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Training camp notebook: Chiefs’ assistant GM talks wide receivers, outlines next 14 days

Mike Borgonzi joined the media to discuss the evaluation process and shared thoughts on Kadarius Toney’s timeline and the wide receiver room as a whole.

Syndication: Arizona Republic Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Kansas City Chiefs have reached the final days of their training camp at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, which means the highly-anticipated 53-man roster deadline is only two weeks away.

With that in mind, general manager Brett Veach, assistant manager Mike Borgonzi and the rest of the personnel staff are already in the process of evaluating the rest of the league’s talent. Just as one of Kansas City’s bubble players may be capturing the attention of other clubs around the league, Veach’s staff is doing its due diligence to ensure it is prepared for moving day.

“Every scout’s assigned a team,” explained Borgonzi. “We evaluate our roster and see where we might [need to] upgrade on the [53-man roster] or practice squad. These guys will go through a process of identifying these players and bringing them to [Brett] Veach or myself, (senior director of player personnel) Mike Bradway, and then we go through the process the next couple of weeks of just evaluating.

“It’s almost like a draft board. These guys get spit onto an electric board, and it’s a ranking. We start to rank them, guys that we might want to claim, trade for, practice-squad transactions heading into the season. We’ve had this formula here for the last 10 years, and it’s worked out... As soon as we start to identify players, we’ll have our pro department — and we reach out to teams that we have relationships with to try to figure out what they might need, what they have in surplus. So some of those conversations are starting now.”

Kansas City still has two weeks of preseason football to ensure their reports on each player across the league are up to date. That way, if (or when) a particular player does become available, the staff is ready to weigh his talent up against its own.

At wide receiver, the in-house competition is steep. A perfect example is that even with undrafted wide receiver Nikko Remigio’s strong 71-yard outing against the New Orleans Saints, it is hard to fit him into a roster — even if you’re keeping seven receivers.

“I think the competition has been great with all those guys,” said Borgonzi. “There’s some young guys trying to figure out their way, trying to figure out the system. There’s a ton of volume that gets thrown at these guys throughout training camp, and the goal is to get down the playbook and then play fast.

“Guys like Skyy [Moore] in his second year, I think you see him out here playing a lot faster. Guys like Rashee [Rice], he’s working through it, and he made a couple plays here in the preseason game, so that’s what we try to do. We try to stack these days with these young guys to build some confidence in the group.”

Considering Kadarius Toney's uncertainty, the team’s need for wide receiver production is significant. Once billed to be Kansas City’s top receiver for Week 1, Toney suffered a partially torn meniscus minutes into training camp.

It was an injury that required surgery.

“We’ll just see how he is health-wise,” said Borgonzi. “Rick will get with him and coach and see where he is health-wise. We want to make sure he’s 100%. We want to make sure he’s there for the games and we know what he brings to the table — it’s his playmaking ability, so we’re not going to rush it. I don’t think we have any expectations right now. We’re just going to take it day by day and see how he is.”


You can find my complete observations from Wednesday’s practice here.

Post-practice chat and press conferences

If you can’t see the above (Apple iTunes) embed, click here. The press conference is also available on Spotify.

Injury report

  • Did not practice (due to injury): CB Nic Jones (hand injured on 8/13), WR Nikko Remigio (shoulder injured on 8/15), CB L’Jarius Sneed (knee swelling on 7/31), WR Kadarius Toney (knee injured on 7/23), DT Turk Wharton (knee flare-up 8/11)
  • Limited: RB Isiah Pacheco (hand, labrum)
  • Returned to practice: Justyn Ross (knee/hamstring), WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette (groin)

Tweet of the day

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

Tweet approved for Nate’s appropriate use of the word, “kerfuffle.”

Quote of the day

Chiefs defensive line coach Joe Cullen on missing Chris Jones at training camp: “I do stay in touch with Chris; I was expecting a million questions on Chris. Chris is working hard, and we’ll welcome him with open arms when he gets back here.”

What’s next?

The Chiefs return to the field on Thursday morning for their 19th and final full-team training camp practice. The workout begins at 8:15 a.m. Arrowhead Time. Head coach Andy Reid will address the media following the practice. The club travels to Arizona on Friday and plays the Cardinals on Saturday at 7 p.m. Arrowhead Time.

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