From the FanPosts -Joel
Hello fellow AP'ers out there in intrawebz land. I was fortunate enough to be passing through KC today in the midst of a much needed, but surprisingly unrestful, road trip vacation from Ohio to Colorado. The great side effect of this one car, two kid, two dog boondoggle is that we found ourselves in KC on the first day of Chiefs camp. I grabbed my two young'uns and their grandfather and drove out to St. Joe for their first ever training camp.
I know there was an open thread about today's activities, but I thought I'd consolidate some of my thoughts and observations into a quick post (now, keep in mind, the last time I typed "quick post" I hit 3,200 words, but who's counting, right?) to feed you some of my opinions, and clear up a few misconceptions that I caught flowing out of some of the tweets from today. The tweets weren't wrong, simply incomplete - so I thought I'd try to provide some context.
Before we get started, the are a few quick caveats:
a) I was not alone at the camp, and spent at least 50% of my energy pointing out players to my kids and regailing them with tall tales of AP football lore, so my observations are by no means complete. If someone saw something I didn't, please fill in some blanks.
b) This is entirely my opinion. I will try to be objective with the facts, but I'll fill in with my impressions freely. If anyone saw things differently, again - please contribute your impressions in the comments.
Now, onto today:
1) The wide reciever situation. As we know, Bowe didn't practice, and in his absence the entire WR corps got shots with the first team. DMC, Baldwin and Wylie got a majority of the first team snaps, but Hemmingway, Newsome, and Copper saw time too. That said...
2) DMC had a monster practice. Within the first handful of plays, DMC had two deep catches from Alex Smith that would have gone for six. The first, against Jalil Brown, started from a tight line-up as the #2WR in a two TE set. DMC started what looked like a 5 yd out route, Jalil bit, and then DMC turned up field to streak past him. It was a nice pass with a bit of touch on it that hit Dex in stride over 20 yards down field. The second play was a straight double-move to burn past with speed for a long TD reception (I don't know the defender.) In the next set of plays, DMC lined up as a RB and caught a great screen pass (on a nifty route that I wish I could draw up) that he turned up field for a big gainer. All-in-all, Dex stepped up the most with Dwayne Bowe out. But don't panic about the secondary because...
3) The first team O ran against the second team D all day, and vice-versa. It was 11-on-11 drills all day long (with a few ST breaks) over on the close field. The DBs were not jamming off the line (no pads) so it's tough to say that the WRs would have gotten open as much as they did had there been contact involved. Also, today's offense was all about shifts, bootlegs, and play action. You could see that the 2nd team DBs were spending a lot of time trying to sniff out the open short receivers. Most of the deep passes came when they were caught looking in the backfield. This could spell good things along the whole "we wan't to show opposing defenses a lot of different looks" line.
4) Some more 1st team offense notes. Smith ran the first team all day. I personally only saw Chase, Tyler, and Ricky with the seconds. Did anyone else see differently? Also, Moeaki, Fasano and Kelce all ran with the 1sts - Harris was strictly second team. Watching T-Mo today, I don't think it will take long for the "when is Tony getting cut?" talk to die out. Yes, he needs to stay healthy, but he's still the best TE on the team. As for running backs, JC, Knile Davis, and Shaun Draughn seemed to get the bulk of snaps (with very few dedicated run plays) but everyone got involved. I saw MOAR CYRUS, Braden Wilson and Anthony Sherman in on several 1st team plays. Draughn looked good today - no sign of nagging injury, and he finished every run sprinting all the way to the end zone. He was working hard.
5) Speaking of RBs - Jamaal Charles looks huge. He looks like he added 15 lbs of muscle over last season. He was running well. Along those lines, Knile Davis runs powerful. I know he has that upright stance, but he flows well and looks strong running.
6) QBs. As I said, Smith owns the team. With the second team, Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray, and Ricky Stanzi seemed to split reps fairly evenly. Sometimes Bray threw second, sometimes Stanzi. That said, I did see Chase and Tyler standing next to the QB coach chatting a lot when the 1sts were on the field, while Stanzi stood back with all the other players. I'm not saying... I'm just saying.
7) Tyler Bray. The dude can throw. I don't know if he can do anything else, but his arm talent is real. I didn't appreciate on film what I saw in person - 20 yard passes in the air thrown on a rope. Not all of them were perfect, but the good ones were damn good. I'm not a huge Bray guy, but the arm is undeniable.
8) Onto the Defense. I saw a lot of nickel and dime work today. In the nickel, the DBs were Berry and Flowers flanking Lewis with Smith and Dunta on the outsides. The dime back varied. In the nickel, big Jerrel Powe got several first team reps up front. I personally didn't see much of DeVito today, but honestly I wasn't looking for him specifically.
9) If the offense was all about motion today, the defense was all about pressure. From every personnel grouping, the down linemen were shooting gaps and the DBs were blitzing. Berry was up in the box quite a bit and Flowers had some corner blitzes. Many of the offensive "big plays" today came after a blitzer had already "gotten to" the QB - so don't panic too much about the secondary based off today's tweets. When the blitzer got to the QB, he would just throw his hands up and run past (again, no pads today) and many of the deep passes were completed after that. So the O "crushing" the D wasn't as bad as it seemed. That said...
10) I thought the O did look sharper that the D today (overall impression.) Dunta Robinson was really hustling on every play (which may explain his cramps half-way through) but Sean Smith took a few plays off. One play was a 15 yard out to the left side of the field. It looked like the QB led the WR too much so Smith backed off. The WR accelerated and almost made the grab at the sideline. Another was a deep ball down the right sideline. Smith had great position and broke up the play with his hands, but just kind of slapped at the ball (where it looked like with a little more effort he could have reeled it in). On the deflection, the WR almost nabbed the ball out of the air. Smith was good today, I just would have liked to see him finish more. They difference between his effort, and guys like Draughn, was apparent.
11) CAMP ADVICE - This was my first trip to camp at St.Joe. In the earlier "everything you need to know about camp" post, it recommended lining up on the rails by the hill up to the dorms to get autographs. I took my kids over there about 15 minutes early to get a spot, and so did half the crowd. This was a mistake. Every player skipped right past these rails. The only place they signed autographs was along the field at the the barriers. Just a heads up if you show up. That said...
12) I want to personally thank Travis Kelce, Alex Smith, and Tyson Jackson for sticking around as long as they did to sign autographs. After I realized my mistake, we went back to the field and had to wait through the crowds, and most of the players were gone by the time we got to railings. Travis Kelce was great. He engaged the fans, and he took it in stride when, after he signed my 7-year-old daughter's football, he asked her, "so, now who is your favorite Chief?" and she answered, "Jamaal Charles!" He just laughed and said, "Well, yup, he's a good one." But...
13) The true autograph signer for the day was far-and-away Chase Daniel. He stayed on the field until every fan had stopped coming up to him. There were literally only a dozen or so folks left at the practice field before he left. Truly, truly a class act.
Sorry there isn't more play-by-play (just impressions) but as I said, the kids took much of my attention. Now, I'm off to Ohio, so I hope someone follows up with a report on tomorrow.
Side note: I stopped by Okie Joe's on 119th for my first Z-Man. Holy c**p is that a good sandwich.