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3 observations from Tuesday’s training camp practice

Tuesday was Kansas City’s 14th practice of the 2023 training camp.

Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

With the Kansas City Chiefs’ preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints just days away, the team’s 14th training camp practice was up-tempo — and featured one of head coach Andy Reid’s famous long-drive drills, in which the offense goes down the field five yards at a time.

Here are three of my observations from Tuesday’s practice.

1. Wanya Morris looks like the third tackle

Kansas City’s third-round rookie offensive lineman has consistently been mixing in at both left and right tackle. On Tuesday, he took reps with both the first and second-team offensive units on both sides of the line. While Morris has appeared to have the inside track to become the team’s swing tackle for 2023, lackluster performances from both Lucas Niang and Prince Tega Wanogho helped Morris stand out even more on Tuesday. If starting tackles Jawaan Taylor or Donovan Smith miss time due to injury, expect Morris to step in.

2. The Chiefs have safety depth

Throughout the offseason, veteran safety Justin Reid has expressed growing confidence in the defense — and particularly in the scheme knowledge and leadership of safety Bryan Cook. The second-year safety stood out again during Tuesday’s practice, making a nice play to break up a pass to Travis Kelce in the end zone. Cook continues to pop athletically in coverage.

While Cook had a nice day, it’s clear that Mike Edwards is the third safety. He was frequently on the field with the first team in its three-safety looks. The second-team unit featured Edwards and fourth-round rookie Chamarri Connor playing in tandem.

All four players will have an impact on defense and special teams — and that’s not including Deon Bush, who was among the team’s leaders in special teams snaps last season. The safety depth is one of the roster’s strengths.

3. The current wide receiver hierarchy

There are always lots of eyes on rookie Rashee Rice and undrafted free agent Justyn Ross. Rice had a nice day with some after-the-catch runs — and a long touchdown reception from quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Ross, however, had a quiet practice that featured smaller catches for minimal gain; there were no eye-popping highlights.

Skyy Moore had a nice day with several catches over the middle — including one for a would-be touchdown.

During the long-drive drill, it was clear that Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Justin Watson and Moore were the predominant wide receivers with the first-team offense — although Rice and Ross mixed in as well. So with Kadarius Toney’s health up in the air for Week 1’s game, expect a healthy dose of Valdez-Scantling, Moore and Watson.

Other notes

With Clyde Edwards-Helaire out sick for the day, Deneric Prince saw a large chunk of the running back snaps. While Isiah Pacheco was still limited by his injury designation, he had some nice plays as a downfield route-runner. Pacheco reeled in a couple of over-the-shoulder catches, which is something he hasn’t really shown before.

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