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KC Chiefs training camp 2013: Day 7 practice report includes drops

The Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up another day of practice at training camp in St. Joe. See what you missed with this practice report.

Donald Stephenson has surgery, more injury updates

Donald Stephenson had surgery on his left little finger on Thursday morning. He is out for a "week or so", according to Reid, and will likely miss the first preseason game against the New Orleans Saints. Read more on Stephenson's injury here.

The other injury updates:

DB Husain Abdullah: Groin strain. "Doesn't look too bad," Reid said.

C Tommie Draheim: Concussion. He was seen being carted off.

OL Colin Kelly: Looks like a torn ACL, Reid said. The injury happened on Tuesday and it looked bad at the time. He'll have surgery coming up.

LB Mike Catapano: Recovering from his strained calf suffered earlier. He did not practice.

S Eric Berry: "Yeah, he tightened up a little bit." The hamstring again. He missed some practice time.

RB Cyrus Gray: Still hurt. No update on him. He did not practice.

Two new players in the fold

The Chiefs before practice signed two new players: CB Kamaal McIlwain and OT Mike Tepper. Both were in there participating in drills. Give me a few days before I give you an analysis of how they're doing.

They replaced Buddy Jackson and Colin Kelly on the roster. Jackson was cut earlier in the week and Kelly hurt his knee, according to Reid.

Here's McIlwain:


Bob Sutton's defensive formations

They're all over the place. Andy Reid wasn't kidding when he said he has a million formations. I had trouble keeping up with what they were doing so bear with me here.

I saw one with one down lineman (Dontari Poe), two linebackers (Justin Houston and Tamba Hali) and eight defensive backs. I saw another with three linebackers -- Houston, Hali and Derrick Johnson -- all lined up on top of each other on one side of the line.

My notes as I was furiously trying to write some names down: "Bob Sutton, you crazy."

The takeaway: Expect a lot of different looks this year. The players keep talking about how they're bringing pressure from all kinds of places. I can confirm that they will attempt to do that. Will it work? That's another question.

Drop of the day

I point this out drop by Jon Baldwin only because the offense was looking very good for a few minutes. The Chiefs were working on the two-minute drill with Alex at quarterback. The first play was a 25-yard run from Jamaal Charles, putting them onto the other side of the field. The next play was a nice catch and run across the middle from Dexter McCluster. The third play was another pass over the middle, this time to Anthony Fasano. Both went for first downs and the Chiefs offense is threatening.

That was exciting but here's where it breaks down.

First down: Drop by Jamaal Charles in the flat. The pass was awkward but catchable.

Second down: Incomplete fade route to Dwayne Bowe.

Third down: Dropped by Jon Baldwin, who was open near the end zone.

The Baldwin drop stands out the most to me. Third down, near the goal line, need a big play ... and it just wasn't there. That's frustrating.

"Gotta catch the football," Andy Reid said after practice (not in response to a specific question about Baldwin). "You have to catch the football. In any offense in the NFL drops cost you so you have to focus in and concentrate on the football, especially when you're tired and sweating, you have to catch the football."


Chiefs intern and potential Hall of Famer Andre Reed talked a little bit about Baldwin after practice. I'll share that just a little later today.

The defense, in general, remains ahead of the offense. But that short string of plays started to show me what they'll look like if/when it comes together.

Offensive line update

The line as of now: LT Branden Albert, LG Jeff Allen, C Rodney Hudson, RG Jon Asamoah, RT Eric Fisher.

Is that the final five?

"They're the five guys today," Reid said. "Nobody's set. Everything's open. Competition all the way across."

Not to dismiss Andy Reid, but what a coach says doesn't matter as much as the reps the players are given. And those five have been getting the lion's share of first team reps ... so far. Allen went down for a few days and was replaced by Geoff Schwartz but outside of that this is the early makings of your 2013 Chiefs offensive line.

Specifically on Fisher, Reid said, "He's getting better every day. We're not holding anything back on him. His hands are a little beat up but in the NFL you have to bring it every day. The young guys they learn that. They're all learning. But I'll tell you what, he's a competing son of a gun. He's learning and I think it's slowing down for him every day."

Reid also said that the offensive linemen are facing the best guy they faced in college, every day.


Touchdowns and interceptions

Ricky Stanzi touchdown 1: Red zone pass to Demetrius Harrison.

Ricky Stanzi touchdown 2: Deep pass to Jamar Newsome, tipped in the air and caught with room to run. This came on 7-on-7.

Alex Smith interception 1: The ball was tipped in the air and Kendrick Lewis picked it.

Alex Smith interception 2: Alex pump faked, hoping to fool Brandon Flowers (bad idea). Flowers didn't bite and Alex threw it to Dexter McCluster. Flowers was standing right there for the easy pick six.

More observations
  • Vince Agnew saw some first team nickel looks.
  • Travis Kelce nearly had another one of those balls where he tips it back to himself. It was just out of reach this time.
  • Nico Johnson tipped one ball over the middle, allowing Bradley McDougald to make the pick.
  • S Quintin Demps forced a fumble from TE Travis Kelce and Brandon Flowers recovered.
  • Alex Smith continues to get first team reps, Chase Daniel continues to get second team reps and Tyler Bray and Ricky Stanzi continue to share third team reps.
  • Jamaal Charles' cuts are so good. The Chiefs worked on some running game today and it was so much fun to see Charles whipping left and right into the secondary.
  • Justin Houston had a nice pass breakup on a short pass from Chase Daniel intended for Travis Kelce.
  • Another tipped pass: Anthony Fasano caught an Alex Smith pass that was tipped.
  • Knile Davis took a handoff to the right and my view was somehow blocked by a cameraman. All I saw was the defense piling on Dontari Poe after what was probably a great tackle.
  • Alex looked for Dwayne Bowe on a quick out route but Neiko Thorpe made a nice play to break it up.
  • Eric Kush and Chase Daniel had another bobbled exchange. On the next play, Chase ended up on the ground and the ball was loose.
  • Knile Davis got a little first team work along the goal line.
  • Tyler Bray had a nice pass to Terrance Copper which would've gone for six.
  • Clark Hunt attended practice again.
Ryan Lilja to Denver

Lilja signed with Denver last night. The Chiefs earlier in the offseason did talk with Lilja, Andy Reid confirmed. "He's a good football player," Reid said.

But Reid said the Chiefs hadn't talked to him in "quite a while". It was not a situation where they regret anything.

Rodney Hudson said that Lilja helped him a lot last year. Hudson, of course, went down with an injury and was replaced at center by Lilja.


It's hot out today

Does Reid care about the weather? Does he like it hot?

"I just want the work," Reid said. "I don't care about the elements. Let's just go work. You get enough plays in, the heat or cool doesn't matter."

Well, it most definitely does matter to me. Today was one of the hotter days out at camp as temperatures began to actually climb. The rain over the past few days has helped keep things cool.

Dontari Poe impresses

Today was the day that I noticed Poe the most. He looks strong. He's lost 15 or 20 pounds and weighs around 335-340 pounds, which means he was well over 350 last year. Poe said that he has given up eating barbecue which is not easy to do for a guy from Memphis living in Kansas City. He's been "clean" from barbecue since the end of OTAs. (Yes, someone really asked how long he had been "clean". Ha!)

"Great endurance for a big man," Reid said. "He can really go."

So far so good for Poe. You'll start to read some stories out there about him showing up in camp.


The best Mike Mayock photo today

He spent time talking with Chiefs GM John Dorsey on the sidelines.


Best photo of John Dorsey when he's not looking

There he is talking to Mayock.


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