If there is one word that could describe the Kansas City Chiefs' third OTA practice of the year that took place on Thursday at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex, it's "competition."
These guys were getting after it, and they were letting everyone within an earshot of the practice field know who won each rep. Whether it was one of five interceptions on the day by the defense, or one of the several great plays down the field by the offense, they were competing out there on Thursday.
"They're going back and forth which is good," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after practice. "You need the turnovers on the defensive side. You obviously don't want them on the offensive side, but we're getting good work in there where both sides are being effective.
"I like it. The guys have been challenging each other, which is beautiful. The offense makes a few plays, the defense makes a few plays and that's how you like it."
Nuts and Bolts of Wednesday's practice:
- This was their third of 10 OTA practices allowed by the NFL
- After two days of warm weather, Thursday was considerably cooler and overcast
- Towards the end of practice, a little rain came down during team offense vs. defense
- Chiefs coach Andy Reid spoke after practice
- Next OTA practice will be next Tuesday, June 2
Positional Spotlight – Receivers
Throughout much of the early portion of practice, the Chiefs receivers were working on their footwork and hand usage in getting defenders off of them in coverage.
Led by receivers coach David Culley, the players each go through individual drills and are really focused on the finer details of each step and each athletic movement to run the most efficient route possible.
Top plays from Wednesday's practice
The receivers and defensive backs really got after it on Thursday, and you could hear it from the sideline.
There were a lot of great plays coming from both of these groups, but here are three plays that really stood out.
The first was a beautiful throw-and-catch from Alex Smith to Frankie Hammond down the left sideline on a vertical route. The ball was placed over the outside shoulder of Hammond and led him perfectly in stride as he had a step on the defender to make the nice reception on a long gain.
The second play was an interception by Sean Smith on a post route from receiver Jeremy Maclin. Smith made a great adjustment to cut off the route once the ball was in the air and showed some nice hands to extend and bring in the ball to make the catch. After the play, Smith handed the ball to receivers coach David Culley, which was only the start of these two sides competing on Thursday afternoon.
The third play came from Chiefs fifth-round rookie tight end James O'Shaughnessy, who made a nice play across the middle on another pass from Alex Smith.
Against zone coverage, O'Shaughnessy found a nice hole in the middle of the defense and even with defensive back Ron Parker narrowly missing a pass breakup as he came flying underneath the route, O'Shaughnessy showed some nice concentration and plucked the ball out of the air in stride with his arms extended to pick up what would have been a nice chunk of yards for the offense.
On the day, the defense had several interceptions as well. There were plays being made by both sides and it was a fun day to watch these guys get after it and compete.
Day three of the Kansas City Chiefs offseason program at the University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex.
Andy Reid's Top Quotes after Practice
On Jeremy Maclin's diving for balls during OTAs: "That's him; that's 100 percent him. That's how he plays. It doesn't matter if it's a game, it's a practice, it's shorts—that's how he rolls. That's the beauty of him."
On Cairo Santos looking stronger: "He's bulked up a little bit and he's kind of proud of it. He's tightened up his sleeves and he's got the guns hanging out, so he's doing good. He looks a little bit stronger from last year."
Most importantly after three days of OTAs: "Really there are no injuries to talk about. The work has been good out here."
Player Spotlight – Safety Daniel Sorensen
Last year, safety Daniel Sorensen was one of three Chiefs players to make an impact as an undrafted rookie free agent. It was Sorensen, receiver Albert Wilson and kicker Cairo Santos who all fought their way onto the Chiefs' 53-man roster.
Now that he's had a chance to spend a year in this system, Sorensen said he's much more comfortable heading into year two.
"Leaps and bounds ahead," Sorensen explained. "You just pick up where you left off and I tried to put in a lot of work last year. Now, you can just relax and know what to expect and go out there and play."
On any given day last season, Sorensen could always be found in the film room, studying his game and trying to make himself a better player.
On Thursday, Sorensen was part of a defensive backs group that was constantly challenging the Chiefs' receivers on the practice field. It was a fun display of competition between two groups trying to not only win each rep simply for bragging rights, but to push the other side and to make them better as well.
The guys were diving for balls, challenging each other at the top of routes and competing once the ball was in the air.
"It's a combination of us working hard and having fun," Sorensen said. "That's when plays start happening and that's when you enjoy practice and you compete out there. That's kind of what it was today. We took a look at yesterday and we wanted to focus on a few things and getting our hands on balls.
"I think a big part of that was just having fun. When you have fun and relax, then you can make some plays."
Even without the pads on, Sorensen said the defense can still get plenty accomplished during these practices.
"Especially for the secondary, we can get a lot of work in with our feet, eyes and technique," he said. "We can get a lot of work done in 7 on 7 and that's our time to focus in on route recognition and making plays on the ball."
It's been a busy time for Sorensen over the past couple of months.
He recently graduated from Brigham Young University and he and his wife also just celebrated the birth of their first child, a son.
"It's fun," he said. "Sometimes I find myself thinking of the little guy back at home, but when it's time to work, you go out there and focus.
"It's just been an amazing offseason and an amazing time. You get a little bit of extra time right now during the offseason and so you can still work on football, but still enjoy some family time. It's been great."
Watch Coach Reid's Full Press Conference: