Chiefs OTA Observations 6/4: Day Six

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Nuts and Bolts of Thursday's practice

  • Chiefs had their sixth of 10 OTA practices on Thursday afternoon
  • They started off outside, but moved indoors halfway through because of weather
  • Linebacker Derrick Johnson warmed up but did not practice once again
  • Defensive Lineman Dontari Poe is having back spasms and did not practice once again
  • Wide receiver Albert Wilson has a hamstring issue that's "more of a knot than a tear," per coach Reid. Wilson did not practice on Thursday after leaving practice early on Wednesday

The Chiefs were able to make it through part of individual drills and special teams before having to move inside because of weather.

Once they moved inside, the offense took the north end of the field while the defense worked on the south side. As the offense worked through their plays, the defense broke into two teams on its half of the field.

One half of the defense was being watched by defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, defensive line coach Tommy Brasher, assistant linebackers coach Mark DeLeone and assistant defensive backs coach Al Harris.

The other half of the guys were working with defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas, linebackers coach Gary Gibbs, assistant defensive line coach Britt Reid and coaching assistant Dino Vasso.

They were working through gap and coverage responsibilities on their different blitz schemes.

A look at OTA's on Thursday at The University of Kansas Hospital Training Facility.

Clips from Practice

Before they had to move inside, here are a few clips of what practice looked like on Thursday:

Top Plays from Thursday's practice

There are three plays that really stood out on Thursday.

The top play isn't up for debate. It was rookie receiver Kenny Cook's contested catch down the field on a pass from second-year quarterback Aaron Murray.

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Cook ran a hitch route up the left sideline and made a fantastic adjustment to the ball in the air and had to go up over the defensive back in order to make the play. It was the first highlight reel play of the day and everybody in the building knew it.

The second play was another nice contested catch, but this time it was from veteran Jeremy Maclin across the middle of the field. Alex Smith threw the ball into a tight window and Maclin left his feet to go up and snag the ball while the offense was going up against the defense in the red zone.

Finally, the other play that stood out was a pass from Chase Daniel deep down the field that went through the fingertips of receiver Da'Rick Rogers, who had a couple of steps on the defender.

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Key Takeaways from Coach Reid's Post-Practice Press Conference

On the injuries: "Dontari Poe has back spasms. He'll be fine here. Albert Wilson has a slight hamstring, really it's more of a knot than a tear, so he'll be back."

On LB Derrick Johnson: "Derrick came out and did the warmups today and then we pulled him off from there. We'll just keep giving him a little bit more every day. He's obviously feeling better."

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On how this is going so far: "I like the effort. The mistakes are kind of smoothing out there. It's way more functional than the last two years at this time. I think the threes, because the ones and twos are doing well, those young guys are coming in and it helps them out."

On how TE Travis Kelce is doing: "He's done a nice job. He's got a good grasp of things. When we go double tights we play him in a few different positions. When we go three tight ends, we move him around in different spots. He's handling all that very well."

On what prompted the move of De'Anthony Thomas to WR: "This is what ended up happening on it. Really, last year, he ended up being more receiver than running back. He's still taking the ball handling and still doing stuff in the running back position, but the majority of his snaps are from that receiver position, so we said 'You know what, let's just put him there, we know he can get back to it.' He does ball handling, so he works on the runs, but we put the emphasis on him getting to know those routes better as a receiver."

On how sophisticated Thomas' route running is in general: "He's getting better at that. He's worked like crazy at it, so he and Jason Avant sit next to each other, they talk all the time. Jason's one of the great route runners in this business. Jason's been a big help to him. He's been working his tail off for a while now."

On guys coming together to fit into that culture: "They challenge each other, they get along, they take care of each other. In these kind of camps, you're going to have collisions. They'll pull off. You're not going to go out and try to spike a guy out here. That's not what they do, but yet, they challenge each other. That's a tough plan. It's because they work hard together and they like being around each other."

On whether CB Phillip Gaines came further in a shorter period of time than most guys: "He's smart and he's fast and he's got good hips. He hit a low during training camp (last season) where nothing was going right for him for about two days there, and then he picked himself off the mat. Whether he rearranged his thought process, whatever it was that took place, he just kept getting better from that point and he had some good downs for us last year, and now, coming out here, he's jumped right in and he looks terrific."

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On having the same coaching staff for three years in a row: "I think that's important. Continuity is a big thing. [John Dorsey] has done a good job of keeping players around here too. That helps. But we all kind of know. As a coaching staff, we kind of know where we're going, what direction we're going in and I think that's important. That's a good thing."
On the best way to train QB Alex Smith to build on the stuff that he's done: "Alex is a perfectionist. That's what he is. In all phases of his game, he's an ultimate pro. You love the opportunity to coach him. He's a pleasure to coach. He can make every throw. We are running a lot of routes, so reps become important and timing with the players. That's what we're doing now. We're in our second phase of the same plays, but you have to work that timing part of it, so I think he and the receivers are much more on the same page now than when we started, in particular, Mac (Jeremy Maclin). You see some of the things they're doing out here. They're doing a good job."

On Week 2 of the OTAs: "The guys have worked very hard. They are challenging each other. Both sides of the ball are making plays. They are getting good work on special teams, getting good work in the weight room, so I think all those are positive things."

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