WR Sammy Watkins cut the dreadlocks he’s had for years before he reported to Chiefs training camp. “I just woke up one morning and decided to cut it,” said Watkins, who added he did the work himself. “I’ve had it for maybe 12, 13 years. I’m 25 now. I don’t want to have dreads when I’m 40.”
Chiefs fans probably should expect to see more interceptions this season, which coach Andy Reid is fine with. But don’t assume that’s an automatic indictment of Patrick Mahomes.
Alex Smith threw only 33 interceptions in 76 career games with the Chiefs, finishing his five seasons under Reid with a 1.4 percent interception rate. That would be the lowest interception rate in NFL history by a healthy margin.
On Thursday at Mosaic Training Fields in front of roughly 3,000 people, the Chiefs showcased their new energy.
The Chiefs took the field for the first time as a whole at training camp in the first public practice. They rolled out new starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes II to go with offseason acquisitions in wide receiver Sammy Watkins and cornerback Kendall Fuller.
”It’s great to get the guys out,” coach Andy Reid said. “Some of these the guys haven’t seen our people; our fans are phenomenal.”
Day’s highlights and analysis
Offensive play of the day came courtesy of Patrick Mahomes and Sammy Watkins. Watkins got past corner Keith Reaser on a post route and Mahomes dropped a 60-yard bomb on Watkins in stride for an easy touchdown. The two tried to hook up for a similar play on the opposite side but the ball wobbled on its way off target. Mahomes had a couple of dud throws but no picks on the first day of work.
Defensive play of the day goes to cornerback Steven Nelson. Had good coverage against tight end Alex Ellis, who elevated for a high pass from Matt McGloin. Nelson snatched the ball off the deflection and took off the other way.
TYREEK HILL, WR, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (WR15)
Let’s not pretend this was the only big play that elevated Hill’s fantasy production. Hill scored all seven of his receiving touchdowns from 30 or more yards out last year. He caught just one single pass inside the red zone. That type of production just isn’t sustainable. Hill hit the high end of his range of outcomes last year, catching 73 percent of his 102 targets with Alex Smith at the helm. Over the past 10 years, just four wideouts have managed to turn in a top-10 fantasy season with 105 targets or fewer. The addition of Sammy Watkins to the mix could mean even fewer targets for Hill with the team not losing any major offensive weapons.
Of course, Smith isn’t in Kansas City any longer, so what does the prognosis look like in Washington? It’s a mixed bag. He won’t have weaponry anywhere close to the trio of Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt this year, but he may have more passing volume. Smith has never thrown the ball more than 508 times in a season, while Washington has averaged 567 pass attempts the past three seasons. Smith may see his rush attempts drop, but the less-mobile Kirk Cousins had 13 rushing touchdowns the last three years in Washington.
Around the league
Representatives from the NFL and the NFL Players Association have a meeting scheduled in New York on Friday as part of their ongoing discussions about the issue of player protests, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
1. Rookie quarterbacks competing for starting roles.
I hope for the Browns’ sake that Hue Jackson doesn’t rush his rookie quarterback into starting, but all eyes will be on Baker Mayfield during training camp as he looks to prove he was a worthy choice for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Will he actually push Tyrod Taylor for the starting job, and will the Browns allow that to happen?
1) Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
Brown in 2017: 101 receptions for 1,533 yards and nine touchdowns.
Smith-Schuster in 2017: 58 receptions for 917 yards and seven touchdowns.
Bryant hasn’t heard from the league on a suspension and is currently on a flight en route to Napa Valley, California, where he is expected to be on the practice field Friday, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport reported, via sources informed of the situation.
Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy addressed the media Thursday, marking the first time he spoke to reporters since an alleged home invasion robbery at a residence he owns in Georgia left his former girlfriend hospitalized.
McCoy, however, preferred to keep the focus on the football field and not the ongoing police investigation.
”It’s an open investigation and I’ll leave it at that,” McCoy told reporters, via the Bills’ official Twitter page. “Right now my main focus is on my teammates and reaching a championship together.”
While the business side of football takes center stage surrounding one of the league’s top safeties, coach Pete Carroll found himself addressing Thomas’ nonattendance following Thursday’s practice.
”He should be here, and he’s not,” Carroll told reporters, via Stephen Cohen of The Athletic.
Jackson has experience with Jones as the cornerback was on the roster with the Bengals when the Browns head coach was the offensive coordinator in Cincinnati.
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“I think we’re going to open up everything for each other,” Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce told reporters after practice. “Pat’s got quite an arsenal to throw to, and it’s not just the wide receivers up front. You want to talk about Demarcus Robinson making a stride forward, Chris Conley coming back off of injury looking great and then you have the running backs—guys like Charcandrick West, Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware coming off injury. We got an offense that we’re excited to do some work with.”
Marks, 22, signed with the Chiefs back in May after recording 71 catches for 1,170 yards and six touchdowns his final year at Northern Arizona. It would have been a reach for Marks to make the team in a deep Chiefs wide receiver room.
“We really have the potential to be a very good outside linebacking pass-rushing group,” Ford said. “Justin, he’s starting to really go back to that 22-sack guy, so we have an opportunity to be one of the best in the league but we have to take that day by day.”
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