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Insider Blog: Meeting the Bob's

Posted Jun 7, 2010

Practice...we're talking about practice?

No shoulder pads. No hitting. No tackling. No dirty play in the trenches. No wide receivers getting blown up across the middle or defensive backs getting run over. No serious pass rush for a quarterback to worry about and no cut blocks to be seen against the front seven.

Does this sound like football? Nope, but this is the scenery each and every day at OTAs across the league.

Looks like its time to call a “Meeting with the Bobs” (click the link if you don’t get the reference; never pass on a chance to plug a clip from Office Space).

Playbook installation, team building, timing routes, mixing and matching personnel and conditioning are all advantages of hit-free spring/summer practices. Player performance is certainly important too, but football isn’t exactly football in the months of May and June.

We want to see crisp passes from Matt Cassel and explosive breaks to the football from Eric Berry. Derrick Johnson and Jovan Belcher flying from sideline-to-sideline is a welcome sight and a diving catch from Chris Chambers is always noteworthy. Dexter McCluster exploding the soles of his shoes while juking defenders in a long catch-and-run is solid too.

But then again, perspective is important. This is practice without pads we’re talking about.

There have been some surprise players turn heads this spring, such as rookie free agent TE Leroy Banks. It’s a necessity for undrafted underdogs to show something now if they want the opportunity to show a little something more when the stakes get higher in training camp.

Two of the dark horses who made the team last fall were hardly talked about until the pads started popping in August. That’s when Belcher and Pierre Walters made their push for slots on the 53-man roster. Each turned heads with the ability to run and hit, assets that couldn’t be shown until the pads arrived.

Remember when Jackie Battle passed Jamaal Charles on the “spring depth chart” during OTAs last year? Maybe you don’t remember, but Battle drew plenty of reports when he jumped past Charles for a handful of practices to run with the second team behind Larry Johnson.

Battle would wind up being more of a “swing back” than a tailback once the pads came on.

You get the point. No pads equals modified football. This is all a precursor for training camp and the preseason to hit the ground running.

Why bring this up now? Well, this is the biggest week of the Chiefs off-season program with OTAs Monday–Wednesday and five practices over three days during mini-camp weekend. That’s eight (non-padded) practices over the next seven days. There will be plenty of Chiefs practice info to report on this week.

Anyway, I also thought it would be worthwhile to share what a typical day at the training facility looks like for each of the players.

7:30 AM – Weight room opens. One side of the football typically lifts while the other goes into the classroom with their position coaches (up until last week, the rookies were lifting at 6:00 AM each morning).

9:00 AM – Weight room transition. Those in the classrooms go to the weight room and those in the weight room go to “class.”

10:30 AM – Players are on the field for walk-thrus

11:00 AM – Stretching begins

11:10 AM – Practice begins. Each practice this year has lasted until approximately noon. Individual drills in position groups always begin practices, before “Red Ball” drills, 7-on-7 and team periods begin. Typically, 7-on-7 and team periods take up a total of around 40 combined snaps.

12:00 PM – Conditioning

12:15 – 1:00 PM – Lunch is served and the media enters the locker room. Some players will stick around through the afternoon for extra film and playbook study.

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