On Tuesday morning, the Kansas City Chiefs returned to the practice field at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph for the fourth full practice session of the team’s 2023 training camp.
It was a sunny, hotter day in St. Joseph. Temperatures were close to 90 when the session concluded. It was the second day that players were wearing shells; they will don full pads for the first time on Friday. A total of six players did not participate in practice — three of them missing a session for the first time.
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Arrowhead Pride editor-in-chief Pete Sweeney was there. He tweeted a number of observations that started with a lot of drops.
Noticed more drops than usual across the board for the #Chiefs throughout the workout. It's been a tough four days and with the heat, exhaustion may have been leading to a lack of focus. Skill players will look to settle in after a day off Thursday with pads ahead on Friday.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 26, 2023
It looks like it might finally be Time For Pads.
C Creed Humphrey: "I think everybody's really excited to get the pads on. It's a lot more fun playing football with pads for sure."— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 26, 2023
Humphrey added that Trey Smith was most excited for pads of anyone on the team last year.
"He gets to hit people when he has pads on."
We’re always ready for some Moore action.
First big play of practice came early on in 11-on-11, with WR Skyy Moore having to fully extend his arms deep down the middle of the field to rein in what was a good ball by QB Patrick Mahomes. The Mahomes-Moore connection seems to be getting better every day, big with Toney out.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 26, 2023
An unheralded defensive tackle made a big play at the line.
As the early 11-on-11 period continued, DT Matt Dickerson appeared to knock down a Blaine Gabbert pass at the line.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 26, 2023
Some other back-of-the-roster players also got some attention.
S Anthony Cook, who I have liked for the practice squad for a while now, came down with a bad ball thrown by QB Shane Buechele into simply too many defenders. CB Kahlef Hailassie, who is getting time with the second team, broke up a Gabbert pass.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 26, 2023
Next up was another run period. Here is the breakdown for the order of back and total carries:— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 26, 2023
First team: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (2), Jerick McKinnon (2), Deneric Prince (1)
Second team: Prince (1), Jerrion Ealy (1)
Third team: Ealy (3)
There weren’t a lot of surprises while the special teams were working.
During a special teams punt period, CBs Nazeeh Johnson and Joshua Williams were the first gunners to go followed by WR Justin Watson and CB Dicaprio Bootle.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 26, 2023
WR Richie James was the first punt returner followed by WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette.
There was another example of the team helping a player get back up on the horse.
As I have seen floating around, a nice sequence during 7-on-7 later where Mahomes targeted TE Jody Fortson back-to-back — first looked to be knocked away by Williams; next play was a drop. Mahomes went right back to him next time up for a score. WR Rashee Rice, James also scored.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 26, 2023
As always, there was action with the tight ends.
During the final 11-on-11 period, some important TE moments. S Justin Reid knocked a Mahomes ball away from Travis Kelce before Kelce rebounded to make a one-handed grab shortly after. Kelce's ability to turn-and-go is rubbing off on fellow TE Noah Gray.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 26, 2023
Earlier in the period, Gray caught a ball from Mahomes and showed off a bit of shiftiness we maybe haven't seen from him in previous seasons. Gray continues to be somebody I'm rather high on heading into 2023. Curious about the padded look Friday.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 26, 2023
The Justi(y)ns made their cases for the day.
I thought the Justi(y)ns made nice cases for advanced roles during 11-on-11 periods today in the case Toney misses reg. season time. Justyn Ross tracked in a beautiful pass down the right sideline from Mahomes, and Justin Watson brought in a tough 50-50 ball late in the look.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 26, 2023
More on the opportunity for both Rashee Rice and Justyn Ross from the words of Matt Nagy in today's notebook (also our post-practice chat, injury report, tweet and quote of the day and what's next): https://t.co/oxdPMxENmN— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 26, 2023
Mahomes' targets on the day: TE Matt Bushman, Edwards-Helaire, Fortson, Gray, James, Kelce, Moore, Prince, Rice, Ju. Ross, Valdes-Scantling and Watson— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 26, 2023
There will be no practice on Thursday. The team will have its next practice on Friday at 9:15 a.m. Arrowhead Time. As always, we will have live updates starting when practice begins. We expect that head coach Andy Reid will be among those speaking to the press after practice has concluded.