OTA Notebook: Chiefs finish second week of OTA practices

Posted Jun 1, 2012

WR Jonathan Baldwin misses Friday's practice because of illness

With a smile, Romeo Crennel reflected on Jonathan Baldwin’s one-handed grab after Friday’s OTA practice.

“That was a really good catch, I must admit,” said Crennel, referring to the catch Baldwin made earlier this week during OTAs. “I told the team afterword when I called him up that you have to be able to make plays in that situation. If you’ve got guys who can make plays at the end, that can help you win. That was a good play.”

Baldwin didn’t continue his streak of impressive plays on Friday, though.  The second-year receiver was kept out of practice at the Chiefs Training Facility with an undisclosed illness.

Crennel said Baldwin was “ill” and would visit a doctor today instead of attending practice. On Thursday, the second-year receiver tweeted about having a migraine.

Terrance Copper (pictured) took Baldwin’s role as a starting receiver during offensive drills. However, the Chiefs focused more on special teams and the run game during practice.

When the team went into goal line work, tight end Martin Rucker suffered what appeared to be a right knee injury. Rucker hobbled off the filed under his own power after staying on the turf for an extended period of time.

“It looks like be banged his knee up,” Crennel said. “We’ll have to wait to see what the trainer says. He’ll have to go to the doctor as well to get a look at it, and then we’ll see.”

The Chiefs were also missing starting left tackle Branden Albert, who was excused from practiced for “personal” reasons according to Crennel. K Ryan Succop was also absent, leaving undrafted rookie Matt Szymanski to handle placekicking duties.

S Eric Berry, RB Jamaal Charles and TE Tony Moeaki remained out from their earlier knee injuries. Also resting was S De’Quan Menzie (hamstring), RB Cyrus Gray (hamstring), S Kendrick Lewis (shoulder/pectoral), LB Brandon Siler (Achilles), OL Jeff Allen (ankle), OL Rob Bruggeman (finger) and DE Ropati Pitoitua (calf).

Stanzi Sticks With The Second Team

As Matt Cassel and the first-team offense jogged off the practice field, backup Ricky Stanzi held up two fingers and called the second-team offense to the huddle.

Stanzi acted as Cassel’s first understudy once again on Friday and impressed, hurling a touchdown to rookie WR Devon Wylie when the Chiefs practiced their goal line attack.

Fellow backup quarterback Brady Quinn took the majority of the second team snaps until this week. On Tuesday, though, Stanzi entered the scrimmage after Cassel in a two-minute offensive drill. 

Stanzi showcased his mobility on Tuesday, rolling out of the pocket, running down the right sideline and sneaking out of bounds. Quarterback coach Zim Zorn applauded Stanzi’s decision to scramble, and other offensive coaches joined in.

On Friday, Stanzi made another good decision with his arm. Wylie broke out of his route in the end zone of the goal line drill with corner Mikail Baker on his left hip. But Stanzi rifled a pass to Wylie’s opposite shoulder that placed the ball away from the defender and into the diving arms of his tight end.

After practice, Crennel didn’t comment about the backup quarterback battle.

Play of the Day

Derrick Johnson did his best Jonathan Baldwin impression on the one day that Baldwin missed practice.

The All-Pro linebacker dropped into coverage and slid right in front of TE Jake O’Connell for an amazing, one handed interception.

Johnson baited Cassel to throw O’Connell’s way by acting like he was playing the run. As Cassel finished his three step drop, he didn’t notice that Johnson had backed off into coverage and threw a post to O’Connell over the middle of the field.

Johnson jumped the route and secured the ball with one hand. He spun to the ground, but still cradled the ball as his defensive teammates cheered on the sideline.

Wylie’s aforementioned touchdown grab was another standout play. Wylie, who nearly caught a tipped fade by Stanzi in the end zone one play earlier, rebounded with a crisp route and came up with a diving touchdown.

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