The Kansas City Chiefs have officially signed cornerback DeAndre Baker to their practice squad, according to the NFL’s official transaction report. The team released wide receiver Chad Williams to make room for Baker.
On Thursday, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo was asked about Baker’s on-the-field “struggles” as a rookie with the New York Giants in 2019.
“I’m not aware of the struggles,” refuted Spagnuolo. “I wouldn’t dive into that. I mean, (general manager) Brett (Veach) and his staff have been all over that thing, and any time we can add a good football player, I think that’s a good thing. Anybody that comes in here, look, we start from scratch, we try to take the tools they have and make them better. (Defensive backs coach) Sam (Madison) and Dave (Merritt), when anybody comes in here, they try to do that, and we go about it as if someday this person may have to help us.
“Whether that happens right away or later on, we don’t know that, so we’ll see. I mean, it’s hard for me to tell that. I don’t have him in here, don’t know a lot about him. Maybe I’ll have more for you after if he’s here, if we can get him for a little while.”
Tuesday’s NFL Network’s reports hinted that Baker would have the fast track up to the 53-man roster as soon as the Chiefs could catch him up to speed. Madison, who is likely to be working closest with Baker once he begins practice with the Chiefs, enjoyed what he saw from the former first-rounder on film.
“A very press corner, a physical guy, a ball hawk, a guy that’s always around the football,” he described. “I’ve known this kid for a very long time, from Florida. We don’t really know, so we just want to get him in the building, get him used to the Kansas City way of doing things and implementing that. When you have an opportunity to get a first-round talent and implement him into your scheme and your system.
“Brett Veach and coach Reid did an awesome job of having an opportunity to get him. Getting him and getting him caught up to speed on the way that we do things, that’s going to be the most important part.”