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Veteran Wide Receivers On-Hand Understand Opportunity, Preparation

Posted Jul 23, 2014

The veteran receivers here at Chiefs training camp during these first three practices understand and acknowledge their opportunity

Receiver is an area that will always get special attention because it’s where the playmakers hang out. The guys catching touchdowns and making the big plays on highlight reels, but there’s so much more that goes into the position that isn’t talked about.

Those things are practiced and preached here at Chiefs training camp, and three veteran receivers currently here understand that attention to detail is crucial in St. Joseph, Missouri over the next few weeks.

One of those receivers, Kyle Williams, who came over last season from the San Francisco 49ers, admitted the first day could have been better, but that in coach Andy Reid’s offense, there’s always going to be opportunities to make plays.

“(There were) a lot of balls on the ground, we have to clean that up,” Williams said. “But he (Reid) has a lot of activity, as far as inside, outside – he mixes it up a lot. You feel like there is an opportunity there as a receiver.

“In order to mix that around, to mix and match, put guys in positions to get the ball. It’s definitely something you want to get involved in.”

During his four years with the 49ers, Williams had 47 receptions for 574 yards and four touchdowns.

But heading into his fifth year, Williams understands the difference between working hard in the offseason and during OTAs, and what training camp entails.   

“It’s night and day,” Williams said. “You work hard in the offseason and you take it to that limit, but there’s nothing quite like training camp. It’s tough, but it’s something you have to go through in order to get through a season. It’s very valuable for you.”

Meanwhile, one player who finds himself in his first NFL camp is former CFL standout Weston Dressler.

While there are some similarities to a CFL camp, Dressler admits things will be a little bit different in this camp compared to his past experiences.

“I think wait for the pads and feel it out from there, but there’s obviously bigger, faster, stronger everywhere involved,” Dressler said. “Just do what you can and adapt as best as I can.”

As far as preparation, Dressler says there’s only so much you can do to get ready.

“You really can’t get yourself fully prepared for a camp,” Dressler said. “It’s nothing like running against guys full speed, getting after it and competing. You do as much as you can running around.”

Even though he’s a veteran in years and professional playing experience, Dressler knows how important these first few days of practice are for him moving forward.

For me, it’s just trying to take in as much as I can and getting more comfortable with the playbook,” Dressler said. “ It’s getting the reps, getting more comfortable with the timing of the plays when the ball should be out and when you should be in and out of your breaks expecting the ball. So, take in as much as you can.”  

After spending last season on the practice squad, second-year player Frankie Hammond understands that they have to move forward as a group, as well as individually. 

“It is a day-to-day improvement to knock that rust off yesterday,” Hammond Jr. said. “But we’ve got to get better and keep improving.”

As far as what Hammond thinks he could improve upon.

“I’ll just say from all aspects, just catching to route running,” Hammond said. “I can improve in all aspects. There is room to improve everywhere and on the special teams side, whether it is being a gunner, whether it is a returner, it is just all aspects of being just a good player and developing.” 

Most importantly, Hammond explained how much working on the practice squad helped him a year ago, and the process of learning all of the positions, not just his own.

“It took a little while because all of the positions are interchangeable,” Hammond said. “So you’ve got to know every position from the tight end to the receiver and almost even the fullback at some point.”

Williams, Dressler and Hammond join one of the most interesting positional groups of training camp to watch.

Alongside veteran Dwayne Bowe, who has become one of the most prolific receivers in Chiefs history, Donnie Avery is the only other receiver currently on the roster who caught at least 15 passes last season.

Avery caught 40 passes for 596 yards and two touchdowns last season, while leading the team with 10 catches of at least 20 yards.

Bowe, Avery and the rest of the veterans report Wednesday afternoon to the campus of Missouri Western State University, home of Chiefs training camp.

The first practice open to the public will be Thursday, July 24 at 3:30 p.m., which will have no admission cost for fans.

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