The weather has been outstanding. Did you think I would lead with anything else? The No. 1 priority in Chiefs training camp is to make sure me, the blogger, is comfortable. Mother Nature came through in a big way with outstanding weather so far in camp. There were a couple of days where I was cold, which was awesome (and also got me called a wimp by a certain floppy-haired reporter). Weather reporters had to update viewers on whether we set an all-time record low earlier this week -- just missed it. For someone who has a, uh, perspiration problem, this is excellent.
The Chiefs have depth. Guard Jeff Allen went down with an injury on the second day of camp which in most years would have been a huge cause for concern considering he's a starter. This year? Geoff Schwartz is capable of replacing him. Dunta Robinson's hamstring flaring up? No biggie, Sean Smith is in the house. Eric Berry missing two days of practice? Quintin Demps steps in and creates a little buzz. Sanders Commings goes down? Still multiple players competing for that spot. Donald Stephenson is good enough to play even though, if all things go well, he won't. It sure seems like the Chiefs have depth at a number of important positions, not something we've seen in recent years in Kansas City.
Sean Smith looks like the real deal. Small sample size and facing a quarterback who isn't known for his deep ball ... but still. Smith is a biiiiig dude. Which one is your Pro Bowl inside linebacker and which one is your cornerback?
On the field Smith has looked sharp. I heard Dolphins fans give him a boom or bust label so I was looking for consistency. Is he using his hands (without getting a penalty)? Can he stay with his man deep? Is he consistently getting first team reps? All good so far. He also has a good personality and is a fun person to interview. I would say it's positive so far.
Tackling to the ground. Hey, whether you agree with it or not, full-on tackling in training camp is entertaining. Clark Hunt even commented that watching practice felt more like a game than a practice. This is a departure from any camp I have even seen (I've only see a Haley and Crennel camp). This is filed under good because a.) fun to watch and b.) it is unquestionably a good thing until someone gets hurt from doing it.
The field is so pretty. I heard the MWSU AD on 810 WHB recently and he said that the Chiefs grounds crew will come up in April or May to begin prepping the fields. MWSU's team has a part in this, too, of course. They all did an excellent job because it is a gorgeous field.
Jamaal catching passes out of the backfield. Getting into a real game matters the most, but the principal (or is it principle?) parties are all saying good things right now.
Andy Reid: "He's capable of doing the same things that [Brian] Westbrook did and that [LeSean] McCoy did as far as the pass game. He's a legitimate threat with his speed, his route running ability and his hands. He catches the ball very easy."
Alex Smith: "The thing that's jumped out at me the most is his ability in the pass game as well. Really versatile player. He's a matchup mismatch with the ball in his hands all over the field. I don't think there's any situational football you couldn't have him in. I think he's that versatile."
Jamaal Charles: "I'm glad I'm in an offense like this so I can show everyone what my versatility is. I can play running back and go out and play receiver. I'm making plays and I'm going to continue making plays."
The quarterbacks behind Alex Smith. First, what we know: 1.) Alex Smith looks fine. Not much better or worse than we thought. 2.) Chase Daniel had some early camp struggles but had started to come around a little more. 3.) Some might say Tyler Bray has been the second best quarterback. So that's not such a bad thing. 4.) Ricky Stanzi is further down the list. History says Alex Smith is going to miss some time; who are you rolling with if/when he does? The choice seems to be coming down to Daniel and Bray. The thing is, Bray's arm has been fun to watch and because of that (as many predicted) he's much more noticeable during camp. But will that translate to a real game? We are sooo far away from figuring that out. We knew the backup quarterback situation would be an unknown but it's somewhat jarring to think about one of them starting a game right now.
The injury bug. It's not ugly yet because none of these (so far) are serious. The most recent injury list: Dwayne Bowe (cramps), Jeff Allen (shoulder), Cyrus Gray (foot), Colin Kelly (knee), Mike Catapano (calf), Eric Berry (hamstring), Dunta Robinson (hamstring). Robinson, in particular, worries me a little. In five days of camp practices, he has been in the trainers tent for a portion of four of them.
Sanders Commings' injury. Well, there is one serious injury so far. Commings, the fifth round rookie, went down with a broken collarbone, which will keep him out multiple weeks. It's unclear if he will be ready for the season. It's not a huge blow because there's a lot of bodies at safety but I wanted to see how the rookie would do.
The Kush-to-Daniel snap exchange. That duo has bobbled a few snaps so far in camp. Is it Chase Daniel's fault? Eric Kush's? Andy Reid said it was too early in camp to judge the rookie on a few bad snaps.
The drive. An hour to St. Joe each morning and back each afternoon is tiresome. Would you consider my driving effort more courageous? Or heroic?
Dwayne Bowe and ... ? Last year Jon Baldwin blew up in camp. This year his camp isn't as noticeable or wow-worthy. Then again, last year showed to us that Baldwin's camp success doesn't necessarily translate to the season. Donnie Avery is running with the second team. Devon Wylie, 5'9, has seen time on the outside. Junior Hemingway, who everyone probably forgot about last year, could make this team. I just don't know who the No. 2 receiver on this team is. And, to be honest, Bowe hasn't been the featured target in the passing game so far in camp -- partially due to the fact that he missed time with an injury. This is concern No. 1 for me right now.
The cart. Yes, players are routinely "carted off" but no it's not as bad as the phrase "carted off" makes it seem. The Chiefs use a cart for just about everybody.
Broncos fans at camp.