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Heartland Health Practice Report: Friday

Posted Aug 6, 2010

Live developmental sessions are popping up at the end of practices; see who won today's full-contact third-and-short situation

Welcome back to double-days in St. Joseph. In full pads once again the Chiefs ran through a familiar morning practice schedule, specifically focusing on the perimeter run game and play-action passing during the team portions of practice. Friday is the final day of work before the Chiefs host their annual training camp scrimmage as part of Family Fun Day on Saturday.

“Portions of that will be live,” head coach Todd Haley said. “We’ll try to throw some special teams situations in there and we’ll have some form of in-game situations.”

Spratt Stadium Gates are set to open at 11:30 AM on Saturday. You can find more information here.

Practice Inactives

DE Wallace Gilberry

G Darryl Harris

RB Tervaris Johnson

G Brian Waters

S Jarrad Page

Only Waters and Gilberry were outside working out on the bikes during practice. Johnson missed his second consecutive day of practice and Harris missed his first after limping off the practice field on Thursday. Both Johnson and Harris were not outdoors on Friday. Page has yet to report to camp.

The Inevitable

It happens every year. Really, it’s inevitable.

Chiefs P Dustin Colquitt received his first ovation of training camp after hitting a towering punt some 50-plus yards. Today was one of the first practices that Colquitt has been able to unleash his boot as most of the punt-team work has been conducted “on-air” to date.

“The specialists are here,” Colquitt joked after practice.

Chiefs fans love their left-footed punter, and why shouldn’t they? Kicks such as Friday’s have been a regular occurrence for Colquitt over his five years in Kansas City. Colquitt owns Chiefs career records for net punting average (39.92), gross punting average (44.09) and punts downed inside the 20 (145).

A New Wrinkle to ILB Rotation

The training camp competition that everyone has their eye on offered a new wrinkle Friday morning. Though the inside linebackers continue to share first-team duties, the pairings switched up a bit.

Typically, Corey Mays and Demorrio Williams have paired with one another, while Jovan Belcher and Derrick Johnson form the other linebacker duo. This has been the case throughout most OTAs sessions and training camp practice.  Today, Mays and Johnson paired with one another on the first team, while Belcher and Williams worked together with the second-unit.

“It’s hard to say if it’s the first time that Corey and I have worked together because we are switching up repetitions so much, but it’s definitely the longest we’ve been paired together,” Johnson said following practice.

Haley re-iterated earlier this week that competition for starting roles in the position group is wide-open.

Third-and-Short

When the Chiefs coaching staff decides to go live, there isn’t a more physical part of practice. Add in the fact that today’s focus was third-and-short situations and you’re offered a reminder of old-school training camps. The session didn’t last long (just four plays), but there was enough thumping going on to feed the football fix.  

The offense and defense split the drill, trading off victories against one another. LB Jovan Belcher had the big play for the defense when he made a great run read, shooting through an inside gap to stop FB Mike Cox at the line of scrimmage. Just two snaps later, Cox turned in a big play for the offense with a ferocious lead block to spring RB Javarris Williams loose for the first down.

Each of the four snaps was taken in a third-and-one setting.

Developmental Sessions

The Chiefs have gone at a live tempo during various points of the past three practice sessions. Haley is calling the periods “Developmental Sessions.” Essentially, these sessions consist of full-contact drills relative to a certain game-like situation. Today’s point of emphasis, as mentioned above, was third-and-short.

“We’ve started what we’re calling developmental sessions towards the tail end where we’re giving some of these young guys as close to live looks as we can get,” Haley said.

The developmental sessions are a product of how the New York Jets conducted practice sessions in the 1990s. During that time period, Haley was joined in the Jets organization by current Chiefs coaches Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, Maurice Carthon, Richie Anderson, Bill Muir, Bernie Parmalee, Anothony Pleasant and Otis Smith. Scott Pioli was also part of those Jets teams.

“We thought about doing something like this last year, but didn’t think that, team-wise, we were at a point to where we could have guys sitting out,” Haley explained. “I do feel like we’re getting to a point where guys are starting to establish themselves as closer to front-line players for us.”

Water Weight

Just how hot are training camp practices? Over the course of camp, Haley said that some players have lost up to 19 pounds of water weight in a single practice. As a result of the extreme temperatures, Chiefs trainers and coaches are constantly monitoring the health and hydration of each player in camp.

The training staff monitors the weight of each player before and after every practice session. Players are continually offered Gatorade and access to cold tubs as well. For some, pushing fluids through IV is the best route to staying healthy. For every player, it’s different.

“It’s a constant job, and something that I handle with a great deal of seriousness,” Haley said of keeping his players healthy and hydrated.

Quote of the Day

Todd Haley: “You could get about 18 or 19 Dexter McCluster’s or Javier Arenas’ and stick them in one of those clown cars. You know, when you open the door and one comes out…and then another…and then another…then another…then another. You’re like, ‘when does it stop?’ You could fit about 19 of them in there.”

CCVI Game Approaching

The Chiefs hosted sponsors for the 2010 Chiefs Charity Game at practice on Friday morning, which reminds me that the annual event is quickly approaching.

The 27th annual Chiefs Charity Game will be played vs. Philadelphia on August 27th at The New Arrowhead coinciding with the inaugural football game at the newly renovated Home of the Chiefs. For the second year in a row the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI) is the game’s beneficiary. Funds raised through the Chiefs Charity Game are designated for the CCVI Infant Program and operational endowment.

The Chiefs Charity Game Committee, lead by Event Chairs Stu and Dana Stram has raised more than $700,000 in cash sponsorships and in kind donations in support of CCVI. If you’d like more information on how to support the CCVI through the 2010 Chiefs Charity game, please visit www.chiefscharitygame.com.

 

PM PRACTICE UPDATE

Gilberry Returns

DE Wallace Gilberry returned to the practice field for the afternoon session and participated in 11 vs. 11 drills. RB Thomas Jones, who practiced in a limited fashion yesterday, also participated in team 11 vs. 11 this afternoon.

Status Quo on O-Line

With both Brian Waters and Darryl Harris currently inactive for practice, Kansas City is a bit short-handed at the position. The Chiefs do, however, have plenty of versatility along the interior offensive line to give them options at the position.

Ryan Lilja played left guard for Indianapolis, but is currently repping with the first-team at right guard and rookie Jon Asamoah has played on both the left and right side this camp, but appears to be settling on the right side at the moment. Haley said today that Lilja and Asamoah would remain at right guard for the time being and such was the case in Friday afternoon’s workout. Veteran OL Ikechuke Ndukwe has been receiving the first-team reps at left guard since Harris’ injury.

“We are going to stay status quo right now and continue to let those guys get comfortable with what we’ve asked them to do,” Haley said. “Knowing that there are some options across the line there and some versatility. So right now it’s Ikechuku’s opportunity and I think I’ve seen some step-up from him and again that’s what those guys have to understand, that if they are out there and able to go every day, and be the same guy every day, is that they’re opportunity is going to come. It’s just a matter of being ready for it.”

Another Big Finish

Yesterday, it was rookie TE Cody Slate coming up with a big play in the end zone on the final play of practice. Today, the defense went home a winner, but it didn’t come without controversy.

During a Red Zone period to end practice, QB Brodie Croyle found rookie TE Tony Moeaki on an out pattern near the first-down marker. OLB Pierre Walters was in coverage and gave Moeaki a push out of bounds as he caught the football. At first, Moeaki had appeared to come down inbounds, but NFL side judge George Hayward ruled the pass incomplete.

Hayward, who ironically happens to be a St. Joseph native that attended Missouri Western and even played on first football team in the university’s history, had WRs Chris Chambers and Dwayne Bowe pleading in is ear for reversal. The review never came and Croyle’s next pass was intercepted in the back corner of the end zone by CB Mike Richardson to seal practice.

Play of the Day

When TE Leonard Pope comes down with the jump-ball, it’s a pretty sight. QB Matt Cassel hit the 6’8 tight end down the seam for a sky-high TD grab this afternoon. When the throw is high, but within Pope’s reach, there are few other players that are going to be able to come down with the football.

It’s obvious that the Chiefs QBs are trying to use Pope’s height as an advantage. Croyle attempted a similar throw to Pope just a few plays later, but went a bit too high.

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