Chiefs Training Camp Update 8/11: What You Need to Know from The Mothership
It was rookie receiver Tello Luckett's best day of training camp thus far, as he pulled down two passes within a span of five minutes that were two of the best plays from any player during the last few practices.
The former Harding Bison took back-to-back throws from quarterback
Chase Danielfor substantial gains during an 11-on-11 period.
The first was a corner route in which he got over the top of the defense as Daniel's perfectly placed pass caught Luckett in stride down the field.
What We Learned From Tuesday's Chiefs Media Availability from The Mothership
"We're still in training camp mode," he said. "You get into these first couple of games and you really want to see everybody play, you want to get everybody on film so you can get a proper evaluation. You don't necessarily game plan for these games - we have a volume, a library of plays that we have right now that we'll pull from and keep it really condensed for the players so they can go and play fast."
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WR Albert Wilson among three added to Chiefs' list of injured players from Chiefs Digest
With Wilson and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (neck) not practicing, the Chiefs utilized Frankie Hammond Jr., in Maclin's spot, while Fred Williams saw some first-team repetitions.
The injuries at the wide receiver position doesn't cause alarm for offensive coordinator Doug Pederson.
"We're at that time of camp where everybody is a little nicked up and banged up," Pederson said. "And our course, we got some illness and things. You fight through that and these guys will get a couple of days to rest and heal, and then we'll finish up our training up here next week. Not to be alarmed."
Other than Maclin and Jason Avant, the Chiefs are extremely young at wide receiver. The only other receiver they have with more than one year of experience is Junior Hemingway, who hasn't practiced in several days because of an injured hip and is in danger of not making the roster.
It's a collection of players trying to establish themselves in the NFL. Hammond and Williams are no different.
For Chiefs, continuity could be key to greater success from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
The Kansas City Chiefs churned through four coaches in eight years before Andy Reid arrived, and far more offensive and defensive coordinators. Each of them had varying schemes and ideas, and the result was a hodge-podge of failure.
Alex Smith went through a similar experience in San Francisco, where the constant changes on the coaching staff nearly ran the former No. 1 draft pick right out of the league.
Reid and Smith are entering Year 3 together, though. Their assistant coaches have remained largely unchanged. And in a league in which turnover -- coaches and players -- is part of life, the Chiefs are hoping that unique period of continuity will yield success.
His career arc suggests this is the season that the Kansas City Chiefs will be rewarded for their patience with wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr.
They kept Hammond on their practice squad in 2013 when he was an undrafted rookie. He got some playing time last year but wasn't very productive with it, catching just four passes.
Now the Chiefs believe Hammond is prepared to take that next step and help energize what last season was a sluggish passing game. They've been that encouraged by what they've seen from Hammond at training camp, first as a backup and the last couple of days as the starting lineup replacement for the injured Jeremy Maclin.
Stronger WR Frankie Hammond Jr. ready when Chiefs call his number from Chiefs Digest
And it was a year ago Hammond temporarily filled in as the No. 1 receiver after filling in for Dwayne Bowe, who served a one-game suspension to start the season.
The experience of being the next man up made it easier for Hammond heading into the 2015 training camp knowing his number could be called at any moment, a scenario he embraces.
"I'm just trying to be available," Hammond said. "I'm just trying to create a confidence within the coaching staff that they know with Maclin being down for whatever it may be, I can fill in that role and get the job done."
"It has its challenges," said Morse, who was vaulted past Eric Kush and into the starting lineup at camp several days ago. "But the great thing I believe is that to get better, you have to be thrown into the fire."
That's what the Chiefs have done with Morse. They're giving him a long look with the starting lineup.
There's plenty of time for the Chiefs to go back to Kush.
Notebook: Chiefs rookie WR Chris Conley happy to return to practice from Chiefs Digest
Tuesday marked the first time Conley, whose knee strain prevented him from practicing during that span, addressed the media since July 28 when he reported for camp.
And the rookie appeared in good spirits despite the missed time.
"I'm a guy who prides myself on my play," Conley said. "I like to practice because I like to get better; I like to learn from guys who are vets. Having (Jeremy Maclin) and (Jason Avant) out there is invaluable so I don't want to miss any of that time, but it was good because I was able to meet with those guys off the field and get with those guys in the film room and stay up to date."
On defense, pressing matters have mostly been settled. The Chiefs learned shortly before the start of camp they would be without nose tackle Dontari Poe, who recently had surgery to remove a herniated disk from his back. They also learned about the same time that their best and only established cornerback, Sean Smith, would be suspended by the NFL for the season's first three games for a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy. Smith pleaded guilty in the spring in Kansas City to DUI.
Those situations have already been resolved.
Persistence pays off for Chiefs rookie WR Adam Drake from Chiefs Digest
Drake continued to train, splitting time in Arizona and Miami, but the telephone was disappointingly silent the past two months.
His fortunes changed, however, within a matter of four days at the suggestion of a loved one.
"My dad actually had me write a letter to the Chiefs just to let them know I had surgery after Pro Day," Drake said Tuesday, "just to let them know my surgery is 100 percent healed and I'm good to go. They called me later that night and told me they were going to fly me out for a tryout."
The Chiefs contacted Drake Thursday, worked him out Friday, signed him to a free-agent contract Saturday, and then had him on the practice field Sunday.
The Chiefs will hold their final practice session before Saturday night's preseason opener at the Arizona Cardinals. The starting offensive line they go with Wednesday is likely the one they will use against the Cardinals. After going the first several days of camp with one line, the Chiefs switched three starters late last week and have since stuck with the new lineup, featuring rookie Mitch Morse at center and Jeff Allen at right tackle. -- Adam Teicher
Chiefs and Aldon Smith Risky But Rewarding from Warpaint Illustrated
If you think the window is right here, right now, you jump. You jump with both feet, spikes Ty-Cobb high, straight toward Peyton Manning's thorax. You take a flier on Aldon Smith.
You take the risk and the headache and the crapola and the TSA agents and the shrapnel and the complete unknown and throw caution to the wind. Because right now, the wind has a better career record against Manning than you do.
For fun, picture Justin Houston snorting on one side of the formation and Smith getting ready to crash the other. Or Smith lined up to Tamba Hali, and you're the tackle who has to pick his poison. Or Smith lined up next to Houston, a double barrel of badass off one nuclear edge.
SI's All-Prove It Team: Players under pressure to shine in 2015 from Sports Illustrated
Alex Smith, QB, Chiefs: The Chiefs want Smith to be more aggressive in stretching the field this season. Good luck. Of his 464 pass attempts last season, just 24 traveled farther than 20 yards downfield.
Kansas City did sign Jeremy Maclin, who definitely brings with him some big-play abilities. Maclin caught 10 touchdown passes last season, which is 10 more than the Chiefs' wide receivers combined. Smith is signed through 2018 on a $76 million deal, but he's also 31 and headed into his third season as the Kansas City starter. If it doesn't click this season for a team that believes it should be in the playoffs, how much longer can this franchise stick with him?