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What to watch for at Kansas City Chiefs practice this week

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The Chiefs continue practice this week with the third phase of the offseason program. Here's what to expect.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

There will be football today. No tackling or full pads or anything like that but Kansas City Chiefs players will be on the field practicing today in their first set of Organized Team Activities (OTAs). The Chiefs will have 10 OTAs this offseason, which are basically like practices except with no pads and no hitting.

So sort of like football. Better than nothing though, right?

This marks the third phase of the Chiefs offseason program. The first two phases build up to this third phase where (almost) all the players under contract will be present.

The full schedule

OTAs: May 26-28, June 2-4, June 9-12

They'll be practicing around 11:10 a.m. today and then we'll talk with Andy Reid and some players afterward. @ArrowheadPride would be a good place to start following.

Mandatory minicamp: June 16-18

What to watch for

No Marcus Peters, Steven Nelson. Those two will not be present at OTAs due to the weird NFL rule that says your school must have completed graduation. Since Washington and Oregon State are on the quarter system, that won't come until mid-June. They should be able to participate in the mandatory minicamp. They can stay caught up with the coaching staff via other communication. DJ Alexander already graduated from Oregon State so he can attend OTAs.

No Justin Houston. These are voluntary but I am guessing that Justin Houston, who has yet to sign his franchise tag, will not be present.

Returning from injury. The Chiefs will be seeing several notable players return from injury and pushing themselves for more, including Derrick Johnson (Achilles), Mike DeVito (Achilles), Mike Catapano (virus, concussion) and Sanders Commings (fractured ankle / fibula). Does DeVito take his starting end job back? Will Commings get a legit shot at contributing (provided he can stay healthy)?

New parts for the o-line. The Chiefs will also be fitting new players into their offensive line, which is the one area that needs an upgrade the most. Eric Fisher has had a full offseason to get stronger. How did he do? Ben Grubbs is likely to be the Chiefs left guard but who takes the first snap at center? Who takes the first snap at right guard? Is it just Donald Stephenson and Jeff Allen competing at right tackle?

Where the draft picks line up. The other set of new players I want to see fitting in are the 2015 draft picks. Is Mitch Morse the top center? Where does Chris Conley fit in the receiver pecking order? Does Ramik Wilson have a shot to earn playing time at inside linebacker? Are DJ Alexander and James O'Shaughnessy immediate special teams contributors?

OTA rules

Straight from the CBA on what is and isn't allowed at OTAs:

  • Phase Three shall consist of the next four weeks of the Club's offseason workout program.
  • Subject to the additional rules set forth in Subsec­tions 5(a) and 5(c) of this Article and Appendix G to this Agreement, during Phase Three each Club may conduct a total of ten days of organized team practice activity ("OTAs" or "OTA days").The restrictions set forth in Subsection 5(b) of this Article shall not apply to OTA days.
  • The Club may conduct a maximum of three days of OTAs during each of the first two weeks of Phase Three.
  • A maximum of four days of OTAs may be conducted during either the third week or the fourth week of Phase Three, with the Mandatory Veteran Minicamp (Article 22, Section 2) to be held during the other week.
  • During weeks in which the Club conducts only three days of OTAs, the Club may also conduct a fourth day of non-OTA workouts, but such activities shall be subject to the rules governing Phase Two workouts, as set forth in Subsection 2(b)(ii) of this Ar­ticle.
  • During Phase Three, all coaches shall be allowed on the field.
  • No live contact is permitted.
  • No one-on-one offense vs. defense drills are permitted (i.e., no offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen pass rush or pass protection drills, no wide receivers vs. defensive backs bump-and-run drills, and no one-on-one special teams drills involving both offense and defense are permitted).
  • Special teams drills (e.g., kicking team vs. return team) are permitted, provided no live contact occurs.
  • Team offense vs. team defense drills, including all drills listed in Appendix G to this Agreement, are permitted, provided no live contact occurs.
  • Clubs may require players to wear helmets; no shells are permit­ted during Phase Three of the Club's offseason workout program or any minicamp.