Camp Notebook: Chiefs and Cardinals pleased with productivity of joint practice

Posted Aug 7, 2012

Training Camp Notebook Presented by Heartland Health

St. Joseph, Mo. – The Chiefs and Cardinals got together for a joint practice at Missouri Western State University on Tuesday afternoon.

Scheduling made for unique practice dynamics with the Cardinals entering a short week off Sunday night’s Hall of Fame Game and the Chiefs increasing practice intensity leading up to their preseason opener on Friday night.

As a result, Arizona wore shorts and shells during the practice while the Chiefs dressed in full pads.

“It was a great benefit for us not having to go back to Arizona,” explained Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt. “We have a two hour drive to our training camp. So to not have to fly back to Phoenix, drive two hours to Flagstaff to be there for a couple of days and then drive back and fly here saves a lot of wear on our guys’ bodies.”

After an hour of separate individual work, the two teams met for joint matchups in one-on-one, inside run, seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 team drills. Punt protection drills were held together as well.

The joint sessions featured no skirmishes and both teams walked away pleased with the overall productivity of the practice.

“This was doable because of Romeo Crennel, Scott Pioli and Missouri Western – the University has been absolutely fantastic in working with us,” Whisenhunt said.

Here are some of the highlights from Tuesday’s joint sessions…

Chiefs Defensive Notes

1) Eric Berry sought out one-on-one matchups with Larry Fitzgerald when Chiefs defensive backs worked against Cardinals wide receivers. Fitzgerald won two of the three pairings, but walked away impressed with Berry as a defender.

“I didn’t know he was that athletic,” Fitzgerald said afterward. “It was the first time I’ve gotten to play against him and he’s an impressive specimen. You’ve got a free safety, strong safety, wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback – he can play any position he wants to with that athleticism.

“More so, I’m excited to see that he’s fully recovered from his injury. He’s bounced back and regained his form.”

2) Gabe Miller and Derrick Johnson each recorded sacks. Johnson’s sack came on a combo stunt between the linebackers and defensive line. With the center picked, Johnson shot through the rush lane quickly. He also had a nice pass breakup during the 11-on-11 period.

3) Michael Floyd was a standout offensive performer for Arizona. He made an impressive catch on a post in traffic, holding on to the football after absorbing a hit from Javier Arenas, and he routinely tested Chiefs cornerbacks on deep routes. Floyd could be in line for a nice rookie season drawing matchups against second cornerbacks opposite Larry Fitzgerald.

Chiefs Offensive Notes

(Contributed by Nick Toney)

Chiefs Offensive Notes

1) Jonathan Baldwin can do it against other teams, too. After grabbing two touchdowns in seven-on-seven drills, Baldwin completed his solid day by plucking the ball out of the waiting hands of Michael Adams for an acrobatic sideline catch.

“Jon has done a great job of taking to the coaching that has been given to him,” said receivers coach Nick Sirianni. “He takes his weaknesses and turns them into strengths. He comes to practice every day, just like all of our guys. He’s a professional trying to improve every day.”

2) Peyton Hillis leveled Cardinals linebacker O’Brien Schofield on the first play of inside run – a handoff up the middle. Hillis broke through the line and ran over Schofield, and the impact could be heard from the other side of the field and drew a loud fan reaction.

3) Matt Cassel turned in a solid practice with a good completion percentage and delivered the only offensive score for either team during 11-on-11 drills. Baldwin bodied Cardinals cornerback William Gay for the touchdown reception.

Chiefs quarterbacks also delivered several touchdowns during seven-on-seven drills, including a perfectly-placed pass from Ricky Stanzi to Terrance Copper. Stanzi put pass on Copper’s outside shoulder, leading the defender away from a defender and into the end zone.  

 “I saw them competing, concentrating,” said quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn. “I think in the early competitive drills, the one-on-ones, the seven-on-sevens, they responded very well. I think in the team drills with all the line and not being able to see as well, I think we did OK. I have to go back and look at it myself. I’m going to praise the good stuff, and I’m going to get on the stuff that’s not going to win for us.”