"We were able to reach an agreement with Eric and his representatives on a contract extension," Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey said. "In three seasons he's grown significantly as a football player in our system. He's a tough, physical presence and a leader on our offensive line. We look forward to keeping him as a part of our organization and community."
If the description of the player at the podium was that he had a huge smile on his face and cracked a couple of jokes with the local media before answering their questions, the first player you'd probably have guessed wouldn't have been Kansas City Chiefs left tackle
Eric Fisher, but that was the case on Saturday evening following the team's first open practice of training camp.
He was relaxed, jovial and happy, and he had every reason to be after signing a contract extension earlier in the day that will keep him in a Chiefs uniform for the foreseeable future.
"First off, I'd like to thank the Hunt Family, (Chairman and CEO) Clark Hunt for giving me the opportunity to be a Chief potentially for life," Fisher opened at his press conference. "I'd like to thank head coach [Andy] Reid, (general manager) John Dorsey and his staff, my agent Joel Segal and Geoff Garmhausen for doing a great job getting this done."
Five Observations from Saturday: Marcus Peters at it Again from Chiefs.com
1. Chiefs Kingdom came out in full force
Within minutes of the gates opening before practice, all of the spots along the fence nearest to the field were completely taken by excited members of Chiefs Kingdom. The hill on the north side that overlooks both practice fields quickly filled up as well.
For the first 20 minutes, the fans had to try and stay dry as rain fell through player warmups and briefly into individual drills.
Once the rain subsided, the fans saw about an hour and a half of a practice that wasn't short on highlights or great moments.
What We Learned From Saturday's Media Availability from Chiefs.com
QB ALEX SMITH
Q: A lot of screens, a lot of passes and plays today, what does it feel like working on that? How do you guys feel like you're fairing on that?
SMITH: "It was good. First day, we did the running this morning and a lighter practice this afternoon so got a good mix in, I thought. Sometimes the first day is like bombs away for the fans and you come out here and its kind of downfield throws. I thought it was a good mix; we got a lot in today. Got some pretty good looks, get working on some screens and stuff. Work on some no huddle, we're getting the ball rolling with that. The young guys bring good energy, good tempo."
Derrick Johnson: "We Believe We Can Win a Super Bowl" from Chiefs.com
The longest-tenured active Kansas City Chiefs player, linebacker
Derrick Johnson, was happy to be back as the team hosted its first full-team practice of training camp on Saturday afternoon.
"It feels great," he told media members after practice. "Every year, there are new expectations and new beginnings. The goal is always set to win it all. There's some optimism as we start camp and a lot of work to be done. We're just eager to get things started at this point."
Johnson has been with the Chiefs his entire career, to this point 11 seasons.
Chiefs sign tackle Eric Fisher to a four-year extension from The Kansas City Star
Eric Fisher stepped to the microphone Saturday in a cheerful, upbeat mood. He wore a matching smile on his face, knowing that just a few hours earlier, he'd not only become a richer man, he'd also taken another step toward validating his lofty draft status.
On Saturday, the Chiefs announced that Fisher — the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft — had agreed to a contract extension with the club. The deal is a four-year extension worth $48 million, a source told The Star, including $40 million in guaranteed money and an annual average of $12 million per year.
Chiefs ink Eric Fisher to contract extension from Chiefs Digest
"I've grown to love this city, the fans and everybody around," Fisher said.
Head coach Andy Reid said the contract extension was a tribute to Fisher's hard work and effort to improve, particularly during last year's playoff season.
"I thought he continually got better last year, Reid said. "I still think he has plenty of room to improve. I think he'll continue to do that. He's got a good work ethic, he's kind of grown up before our eyes."
Fisher joined the Chiefs with great fanfare as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft. Reid acknowledged Fisher struggled at times earlier in his career but has emerged as a player the Chiefs rely upon at a critical position.
They took a huge leap of faith with Fisher and committed to him as their left tackle for the foreseeable future.
Now it's time for Fisher to become the player the Chiefs envisioned when they drafted him.
The Chiefs have had to wait longer than expected. They knew in taking him No. 1 overall that Fisher would be something of a developmental prospect. He played at Central Michigan, in the Mid-American Conference, so there was going to be a steep learning curve.
Even at that, he has been more of a project than they thought.
Eric Fisher's contract extension allows the Kansas City Chiefs to do more than keep their left tackle in place for an extended period. It also allows them to keep their starting offensive line in place for the long term, if they so choose.
Each of this year's five projected starters is under contract with the Chiefs for at least the next two seasons and most of them could be around for longer than that. Fisher is now signed through 2021, right tackle Mitchell Schwartz through 2020, left guard Parker Ehinger through 2019, center Mitch Morse through 2018 and right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif through 2017.
"It took me a while to adjust, get comfortable. I'm feeling great right now. I'm feeling strong, confident. My head is good."
What Fisher meant with that last comment is that his head is in the right place. That hasn't always been the case with him. His confidence took a beating during a rough rookie season in which Fisher looked nothing like the first overall pick in the draft.
The Chiefs stayed patient with Fisher and his game slowly -- painfully slowly, at times -- started to come around.
Chiefs training camp report, July 30: No surprises among starters from The Kansas City Star
Tyler Bray got the majority of the second-string work at quarterback ahead of Aaron Murray, just like he did during organized team activities ...
The first-string offense was solid today, as the ball rarely hit the ground ...
Quarterback Alex Smith connected on his first 10 passes over the course of three 11-on-11 sessions. His first incompletion was due to a trip by Jeremy Maclin, but he finished the day 11 of 13 anyway ...
Observations from first full squad camp practice from Chiefs Digest
Improving the screen game
Much of time during team drills was spent on elements of the screen passing game. Coach Andy Reid said the team must get better at the screen game than they were a year ago.
"As far as inside screens, I think we can improve," Reid said. Outside screens, I think we do tremendous on. So, if you get both in the season going at the same time - you're doing pretty good."
Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said effective screen passes get the ball into the hands of the team's speedy playmakers.
"You know you have a blueprint of how it's supposed to be ran, but it's all reaction," Maclin said. "It's all going off of what kind of happens. It's almost like being a train. You kind of have people out there blocking for you and to pick where you want to go."
Chiefs quarterbacks embracing ‘wide open' competition for backup job from Chiefs Digest
The offseason departure of veteran Chase Daniel, who served as Alex Smith's backup the previous three years, has created a significant void, one that must be filled with a competent option if the Chiefs truly hope to be Super Bowl contenders this year.
Any long-term injury to Smith likely would sink their title hopes, no matter who is in reserve, but if Smith missed a few games due to injury, a legitimate backup would be someone who gives them a chance to win until opposing coordinators figure out how to properly attack him.
That's why camp — and the four preseason games — will be so important to Reid's evaluation process.
Justin Houston, Tamba Hali Placed on PUP List from Chiefs Digest
The team placed both players on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list prior to the camp's first workout. They join running back Jamaal Charles, who was placed on the same list Tuesday. All three have reported for camp.
Fans Turn Out for 2016 Chiefs Camp from St Joe Channel
Near and far, 4,100 Kansas City Chiefs fans came to Training Camp with one goal in mind, to see their favorite players take the field for the first time in more than six months. One family all the way from Illinois doesn't take the Chiefs fan experience for granted.
"This is our second time to come to opening day Training Camp. We had a really great time last year. I have three boys so it's a good opportunity for them to come and see what it takes to play football." said Illinois resident Kiezah Ferrell.
NFL player eager to see show Brazil puts on at Rio Olympics from The Pendleton Times-Post
Over the next few weeks, after long days of training camp on the practice fields of Missouri Western State University, Cairo Santos will return to his dorm room and hunker down in front of a TV.
He will flip the channel to the Rio Olympics and get lost in the pageantry.
You see, the only Brazilian playing in the NFL is as eager as anybody to see what kind of show his country puts on this August. The kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs knows better than most the many hurdles that have been overcome and the opportunity that Brazil has on the world stage.