Sunday's training camp session for the Kansas City Chiefs was an eventful one, and Matt Lane and I were there to cover it. Matt covered the offense, so I'm here with your defensive observations for the day.
The story for Sunday was injuries. Eric Berry was out with a sore heel, Anthony Hitchens did some early work in pass protection and took his pads off in the tent and Xavier Williams left with a stinger. That meant that many younger players got snaps.
Watts appears to be the next man up today with Berry gone. #ChiefsCamp— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) August 12, 2018
Armani Watts got looks with the first team, rookie nose tackle Derrick Nnadi filled in for Xavier Williams and Terrance Smith got run in Hitchens place.
After some early walkthroughs, in which Armani Watts shadowed Robert Golden as the box safety, the linebackers, running backs and tight ends worked on pass protection and coverage.
Some good reps in coverage for Tanoh Kpassagnon and Dorian O'Daniel before the pass protection period. Breeland Speaks got good reps against Tim Wright in this period.
Breeland Speaks vs. Tim Wright. Speaks gets the corner pic.twitter.com/KbdII2gcQq— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) August 12, 2018
The team then moved to nine-on-seven for run drills, and the defense shined. Chris Jones and Xavier Williams both destroyed the first-team period, and the offense struggled to move the ball on the ground. After Williams left with a stinger, Nnadi took the field with a giant arm brace and showed off his strength, routinely moving offensive linemen with one arm.
Chris Jones is destroying run drills in 9v7 pic.twitter.com/yhwOqIwlii— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) August 12, 2018
Switching to team period saw the EDGE rushers shine. Dee Ford beat Mitchell Schwartz multiple times in what would have been sacks.
Speaks beat Andrew Wylie off the right side in what would have been a sack.
Kpassagnon looked good rushing the passer and looked even better dropping into coverage. O'Daniel also flashed with the second team.
Dorian O'Daniel with a really good coverage rep with the 2's at ILB. Sorted through a pick in zone and made a big hit to stop the play short of the sticks. #ChiefsCamp— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) August 12, 2018
Good blitz pickup by the 2's, but Tanoh in great coverage against Amaro. #ChiefsCamp— Craig Stout (@barleyhop) August 12, 2018
After some more position work, the Chiefs worked on coverage drills, and the first-team coverage team was on lockdown. Patrick Mahomes struggled to find open receivers without facing a pass rush. Kendall Fuller looked especially good, lodging a pass breakup on a fade route to Sammy Watkins.
The defense closed with some team red-zone work, during which Eric Murray showed up with good press coverage against Travis Kelce early.
Nnadi and Reggie Ragland combined well to stop a run in a goal-to-go situation. The next play, the secondary had excellent coverage, and Allen Bailey flushed Mahomes from the pocket before lodging a sack.
Overall, it was a positive day for the defense, particularly the edge rushers with Dee Ford and Kpassagnon and Nnadi.