The Kansas City Chiefs got onto the practice field at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph on Wednesday morning, conducting the first preliminary practice session of the team’s 2023 training camp.
Wednesday’s practice was limited to rookies, quarterbacks and a sprinkling of other players. There will be a total of three such sessions — the other two on Thursday and Friday mornings — before the rest of the team reports on Friday afternoon. The first full practice (which will be open to the public) will take place on Sunday morning.
Arrowhead Pride editor-in-chief Pete Sweeney was there, tweeting a number of observations from the two-hour session — starting with four about a player we didn’t really expect to be on the field.
The story of the day from camp is that RB Isiah Pacheco was not only in attendance — he was also on the field and looked fantastic. To be careful, the Chiefs had the second-year back in a yellow non-contact jersey and held him from 7-on-7 participation. But he appeared fine.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 19, 2023
During drills, Pacheco showcased his token explosiveness, quick cuts and ability to stop on a dime. No issues in the pass game, catching balls in stride and not shying away from leaping up to high-point. The hip fluidity was there. Sans the yellow jersey, no sign of injury.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 19, 2023
As noted, he couldn't participate in 7-on-7, but he was especially outspoken for the 'first day of school.' The running back shouted and taunted his defensive back teammates as they surrendered touchdowns. It was obvious Pacheco is itching to be cleared for contact.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 19, 2023
WR Rashee Rice on Pacheco: "During OTAs, I know that he wanted to be out there a lot. Him just running down that hill, being ready to just even do the warmup, he's moving as fast as he can even in the warmup. We can just tell he's excited to be on the field right now."— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 19, 2023
Of course, an offensive skill player is always going to look better when his defensive teammates aren’t allowed to touch him. But it’s still a very encouraging sign that Pacheco looks healthy.
Rice said he and Buchele (both SMU alum) linked up every day during the break since OTAs. In 2020 (Buechele's last season at SMU), Rice had 48 catches for 683 yards and five touchdowns.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 19, 2023
As our Jared Sapp noted in his Wednesday story about Rice, no one wants to see a situation where Buechele is throwing to the rookie wideout in a game that counts — unless the Chiefs have a 21-point lead during the back half of the fourth quarter!
That said, we’re in favor of anything that can help a rookie wideout get in sync with head coach Andy Reid’s playbook — and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who appears to have moved on from his late-season high-ankle sprain.
Mahomes, who noted he would test his ankle early in camp, showed no signs of caution or hesitation. DT Turk Wharton was spotted off to the side rehabbing his ACL. Wharton is on the PUP, moving slowly and steadily. We'll see where he's at when camp breaks in a month.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 19, 2023
Meanwhile, a UDFA wideout also impressed observers.
The other offensive standout on the day was undrafted WR Nikko Remigio, who — based on my looks — is someone who will be on the #Chiefs' practice squad should he make it through waivers. I counted five 7-on-7 catches, including two TDs (Patrick Mahomes, Blaine Gabbert).— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 19, 2023
Like in OTAs, these were workouts where offensive players held all the cards. But a couple of young defenders still made some plays.
On defense, seventh-round cornerback Nic Jones had a nice day. Jones broke up two passes: one from Mahomes and one from Buechele. Fourth-round defensive back Chamarri Conner had a PBU of QB Chris Oladokun.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 19, 2023
Best of all for the players... it wasn’t desperately hot on the first day.
It was a muggy day in the mid-70s for this practice, but the #Chiefs QBs and rookies should enjoy it. The temperature will jump up 10 ticks on Sunday and beyond into next week.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 19, 2023
Here's the complete list of the 32 players we watched today: https://t.co/yHJECECL5U
The rookies and quarterbacks get back to work on Thursday.