As I was sitting here in an auto repair shop in Shawnee, I thought it might be a good idea to go back through my notes and cover everything we may have missed on Arrowhead Pride through the first three days of camp leading into Thursday afternoon.
The Kansas City Chiefs will practice as a full team for the first time Thursday after the veterans’ arrival on Wednesday.
To the notes we go:
- My biggest takeaway and surprise of training camp is how healthy the team is in general. The only players with concerns, as of Thursday morning, are CB Ashton Lampkin (ACL) and S Armani Watts, who injured his ankle on Monday and has been held back. WR De’Anthony Thomas and RB Spencer Ware were not ready for contact as of Monday, but they appear to be coming along nicely. Our own Aaron Borgmann explained why the positive injury report was so important.
- Free agent CB Bashaud Breeland on Wednesday was unlike anything I have ever seen. He was on the field, fraternizing with the general manager and walking into the dorm room. Then he reportedly left. BAFFLING.
- Ware says he’s taking his injury day by day, and he has dealt with this type of adversity before: “Being away from the game of course (year out of football in 2014), or being back in my rookie year, I was put on IR for a high ankle back in Seattle. I missed some of that time and my year out of football. I’ve faced adversity throughout my career and like I said, my fours (his touchdown celebration) is the reason why I’m able to make it to where I am at right now, and of course, the Lord.”
- Mitch Morse provided a light-hearted comment regarding his foot injury that ruined his 2017 season: “I don’t know if you have seen Fletcher Cox but he is a giant human. I took a bull rush and, I thought it was my ankle at first, I went out on a screen and I just felt it pop and kind of go. It just happens, man. It is part of the gig.”
- Morse thanked the training staff, including Borgmann (surprisingly), for his recovery.
- Patrick Mahomes revealed he still keeps a relationship with Alex Smith, mostly through text. “We’re still friends,” Mahomes said. “When you’re quarterbacks in this league, you have a special thing where you know what each other are going through.”
- Mahomes says he’s aware he won’t be using his big arm every single play: “I think it’s a challenge for all quarterbacks. You want to make the big play, you want to throw a touchdown every single play, but at the same time, you have to know it’s a process. These defenses are good, so you have to make sure they take what they give you and don’t go for the home run every time.”
- Andy Reid said one of the great benefits of the first three days of camp was the special attention for position groups with not many players there. He specifically mentioned the one-on-two coaching for the defensive linemen, as well as the one-on-three coaching for the outside and inside linebackers.
- A point to watch when you take your eyes off the players this camp will be offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who is adjusting to his promotion from running backs coach. Reid on Bieniemy: “I just joked with him out here. He is having to walk around now, he isn’t coaching just one position. He has to grind on everybody. That takes a little bit of getting used to. He did a nice job of just figuring all that during minicamps and that. He is rolling here and he is doing a heck of a job.”
- Breeland Speaks is making the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker this camp. He said that he has 1-2 moves as of now, but looks forward to learning from Justin Houston, Tanoh Kpassagnon and Dee Ford. When asked about how the position change is going, Speaks mentioned there’s been a transition for him in dropping into coverage. He had an interception on Tuesday, so at least in shorts, he appears to be coming along. Dropping into coverage isn’t “brand new” for Speaks, he said, as he played middle linebacker in high school and occasionally dropped back last season at Ole Miss.
- Quarterback Chad Henne said he was somewhat stunned by the passing of NFL coach Tony Sparano: “Actually, I pulled into training camp and it was tough. My agent texted me and said Tony passed, and he drafted me. That was his first year—2008. He was a great mentor to me, I owe a lot to him for drafting me. We built a great relationship. [He has a] great family. Tony Sparano Jr. was with me in Jacksonville last year, so it’s definitely sad to see him pass, but great memories with him and enjoyed my time with him.”
- Henne wants to be a mentor and sounding board for Mahomes, but he is focused on mastering Reid’s offense first: “You sit back. Especially in the beginning, you let coach Reid, Bieniemy, talk. (Mike) Kafka, all those guys, you let them pretty much teach you the system first and then once you start getting involved, and obviously there’s experiences that I’ve gone through that you can spit out, but a lot of times you let them teach you first until I become a master of their offense, then I can start emphasizing what I kind of like and what I can help them with.”
- Outside linebacker Dee Ford on Chiefs picking up his $8.7 million fifth-year option (they reportedly had to): “I’m not complaining.”
- You could put this quote from rookie defensive lineman Derrick Nnadi on a poster: “It really goes into how much you want to play. In this business, you get what you put in. If you want to play, you are going to do as much as you want to get on that field. If you don’t really care about it, you aren’t going to put in the effort for it. You won’t be studying film or care as much on the practice field. You are not going to care about what food you put in your body or how much sleep you’re getting. It’s really all about personal effort and how much work you want to put in to get on the field. My desire comes from the coaches I’ve been around back in college as well as my family. My father is probably the hardest working person I have met in my life.”
- Fashion notes (from veteran arrival day): Backup offensive lineman Jordan Devey now has a mullet, Wideout Sammy Watkins cut his hair, RB Charcandrick West likes No. 8 (the bad) Kobe Bryant and fullback Anthony Sherman had his best outfit yet. Corresponding tweets/photos: