Andy Reid and players take the podium.Posted by The Kansas City Chiefs on Monday, April 16, 2018
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and 14 players took the podium Monday afternoon as the team began its offseason workout program.
Here were the 10 most significant items in my eyes from Monday:
1. The Chiefs who had been injured previously are doing well.
A number of Chiefs, including Eric Berry, Chris Conley, Mitch Morse, De’Anthony Thomas and Spencer Ware, finished the season on the injured reserve this.
Reid provided a blanket update on those who were injured at the season’s end:
“Everybody’s really doing pretty good, which is a positive,” Reid said. “We’ll just see how it goes the closer we get to phase two—to see who can run around out there and who can’t, but right now, they’re doing well.”
Reid specifically mentioned that he was unsure about Ware for OTAs but thinks he will be ready for training camp.
2. The Chiefs say they are signing multiple running backs because of injury and promoting competition
The Chiefs recently picked up running backs Damien Williams and Kerwynn Williams to go along with Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West and Akeem Hunt.
“We have some guys that were hurt, but, in my mind and obviously in Brett’s mind because he’s the one who did this, you can’t have enough of those guys,” Reid said. “That’s a tough position, and there was availability there, so we figured if there’s a chance to get good players, let’s go ahead and better ourselves, let the competition be there and see what happens. I’m expecting Spencer (Ware) to be back, but you never know. We got kids who can play—there’s going to be great competition there.”
Reid is right. There will be difficult cuts to come behind Kareem Hunt.
3. A few Chiefs have lost weight heading into the offseason program.
Defensive lineman Chris Jones told the media he lost 25 pounds by getting away from pork and increasing his vegetable intake.
Jones said he lost the weight because it allows him to move better and it makes him more versatile along the defensive line.
“Last year, later in the season, I ended up playing on the outside more often,” he said. “I kind of trimmed down by weight where I can play 3-tech, nose or get outside on the end.”
Linebacker Reggie Ragland said he lost 10 pounds.
“I’m getting a little sexy,” Ragland said with a smile. “[It will help] as far as running around out there and just being able to keep up with the running backs and how the game is played now—everybody likes to get the ball in the flats—the quicker guys. It helps me out with that.”
Ragland added that he feels his ACL, which he tore in August of 2016, is fully healed. He revealed that he thought his knee was back to normal Week 11 of last year when the Chiefs visited the New York Giants.
4. Allen Bailey wants the defensive line to attack.
At the age of 29, the Chiefs’ former third-round pick is the leader of the defensive line. When asked about the line’s identity this season, Bailey had an interesting quote:
“We should be attackers, you know?” Bailey said. “Not thinkers. Attackers.”
That seems to be the direction the line is headed, given the recent signing of a penetrator in Xavier Williams.
5. Dustin Colquitt compared this year’s Chiefs to the 2014-2015 Kansas City Royals.
Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt was asked if last year’s playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans lingered a little longer given the game’s circumstances.
“I think they all do,” he said. “Any time you have high expectations like that going into a season, you feel like this is our sixth year now where coaches are saying we have our base, we have these guys and they’re constantly trying to groom trying to make this that push.”
Colquitt believes that this year’s version of the Chiefs is close, comparing them to the Royals’ most recent World Series team.
“You see the ‘14 Royals and the ‘15 Royals, whatever they did to make that last push—bullpen or whatever it is. We’re trying to do that to fit all of these guys into this piece that—we’re there, we have the guys, we have the coaches. How do you make that last push to make us have a parade as opposed to watching a parade?”
6. Sammy Watkins is thinking along the same lines as all of us.
Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, Sammy Watkins—a list of names who could all be Pro Bowlers, but since they’re on the same team, will need to share the football.
As he worked out with his new teammates on day one, Watkins wondered the same thing we all are.
“We did a couple drills and worked out today and [I was] kind of observing looking back like, ‘I don’t know how coach (Reid) is going to get everybody the ball.’ You got so many weapons out there. Travis Kelce running routes like a receiver. It’s going to be a fun time.”
As a bonus, Watkins explained his unusual weekend tweet:
I’m a whole different species im convince im not a human never was im more like a advance reptilian solar being I’m very powerful it’s kinda scares me lol...— King me (@sammywatkins) April 14, 2018
“I just feel like this world is what it is and it’s a lot of different species. Whether we like it or not, we all got some same characteristics in this world. We’re all different, but we all got the same conscience and we’ve all been put in the same reality. It’s a lot of different things going in this world.”
Now the tweet makes total sense.
7. Dee Ford said that he feels “excellent” after being injured last season.
We learned Monday that perhaps linebacker Dee Ford’s lingering back injury during the 2017 season was a little more serious that has been previously known.
“Imagine your leg randomly going numb,” Ford said. “That’s just what it was. And then when the feeling came back, it was pain.”
Ford opted for offseason surgery, and now he said he feels “excellent” going into the 2018 offseason program.
Center Mitch Morse and wide receiver Chris Conley, who both finished the season on injured reserve, also said they feel good and are on the recovery track.
8. Kendall Fuller says the Chiefs’ defensive system is similar to that of the Washington Redskins.
There won’t be much a learning curve when it comes to the defense for Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller, as it turns out.
“I’m starting to learn the system now—how much similar it is to how it was in Washington. We had meetings [Monday]. After, [Eric Berry] asked me if there was anything I didn’t understand—stuff like that, and I was like man, ‘Honestly, we kind of do the same thing. Same language and stuff like that.’
“Really it excites me more as I learn the system because it’s all stuff that I feel like I can do at a high level.”
That is good news for the Chiefs with Fuller in line for a starting cornerback position.
9. Travis Kelce opened up about having to leave the Chiefs’ playoff loss with the concussion.
Travis Kelce was having a great playoff game—four catches for 66 yards and a touchdown catch—when he had to leave the field due to a concussion.
He wouldn’t return after halftime, and the Tennessee Titans would go on to storm back from 18 points down and win the game, 22-21.
“I’ll tell you what, it was frustrating,” Kelce said. “I just remember at halftime screaming and yelling and wanting to be out there knowing that personally I felt like I could go out there and play but knowing that it’s a head injury and it’s something that’s taken very seriously in the NFL now.
“I missed the entire second half up until the last drive. I jumped out of an MRI machine, looked at the score and just, ‘What the heck’s going on?’ and haven’t really peeked at the film ever since because I don’t really want to know what the heck just happened.”
Many feel that if Kelce would not have been injured, the Chiefs would have won.
“It’s uncomfortable just because I couldn’t be out there to help my team but at the same time, seeing what we just went through the meetings here the first day, it’s all accountability. It doesn’t matter who’s out there on the field, we have to find a way to win the game.”
10. Patrick Mahomes explained what he’s been doing to get ready 2018 this offseason.
Patrick Mahomes told the media he has been working out quite a bit.
“I’m trying to get my body in the best shape possible,” he said.” I trained back home for a little bit with a guy I’ve trained with my whole life in the Dallas area, just trying to get myself in shape. As I got going, I started working more with receivers there, then came back to Kansas City, worked with receivers here whenever they were in and out, they were in town we were working and they would leave sometimes for vacations.”
Mahomes said he was able to work out with nearly every Chiefs player on the roster at different points this offseason.
Off the field, he has been in the film room.
“Mentally, watching a lot of film, reviewing last year, seeing how teams play—we play the same division opponents, we play some of the same teams this next upcoming season—to see how they’re playing us defensively.”