Insider Blog: Mini-Camp Wraps Up

Posted Jun 13, 2010

Sunday: Haley rewards hard work, Moeaki keeps showing up and are we witnessing a more mellow Todd Haley?

Hard work has surrounded the Chiefs off-season program since the first day of the off-season program kicked off on March 29th. Attendance has been superb, workout sessions have been conducted more efficiently and overall competition continues to climb. As a result, Chiefs head coach Todd Haley cut the fifth and final practice of mini-camp a bit shorter on Sunday afternoon. Today’s workout was the Chiefs eighth over the past seven days.

“I cut it short because of the progress we made this weekend,” Haley said. “The fact that some of it was going to be review and as much as these guys have put in here over the last few months, I thought it was worth giving something back to them which I think they appreciated, at least from what I could tell.”

Sunday’s session lasted roughly 60 minutes with individual position drills and a few segments of “Red Ball” (no huddle) carrying the practice. The team ended with a competitive 11-on-11 drill.

Up next for the team is the Ambassador’s Golf Tournament on Monday, followed by the final OTA of 2010 on Tuesday. Many of the veterans will then head home, while the rookies continue working in the conditioning program right here in Kansas City.

Déjà vu

Didn’t we just see this on Saturday? Rookie TE Tony Moeaki and CB Travis Daniels were once again the standouts of indoor practice. Yesterday, Daniels excelled in one-on-one coverage, while Moeaki caught everything thrown in his direction. Today, it was more of the same.

Daniels ended this year’s mini-camp by doing the same thing he’s been producing throughout OTAs: an interception. Daniels’ pick of Tyler Palko sealed a defensive victory for the second unit and sent the team into the locker room early. Though it’s an unofficial tally, Daniels is the team-leader for INTs during OTA and mini-camp work.

Moeaki, on the other hand, is finding ways to beat the defense. His knack for settling into zone pockets is impressive and his hands are even better. Add in the ability to create mismatches with linebackers and…dare we say it…he looks somewhat “Gonzalez-esque.”

Okay, Okay…let’s reel it in a notch (or 100).

Reality is that Moeaki is only a rookie and has never played in a professional game, much less recorded an actual reception that has counted. But his ability to work with the first-team offense without skipping a beat, despite missing the first nine OTAs of the off-season, shows that the youngster has been locked in while out of action.

“I am encouraged about (Moeaki) because number one, when he wasn’t out there he was paying attention because he was able to come in and understand what was going on and what he was supposed to do,” Haley said. “The coaches did a good job of keeping him up because that is hard for players when they are not actually doing it, to just be seeing it, and then come out and be able to get through the practice in a positive manner.”

Moeaki just finished up an excellent mini-camp and he was the standout of May’s rookie mini-camp as well. Yes, it’s early, but it’s also okay to get excited about this rookie.

Obviously, the next step for both of these guys (Moeaki in particular) is when the pads get added to the mix.

Play of the Day

This one comes from who else? Yep, Tony Moeaki.

While working with the first-team offense as a tight end spilt to the right, Moeaki turned in a ridiculous Red Zone TD catch. Moeaki got a defender on his hip and led him to the right sideline, leaping for a fully-extended catch near the chalk. He popped both toes in bounds as his momentum and a defender carried him out of the end zone.

Moeaki is quickly gaining momentum with his teammates as well.

Yesterday, “MOE-AHH-KEYYYY” was yelled by fellow offensive players in celebration of a nice catch over the middle, and today calls of “MOE” rang throughout the practice facility following his TD reception.

A More Mellow Haley?

Is it possible that Todd Haley has mellowed? From the sights and sounds of off-season practices, it sure looks that way. Haley, however, contends that he’s still coaching with one objective in mind – getting his players to reach and exceed their potential.

From watching Haley’s actions throughout the off-season program, two things stick out.

1) Haley observes practice from a greater distance, meaning he observes the entire field rather than running plays in and of the offensive huddle behind the line of scrimmage.

2) There is a lot less yelling.

The difference in Haley’s practice demeanor from 2009 to 2010 isn’t even comparable. In Haley’s press conference on Sunday afternoon, one reporter asked the question that many who have been watching this off-season progress wonder…is Haley taking a more hands-off approach this year?

“I would never say hands off,” Haley quickly answered. “That is your words. I think I better be hands on and I better have an idea of what is going on in most areas.”

Though he’s still a hands-on coach, Haley does contend that there is a difference in him from last season and it all revolves around an increased comfort level with his coaching staff and players.

“I would say more maybe to the comfort that we are operating efficiently and I think that is for a lot of different reasons, none more important than experience of each other and that dynamic that goes on with a coaching staff,” Haley said.

Although Haley’s been quieter in the public eye this off-season, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the same thing is going on in the coaching wing of the Chiefs Training Facility.

“They probably get tired of me coming up and down the hallway, on defense too,” Haley said. “I know that I am wearing (Romeo Crennel) out. My job as a head coach now, which is what I was hired here to be, is to make sure that everything is being done the way that I as the head coach believe it has to be done to give us the best chance to succeed so that is what I am doing all the time.”

Practice Inactives

RB Jamaal Charles

WR Lance Long

TE Brad Cottam

WR Quinten Lawrence

CB Brandon Flowers

The same crew found their way to the “rehab zone” on Sunday afternoon. Once again, Jarrad Page was the only player on the Chiefs roster absent from mini-camp workouts.

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