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Chiefs training camp notebook: With camp in the books, the Chiefs set sights on Pittsburgh

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The Chiefs wrapped up training camp in St. Joseph on Thursday.

Just like that, training camp has come and gone.

The Kansas City Chiefs closed down shop in St. Joseph on Thursday afternoon ahead of their preseason matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said that Patrick Mahomes and the first-team offense and defense will get the first half, the second team will get the third quarter and the third team and beyond will take the fourth.

Reid explained he has never really considered sitting quarterback Patrick Mahomes, even if he is the MVP of the National Football League.

“He works, he wants to work, and we go with that,” Reid said. “You never know about injuries. You never know about them during the season, you don’t know about them during the preseason. When the guys go play, they’re not going out there worried about injuries and all of that stuff.”

Mahomes told reporters Thursday he treats the preseason like the regular season, and his goals are simple.

“I just want to be successful at moving the ball down the field,” Mahomes said. “It’s not so much about throwing touchdowns or going out there and getting the big play but it’s just about positive gains, moving the ball the right way, and hopefully that turns into points.”

In the mind of Reid—and by proxy, the Chiefs—training camp means more than what takes place on the football field. Reid has said the past that part of the reason he likes traveling to St. Joseph is to build team fellowship, and that rang true in St. Joseph in 2019.

“We’re together here so much,” Reid said. “We’re here and that’s part of it. A lot of teams don’t do this anymore. The fact that you’re meeting together, you’re eating together and you’re working hard together, it develops a certain camaraderie there that I appreciate. You find out a lot about people, each team member. You can’t hide a lot when you’re doing that. That helps bond you as a team.”

Bonding is one thing, but performing is another. Now more than ever, the expectation for the Chiefs is the Super Bowl, and training camp served as a foundation for that goal.

Asked about whether the Chiefs were able to accomplish that, and Reid answered affirmatively.

”I feel like we have to this point,” he said. “Now, do we have a bunch of work to get done yet? Yeah, we do, before the season starts. The guys came out with what I thought was a great attitude. They had a purpose of wanting to be better. That’s the way they approached it. Every day, they came with something individually to make themselves better, and then collectively as a team to make themselves better.”

Observations

  • The Chiefs wrapped up St. Joseph with a cooler practice than the past few days—the temperature stayed right in the low-to-mid-70s.
  • Andy Reid ran a 10-10-10 practice, a lighter day in which the Chiefs wear shorts and shells. Reid on 10-10-10 practice earlier this camp: “With 10-10-10’s, we service each other. Offense services defense, defense services offense. You get into specific things that you want to work on that particular day.”
  • Hard to take anything of substance away from this type of practice, but I did notice that while the top offensive personnel is set, for the most part, I could see the Chiefs rotating players quite a bit on defense this year. That could mean a decent percentage of snaps for defensive linemen Tanoh Kpassagnon and Breeland Speaks, as well as Xavier Williams, if he makes the roster.
  • In my mind, Juan Thornhill wins the starting safety job, but Daniel Sorensen will still remain an integral part of the defense with the Chiefs using three-safety looks.
  • While we’re talking about safeties, Tyrann Mathieu tipped a pass to himself for a pick during Thursday’s practice.
  • It was Military Appreciation Day at training camp, so the Chiefs welcomed members of the military onto the practice field after the workout concluded. Military members took pictures with and received autographs from the Chiefs (videos below).

Injury report

The four Kansas City Chiefs who did not participate in practice Thursday have been ruled out by Andy Reid for the game. Read our full injury report from Friday here.

Tweets of note

Quote of the day

Patrick Mahomes on spending training camp away from Kansas City at Missouri Western State in St. Joseph: “I always say the third floor is the most fun floor. We were always messing with each other’s rooms and trying to do this and that to try to keep people trapped in their rooms. That is just building chemistry and it’s kind of that thing where you get to be around people that you might not get to be around all the time like you are in St. Joseph. It’s been a good experience for me every year.”

What’s next?

The Chiefs will take on the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. Arrowhead Time. They will resume practice at their facility in Kansas City next week.