Chiefs Practice Recap 8/24: What You Need to Know from The Mothership
Player Spotlight - Rookie LB Ramik Wilson
When veteran linebacker Josh Mauga had to miss the first two preseason games for the Kansas City Chiefs with a heel injury, rookie Ramik Wilson's name was called.
Over his last two seasons at Georgia, the team's fifth-round pick (No. 118 overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft had 243 total tackles.
He had a habit of always being around the ball, which carried over to his first NFL action against the Arizona Cardinals, against whom Wilson led the team with six tackles, two passes defensed and an interception.
What We Learned From Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid on Monday from The Mothership
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said the team would mimic a regular season schedule this week.
"We're going to try and keep it as much a normal week within the rules of the NFL training camp rules as we possibly can," he said. "It's not quite the same schedule, but it's as close as we can get to it. [Monday] will be like a Wednesday practice, [Tuesday] will be like a Thursday practice, and so on. Then we're going to take it slow."
Sporting News Calls "65 Toss Power Trap" the Most Iconic Play in Chiefs History from The Mothership
Jan. 11, 1970 - "65 Toss Power Trap"
The Chiefs have one title, and it was sealed when Mike Garrett's five-yard touchdown run in the second quarter put the Vikings out of reach in Super Bowl IV. The play - 65 Toss Power Trap - is famous because Hank Stram called the touchdown. "It might pop wide open," he said. Kansas City led, 16-0, and went on to win, 23-7.
Chiefs list rookie C Mitch Morse as starter on latest depth chart from Chiefs Digest
Of course, the preseason depth chart remains fluid before the regular season.
But the Chiefs appear to have established a pecking order on the offensive line after shuffling starters after the preseason opener, and then the final week of training camp to accommodate injuries to left tackle Eric Fisher (high-ankle sprain) and right guard Jeff Allen (knee).
Allen, of course, moved to right tackle after the preseason opener, but remains atop the depth chart at right guard.
The biggest shift comes at center after Eric Kush was listed atop the chart in the previous two versions. Rookie Mitch Morse now commands that spot with Kush listed as the primary backup.
Rookie cornerback Marcus Peters again had the big play of Kansas City Chiefs practice on Monday. In a two-minute drill featuring the starters on both sides of the ball, Peters cut in front of Jeremy Maclin to make an interception of an Alex Smith pass on fourth-and-goal from the 4.
Chiefs' Alex Smith blames struggles on excessive knowledge from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
After struggling through two preseason games, Smith said Monday that part of the issue is that he has too good of a grasp of the Kansas City offense. So rather than react to what defenses are giving him, Smith is trying to outwit them, leading to incompletions and interceptions.
"Watching the film with coach, I'm trying to do too much," he said. "You know where everyone is at. You know the details. I need to go back to the fundamentals. I'm doing too much with my eyes and things like that..."
"...Trying to hold guys, move guys, doing too much of that," Smith said. "I really felt looking at the film, I need to get back to moving the ball, executing the offense."
The Chiefs are trying to become a more explosive, higher-scoring offensive team. Does that fit with your abilities?
Smith: I'm the quarterback. Pretty central. You've got to get better. To be complacent or settled with where you are, you've got to continually be getting better and you need to be taking steps forward, and I'm a part of that. And it wasn't good enough last year. So the part is, yeah, how are we going to continue to take steps and what is the plan to do that? And some of that is new faces coming in and you have to jell quickly and bring it together.
Chiefs will have speed to burn with 2015 offense from Chiefs Digest
This year, Andy Reid and his coaching staff have more speed available to them on offense that any team in the history of the Chiefs franchise. From rookie wide receiver Chris Conley to second-year receiver Albert Wilson, there are six eligible receivers that have broken 4.5 seconds in the 40, and five that broke 4.4 seconds.
One of the season's biggest questions remains how Reid and his offensive staff use the speed they've accumulated.
Chiefs OLB Dee Ford practices Monday from Chiefs Digest
The Chiefs appear to have dodged a bullet with Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford.
Ford was in pads and on the practice field Monday afternoon, two days after suffering what was feared to be a fractured rib in preseason action against the Seattle Seahawks.
The Chiefs also welcomed back linebacker Josh Mauga (heel) and safety Sanders Commings (knee).
Kansas City Chiefs rookie defensive back Steven Nelson had eight interceptions in his two collegiate seasons at Oregon State but the details of some are a little fuzzy to him.
But he accurately recalls the one he had in 2013 against Oregon and quarterback Marcus Mariota. He remembers that one because it was a big game for Oregon State and, well, it happened against Mariota, who would go on the next season to win the Heisman Trophy and become the No. 2 overall draft pick by theTennessee Titans shortly after.
So the circumstances of that pick remain with Nelson. They probably will for some time.
Adam Schiltz gains confidence after season on Chiefs practice squad from Chiefs Digest
"I can honestly say last year I wasn't as developed as I needed to be to play in the NFL," Schiltz said. "This year, I feel 100 percent different and my confidence level is high and I'm just ready to get going."
Another area Schiltz worked on was his blocking, and he used the time whenever he saw the field during the past two preseason games to show he could perform.
"I haven't had the opportunity to catch the ball much," Schiltz said, "but I've had the opportunity to block and that's one of my skills that I needed to get better at. And just being able to get that on film to show people that I've gotten better, that's huge."
The Chiefs could use blocking tight ends with a view to return to utilizing three-tight end sets after enjoying success with Anthony Fasano, Travis Kelce and Demetrius Harris midway through the 2014 season.
Defensive end Mike DeVito remembers needing every training camp and preseason snap he could get to impress his coaches in 2007 when he was a rookie free agent with the New York Jets.
He's now established as a starter for the Kansas City Chiefs, so things for him have changed. But he still believes he wouldn't have made it in the NFL without having an extended camp and a four-game preseason.
Dontari Poe may return for Week 1 from ESPN
Poe had the surgery, called a microdiscectomy, on July 15 in his hometown of Memphis. He rejoined the Chiefs in time for the start of their recently concluded training camp and, though he never made it to the practice field while his teammates were working, he was a common sight around the campus of Missouri Western State University.
Poe could be seen making his own way around campus to join his teammates in the cafeteria for meals and working out in the team's weight room.
Asked whether it was realistic to expect Poe back by the Houston game, Reid said, "We'll see."
Titans to Play Chiefs Friday Night in Kansas City from TitansOnline
The Titans hosted the St. Louis Rams last week in their second preseason contest. They jumped out to an early lead, courtesy of Perrish Cox's interception return for a touchdown, and pulled away for a 27-14 victory.
Most of the offensive and defensive starters for the Titans played three series, including rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota was 5-of-8 passing for 59 yards, including a 35-yard strike to tight end Craig Stevens. Through two weeks of the preseason, the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft has attempted 16 passes with 12 completions for 153 yards.
Stone Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs, 1963: Undeniably the most tragic preseason injury, Johnson died less than two weeks after sustaining a severe neck injury while blocking on a kickoff return in an AFL exhibition game against the Houston Oilers. Johnson was a rookie running back from Grambling who had competed in the 1960 Olympics as a sprinter. The Chiefs retired uniform No. 33 in his honor.
ISU alums O'Shaughnessy, Meredith impact NFL from Vidette Online
Former Illinois State tight end James O'Shaughnessy is fitting right in with his new team.
The rookie has been taking snaps with the starters in practice and has a good chance at being the No. 2 tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs come Week 1.
Fans did not have to wait long to find out who would start under center for the Houston Texans on opening day.
Texans coach Bill O'Brien announced Monday that Brian Hoyer will be the team's starter quarterback in its season opener Sept. 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs. Hoyer beat out Ryan Mallett for the starting job.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport was the first to break the news Monday morning. O'Brien made the announcement at a press conference.
DUVERNAY-TARDIF REFUSES TO SIT ON ITS LAURELS from TVA Sports [translated from the original French]
"I believe in my chances, but I do not want to sit on my laurels. I am a perfectionist and I know I still have a ways to go. "
"It's brutal—this morning, I had to lug 80-pound duffel bags filled with spicy beef jerky and cream-filled cupcakes while running to the field," said first-year offensive lineman Mitch Morse, adding that he is often sore before practice even starts, having arrived an hour early to haul 10-gallon gravy jugs to the sideline.