Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke to the media before the beginning of rookie minicamp Saturday afternoon. The Chiefs camp, which will feature 68 players, including 14 undrafted signees and six draft picks, will run until Monday, May 7.
Here are the points you need to know from Reid:
Reid described what will be a typical day for players at rookie minicamp.
“This format is exactly like it what it will be for the vets when they come in for their minicamps,” Reid said. “They got here early, we had meetings this morning, now they come out, they do their walkthrough, they’ll go back for lunch, then they’ll come out for a special teams practice—the specialist will come out. And then we’ll start our practice. They’ll be a special teams period in the practice. It’s just like [media members] normally see during the year. They’ll be an afternoon practice, last a couple hours, and then they’re out of here. They leave the field, go into meetings again and they go to sleep.”
Reid explained that now that the players are there, they are evaluated on an equal playing field.
“We don’t favor any position,” Reid said. “Whether you’re drafted or not drafted, we just have you come out and we’re going to coach the dog out of you here and then watch you. They’ll be watched every play, they’ll be graded and evaluated every play, every guy will be. And we tape all the practices.”
Reid emphasized the fact that once players hit the field, draft number is thrown out the window.
This was my favorite Reid quote of the press conference:
“It’s good,” he said. “They can see that everybody dresses the same way—it doesn’t matter if you’re a first-round pick or second-round pick, in our case, or you’re a free agent. It really doesn’t matter. You kind of go about your business the same way and it’s what you do on the field. We’re going to teach you the same way.”
Recent proof being able to succeed as an undrafted free agent was wide receiver Albert Wilson, who signed a lucrative deal with the Miami Dolphins this past offseason.
Wilson began his NFL career as an undrafted free agent with the Chiefs back in 2014.
“Albert Wilson just made about $8 million,” Reid said. “There are a few guys that have come in and you really weren’t quite sure exactly what you had and then they come out and they just keep getting better and better and they catch your attention, and so you invite them to the next phase and the next phase and eventually they make the team for you.”
For those who Reid and the Chiefs do ask to return for phase two next week, they will already have a jumpstart on how the team operates.
“They will have had an introduction to what we do, so that’s very important,” Reid said. “You don’t want to throw them in with the veterans without knowing anything. It could be a bit chaotic for them, but this will at least give them an opportunity to at least go back and review after these couple days and then when they get back with the full group, they’ll be able to move around a little bit.”
The next phase of offseason workouts begins on Monday, May 14.
Reid reacted to the Oakland Raiders signing former Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson.
Derrick Johnson signed with the Oakland Raiders on Friday.
“I think it’s great that Derrick has a chance,” Reid said. “Derrick is one of the most favorite players I’ve ever coached since I’ve been coaching. Every day he came out like he was 20 and I’ve said that before. The Raiders are getting a great person, I mean phenomenal person and leader and all those things. I wish him the best. I texted him, ‘I wish [you] the best except for about two games.’”
Reid reiterated he would welcome Johnson back as a coach if it doesn’t work out.
“I told him that,” Reid said. “If he decides he wants to go in that direction. I’m going to be hard on him, probably harder on him than I was as a player, but he can come back, yeah, absolutely.”
Other items of note:
The Chiefs handed out rookie draft pick jersey numbers, including No. 91:
Rookie jersey numbers ⤵️ #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/QxG55m3xFQ— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) May 5, 2018
Here is the full list of the 14 undrafted signees, courtesy of Chiefs dot com:
There is a total of 68 players at Chiefs rookie minicamp. Full list here.
The younger brother of Eric Berry is trying out for the Chiefs this weekend:
Here's Elliott Berry, the 22-year-old brother of Eric Berry, who is trying out for the #Chiefs at rookie minicamp this weekend. Elliott was a linebacker at Tennessee. pic.twitter.com/0DlcVCz12k— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) May 5, 2018
This Dorian O’Daniel kid is already saying all the right things:
Best line from the second-day rookies comes from Dorian O'Daniel comparing barbecue at Clemson to KC: "I will say Kanas City barbecue probably puts it to shame. Don't tweet that out or anything."— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) May 5, 2018