When the final horn sounded to conclude Saturday morning's practice, the players' thoughts and actions turned to their fans, greeting them and signing autographs, before addressing the media and/or walking up the hill to their locker room.
Thinking the players would be quick to talk about either their just-completed practice or maybe what the rest of their day looked like, including meetings, lunch, etc., I was off.
Each player I interviewed today, as well as well as Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, spent the majority of the time talking about '"Pads Day".
"The pads come on tomorrow," coach Pederson said. "It's a whole different world. It goes to one more notch up and anytime you start injecting contact, player mindsets change, the coaches' mindset changes and the energy level changes and it's going to be tough. These next few days, getting used to pads is going to be tough but it's what training camp is all about."
Coach Pederson shared his emotion and what he is specifically looking forward to seeing, when the team hits the field Sunday morning.
"I'm excited," Pederson said. "I really want to see what kind of team we're going to become. It all starts with the offensive line and I really want to see those guys and they've bought in all spring and summer long and now the physical part takes over. I just want to see where in the direction we're going to head as an offense and it hinges on that offensive line."
The anchor of the Chiefs offensive line is LT Branden Albert, who expects the pads to bring the best out of his teammates, on both sides of the ball.
"I'll have Tamba (Hali) and Justin (Houston) coming for my neck and (Eric) Fisher's, every play," Albert said. "I expect that. You expect guys to be competitive, guys getting down, trying to make each other better and that's what coach wants. I think that's the best thing; I've been through a lot of hard training camps but the one thing, we are practicing in the morning so, that heat's not there on us; that's a bonus, but it's still going to be hard."
"BA" also shared the relief he feels, now being back with his teammates and preparing for the season.
"I'm really excited," Albert said. "I'm excited to be playing with this team, with this opportunity that we have, with the guys we have. I think if things go right, guys stay healthy, we follow the game plan, follow the script, we could do some things." The first phase of Chiefs Camp practice in pads begins Sunday morning, bright and early at 8:15 AM CDT.