From the Truman Sports Complex
The defense again held the upper hand in the Chiefs 10th practice session of the off-season Monday morning at the team’s facility.
It was late last week in the OTAs that the defense started to make some plays and that continued in the 90 minutes of work that went down to start the week. Romeo Crennel’s unit had a pair of interceptions, with CB Travis Daniels and FS Kendrick Lewis grabbing the passes.
Overall in the 7-on-7 passing drill and team work portions of the practice, Chiefs passers were a combined 15 of 30 attempts with the two picks. Defensive backs were breaking up passes all through the session.
“We had been making good progress as a group in the passing game until today,” said head coach Todd Haley. “We hit a little bit of a rough patch so to speak, so it will be good to see how they bounce back tomorrow.”
Under cloudy skies, the Chiefs had 85 of their 87 players on the field. Taking part was newly signed TE Cody Slate, who was wearing No. 80. Missing were a pair of safeties: Jarrad Page and DaJuan Morgan. Page has missed all of the off-season work as an unsigned restricted free agent. Haley said Morgan was absent due to a personal issue.
The session was the first of eight practices the Chiefs will have in the next seven days. They’ll have OTA sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then on Friday kick off a three-day, five-practice mini-camp that will run through Sunday.
“This will be a concentrated week for us,” said Haley. “It will somewhat simulate training camp, especially on the weekend with the two practices on Friday and Saturday. It’s a big week for us.”
Observations from OTA #10:
- Fifth-round draft choice Kendrick Lewis was running with the No. 1 offense, replacing Jon McGraw and working next to fellow rookie Eric Berry. Again, it’s too early in the process to say there was anything definitive in the move and whether it was a reward or just a coaching shuffle of the roster. Lewis looked very much at home back there with Berry and grabbed an INT and knocked down another pass.
- Derrick Johnson and Jovan Belcher continued to run with the first-team defense.
- Here’s the No. 1 defense for this week: Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson at DE, Ron Edwards at NT, Mike Vrabel and Tamba Hali at OLB, Johnson and Belcher at ILB, Maurice Leggett and Brandon Carr at CB and Lewis and Berry.
- When the No. 1 defense went to the nickel, Jackson and Edwards come out and DE Wallace Gilberry and rookie CB Javier Arenas come in. On Monday they showed their dime defense for the first time, with Belcher coming off and CB Travis Daniels coming onto the field.
- Offensively, the Chiefs worked a bit on their no-huddle “Red Ball” offense to mixed results. QB Matt Cassel was 3 of 5 throwing the ball, including a nice hookup with WR Dwayne Bowe. The first play in that segment was an incompletion when Vrabel did not buy a fake and knocked the pass down.
- QB Brody Croyle did not take part in the session, although he did do some light throwing on the sidelines. It was 10 days ago that he bounced his right hand off a helmet as he followed through on a pass. On Monday, southpaw Tyler Palko seemed to be the No. 2 QB ahead of Matt Gutierrez.
- Returning to practice for the first time since the rookie mini-camp was TE Tony Moeaki.
- Besides Croyle those not practicing were RB Jamaal Charles (shoulder), CB Brandon Flowers (shoulder), TE Brad Cottam (neck), WR Quinten Lawrence (shoulder), WR Lance Long (hamstring), and WR David Grimes (hamstring).
- Dexter McCluster was working with the wide receivers.
- On special teams, the Chiefs worked on punt protection and coverage. The No. 1 punt team lined up with Donald Washington and Maurice Leggett as the flyers, Jon McGraw as the personal protector and then across the front from left to right it was Jackie Battle, Andy Studebacker, Jovan Belcher, Thomas Gafford, David Herron, Corey Mays and Tim Castille.