ST. JOSEPH, MO – Football coaches are creatures of habit. They like routine and rarely stray from it. Breaking tradition is difficult, particularly in training camp, but it’s the way Todd Haley has approached the first week and a half of practices.
Saturday’s Family Fun Day at Spratt Stadium was the latest example of Haley adapting to the aftermath of the NFL Lockout.
The Chiefs practiced in full pads for the first time Saturday, a day of camp traditionally reserved for intrasquad scrimmage. But there was no scrimmaging and limited contact. Once again, players shed their shoulder pads prior to competitive 11-v-11 periods.
“Everybody feels pretty comfortable with what we’re doing,” Haley said. “We’re building a foundation for a new season. It’s an important season for us and how we handle all these challenges and opportunities will define how our year goes. Everybody’s excited and anytime you’re in a different situation, you have to adjust.”
Haley has no doubt adjusted his approach to the challenges presented from the lack of structured off-season strength and conditioning program. Previously known for his intense, fully-padded practices camp practices, Haley has yet to have his squad complete a full practice in pads.
Practices have been intense from a conditioning and competition aspect, but the Chiefs have yet to hold a live period over the first eight practices of camp. Contact has come in controlled settings.
“Coach Haley’s been taking care of us, making sure we’re feeling healthy in our pads,” CB
If the Chiefs aren’t the last team to hold a full-padded workout this preseason, they’re one of the final few. It’s a change from the norm Haley is comfortable with.
“We’re still not there yet as a group,” Haley said. “That’s where I really want to feel before we go full-bore ahead. That’s the plan and (we’re) adjusting on the fly.”
Practice tempo is likely to increase early next week as the Chiefs prepare for a Friday night preseason opener against Tampa Bay. The players have Sunday off before returning to practice Monday- Thursday in St. Joseph.
Richardson Wants To Leave No Doubt
Nearly a year later, their roles are reversed. Richardson enters training camp in the drivers’ seat with O’Callaghan pushing him for competition on the right edge.
“I think I did my best to show them that I deserve to be the starting right tackle and I’m going to keep showing them that I deserve this spot,” Richardson said. “I’m going to give them my best throughout camp, the preseason and season. I don’t want (the coaches) to have any question in their mind whether they made the right choice or not.”
Richardson started all 16 games for the Chiefs last season. It was a dramatic rise for a player who was cut following Haley’s first training camp in 2009. The Chiefs claimed O’Callaghan off waivers early that season while Richardson began the season on the practice squad.
“I’m going to keep on going and never get satisfied,” said Richardson. “Last year was just, for me, I’m approaching it in my mind like it was a fluke and I’m going to show that I’m continuing to get better.”
- Amon Gordon, signed hours before Saturday’s practice, joined his new team on the field for individual and group work. He sat out of competitive 11-v-11 work.
- The Chiefs ran an unscripted period with Haley challenging the offensive and defensive staffs to run in different personnel packages in varying down and distances situations.
- After removing shoulder pads, the Chiefs held four competitive periods of 11-v-11 work. The first-team offense got on the board first behind a 30-yard
- Demorrio Williams picked off
“We’re ready to get after it.”
-Brandon Flowers on kicking off the preseason in less than a week
Photo of the Day
Chiefs defensive linemen hit the sled during Family Fun Day