Heartland Health Practice Report: Tuesday

Posted Aug 10, 2010

The Chiefs were tested both mentally and physically on the hottest day of camp

Random gusts of heated wind were about the only solace from Tuesday’s scorcher in St. Joseph. The intense heat was clearly taxing on the players from both a mental and physical standpoint, even causing some confusion as to the tempo of a drill at one point. The heat index at Missouri Western approached 110 degrees.

Tuesday was truly one of the dog days of summer. There were plenty of ups-and-downs at the mid-afternoon practice, including a brief skirmish mixed in between. It’s clear that the players are ready to see an opponent other than each other. Regardless, the Chiefs pushed through the heat and there is a team-wide feeling that plenty of work is still left to get done.

“During training camp you always look forward to the games, but it’s still a learning experience for us,” QB Brodie Croyle said. “We have to go out there and not only compete, but get better at a lot of things.”

Practice Inactives

CB Travis Daniels

TE Tony Moeaki

G Darryl Harris

S Jarrad Page

This was the same crew from yesterday’s evening practice. Just like Monday, Daniels and Moeaki were working out on the bikes while Harris remained off of the practice field. Page still remains absent from camp.

Light The Fire

Something seems to have clicked with second-year TE Jake O’Connell over the past four days. After a relatively quite off-season and start to training camp, O’Connell has caught fire since Saturday’s scrimmage. He’s found the end zone on three occasions in as many practice days, which each catch going down as highlight material.

Today, O’Connell caught a Croyle pass between two defenders as he turned for the football in the end zone. LB Derrick Johnson drilled the tight end as the ball arrived, but O’Connell hung on and got up to celebrate the score. Yesterday, O’Connell had a nice TD grab in traffic and on Saturday made the arguably the most impressive reception of camp as he fully laid out in the end zone.

Sometimes, it only takes one play to catch fire.

“I’ve got some confidence right now,” O’Connell said. “I’m focused on working hard and trying to get better.”

Confidence Is Contagious

Speaking of player that might have received some confidence from Saturday’s scrimmage, LB Cory Greenwood made an athletic play by diving play to break up a pass. Greenwood was all over the field on Saturday as he worked primarily with the third-team defense. The third overall pick of the 2010 CFL Draft, Greenwood is a player that should be fun to follow throughout Friday’s Preseason Opener.

On a side note, there were a couple of CFL scouts/personnel men on the sidelines of practice today. Greenwood’s CFL rights are currently owned by the Toronto Argonauts.


Todd Haley found a way to ramp up the energy during the late stages of camp’s hottest practice. As the team was finishing up Red Zone work, Haley placed the football on the one-yard line and gave the offense two chances to score.

The defense won the first play, while the offense won the second. On the third, a new set began with Coach Haley winning that period. Here are the details…

First Group (Matt Cassel at QB)

3rd and Goal from the 1: Out of a goal line set, Cassel went play-action but had no players to throw to. He tried to thread a ball over the middle to O’Connell, but the tight end was well covered by Chiefs linebackers.

4th and Goal from the 1: RB Thomas Jones goes up-and-over the pile for a TD

Second Group (Brodie Croyle QB)

3rd and Goal from the 1: Haley ended the drill early after multiple defenders had a shot to tackle RB Jamaal Charles in the backfield around the right edge, but let up. Eventually, S Reshard Langford filled the alley to take Charles to the ground short of the goal line. The defense didn’t lack effort when they let up, but instead didn’t realize that the drill was to be conducted at a live tempo (the rest of the practice was not). Coach wasn’t happy with the lack of concentration.

Other Notables

  • OLB Justin Cole, a rookie free agent out of San Jose State, began training camp as an outside linebacker; he seems to now be getting the majority of his reps as a strong-side inside linebacker
  • WR Lance Long had a nice sliding catch just past the first-down markers during seven-on-seven
  • DL Dion Gales had a nice rush to log a sack
  • Dustin Colquitt sent a wind-aided punt from his own 30 to the opponent five-yard line…in the air
  • While working on inside-the-20 punt placement, S Ricky Price made a nice play to down the football inside the two-yard line.
  • Derrick Johnson jumped to pick off a Tyler Palko pass over the middle
  • Jovan Belcher continues to show his speed in coverage and ability to run sideline-to-sideline
  • The two rookie kick returners have each muffed  punts over the past few days; fielding footballs off the foot of Colquitt is good practice
  • Brian Waters snapped the football during seven-on-seven drills; he’s done this before under Haley, but has yet to play center in team situations
  • FB Tim Castille got loose on a perfectly executed swing pass from about 30 yards out for a TD
  • OLB Tamba Hali’s motor never stops; despite the high heat, he was in the backfield several times and held the edge on numerous other occasions

Play of the Day

O’Connell is on a roll in this category. Check the write-up above in Light The Fire

Tomorrow, the Chiefs will hold a two-a-day at 8:50 AM and 4:30 PM. The afternoon practice will be held inside the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex and is closed to the public.


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