ricky Stanzi had a pretty decent day today. I liked what I saw for the most part. In my opinion Cassel was still better, but I did not see any INTs from Stanzi today, and he was able to complete most of his mid to low range passes with accuracy and zip.
Brady Quinn? He looked like Brady Quinn. He wasn't awful, but he wasn't good.
Trick-Shot-Tanney? That's all I have on him. He can throw a football. Very raw player, but I think he has some upside. Practice squad would be a good place for him.
RBs: Let's get two things cleared up right away. Peyton Hillis was in beast-mode today and I will be beyond shocked if Shaun Draughn does not make this team as the 3rd RB. Draughn is electric. Behind this OL he could easily become a 1,000 yard rusher annually if he plays the way he did today. Great vision, excellent cuts, he looked sharp.
Hillis on the other hand? If we ever wanted a powerback boy have we got one. Hillis tore through a quickly closing hole and laid a pad popping thunp that leveled one of AZ's defenders (I didn't see who), as he accelerated into the second level for a nice gain of 8-10. In response, one of AZ's DB's hit him a play later as Hillis was stumbling and knocked him to the ground.
*One thing to note, Charles looks great while McCluster is seeing more time at WR.
WRs: The highlight of this camp without a doubt is Jon Baldwin. He made AZ's secondary look stupid. Today was another string of highlight reel worthy plays with the most memorable being a pass to the end zone, where he turned to his right shoulder to look back and made a spectacular one armed catch (armed, it was weird, the ball just sank into his hand and forearm for a perfect cradle) over the defender and fell inbounds for the TD. It got the blood pumping.
Steve Breaston looked good, made some great cuts but also had a couple of drops. He had some nice back of the end zone catches today.
Josh Bellamy, #8. Keep an eye on this guy because he looked great today. I really enjoyed watching him work and while he's not perfect and had a couple of drops, he caught most everything thrown his way and looked very good while doing it. I hope he makes this team. He looks like he can play in this league.
Dexter McCluster. The guy you either love or hate seems to be sending a message to the masses that he can play. Outside of Baldwin, Dex has been the best WR on the roster. He caught everything and his cuts after the catch were so crisp and quick he was like a hummingbird floating through the defense. Terrible analogy but you get the drfit, he was killing it out there today!
Devon Wylie isn't just fast, he's REALLY fast! I didn't see a lot of him my first time at camp, but today I watched him quite a bit and wow, all the reports are true. The guy flat out runs like a gazelle. Crazy fast. His hands are a bit suspect from time to time, but when the ball is in hand watch out. His cuts along the sideline are so sharp I don't know how its physically possible. Very awesome to watch.
Offensive Line: I will be completely honest, I didn't pay much attention here. I was watching the passes more and preoccupied with updating the feed on AP, so I can't say too much here. What I will say is that the left side of the line is where Draughn had his superb run and the hole he ran through wasn't a hole, the line opened a crater. On some of the runs right before I walked to the other field, we did appear to be struggling to get much push and AZ's D looked to be containing the run pretty well after Hillis' and Draughn' big plays. Not sure what to take away from that.
Colquitt: Dustin had a hell of a day with a booming punt that seemed to go the entire length of the field. Monster kick. After that he worked the sidelines beautifully with tight spiraling balls that flopped out of bounds. He looked impressive.
Defense: I spent a healthy part of my day watching KC's offense against the Cards D so I missed a lot of the starters duking it out with the AZ offense. A few things I did notice was that we again struggled to apply pressure on the QB with the first string. That said, our second string looked great, especially Sheffield. I don't know how his job can be considered on the line after watching him play today. He was quick and constantly making a nuisance of himself.
Stanford Routt covered Fitz and for the two out of three plays I watched, Routt did his job and looked good doing it. That third play Fitz created separation and I think that would have possibly gone for a TD. I missed a lot the action on defense today so you'll have to find that info elsewhere. Sorry folks, I sat on the wrong side.
Closing Thoughts: The Chiefs were far and away the better team, first, second, and third units as far as I could tell. I'm assuming Skelton is their starting QB and if that's the case he's really struggling from what little I saw. Same with their backups. Patrick Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald are polarizing players and I do like Whisenhunt so that's something they have going for them.
In one-on-one drills our WR's dominated AZ's secondary. Dominated. Hillis and Draughn looked great today (although Draughn's hands are not the best I've ever seen. The Chiefs special teams looked good for the most part, especially Colquitt, man he can punt. Two of the things that made me walk away shaking my head is the sheer size of Ropati Pitioitua. The man is a genuine giant. He is beyond huge. The second is that Tamba Hali stood out there, drowning in his own sweat, and signed autographs for a solid 25-30 minutes for as many people as he could before stumbling away for life support. That man can sweat. I was disappointed he didn't sign anything for me when I was literally 5 feet away from him, but I had to respect what he did for everyone else. Very cool Tambahawk, very cool.