St. Joseph, Mo. – Romeo Crennel saw the way his players gingerly jogged to the post-walkthrough huddle. They’re sore, and after a series of heated practices they had reason to be.
But this the time of year that gets players from “in shape” to “game shape”. And Crennel said he won’t pull any punches with practices as his team gears up for its first preseason game.
“It seems to me like they’re sorer today than they have been all camp, and when you’re sore a little bit, sometimes you have a tendency not to push yourself as much,” said Crennel during his press conference on Friday. “I told them already that we’ll be pushing in the afternoon to make sure we can complete the things we need to get done.”
The Chiefs open their preseason schedule in just one week at home against the Arizona Cardinals. So the intensity of this week’s afternoon practice is scheduled to reflect what the team will do during game week –minus the permitted contact of the regular season.
The defensive backs and receivers worked together in physical press coverage drills. Cornerback
The intensity didn’t trail off in the team scrimmage. An airborne
But until they take the field at Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs won’t be tackling. Crennel wants his players to ratchet up the intensity of practice, but not at the expense of their health. And as always, the head coach reserves the right to pull any at-risk players during a hot or overly-physical practice.
For instance, the ACL-tear trio of
All the other players are expected to be physical without hitting, a rule that could end up working in the Chiefs’ favor. The Cardinals will come to Missouri Western State fresh off their first preseason game. The Chiefs, on the other hand, will be expected to pull back on potential hits for another week.
That week will end soon enough, though, and when it does, the Chiefs head coach expects his team to be ready for its first meaningful contact.
“I like the way they’re approaching at it,” Crennel said about his team. “The thing I reminded them is that in one week, we’ll be playing a preseason game. So they better make sure they make the best impression.”
Fullback Mix and Match
One unexpected player promoted to pave the way for Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis was
Eachus is just under six feet tall and just over 200 pounds, so he’s undersized for an NFL fullback. But the Chiefs aren’t looking for an ideal replacement – they just need some fresh blockers until they can evaluate DiMarco or until Bannon heals up.
Eachus found the end zone 53 times over four years as a Colgate Raider. On Thursday, he found the end zone again when he leapt over a defender to grab a touchdown pass from
“Fullback just comes naturally to me,” said Eachus. “I haven’t ran a lot of fullback in college, but I was a wrestler (in high school), and that toughness just comes naturally to me.”
Other emergency fullbacks included tight ends Tony Moeaki and Jake O’Connell, but not lineman-turned-tight-end
Those players will have an expanded role as backfield blockers in the short-term, but for the time being, Romeo Crennel said he is hesitant to convert any of those players into full time fullbacks.
“We like to have a fullback to be able to use, but it’s not a necessity with what we have,” said Crennel. “If you have tight ends that can get the job done, then you can put those guys in that fullback role. Generally, tight ends are tight ends and they’re not fullbacks, so you have to determine what your tight ends can do, what you can ask them to do and then what are their chances of being successful doing what you ask them to do.”
Take Five: Quick-Hitters from Friday’s Practice
1) The Chiefs announced today that they will hold a joint practice with the visiting Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday, August 7th at 3:15 p.m. The two teams will participate in multiple drills together on the practice fields at Missouri Western State University. Admission is $5 with children three and under free of charge.
2) Jamaal Charles continued where he left off from practice yesterday. On the first carry of red zone drills, he juked Houston as he cut to the sidelines, then dipped in front of Eric Berry in the front corner of the end zone for a score.
3) The hot streak for Charles and the running backs continued.
4) Rookie De’Quan Menzie had his best day of camp. The fifth-round safety from Alabama batted two passes, including a perfect diving tip to keep the ball away from receiver
5) Brandon Flowers (foot) was able to do some drills in the morning, but missed afternoon practice. Cornerback