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  • Thursday night tailgate
    by John Dixon on May 23, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    Welcome to Thursday night! An NFL.com story said Andy Reid is among most likely head coaches to win his first Super Bowl OTAs continued — and Pete filed his thoughts from the field Four players were absent from Thursday’s OTA session — but they all had excuses Here’s tonight’s poll: […]

  • Chiefs defense looks organized and energetic during Thursday OTAs
    by John Dixon on May 23, 2019 at 10:03 pm

    Head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes like what they are seeing from the defense so far While national analysts may be spending most of their time pondering what the Kansas City Chiefs offense will look like without Kareem Hunt (and possibly Tyreek Hill), most Chiefs fans are keeping their eyes on the defense under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who has to transition the Chiefs defense from the 3-4 scheme in which it has played for a full decade to the 4-3 Under scheme he prefers. It won’t be easy. But based on the comments from head coach Andy Reid after Thursday’s OTA session, things are moving along nicely. “You’re not going to get the full offense or the full defense, because you can’t have contact up front,” Reid explained when he was asked about what he saw from the defensive unit. “It’s not like training camp. But I will tell you it’s very well organized. For the time they’ve had together, there are not a lot of holes in their coverages. I’ve been impressed by that.” “I sure like the enthusiasm, intensity, energy — all those things I like right now.” — Andy Reid Reid said it helped that Spagnuolo has defensive assistants with whom he is familiar. “Some of that has to do with being able to bring in assistant coaches who have been with Spags,” he said. “So they were able to hit the ground running. I think that pays off at camp like this. And then their communication with the players — knowing the defense, being able to communicate it and teach it — I’ve been impressed with that. I like what I’m seeing on defense.” While Reid explained that the team is only three days in to a short session of practices, there was one thing he saw that he really liked. “I sure like the enthusiasm, intensity, energy — all those things I like right now.” Across the field from the defense, quarterback Patrick Mahomes liked what he saw, too. “They’re getting after it, for sure,” Mahomes said. “First off, they’re doing a lot of different things and it’s hard to get a kind of a read on them. So it’s definitely challenging to the offense — especially the quarterback position — to kind of see what coverages they’re in.” Mahomes said the defense was making things more difficult for him — but he thinks that’s a positive. “I think it’s very helpful [that] they’re doing so many different coverages — so many different schemes, one-high, two-high,” he said. “Everything that they’re doing is really challenging me and it’s making me not necessarily have my first read every time. Every single time I have to adjust on the fly.” Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images Mahomes said that new Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark was making his life difficult, too. “First off, other than just being extremely athletic and a heck of a pass rusher, he’s extremely smart,” he said of Clark. “It’s good to see that. When we’re on the field, he’s taking away some of my hot throws and some of my adjustments because he’s just playing football. Those guys are the ones that are really special. I think today I tried to throw a hot to Anthony Sherman and he just peeled off on it and made me throw the ball away. When you have guys who are that talented — and also smart like that — those are guys who are really special players.” Mahomes said the Chiefs offense is now deeply into competition with the defense. “You saw that back and forth battle,” he told the media on Thursday. “Every single practice it seems like we’ll get some good plays here, and then they’ll get some good plays there. So when you have that competition, that’s when you know you have a good team.” Reid said that new safety Tyrann Mathieu has also made an impression on him. “He’s kind of fun to be around,” Reid said. “He’s business. He shares that with the guys around him. He has those instincts. You can’t teach that part. He had it in college and he’s had it in the NFL. He works hard every snap. And that’s infectious. That — along with Frank Clark — going 100 miles an hour every snap. That kind of stuff is contagious.” Photo by Larry French/Getty Images New linebackers coach Matt House is adding to that — at least according to brand-new linebacker Darron Lee. “He’s great,” Lee said of House. “Fiery. Energetic. I love the way he coaches. He pushes you every single day — helps you in the meeting room, but definitely pushes you out there on the field.” Lee — who had to learn a new scheme when the New York Jets drafted him in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft — acknowledged that there is a lot to do. “Learning the defense is not something easy that can be learned overnight,” he explained. “So obviously there are going to be learning curves; everybody’s different. But I know that the energy in the defense — from what I’ve seen the last few days — everyone’s excited. But everyone’s patient. That’s what you like to see out of a group of guys.&rdquo […]

  • Observations and notes from day three of Chiefs OTAs
    by Pete Sweeney on May 23, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    Thursday marked the first OTA session in which the media was invited to practice. Thursday marked the first open media session of Kansas City Chiefs offseason training activities (OTAs). It was day three for the Chiefs. If you use the Twitter machine, you can follow me here. Here is what stood out to me from watching practice and speaking to Andy Reid and some of the Chiefs players: The four big names to know that were held out of #Chiefs practice: OL Cam Erving (shoulder surgery), TE Travis Kelce (ankle surgery), DL Chris Jones (presumed contract reasons) and LB Anthony Hitchens (baby).— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 I asked Andy Reid about Kelce's progress: "He's doing good, yeah. He's champing at the bit out here. He stands right behind you, watching everybody. He's doing good." I think the #Chiefs like Blake Bell and Deon Yelder for No. 2, but don't sleep on former QB John Lovett.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 The difference between Bob Sutton and new DC Steve Spagnuolo is so recognizable. I took this video of Spags with Damien Wilson. See how he's right in the mix, teaching hands on? Such a stark difference from Sutton. pic.twitter.com/vJeKkaPDH0— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 That energy extends down the line in his coaching staff. I asked Darron Lee about LBs coach Matt House: "Great. Fiery, energetic. I love the way he coaches. He pushes you every single day. Helps you for sure in the meeting room, but definitely pushes you out there on the field."— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 Frank Clark on DL coach Brendan Daly: "I love it. I love him as a coach. He's a great coach. Can speak about the Super Bowl rings, I get lost in counting. He's a coach that definitely knows what he's talking about and knows what he's doing."— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 People may be saying WR Sammy Watkins "looks incredible" but to me, he looked the same as last year -- and that's good enough. Explosive, making tough catches, but nothing different.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 I did ask Watkins about how he is viewing 2019 and he said he wants to be more of a leader. "I think that's kind of my role now -- lead and do all the right things so the young guys can look up to me and see that this guy does everything right. Finish the reps, uplift everyone."— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 Andrew Wylie has switched from RG to LG on the first-team offensive line. I asked Andy Reid about why he's confident in the reigning #Chiefs rookie of the year.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 Reid: "[Wylie] is one of the better athletes we have up front there... I don't think people know that. He's a good athlete. He gets out there, and he runs...[He's] able to lock on people, glue on to people in the screen game...I don't think that's a huge adjustment for him."— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 One thing that Andy Reid emphasized this offseason was making sure to provide MVP QB Patrick Mahomes cut-ups so that he could improve. I asked both Reid and Mahomes how that process has gone and is going.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 Reid: "Going through all the cut-ups has been great. One thing about him is he's real about himself, and he wants to be great, so you have to be able to do that. You got to be able to look at it in a humble manner, take it all in and correct it and he's on a mission to do that."— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 Mahomes: "I learned there's a ton I still need to improve on. There really is. I made a lot of plays happen off-script this year, but there were times I tried to make those plays happen instead of just taking the easy completion for a first down." Added the film opened his eyes.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 Mahomes, for what it's worth, was in midseason form when it came to mixing in different receivers. It didn't matter if your name was Sammy Watkins, Damien Williams or Gehrig Dieter. Like last year, Mahomes finds whoever is open.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 I think safety Daniel Sorensen will get the veteran's opportunity to keep his job, but Juan Thornhill will very much be in the mix this training camp.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 This has been obvious from quotes, but Thursday further affirmed my belief the #Chiefs like WR Mecole Hardman as a returner this year. If he wins that job, I wonder what happens to Tremon Smith. A lot of options at CB. There will be many Chiefs cuts who find homes this year.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 Clark: "Gotta go at it...I got to go at his O-linemen, so he can get on them and he got to go at our defense so I can get on them. I feel like once we get that type of mentality in our locker room -- the competition based feel -- I feel like that's when we going to grow."— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) May 23, 2019 […]

  • Andy Reid answers sharply when asked about Chris Jones’ OTAs absence
    by Pete Sweeney on May 23, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    Jones was not in attendance for day three of OTAs, the first day open to the media. Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones was among the team’s absentees on day three of offseason training activities (OTAs) Thursday. This was fully expected, as earlier this week, we shared the report from friend-of-the-site Terez Paylor of Yahoo! Sports. It appears (via trusty ol’ Instagram) that Jones is instead working out in Miami. #Chiefs DL Chris Jones may not be in Kansas City at OTAs, but that isn't stopping him from working out.via dboll55 | marcmegna (IG) pic.twitter.com/dpmdgRe6e2— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) May 22, 2019 Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was asked about the dialogue between him and Jones after his absence on Thursday. “I don’t know that—I don’t know how they’re talking to him,” he said initially. “Oh, you’re talking about me? I haven’t talked to him... we don’t get into that (Jones’ attendance). We just go. You’re here, you get better. You’re not, you don’t.” Andy Reid on Chris Jones, who is not present at OTA's. pic.twitter.com/Z7vakWAu0p— TOM MARTIN ™️ (@TomKCTV5) May 23, 2019 This answer should be expected from Reid, who has historically avoided commenting on missing players, but the sentiment was clear—obviously, he’d rather Jones be with the team. As a reminder, OTAs are voluntary, though players historically use attendance (or lack thereof) as a method of pushing along contract talks. We’ve noted before that Jones is due to make a $1.19 million base salary in 2019, according to Over the Cap. He projects to make somewhere between $18 million and $22 million a year under a new contract. I wouldn’t expect to see Jones at all during OTAs. Things will get more interesting June 11, which is the first day of the Chiefs’ mandatory minicamp. Jones had 15.5 sacks, 29 quarterback hits, 40 tackles (35 solo), five passes defensed, two forced fumbles and one interception for a touchdown in 2018. […]

  • Erving, Hitchens, Kelce and Jones absent from Thursday’s Chiefs OTA session
    by John Dixon on May 23, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    The media was allowed to watch the Thursday session and kept tabs on the players who participated The media was allowed to watch the Kansas City Chiefs OTA session on Thursday, which gives us some insight into the players who are not practicing at this point in the offseason program. According to head coach Andy Reid, linebacker Anthony Hitchens did not participate in OTAs on Thursday. He had an excuse: he and his wife just had a baby. Reid also said offensive lineman Cam Erving did not participate in Thursday’s session because Erving underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason. Another player who had offseason surgery — tight end Travis Kelce — wasn’t immediately in evidence, according to a tweet from Kansas City Star Chiefs beat reporter Brooke Pryor. As expected, Chris Jones and Travis Kelce aren’t at voluntary OTAs. Kelce had off-season ankle surgery.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) May 23, 2019 But Kelce was on the premises. Later, Pryor tweeted that she had spotted Kelce walking out of the building in shorts and a sweatshirt, wearing a hat. As we told you in March, Kelce’s ankle surgery — described as a “cleanup” — would likely keep him out of OTAs. At the time, we were told that he should be ready for training camp. The last time Kelce spoke to the media in mid-April, he wasn’t sure of the timetable for his full return. ”I have no idea what the time frame is,” he said. “I’m just taking it week by week.” As expected, defensive tackle Chris Jones did not participate in Thursday’s session. Jones is in the midst of negotiating a new contract with the Chiefs. It’s not at all unusual for players in Jones’ situation to avoid voluntary activities like OTAs. […]

 

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