The Kansas City Chiefs awoke this morning with another day of on and off-the-field work ahead of them. The long hours of meetings, practice, as well as the individual study by each player are all must-have ingredients in the recipe for NFL success.
In many ways, it's the "Are you a glass half-full or half-empty?" kind of a person. NFL training camp is what you make of it and that's exactly what Chiefs QB Alex Smith shared about the preseason protocol known as Chiefs Training Camp.
"Camp is such a great time and then obviously, it's a tough time as well," Smith said. "It can be grueling and physically and mentally demanding. You don't get many days off but, there are a lot of great things. You're back with the guys, you're back in the locker room, the pads are on and there's kind of that accountability to each other to put in the work and depend on one another; it's a great thing."
Smith reported with the rest of the QBs a week ago today and along with the rest of the rookies and injured players, he began making the most of his time.
"I don't think many people get to experience it," Smith said. "It's great being in a team atmosphere like this, with such a great group of guys. I think a lot of the guys would agree with me, in a lot of ways, it's a ton of fun. It's a ton of fun being here and being around each other. We're in this together."
Before getting back to work this morning, Smith reflected on the team's first day in pads.
"It's never perfect," Smith admitted. "It's never totally what you want. We did some good things (and) we need to really work on some things."
The good things included fast-paced play execution, precise throws and many of them going to different targets. As for the things Smith believes need work, some of the problems are just because of an improved Chiefs defense.
"Our defense presents us with so many different problems and looks and it makes for a great practice for us," Smith said. "They throw so much at us; their playbook is so big for a defense in the NFL. It's great work for us, especially protection wise, up-front, this early on in camp and we're getting everything, (it's) great work."
Speaking of work, a lot of it is done in the classroom, where the coaches prepare the team to fix the errors from the previous practice.
"I think there were some things we need to clean up," Smith said after Sunday's practice. "Then outside, there are things that come up. It's one thing to draw these up on air and walk them on air; suddenly you throw some defenses out there and you get different looks and different things and they all kind of change and it's all those little details that really are the difference between executing and not, on Sunday. So, we're trying to get those squared away, so we're all on the same page and that they happen instinctively."
The work continues at 8:15 AM CDT today, with reports coming throughout practice.
As for Alex Smith, his leadership, poise, knowledge of the game and experience are showcased with each snap that he takes, which should create optimism throughout the entire Chiefs Kingdom, in 2013 and beyond.
Not able to make it to Chiefs Training Camp? Or, if rain prevents an outdoor practice, I'll be tweeting updates throughout the team's practice, providing updates, photos and more (@KCChiefs_Reid).