On Saturday morning, the Kansas City Chiefs took to the practice field at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph for the 12th full practice session of the team’s 2023 training camp.
The team preceded their Sunday’s off-day with a lighter 10-10-10 session with players in shorts. In these kinds of practices, each starting unit goes against the opposing side’s backups, looking for flawless execution. After each top unit runs 10 plays, there is 10 minutes of special teams work. Then the process is repeated.
Six 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. tweeted out some of his observations — and now elaborates on them:
While the starting defense walks through plays, Boye-Doe is working as an outside CB— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) August 5, 2023
Jaylen Watson is on the other end of the field, reppin’ with the 2s/3s #Chiefs
Following Pete Sweeney’s observations from Friday’s practice, I noted undrafted free agent Ekow Boye-Doe was once again working in with the first team, pairing with Joshua Williams on the perimeter while Trent McDuffie manned the slot.
Cornerback Jaylen Watson — who was excused from Friday’s practice for personal reasons — worked primarily with the second team in these periods; I think he just drew the short straw, sacrificing first-team time so the coaching staff could get a strong look at Boye-Doe.
Starting #Chiefs defense walking through Dime personnel— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) August 5, 2023
Nick Bolton is running as the MIKE while Tranquill’s running elsewhere w/ the 2s/3s
Those 2 may switch out there situationally; Drue was running in that spot earlier in camp
#Chiefs’ starting D comes out in Dime personnel: 3 DL and 2 LBs— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) August 5, 2023
Karlaftis, Herring and FAU are the down linemen. Bolton and Gay the LBs
Joshua Williams gets a pick 2 plays in
Believe I just saw the #Chiefs’ defense w/ only 2 down linemen for a play. Willie threatened the A-gap from off-ball, but it was a 2-2-7 set— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) August 5, 2023
I noted defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo working on some creative personnel packages on passing downs.
Traditionally, Spagnuolo’s dime defense deploys four defensive linemen, one linebacker and six defensive backs. Last year, he occasionally sprinkled in looks with just three linemen. On Saturday, it appeared that this was the package from which the defense worked most often.
The lineman coming off the field would typically be replaced by linebacker Willie Gay Jr., pairing with linebacker Nick Bolton. However, the defense did show a look with Bolton surrounded by seven defensive backs — traditionally referred to as “quarter” personnel. Eight defensive backs would be referred to as “dollar.”
Could this be look meant to help the pass rush early in the season — countering any rust from Jones’ holdout and the six-game suspension of defensive lineman Charles Omenihu?
Team period, 1s against the 3rd string defense— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) August 5, 2023
12 personnel with Gray and Bushman. PA over route to Bushman, ball out in front but no problem for 49, who grabs it in stride for big completion
Tight end Matt Bushman continued to work in seamlessly with the starting offense.
Wanya Morris works in at RT for a play with the starters #Chiefs— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) August 5, 2023
It appears the rookie Morris is still a clear leader for the swing-tackle role. Reserve lineman Nick Allegretti also worked in on individual plays, both at center (in Creed Humphrey’s place) and at right guard (for Trey Smith).
Starting offense ends w/ play action that sets up Rashee Rice to leak out vertically on the backside, wide open TD #Chiefs— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) August 5, 2023
Rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice continued to show why his versatility could help him immediately contribute to the offense.
1st play of the starting D’s session is a really sneaky play by Justin Reid. Read the sit route from the slot and just jumped it #Chiefs— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) August 5, 2023
**against the backup offense**
Against the backup offense, safety Justin Reid came down around the box, read a quick throw to the slot, jumped the pass and intercepted it. Now that he is comfortable in the system, this is just the kind of instinctual play Reid believes he will make more often.
Rookie defensive tackle Keondre Coburn projects to help at the team’s nose-tackle position. But in some second-team snaps on Saturday, he lined up in the B-gap — indicating he could be more versatile than I initially thought.
One of the only incompletions for quarterback Patrick Mahomes appeared to be a missed communication between himself and wide receiver Richie James; the wideout’s route went much flatter to the sideline than Mahomes’ pass did. One of them misunderstood what was supposed to happen.
At least on Saturday, wide receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Justyn Ross were the only wideouts the team wasn’t using for pre-snap motions. Throughout the day, Justin Watson, Skyy Moore, Rashee Rice, and Richie James were all used in that that way.
One interesting highlight I noticed was third-team quarterback Shane Buechele scrambling right to attempt a deep pass back across the field to wide receiver Nikko Remigio — who dove to the ground and secured it against the starting defense.
There will be no practice on Sunday. The next one will be Monday at 9:15 a.m. Arrowhead Time. As always, we will have live updates after practice begins.