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Heartland Health Practice Report: 8/8/11

Posted Aug 8, 2011

Moeaki lifted off PUP, Friday night lights and camp's heaviest day of competition

ST. JOSEPH, MO – The Chiefs removed TE Tony Moeaki from the Physically-Unable-To-Perform (PUP) list Monday morning, enabling the second-year pro to take part in on-field workouts for the first time this training camp. Moeaki made his debut during the Chiefs morning walkthrough before putting on pads for the afternoon session.

After missing nine practices and seven walkthroughs, Moeaki had been the only member of Kansas City’s 85-man roster yet to practice.

“It’s not the ideal situation, but you can only control what you control,” Moeaki said. “I was out there today and that’s much better than not being out there. That’s what I’m looking for.”

Moeaki was initially placed on PUP July 28th with an undisclosed injury that was never thought to be serious. At the time, Haley described the move as one of “prudence.” Moeaki’s movements had been encouraging while rehabilitating with the Chiefs strength and conditioning staff.

“I wasn’t just sitting around while practices were going on,” Moeaki said. “I was getting in a lot of work off of the field.”

Moeaki missed one game in 2010 after suffering a concussion at Denver (11/14), but was Kansas City’s primary receiving target at the position when active. He started all 15 games he played in and set a Chiefs rookie record for receptions by a tight end with 47 catches for 556 yards.

The Chiefs had five tight ends working on Monday afternoon with Moeaki receiving limited reps in 11-v-11 work. Leonard Pope took the majority of first-team reps.

More importantly, Moeaki felt that his body responded well to his first day back.

“This has been a little different deal for us and as we try to get everybody up to a similar level of participation,” Head Coach Todd Haley said. “Now you have a guy that we have to try to acclimate in and get him caught up as quickly as we possibly can without rushing it too fast.”

Friday Night Lights

Todd Haley has yet to decide how long he’ll play his starters Friday night in Kansas City’s preseason opener vs. Tampa Bay. Following the script of taking a day-to-day approach in the evaluation of strength and conditioning levels, Haley doesn’t expect to formulate a personnel schedule until Thursday’s staff meeting.

“I can’t see it being moved up, being any earlier than the day before,” Haley said. “We’ll go through our preparation as we continue to get ready for the start of the season knowing that there’s going to be a game slid in here pretty quick that we have to be able to come out of the locker room correctly and understand what end to (go to). We have to go through a lot of training here shortly.”

Four days from kickoff, the Chiefs have yet to hold a full-padded takedown period in training camp. They’ll go through a walkthrough at Arrowhead for the first time Thursday afternoon.

“Coach has a specific schedule that he wants us to go by as far as what we’re doing at practice and as far as workouts so I feel like we’re right on time with his schedule,” said Pro Bowl S Eric Berry. “There might be a lot of people around the league doing different things but they have a specific plan for us and what they want us to be ready for September 11th.”

Chiefs’ starters played into the second quarter in last season’s exhibition opener at Atlanta. By halftime, the majority of Kansas City’s front-line players had traded in their helmets for sideline hats. A number of contributors only began practicing last Thursday due to restrictions set by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“Definitely not a full game,” DE Wallace Gilberry answered after being asked how long he could play Friday night. Gilberry was one of the 19 veterans prohibited from practicing prior to August 4th.

“I’m just being honest, but I definitely feel like I can get out there and contribute and hold my own to however long they need me,” Gilberry continued. “It’s going to take a while to get back in football shape. That’s not something that happens in a week or even two weeks, it takes time.

“Being around the guys, d-line and o-line it’s kind of different. We’re always touching someone, hitting on somebody, so that takes a lot out of you and you don’t get that training in the offseason with just working with your trainer.”

Practice Observations

Though the Chiefs didn’t practice in full pads, just shoulder pads and helmets, Monday afternoon seemed to be the heaviest day of camp thus far. Competitive periods were extensive and the competiveness hit new levels. There were plenty of wins for both the offense and defense.

- The play of the day came on a 30-yard TD pass which Javier Arenas batted near the goal line to Kendrick Lews, who batted the football into Steve Breaston’s hands. Breaston was lying on his back when he caught the pass from Matt Cassel.

- Wallace Gilberry has made news by reporting to camp with a thicker, more impressive physical frame. He put that new look to use in one-on-ones vs. the offensive line. Gilberry was nearly unstoppable during the period.

- The defense had success on several blitzes throughout the day. Most impressive was Demorrio Williams giong through the line untouched on a delayed dog stunt and Justin Houston timing a snap to come off the offensive right edge far too fast for Barry Richardson to handle.

- Branden Albert and Tamba Hali have been matched up in a number of drills lately. It’s become a must-watch competition at camp.

- Dwayne Bowe continued his solid start in St. Joseph with a red zone TD on a fade route over rookie Jalil Brown.

- Brandon Bair batted a pass down at the line of scrimmage during competitive 11-v-11 work.

- Verran Tucker turned in another TD catch in the back corner of the end zone. This toss came from Tyler Palko. Tucker seems to have a knack for catching the ball in that area of the end zone.

- Cory Greenwood picked off Ricky Stanzi to end practice on a “Gotta have it” fourth-and-goal snap from the eight-yard line.

- Tervaris Johnson did not participate in practice. He previously came off the PUP list last Wednesday night and hadn’t missed any additional time until today.

- Jonathan Baldwin and Dwayne Bowe were limited, spending time both on the field and on the bikes.

Overheard

“I think that Branden Albert has made some progress as a run blocker. He’s missed that offseason as a pass protector and his technique is a little off, but I have no doubt that it will come.”

- Offensive Coordinator Bill Muir on the Chiefs left tackle position.

Photo of the Day


Hand-to-hand combat: Wallace Gilberry and Ryan Lilja battle during one-on-one drills

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