OTA Update 5/22

From the Truman Sports Complex

“There were  some encouraging signs.”

That was Todd Haley’s assessment of his team’s first week of OTA practices that ended on Friday with a 90-minute workout in the muggy outdoors.

There were 81 players on the field for the workout, with 74 participating.  Joining G Brian Waters, LB Mike Vrabel and CB Donald Washington among the  missing were DE Tamba Hali and RB Larry Johnson.  Haley would not comment on any of the missing, other than to say none were a surprise.  Washington is unable to attend due to NFL regulations.

Haley did comment briefly on Vrabel, who has not been part any activities with the Chiefs since he came over in the trade with New England.

“Mike  is excited to get here and I’m excited to see  him in action and see where he’s at,” said Haley. “We’ve been giving him the information, he’s been working, calling and checking in.  When he gets here, we’ll  know where we stand.”

The head coach also spoke about L.J. and what he saw from the veteran running back during the first three OTA sessions this week.

“He’s made some runs in the last practices that I thought were pretty special,” Haley said.  “I was very encouraged by a couple of those.  A couple of those flashed at me and the coaches, where you say ‘Woo, that was pretty good!’ 

“If Larry continues to work, and stay on point, and do the things asked of him, he definitely has a chance to help us.”

On the field, but not practicing as they rehabbed from injury were Glenn Dorsey, Tank Tyler, Turk McBride, Brian Johnston and Maurice Leggett on defense, with Brodie Croyle, Kolby Smith and Tony Davis on offense.

What was encouraging for Haley was his team’s continued hard work and willingness to do things as the coaching staff has laid out

“The tempo of our practice picked up considerably, even today when it was fairly hot,” said Haley. “We ran each day after the OTAs and that got better and better as the week went on.  I think it’s just about letting them know what we expect, them understanding that and there being not a lot of inbetween area.

“There was more scheme put in on both sides and guys seemed to figure it out a little better as the week went on.”

Some observations from the workout:

– With Hali gone, Andy Studebaker stepped into the OLB spot on the weakside with the first team defense.

– With L.J. out of the action, Jamaal Charles ran with the first team offense.

– Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast has put in a lot of defense this week, as the Chiefs worked on the dime defense during their walkthrough and the nickel in most of the team sessions.   Even in its most basic form it’s obvious that everyone needs to quit trying to put this defense into a 3-4 hole or 4-3 hole.  It’s  going to be a lot of things, and it’s going to change from game to game, heck from down to down based on what they showed on Thursday.  One defensive set in the dime had six defensive backs and five guys standing at the line of scrimmage.

– Draft choice WR Quinten Lawrence finally showed a flash of his speed, catching a nice ball on a long pass from QB Ingle Martin.  Lawrence ran fast smooth.

– On the very next play, QB Matt Cassel tried to hook up on a similar play with WR Dwayne Bowe, but the play was covered perfectly by CB Brandon Carr.  The difference in speed between Bowe and Lawrence was striking.

– The team finished practice with a punt catching contest involving the offensive and defensive lines.  On the line was the number of gasers the two units had to run after practice.  The offensive line grabbed the victory. “Our defensive line doesn’t have good hands,” Haley said with a smile.

22 Responses to “OTA Update 5/22”

  • May 22, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    “and Tony Davis on offense.”

    - reiterating Bob G, I loved Tony in ‘The Great Houdini’ but to escape his own cognomen?

    When Brian Waters et al the rest of the MIA’s show up, will Haley be standing behind if not wrapped in yellow police tape marked “do not cross?”(precurser several 300 yard gassers?)

  • May 22, 2009  - Markc says:

    – Draft choice WR Quinten Lawrence finally showed a flash of his speed, catching a nice ball on a long pass from QB Ingle Martin. Lawrence ran fast smooth.

    – On the very next play, QB Matt Cassel tried to hook up on a similar play with WR Dwayne Bowe, but the play was covered perfectly by CB Brandon Carr. The difference in speed between Bowe and Lawrence was striking.

    You gotta like the sound of that

  • May 22, 2009  - Rip 'em a new one says:

    Quoting the poet, Robert Frost:

    “The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.”

    Pardon the dramatic opening but the above passage seems most apt for the Haley/Pioli team in attempting to turn this team around with so many issues and problems yet to be resolved.

    Getting all these loose pieces in place to forge the semblance of a cohesive unit and viable team is already looking to be monumental. If they do it, no one can say they were overpaid.

  • May 22, 2009  - anonymous says:

    Love it!

    It’s all about creating an atmosphere of competition and a spirit of unit cohesion.

    A Tried and True approach.

  • May 22, 2009  - SG says:

    “It’s going to be a lot of things, and it’s going to change from game to game, heck from down to down based on what they showed on Thursday.”

    Are the players going to be so busy thinking that they won’t simply make plays?

  • May 22, 2009  - SG says:

    “If they do it, no one can say they were overpaid.”

    Compare their salaries to that of police officers, fire and rescue, and school teachers. THEY ARE OVERPAID.

  • May 22, 2009  - jimbo says:

    Preparing for the 2009 season is obviously going to be a challenge to the “Boys of Summer”.
    I suspect the WR position will be the most interesting as the players involved continue to develop. I noticed last year that Dwayne Bowe caught more difficult passes that most others probably could not & simply dropped the “in your numbers” passes that grade schoolers could catch. I assume that it is all mental for him and quality coaching will help. If that is the case, I surmise a breakout year for him. His after the catch skills are over the top. He has the talent to be a pro bowler. We shall see.
    I was probably more impressed with Mark Bradley. The guy seemed to be open often enough last year and consistently caught the ball when it was practical to catch. He stepped right in last year with little Chiefs experience. If he stays healthy, I see a solid # 2 receiver. Ingram can be counted on as needed, whenever needed. The Lawrence kid could be the sideline speedster all teams would love to have. Assuming Cassel gets protection for the long ball, this kid could rock Arrowhead in 2009.
    I know I am a dreamer, but a practical one at that. Anybody else want to share their thoughts on the WR spotlight?

  • May 22, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Where have you gone ‘Gamebreaker’, Otis Taylor? Only, unto memory.


  • May 22, 2009  - anonymous says:

    I think if the Chiefs try to throw the ball as often as they did last season, it’s going to be a long one.

    The Chiefs best bet is to have an effective run game, in hopes of opening things up in the passing game a bit.

  • May 22, 2009  - SG says:

    “I know I am a dreamer…”

    You’re right…you are…

  • May 22, 2009  - Blake says:

    I watched some video on Lawrence and he seems like he doesnt want to be hit, he ran out of bounds on all of the kickoffs they showed and never wanted to be hit. Bradley dropped like the first 3 passes in one of the games and he could have helped us win if he didnt drop them but I still like him as a receiver. Hopefully since Darling was the starting WR he can get open when they go to some 4 WR sets, hopefully.

  • May 22, 2009  - jimbo says:

    SG… I’m here to reassure you that not everything in life is easy. Nor as cut & dry as you so eloquently display.
    Belief that you can excel at anything, with alot of work, passion and the desire to be the best. The American Dream is always attainable. Even in the NFL…

  • May 22, 2009  - anonymous says:

    I too appreciate a guy who is willing to sell out on every play, but there are several guys that are in or, have been through the league that avoided contact and are or have been very effective. Moss comes to mind as a current star that is pretty quick to step out if he can avoid the hit. But some times, fear exposes the true speed of a player.

    What really disgust me is when a receiver starts short arming passes, that to me is chicken S*&t!

  • May 22, 2009  - Scott says:

    Sometimes it’s better for the WR’s to step out of bounds to avoid being leveled…and live to play the next play. Is that extra yard or two worth getting killed? You have to remember, WR’s are usually the smallest (weight-wise) guys on the field. They get hit enough going up for balls…coming across the middle…etc. They are in a vulnerable position a lot of times. Most of the killer hits you see are on WR’s. (Remember Boldin last year?) So, I couldn’t blame a guy for running out of bounds once in awhile. But, there IS a difference between being smart about it…and just being a pussy.

  • May 22, 2009  - Kevin B says:

    Anonymous, you have to have an offensive line to have a running game. Johnson’s production drop could be attributed to having arguably the worst o-line in football last year. The Chiefs tried to run early in the year last year remember. Johnson up the middle for 1 yard. Johnson up the middle for one yard. Croyle back to pass….Crunch!. Then our star would come onto the field and kick the ball….hence the dawning of the spread.

  • May 22, 2009  - alex k says:

    love the update on lawrence, I am not one to get super excited on picks, outside tyson jackson, but

    this lawrence kid can fly….like chris johnson speed

  • May 22, 2009  - alex k says:

    agreed, stepping out of bounds wouldve been a good idea of reche caldwell, he fumbled anytime he tried to advance the football…

    I see our recievers, unless a move is made, as follows


  • May 22, 2009  - Scott says:

    alex k says:

    “I see our recievers, unless a move is made, as follows


    And that could…COULD be decent enough. For now. Depending on several various other factors. Which would be…our O-line play, our running game, etc. If it comes down to us having to pass too much…which I’m afraid it just might…then we could be in trouble. We just don’t have the guys to get it done, if we have to pass all the time…and everyone KNOWS it. That might have been okay for Arizona last year, with Fitz & Boldin…but it won’t work for us. If we can’t get a running game going this year…we’re dead. D-E-A-D…dead. And having (basically) only LJ and Charles for a running game (as it stands right now), really scares the crap outta’ me. Of all of our needs…I still think RB, for depth if nothing else, is at the top of the list. If we can’t get a running game going…it’s going to be a long year.

  • May 22, 2009  - extrametal says:

    scott, gotta have an o-line before RBs to get your running game going. unless you’re looking to pick up barry sanders, who i’m not sure could run behind this line. sackintosh has been done since we signed him, and waters is about outta time. don’t get me started on niswanger. O-line depth is by far our worst problem on offense.

  • May 22, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    Man, I’m an idiot!

  • May 22, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

    (Cue Elton John paraphrase, addressee ^ above)

    “Green eyes, fake Rin’s got, green eyes…

  • May 22, 2009  - Rin Tin Tin says:

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