Chiefs OTA Observations 5/27: Day Two Notes

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If there's one thing that can be taken away from Wednesday's Chiefs practice, and in actuality, all of the Chiefs practices throughout the year, it's that everything coach Andy Reid does during their limited time together on the field has a purpose.

"It's one of the great things about Andy Reid," Voice of the Chiefs, Mitch Holthus, said on Wednesday. "We might not see some of this stuff until late November, but everything being done here is going to come up at some point during the season and it's going to help us win a game.

"Coming into year three with Reid, these players can all now see the purpose for what is being done this time of the year. All of these things are coming up later in the season, and that now has an effect on how these guys might view these practices early in the offseason."

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The Chiefs worked on many of the plays they'll run throughout training camp and even into the regular season. They're mixing in different personnel groups in hurry-up situations, which not only allows for not much down time during practice, but it also gets the players mentally in tune with what is going on during any given play.

"He's one of the most detail-oriented coaches I've ever been around," Holthus said. "He and Kansas State coach Bill Snyder are the same way. Everything has a purpose. Every drill, every play call and every meeting or conversation, there's a reason behind it all."

It's easy to see during practice that all of the coaches and players are on the same page. It's not always perfectly executed, but one thing that's been preached about Reid is his consistency.

The coaches and players know what's expected of them and right now, they're flying around and having some fun on the field working towards a successful 2015 campaign.

Day two of the Kansas City Chiefs offseason program at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex.

Nuts and Bolts of Wednesday's practice

  • Chiefs had their second of 10 OTA practices on Wednesday afternoon
  • After missing practice on Tuesday, Allen Bailey, Husain Abdullah and Daniel Sorensen were back on the field on Wednesday
  • The practice started with special teams once again, but the returners were working on kick returns today
  • After practice, Mike DeVito, Ben Grubbs, Eric Kush, Travis Kelce, Zach Fulton and Dee Ford spoke at the podium

Positional Spotlight – Linebackers

Today, we're going to highlight one of the most animated groups of the Chiefs team during Wednesday's practice—the linebackers.

You don't have to be far from where the linebackers are working out to hear Derrick Johnson talking to his teammates. It's obvious he's glad to be back on the field.

Top plays from Wednesday's practice

Both of the top plays from today's practice came on the defensive side of the ball.

On the first play, second-year cornerback Phillip Gaines made a fantastic pass breakup on a deep pass from Alex Smith intended for Jeremy Maclin.

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Gaines ran stride for stride with Maclin down the field, had good inside position and was able to get a hand on the ball and deflect it away from Maclin.

The second play came from linebacker Josh Martin, who was matched up against running back Jamaal Charles in coverage down the field.

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Not only did Martin make a good play when the ball was in the air, but also the fact that he was 20-plus yards down the field in pass coverage against one of the most explosive athletes in the NFL bodes well for defining his athletic ability on the defensive side of the ball.

Quotes of the Day

Travis Kelce on leadership: "I'm going to go ahead and take the bull by the horns and lead us to success."

Dee Ford on being more comfortable in his second year: "The situations that I didn't quite understand. I could spit it out to you, but once the bullets were flying, it was different. But now that I've seen them an ample amount of times and I've studied, it's coming to me."

Ben Grubbs on learning the offense: "I still think there's some value in writing things down. I still go back to the index cards. I do flash cards and I try to make that transition into the field. It's different. When you're writing down the plays, it's not the same as having (Dontari) Poe and (Allen) Bailey in front of you, but you want to make sure that you know the basics and we work on technique and the fundamentals when we get out here."* *

Player Spotlight – Tight end Travis Kelce

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At this point, most of the NFL-watching world knows who Chiefs third-year tight end Travis Kelce is.

He broke onto the scene last year displaying his elite combination of size and athleticism, and with that success, the expectations for Kelce have grown.

According to Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, Kelce is one of his 20 breakout players for 2015.

Prisco defines a "breakout player" as anyone who hasn't yet been to a Pro Bowl.

"It's hard to say a player who had 67 catches last season will be a breakout player, but now that *Anthony Fasano is gone I think that number could get closer to 100 catches. (Kelce) has that type of ability. He had five TD catches last season. I would be shocked if that isn't doubled this season."*

For Kelce, the expectations others have for him doesn't change anything.

"No one puts more expectations on me than myself," he said after practice. "That's just the heart of a competitor; that's how I was raised. My father taught me you can buy a man's back, but you can't buy his heart.

"With that being said, I come out here and I make sure that it's seen that I come out here and put all my effort, all my focus on being the best player I can be."

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Last year, Fasano was seen as the leader of the tight end group as the most seasoned player—someone Kelce has praised many times for his help in his own development.

Kelce now finds himself taking over that position, which is something he embraces.

"I come in and take the role," Kelce said. "It's as simple as that. It's not like it's a hidden secret or anything. I'm probably the most comfortable in the offense for being on the field for an entire year.

"We have Richard Gordon, who's a vet, who knows a lot and understands the game very well and we'll go from there. But it's clearly my room and I'm going to go ahead and take the bull by the horns and lead us to success."

One of the players Kelce will be instrumental in helping develop is fifth-round pick James O'Shaughnessy.

"James is a hard worker," Kelce said. "He's a tough kid. He comes out, he puts his nose to the grind and tries to get better.

"He's got a lot getting thrown at him right now. I've been in the position and to be honest, it's even more stressful on him because when I came in, everybody was getting used to the offense. It's a lot at once, but he's picking it up real well."

With all of the formations and personnel groups coach Andy Reid likes to use on the offensive side of the ball, Kelce's impact may have as much to do with how he helps his teammates come along as much as how he lights up the stat pages himself.

Hear from the players

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