Still not in football shape
Me, not the players. I'm not in football blogger's shape. It was hot as hell at Chiefs practice today and there is no shade to be found. To make matters worse, Andy Reid doesn't like it when anyone -- including the media -- leans on the fence at practice. I was very tempted to lean anyway and bring on the wrath of Big Red.
I was out of breath just standing in the heat. Eric Berry, meanwhile, was slated to talk to the media once practice was over. After it ended, he ran the hill on the side of the practice facility then came back and spent a few minutes talking to us not even out of breath.
Instead of quitting I decided to SUCK IT UP and PERSEVERE through the practice like a championship blogger.
Who wasn't there?
Brandon Flowers and Justin Houston are the headliners who did not attend. They were absent from last week's OTAs as well.
Known injured players not participating were OT Eric Fisher, DT Risean Broussard, WR AJ Jenkins, TE Travis Kelce and WR Kyle Williams. Fisher's not expected to be 100 percent until training camp.
Who got first team snaps?
DE Allen Bailey: Reporters from last week's OTAs said Bailey was running with the first team and today I can confirm he was doing much of that as well. Vance Walker is the one we thought would be here but early on it's been Bailey. Terez Paylor took better notes than me because he says Mike Catapano also got some first team reps there.
S Husain Abdullah: Andy Reid said earlier that he would get the first shot at free safety. He has been getting those first reps with Sanders Commings occasionally coming in on the first team. Interestingly, I saw Berry playing some single-high today and Abdullah playing closer to the line of scrimmage like Berry often does. Maybe they're listening to MNChiefsfan?
LBs Frank Zombo and Dee Ford: They have both taken first team snaps with Houston out. It's hard to tell how good these pass rushers are when it's not full contact.
RT J'Marcus Webb: Eric Fisher is out which pushed Donald Stephenson to the left side and Webb as the top right tackle. Webb was signed as a free agent a few weeks ago. When Fisher is back, I'd think he's hoping to nail down the third tackle spot.
G Rishaw Johnson: At right guard. Jeff Allen has the left side locked up.
First team offensive line
Today, it looked like this:
LT Donald Stephenson, LG Jeff Allen, C Rodney Hudson, RG Rishaw Johnson, RT J'Marcus Webb
Once Fisher is back in the fold, I'm guessing it looks like this (barring injuries / competition):
LT Eric Fisher, LG Jeff Allen, C Rodney Hudson, RG Rishaw Johnson, RT Donald Stephenson
- Sean Smith (6'3, 218 pounds) is a large human being, especially when compared to his fellow cornerbacks.
- Rookie kicker Cairo Santos (5'8, 160 pounds), however, is very small compared to the other players.
- There was a college coaching staff watching practice. Not sure who it was.
- Junior Hemingway continues to line up in the slot.
- Ron Parker picked off a short Chase Daniel pass.
- D-Bowe toeing the sideline. Never gets old.
- Music continues to be played at practice. This young man's music. There was chatter among the media whether they were playing the censored versions of the songs this year.
Weekly Alex Smith contract update
Just one question from the media on Alex Smith's contract today. The KC Star's Sam Mellinger asked him if it matters to him whether his contract gets done before camp. Alex said he hadn't thought about that.
Kick return mix
During special teams drills, I saw the following players taking kick returns: Joe McKnight, Albert Wilson, Knile Davis, Frankie Hammond Jr. and Weston Dressler (with Kyle Williams watching). Davis held down the job last year.
Play of the day
Donnie Avery ran a deep slant with Sean Smith in coverage, which allowed Avery to show off his best asset -- his speed. He got past Smith and made the deep catch from Alex Smith. That went for six.