Nuts and Bolts of Thursday's practice * *
- The Chiefs finished their ninth of the 10 OTA practices allowed by the NFL on Thursday
- After two days of 90-plus degree temperatures, the overcast, slightly-cooler Thursday afternoon was a welcomed sight to everyone
- Jeremy Maclin (foot inflammation) returned to practice on Thursday and was a full participant
- Derrick Johnson, who had been limited over the past couple of days, was a full participant at Thursday's practice
- Dontari Poe did not practice, but was out walking around with his positional group as he deals with a back issue.
- Albert Wilson was limited at practice as he deals with a hamstring issue
A look at OTA's on Thursday at The University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex.
Top Plays from Thursday's practice * *
The top play of Thursday's practice was a connection between Alex Smith and Chris Conley down the right sideline during 11-on-11 work. Conley got separation vertically from the defender and Smith hit him in stride down the field. It wasn't a perfect day for the offense, but this connection was exactly the kind of play everyone would like to see plenty of moving forward.
The next best play came from the receiver who has become a regular in this section of the practice recap, rookie Kenny Cook. He made another fantastic catch down the field during 11-on-11 work.
On the deep pass from Aaron Murray, Cook extended his arms and left his feet to pull in the ball on a big gain for the offense down the field.
Defensively, the best play was a pick-six interception by linebacker Dezman Moses on a pass from Aaron Murray. Moses undercut the route from his linebacking position and had nothing but daylight in front of him as he raced towards the end zone.
Clips from Practice * *
Here are a few clips of what went on early at practice on Thursday:
Player Spotlight – Safety Tyvon Branch * *
After spending the past seven seasons with the Oakland Raiders, safety Tyvon Branch enters his first year with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Having played in just five games over the past two seasons, Branch said he's healthy and feeling good and excited to be working with the Chiefs defense, which is trying to build off an elite performance in 2014.
"It's a fast defense with a great front seven," Branch said. "I'm excited to be a part of it."
Branch joins a defensive backfield that put up some impressive numbers in 2014.
Most notably, this group didn't allow a 50-yard completion or 300-yard passer all season, and they were the only team in the NFL to accomplish either of those feats. What makes that even more impressive is they did that while playing six games against quarterbacks who finished the season in the top 10 in yards passing.
"They brought me right in and welcomed me like I've been here the whole time," Branch said of his defensive backs family. "It's a great feeling to come in and have them acclimate me the way that they have."
Of the 13 defensive backs who are currently practicing with the Chiefs, Branch is the only one who didn't spend time with the Chiefs last season.
As the new guy, he said he's getting more and more comfortable with the defensive scheme every day.
"With every practice I'm getting more and more comfortable," he said. "As a group, we're just going out there and making plays."
He said this time of the year is important for him to get used to running around the field with his teammates.
"It's good to see how these guys play and get a feel for where guys are going to be in certain defenses," he explained. "Even though we aren't working on our tackling or making big hits, it's just great for running around and knowing where you're supposed to be."
Branch said he's ready to get the pads on and get back to playing football.
"It's been a while since I've played so I'm ready to get those pads wet and get that football feeling back—that football pain."
Hear from WR Frankie Hammond Jr., DB Sanders Commings * *