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Chiefs training camp notebook: Andy Reid, team back to work Monday

Patrick Mahomes’ game reps are always a blend of practice and safety.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes played just four snaps against the San Francisco 49ers — but Mahomes was back to his typical workload as training camp continued in St. Joseph on Monday, accumulating the lion’s share of plays in the practice.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is being careful with his former MVP quarterback, always balancing Mahomes’ health with the reps needed to be ready for regular-season play.

“I think it’s a mix because health is obviously important — but getting used to those new guys he’s dealing with, I think is also important,” said Reid. “Them hearing his voice is important in game situations with fans and so on.”

Reid then said Mahomes should have more work when the Chiefs visit the Arizona Cardinals for their second preseason game on Friday night. Mahomes’ starting offensive line of Orlando Brown Jr., Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith and Lucas Niang had seven additional plays against San Francisco — all with backup Chad Henne under center.

“I thought they did a good job with what they had,” said Reid. “We’ll keep increasing as we go with them, so they’ll get a little bit more this week and just see how that rolls — but that’s normally what happens.”

The good thing about having preseason tape is the offensive line’s opportunity to watch and then correct the mistakes they made in the game setting.

“We had a couple breakdowns, assignment breakdowns,” acknowledged Reid. “We went back through and reviewed those plays [on Monday]. I thought the guys did a nice job with that. We weren’t in pads, but we still were able to get a lot of work done [with the] run and pass game.”

The Chiefs worked two key game situations on Monday — a four-minute drill and pushed backed up into their own end zone. They will hope to avoid the latter in the 2021 regular season.

Observations

  • The weather in St. Joseph Tuesday morning was partly cloudy, with the temperature in the mid-60s to start the workout at 9:15 a.m. The Chiefs were in shorts and shells to start the week.
  • Mahomes began 11-on-11 drills with a deep pass to wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who caught a ball on his back shoulder over cornerback Charvarius Ward. Mahomes later had a deep connection with tight end Travis Kelce down the right sideline. Late in practice, Mahomes broke out the sidearm on a pass to wide receiver Demarcus Robinson in the flat.
  • Offensive lineman Mike Remmers, who had been the starting right tackle prior to his back injury, was back to work on Monday. Still, rookie Lucas Niang kept that position, while Remmers played left tackle with the second team. From left to right, the second-team offensive line shook out as Remmers, guard Yasir Durant, center Austin Blythe, guard Nick Allegretti and tackle Andrew Wylie.
  • Reid on Remmers and the right tackle battle vs. Niang: “It was good to get [Remmers] back in there full-go — and I think he worked out pretty good. They’ll all play and Andy [Heck] rotates all of them in there. We’ve got full trust in him, though.”
  • Tight end Jody Fortson continues to make a strong case for the roster, making one of Monday’s plays of the day by bringing in a deep pass from quarterback Shane Buechele over safety Armani Watts down the right sideline. He appears to be one of the Chiefs’ most athletic skill players.
  • Despite cornerback Deandre Baker’s strong game against the 49ers, it was still Mike Hughes at right outside cornerback in the nickel. In Monday’s second-team looks, Baker was the left cornerback and Rashad Fenton was the right cornerback.
  • Defensive lineman Demone Harris recorded an interception off a Chad Henne pass that was batted up at the line; in a game setting, it might have gone for a big-man six. Defensive backs Chris Lammons and Watts each had a third-team pass breakup.
  • Safety Juan Thornhill continues to mix with the second and third teams — but after the workout, Reid assured his listeners there is nothing to it: “I think he’s way better than he was, and then every day, he’s getting a little bit better — and he’s getting more trust in his leg, which is the important thing. He just needs to keep going, keep working through — and if it’s bothering him, then you back him off a little bit and take a step forward from there.”
  • Linebacker Willie Gay Jr. — out of the concussion protocol — looked to be moving well. He shot a gap on a running play and would have had Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the backfield.
  • Wide receiver Mecole Hardman was back working as a returner after not recording any reps there on Saturday night. Wide receivers Darrius Shepherd and Byron Pringle were also working as returners.

Press conferences (Spotify)

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Injury report

  • Returned to practice: Defensive end Frank Clark (hamstring), linebacker Willie Gay (concussion protocol), defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi (hip), defensive end Alex Okafor (hamstring), right tackle Mike Remmers (back spasms)
  • Did not participate in team drills (injury): n/a
  • Did not practice/not in pads (due to injury): Tight end Evan Baylis (ankle), wide receiver Antonio Callaway (bone bruise), linebacker Riley Cole (ankle sprain), right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (hand), defensive end Malik Herring (ACL), right guard Kyle Long (tibia), running back Elijah McGuire (ankle sprain)
  • Did not practice (COVID-19 list): n/a
  • Injured at practice Monday: n/a

Tweet of the day

Our John Dixon compiled all of Mustache Monday’s tweets here. Here is the tweet of the day:

Quote of the day

Chiefs starting right guard and rookie Trey Smith was asked what he learned about himself in the first preseason game:

“That I can actually do it,” laughed Smith. “That’s probably the first thing.”

What’s next?

The Chiefs return to the practice field in St. Joseph on Tuesday at 9:15 a.m. After the workout, Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub and assistant coaches will speak.