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Chiefs’ training camp observations from Sunday’s Day 7

Everything that went down during Kansas City’s seventh training camp practice in St. Joseph.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday morning, the Kansas City Chiefs took to the practice field at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph for the seventh full practice session of the team’s 2023 training camp — and the third consecutively in full pads.

With sunshine throughout — and following Saturday’s rain-shortened practice — the Chiefs practiced for two hours and 25 minutes. That’s longer than any other camp practice this season. The session included numerous full-speed team periods that left the starters drained. Eight players missed practice, but some returned to work. There were also two new players on the field, taking the places of two others who are now out for the season.

10 public practices remain — while one more will be open only to the team’s Season Ticket Members. Click here for details on how to get free tickets — and a full schedule.

Arrowhead Pride lead analyst Ron Kopp Jr. was there. He built up plenty of observations and takeaways over his two days watching this weekend’s practices. He shares them here.

State of the pass rush

With pads on, I got some good looks at the team’s projected top three pass rushers: defensive ends George Karlaftis, Charles Omenihu and Felix Anudike-Uzomah.

I highlighted Karlaftis on Saturday, pointing out some improvements I noticed in his outside rush. His dips around (and under) the hands of offensive tackles are looking smoother and more effective. If he can threaten tackles up the arc more often, it can leave them more susceptible to his primary move: a bull rush.

On Sunday, Anudike-Uzomah reminded me why I get so excited about a subtle, potential improvement in Karlaftis’ rush plan. While the second-year player needs to become a more dynamic rusher, the Kansas State rookie brings some of that to the table naturally.

In this 1-on-1 drill, the offensive tackle has no inside help — but you can still see Anudike-Uzomah’s fluidity as he turns the corner inside.

He wasn’t the only rookie defensive end who caught my attention.

This fifth-round draft pick also impressed me in the 1-on-1 pass-rushing drill, consistently winning around the outside with speed.

For the first time in a team period, I noticed Omenihu rush from an interior alignment.

This rep didn’t work out — but he did well in some other snaps on the outside.

On this snap, a move inside beat left tackle Donovan Smith for a pressure.

The free-agent signing has some work to do as an edge rusher — but he did generate pressure early in the first team period.

New offensive tackles

Omenihu’s lowkey showing off the edge, however, might be in part because the team’s new starting offensive tackles have looked so solid.

Right tackle Jawaan Taylor’s drop into his pass set is so quick, he is eliminating speed rushes — while also having the mass to swallow up attempts at countering with power.

Taylor also had a good play out in space as a run blocker.

The rookie offensive tackle also had a notable day — primarily because he was worked into the starting offense. That’s a sign that he might have a leg up on Lucas Niang for the swing-tackle role.

More playmakers emerging

With tight end Jody Fortson out of camp, another tight end has stepped up.

Bushman’s hands have been noticeably impressive.

Wide receiver Justyn Ross continued to succeed in the same ways we have seen throughout these practices: downfield throws to the sideline (or in tight windows) from quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Second tight end Noah Gray also continued to show why he could be a more legitimate piece of the passing attack this season.

Forgettable moments

Wide receiver Justin Watson joined Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore as the first group of receivers who were consistently in with the first-team offense...

...which gave him the opportunity to make two errors.

The second-year cornerback was picked on in a 7-on-7period, getting three or four targets in a row.

Another day, another scuffle. This time, a ball was thrown.

Other quick-hitters

Ross impressed me with this route — and then the undrafted free agent flew in and knocked a good pass away. Taylor’s ability to stick with Ross was noteworthy.

Second-year safety Bryan Cook’s toughness — and leadership by example — are not just talking points.

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