Heartland Health Practice Report: Thursday

Posted Aug 5, 2010

The Chiefs ended practice at live tempo for the second day in a row

A day after ending night practice with live drills, the Chiefs did so again at practice on Thursday afternoon. In fact, Thursday’s Play of the Day came on the final play of practice, and even got a standing ovation from Chiefs fans in attendance. But before we take a look at what transpired on the field today in St. Joseph, let’s take a quick trip over to McDaniel College in Westminster, MD.

Yes, Maryland.

Westminster is the home of the 2010 Baltimore Ravens Training Camp and yesterday they were talking about the Chiefs. At least NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was for a brief moment. Here’s a clip of what Goodell had to say from the podium yesterday during his visit to McDaniel College.

On the “fan experience” he sees fans getting at an NFL training camp: “I think it’s great, and I think that we’re seeing a little bit of that trend. I was down in Kansas City last week, and they moved back from Wisconsin, back down into the Kansas City area. I think it’s great for fans to be able to come out and see their team, see their players practice, and you can see the reaction by the fans here. But I’m seeing it on a nationwide basis as I go around.”

Not bad, huh? Okay…back to the practice action on Thursday in St. Joe.

Practice Inactives

DE Wallace Gilberry

RB Tervaris Johnson

G Brian Waters

S Jarrad Page

A one-for-one swap was made overnight in the bike area between Gilberry and RB Thomas Jones. After not dressing for last night’s full-padded practice, Jones was back on the field Thursday. He went through all individual drills, but rested throughout team periods. Waters continues to work out on the bikes and Page has yet to report to camp.

Johnson was not on the field in any capacity after riding back to the Griffon Indoor Complex on the back of a cart following yesterday’s night practice.

G Darryl Harris, who has filled in for Waters with the first team at left guard, hobbled off the field during team run drills and did not return. Veteran OL Ikechuku Ndukwe took over first-team reps at the position for the remainder of the day.

Calling All Shoe Companies

Remember when WR Dexter McCluster’s shoe exploded during OTAs? Apparently, that was nothing. McCluster has blown out three of his Nike cleats at this training camp alone.

“I’ve got plenty of shoes in there, so I’m not worried about it,” McCluster said.

McCluster was at it again on Thursday, drawing  plenty of “ahhhs” from the crowd with his cuts to create space and speed in the open field. He has quickly become a fan-favorite at St. Joseph in the process.

“It’s great to know that I’m coming out here and showing that I am improving every day, but you know what, there hasn’t been a game and you have to do it in the game to get the fans on your side,” McCluster said.

If you’re looking to give Dexter a nickname, he says that people called him, “The Lil’ Water Bug” in college. It seems like Chiefs fans, at least in St. Joe and on are sticking with DMC for the time being.

McCluster really is a fun player to watch in practices. Hopefully he’ll be even more entertaining during the regular season.

Flowers Has Fans

The Chiefs wide receivers and defensive backs ran through one-on-one drills within about 10 yards of the fan boundary and fans of CB Brandon Flowers weren’t shy about encouraging the third-year cornerback during the drills.

Specifically, a group of two or three men kept yelling “Shut ‘Em down Flowers…Shut ‘Em Down.”

At one point, on his jog back to line, WR Dwayne Bowe encouraged the fans to yell for Flowers even louder. The fans complied, Bowe laughed and WR Lance Long promptly executed a five-yard out route. Flowers, however, gave his fans plenty of other plays to cheer about during the drill.

Jackson Goes Live

DE Tyson Jackson stood out when the team ran live drills at the end of practice. Mostly everyone who participated in the live scrimmage, outside of Jackson, has typically repped with the second and third team over the course of camp. Jackson worked with the first-team during the other team periods of practice.

Play of the Day

QB Tyler Palko and TE Cody Slate saved the best for last on Thursday, hooking up on a Red Zone TD on the final play of practice. Going at a live tempo, Palko threaded a seam pass between two defenders to reach Slate in the end zone. Slate took a punishing blow to the back from S Ricky Price as he hauled in the football.

Slate was slow to get up from the play, obviously feeling the impact of Price’s hit. Once he got back to his feet, the fans in St. Joe gave him (and the rest of the Chiefs) a standing ovation.

Other Observations

  • WR Dwayne Bowe reeled in another tough TD catch, juggling the football on the back end line for a TD. S Jon McGraw made a play at the football, partially blinding Bowe’s view of the pass and CB Brandon Flowers was there at the end to harass Bowe as well. Still, Bowe managed to come down with the catch for six.
  • CB Javier Arenas got a lot of work in at nickel, taking every rep at the position in back-to-back drives during team period. The offense and defense had rotated players, but Arenas stayed in the heat for double duty.
  • RB Jackie Battle got a look as the second running back in team drills. Charles opened up with the first-team while Jones did not receive repetitions.
  • The Chiefs continue to mix and match linebacker personnel in nickel sets, including instances where Mike Vrabel lines up inside and Andy Studebaker works with the first-team. Keep an eye on this sub-package as the preseason moves forward.

Friday brings two practices to St. Joseph – 8:50 AM and 4:30 PM

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