The Kansas City Chiefs kicked off their rookie minicamp on Saturday.
Here's what you need to know:
Nuts and Bolts
- There were 68 players in attendance on Saturday morning (Find the complete list here)
- Of those 68 players, 40 are here on a tryout basis
- Despite rain in the morning and early afternoon, the weather subsided enough for the guys to work outside on the practice field
- With temperatures around 80 degrees and with the rain falling in the morning, the atmosphere was pretty muggy (Chiefs GM John Dorsey still wore his usual sweatshirt)
- Players were not in pads, just helmets and shorts. Offensive players were in red, defensive players in white
- All nine of the Chiefs' 2015 draft picks were in attendance
- The team had a walkthrough in the morning, then a scripted afternoon practice
- Former Hogan Prep and Pittsburg State Gorilla standout cornerback, De'Vante Bausby, is one of 13 college free agents that signed contracts with the Chiefs prior to the minicamp
- After starting with special teams, the players then broke off into positional groups before coming together for team work
(Picture: Chiefs first-round pick Marcus Peters making a play on the ball during Saturday's practice)
Quote(s) of the Day
*First-round pick, cornerback Marcus Peters:*
"I'm excited to be here with the organization, finally, and I'm just ready to play ball."
Third-round pick, Chris Conley on the playbook:
"Initially, if you look at the totality of it, it can be overwhelming. It's something that you have to look at and break down into smaller pieces.
"Once you break it down into smaller pieces, you start to look at concepts, personnel groupings, and the way you put these plays together and situations that you run them, then it's similar to some of the stuff we ran in college."
Chiefs coach Andy Reid
"[De'Vante Bausby] is a huge Chiefs fan. We noticed that during our work out here for the local Pro Day. That's where we saw him. Then he cranks out like a 4.35 40-yard dash, comes out and does the drills well so we said, 'Come out here and let's give you a shot and see what you can do.'"
"This is what we do and Dorsey has loaded us up here, and now it's important that we coach these guys up and do what we do as coaches."
Play(s) of the Day
Two plays really stood out as the best of the day, with both coming from the offensive side of the ball.
The first came via former Lamar receiver Mark Roberts (6-4, 182 pounds), who made a fantastic catch across the middle in team drills. He took the high throw across the middle on a slant working from the outside and fully extended to high-point the ball and make the catch for the first oh-and-ah moment of the day.
The second play came on a pass from CSU-Pueblo quarterback Chris Bonner (6-6, 231 pounds) to receiver Chris Conley (6-3, 205 pounds) on a go route deep down the field. Conley had created some separation from the defender and Bonner put it out in front of Conley to lead the speedy third-round pick for a beautiful hookup down the field.
View all of the great photos from Steve Sanders of today's practice.
Draft picks, UFA and tryout players are on the field for the first day of rookie mini camp.
Positional Workout Spotlight
In today's positional group spotlight, let's take a look at a few clips of the Chiefs' rookie linebackers getting some work in under the direction of linebackers coach, Gary Gibbs.
While many of the players aren't familiar with the other 68 guys in attendance this weekend, there are a handful of guys that know each other pretty well.
The Chiefs drafted cornerback Steven Nelson in the third round out of Oregon State, then came back in the fifth round and took his teammate in linebacker D.J. Alexander.
But soon after the draft, the Chiefs reached out to both linebacker Michael Doctor and safety Ty Zimmerman and invited them to try out for the team at this weekend's rookie minicamp. Both Doctor and Zimmerman played on the defense at Oregon State as well.
"It's real cool," Nelson said of getting back together with his teammates. "Without knowing a lot of the guys that are here, I can at least associate with a few guys while we get started."
For Zimmerman, who is one of 40 players participating on a tryout basis, he also enjoys having a few familiar faces around.
"It was exciting," Zimmerman said after practice. "We all grew up playing football together at Oregon State. We have that chemistry and it was fun to get out there today and do it again."
Hear from Chiefs coach Andy Reid's post-practice press conference:
Chiefs coach Andy Reid:
OPENING STATEMENT:"Alright fellas, really I have no injuries to announce, which is a good thing. I thought the crew here worked hard. It was great to get the rookies back in here and working. I thought they did a nice job today. We threw a lot at them and they handled it, which is a good thing."
Q: What are you looking to see from the guys out here?
REID:"Right here it's equal opportunity. Everyone has the same reps, and they are getting plenty of looks, which we told them would take place. I just expect them to come out and learn the best they can and then go out and compete within the rules that we have here."
Q: When you see some notable rookies around the league getting seriously hurt in these rookie mini camps, does that cause you to take a look at what you are doing?
REID:"Things happen. I got it, it's that kind of a sport, but we were lucky enough to get through today without that. Most of the guys here had a week to prep for this and just to kind of knock the edge off if nothing else."
Q: Do you ever see a player who on the first day doesn't know where they are supposed to be, but then really picks it up by the third day?
REID:"Absolutely. You can tell the guys that are grasping it and can handle it. The objective is to give them enough reps to where you don't miss on a guy. Dorse (Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey) and his crew have done a great job at creating competition. Even for this right here, there are some good players. So we'll take a peek at them and we'll give them a little bit more tomorrow and see what they can digest and see if they can come out here and function with what we give them tomorrow."
Q: How much tape did you watch of the college free agents and the tryout guys that you have here?
REID:"Most of the guys that signed, I had a chance to look at. A couple of the guys that we brought in on invite, I had a chance to look at. The majority of the invite guys I didn't – the ones that didn't sign as undrafted free agents."
Q: What is the benefit of working a guy at different positions?
REID:"Well, the obvious is that you get to see them move around a little bit, at least doing football activity and you add it in to maybe what you saw last week, and you add this into the mix. The next step would be if they make it to training camp, where they can actually go live and play football, and that's the next step. But you evaluate them and give them all a fair shot and see what you've got."
Q: What did you see out of Mitch Morse today?
REID:"From what I saw, I thought Mitch did pretty well. Most of his work was at center, but he had a chance to play some guard. And he seems to be handling things pretty well."
Q: Where were Curtis Feigt and Kelvin Palmer today?
REID:"Yeah, actually Curtis had some hip issues. Palmer, I'd have to get that to you. I'm not sure exactly on that."
Q: Do you like having a large number of bodies here?
REID:"I do. You at least have two lines full of players, so you can do some team stuff and not have to worry about the reps and guys getting so exhausted that they can't practice."
Q: What are your thoughts on Charles Tuaau's graduation story?
REID:"It's good, it's a good thing. Those are the good stories that you want to write about."
Q: Was that one of those deals where there was no concern about letting him go for that?
REID:"Well, all of these guys. Shoot, we let Bobby Bell go from our thing (annual rookie dinner) last night to go graduate. It's not mandatory. They've got to go and do their thing. Graduation is a pretty important thing though. Congratulations to all of them who have that opportunity."
Q: What are your thoughts on (De'Vante) Bausby? He's a local kid.
REID: "He's a huge Chiefs fan and we noticed that during our workout here for the locals. That's when we saw him. Then he comes in and cranks out like a 4.35 and does the drills well. So we said, 'come out, we'll give you a shot here and see what you can do.' So he's doing it. He's having an opportunity."
Q: Were you ever concerned that he wasn't going to choose the Chiefs?
REID: "We thought he was going to come here if he didn't get drafted. We thought we'd have a pretty good shot at it. He's an energetic kid if you ever have a chance to talk to him. He's got a nice personality to him. He's a smart kid. He got a degree in something good in the business department. He's a pretty sharp kid."
Q: Sage Harold, he's over shadowed by his uncle a bit.
REID: "Who's his uncle?"
Q: Eli. Was he somebody you guys looked at?
REID: "I saw him a little bit. I thought he was a good player, definitely worthy of coming in and having an opportunity. We will see how he does."
Q: What were some of the tools you saw from him? He's kind of a big guy, but he can come off the edge a little bit.
REID: "You just said it. We've got it on tape and you just said it. He's got good quickness, is what he has, and a good first step. So you look at that and that becomes important. He uses his hands well, which is important. Want me to keep going?"
Q: From a big picture point of view, what was it like to get on the field and coach the guys?
REID: "It's always good. It's what we do. Dorsey has loaded us up here, so it's important that we get down and coach these guys and do what we do as coaches."
Hear from first-round pick Marcus Peters, second-round pick Mitch Morse and third-round pick's Chris Conley and Steve Nelson:
CB MARCUS PETERS
Q: It's been a while since you've been at practice?
PETERS:"Yeah, it's been a while, but it feels good to be back out here. It feels really good."
Q: Does it feel like getting back on a bike?
PETERS:"Yeah, the first walkthrough today is just to put the training wheels on for the install stuff. But they're taken off once we get out there for the practice."
Q: Have you been overwhelmed at all in your first few days here?
PETERS:"No, not even. It's football at the end of the day. It's nice to be here with the organization finally and just ready to play ball."
Q: Is there anything you are familiar with in the playbook?
PETERS:"It's ball at the end of the day. I come in here and learn the system and it's time to go play."
Q: How was it being with all of the rookies together last night at the rookie dinner?
PETERS:"It was well. I know some of the guys who are here, so that's really big just to know I know some people and to have that bond early. It's a bond in the locker room already."
Q: Who had you already met among the rookies?
PETERS:"Chris Conley, Steve Nelson, those guys I met them at the Combine. And like I said, the bond is already there."
Q: Did you see what happened to Dante Fowler in Jacksonville and Jeff Heuerman in Denver?
PETERS:"Yeah, I'm sorry to hear that. God bless them."
Q: What goes through your mind when you hear something like that?
PETERS:"I play ball. You can't do anything about it. I wish the best for those guys, but it's ball. There is no (being) laid back with this."
Q: This early though? It's a long way until training camp. That doesn't change the way you look at it?
PETERS:"No, it's ball. You never know when that stuff is going to happen, so it's just ball."
C MITCH MORSE
Q: How is everything going so far?
MORSE:"A few of us guys came in a little earlier. This last Sunday we came in and got acclimated with the team, the environment and how things go around here. It's good. It's a learning process. Getting the playbook is definitely a challenge, but it's something that you have to do. There's a learning curve, but you've got to make that curve up as fast as possible, and that's what I am hoping to do right now."
Q: Did you start working on your snaps when you heard the Chiefs were going to take you?
MORSE:"Well, at the time I didn't know what I was going to play, and I had to wait until I got here to know that it was at center or right guard or wherever they need me. But definitely got in that night with my roommate and had some snaps. That was a fun time."
Q: In the room?
MORSE:"In the room."
Q: How big is that room?
MORSE:"It is not very big."
Q: Is this a dorm room or apartment?
MORSE:"This is Chase Suites, Overland Park."
Q: Who is your roommate?
MORSE:"My roommate is Charles Sweeton from Tennessee-Martin."
Q: Not a quarterback?
MORSE:"No, not a quarterback."
Q: Have you worked at all on your snaps since the last time you played center at Missouri?
MORSE:"Yeah, there have been times at practice when you do game-time situations when people go down and get hurt. You have to move in at center, just here and there. Nothing too extensive. This offseason, especially around Combine training, we implemented me at center. Talked to the agent and said, 'Listen, this is what guys see you at. Heavy, short arms.' I had no idea about it until I got to the Combine. They were hounding me, so they said, 'Listen you're inside for sure.' So I started working on my snaps right after that."
Q: When you see guys like Dante Fowler in Jacksonville and Jeff Heuerman in Denver go down and also your college teammate Shane Ray have problems with his foot, what goes through your mind? Does that give you pause at all?
MORSE:"It's unfortunate news. I really respect those guys and Shane is a good teammate of mine, so it's definitely tragic, but they have positive outlooks on it. And I know Fowler tweeted like right after, 'This gives me a year to get better.' He had an optimistic mindset. But an unfortunate circumstance is this is the NFL and that this is the next man up and you can only say, 'oh well, it was me,' for so long when an organization has to fill in that position. It's a business. So he knows that he has a whole offseason and a whole season to get better and then get after it after that."
WR CHRIS CONLEY
Q:How's it going, Chris?
CONLEY:"It's going great."
Q:You haven't had a chance to have the Georgia alumni meeting yet?
CONLEY:"Not quite, but I've run into a lot of those guys in the facility and in the locker room. It's good to see familiar faces. There are so [many] new things going on and so many things flying in your face, but having familiar faces and guys who can kind of show you the ropes is so beneficial at this point. I'm loving it."
Q:Is it kind of intimidating looking at some of the playbook and thinking about what you have ahead?
CONLEY: "I think initially. Initially when you look at it and the totality of it can be overwhelming. It's something you have to break down into smaller pieces. Once you break it down into smaller pieces and you start to look at concepts, you start to look at personnel groupings and the way that you put these plays together, situations you put together. It's similar to some of the stuff we ran in college. We ran a pro style offense. So you have to really slow things down and kind of marinate different concepts for a couple days."
Q:Breaking things down, is that how you studied educationally at Georgia?
CONLEY: "Yes. It's the same way. Now football is our job, football is our school, [our] work. We spend our whole day here. We spend time away from here in our books. It's much the same. You have to take the time and put the effort in in order to learn it."
Q:Was there a course at Georgia that you thought the pieces wouldn't come back together because it was so difficult?
CONLEY:"I took political science when I was a freshman at Georgia. Going into that, I didn't have the easiest teacher. It was a learning experience for me. Made my first B in that class. For a while I thought it was going to be a C. It was difficult. You had to relearn some things and remake some study habits. It's really what you have to do when you're an athlete, a professional athlete. You have to relearn some of your habits, you have to create new ones and you have to see what works for you."
Q:Politics wasn't anything you wanted to be a part of?
CONLEY: "No, never. I never really thought that politics would be the thing for me. Right now it's playing Chiefs football."
Q:Have the coaches told you if you'll be on the inside or the outside?
CONLEY: "Right now, my job is to learn the offense and that's what I've been told. Conceptually, I've been told to learn the offense conceptually. So I don't know where it is I'll be playing this season. Today I'll probably be moved around a lot. Coach Culley told me, 'Hey, learn the concepts, learn the offense, be able to help and contribute."
CB STEVEN NELSON
Q:How's this first day going for you?
NELSON: "It's going real good. It's everything I expected coming here. I'm getting some good knowledge in with the coaches and getting some good chemistry with my future teammates."
Q: Did you take a look at the playbook? Are you overwhelmed at all?
NELSON: "It's a lot to learn. I'm actually getting the hang of it. I'm putting in the time and effort to make sure I get it."
Q:Are you working a lot with Emmitt Thomas?
NELSON: "Yeah, Emmitt Thomas and Coach Al Harris. Those guys are helping me out to get the playbook."
Q:What surprised you the most so far?
NELSON: "Nothing really. Pretty much came in here ready for it."
Q:Have you been here all week?
Q:What can you show at something like this that isn't that physical?
NELSON: "Right now they are trying to see if you can get the playbook down. It's not all hit each other and trying to hurt each other right now. It's just trying to learn the playbook."
Q:Is this still fun even though you can't hit each other?
NELSON: "Yeah. Another thing you can get out of it is the technique because you're not so physical. You work your feet at cornerback."
Q:How competitive is this?
NELSON: "It's very competitive. Everybody here is good, they are here for a reason. I think it will be very competitive."