Chiefs Rookie Minicamp: Day Two Recap

Notes from Sunday's practice

The Kansas City Chiefs held their second day of rookie minicamp on Sunday, and all 67 players were back out on the field after going at it on Saturday.

Rookie defensive back KeiVarae Russell, who left practice early on Saturday with cramps, was back out there with his teammates on Sunday. Receiver Demarcus Robinson and Parker Ehinger are also dealing with cramps.

Even with rain the area, the team was able to have both their morning walkthrough as well as their afternoon practice outside.

On Saturday, four of the draft picks spoke with the media following the morning session. You can find all of that content here.

The other five members of the 2016 draft class spoke with the media on Sunday, and here's what they had to say:


Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): Is the way you deliver the football just a natural thing? How much do you think it helps you?

HOGAN: "I mean it's definitely natural. I've been throwing my whole life. There are some things that you can always clean up with your mechanics and delivery. As far as the throwing motion, it's natural. It's something I've done since I was a kid."

Paylor: How long have you been playing quarterback?

HOGAN: "I've been playing since freshman year of high school, but I've been playing in the backyard since I was very young."

Paylor: Can you elaborate a little bit on how difficult the verbiage was at Stanford?

HOGAN: "It's very difficult. It takes a lot of studying. There aren't enough hours in the day to master it, but you do what you can. The coaches trusted us enough to put a lot on us. We'd go into the huddle with three, four plays called. For 11 guys to be on the same page with all of those plays and get up to the line of scrimmage, communicate to get into the right play, it was awesome. It made us a better football team and it really showed how much the coaches trusted us and how much we were able to handle. Coming over here, it's a very similar offense. The same West Coast style, different in some ways, but just having that background, it helps me a little bit."

Paylor: How many words do you think you had to spit out in the huddle at Stanford before you walked to the line of scrimmage?

HOGAN: "I mean, the longer plays, 15, 15 to 18 words. Just the play call sometimes if you want to communicate something specifically, you've got to spend a little bit more time. They're long play calls but you get to the point of where you can just rattle them out. You know the gameplan inside and out so you can rattle them out. The guys, once they hear half the play, they know what the rest is."

Paylor: Do you think using signs in calling plays would present an advantage for you?

HOGAN: "Yeah I definitely hope so. I think it's a huge advantage. Just calling a play in the huddle, that's a big step. Getting up to the line, communicating with your teammates, going through the reads, going through the progressions, it's different. Just having that level of communication where you can talk to your teammate in the huddle, you can tell them what's going to happen, what the down and distance is, so that you're all on the same page. It's very different than kind of being on your own island at the beginning of each play."

Brad Porter (Time Warner Cable Sports): Being in a pro-style system, have you talked to other kids around the country who did not and are having to adjust?

HOGAN: "Are you talking about players that played at Stanford?"

Porter: No, other players around the country who played at different schools.

HOGAN: "I haven't really talked to too many guys so I wouldn't be able to tell you other than Stanford players."

Paylor: When you got the Chiefs playbook, what was your first impression?

HOGAN: "First thing I saw was just all the similarities. It's the Bill Walsh, West Coast offense. If anything, it's some of the things that I saw as a freshman at Stanford that were soon adapted and changed, but it's the pure West Coast offense which is great. You go through your progressions and go through all your reads. You'll do check-downs and make your protection calls, but I just saw the similarities that it had with our offense."

Paylor: Did your receivers at Stanford have to make slight adjustments?

HOGAN: "On some plays if there were blitzes coming off the edge, defensive back blitzes, then they might have to make an adjustment, but we didn't really have too many hot adjustments."

Paylor: What has it been like spitting out these plays from Coach (Andy) Reid? Do you think you're doing a good job?

HOGAN: "It's always a challenge when you're doing something new, but I feel like I'm doing a good job with it. I feel like I'm getting better each time I step in the huddle and I feel more confident. As long as I just keep that trajectory, I'll be happy with it. Just keep getting better."

Paylor: When you're out there, is Coach Reid behind you, and are you hearing a lot from him or someone else?

HOGAN: "Well, it's my first time having the headset in my helmet, so I'm hearing that. And then Coach Reid is right behind us, talking to us before and after each play, giving us some advice, seeing where our eyes are, Coach (Brad) Childress, Coach (Matt) Nagy, so we have a lot of great advice coming to us and coaching points. It's a great situation right now."

Paylor: Would you say that it's overwhelming?

HOGAN: "No. I mean, I feel like you want to put a lot on us right now and see what we can handle. I feel like all of us have done a great job with it so far after one practice. I'm excited to get to the second one later this afternoon."


Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star): When did you get here? Friday?

EHINGER: "Yep. Got in Friday."

Paylor: Specifically for you, what has it been like having to understand these long play calls?

EHINGER: "It's been different. We get here and open up the playbook and kind of see what it's all about, but there are a lot of similarities in the playbook from what I did in college to here. It's just familiarizing yourself with all the stuff and just kind of trying to get it down. You just listen to a certain part of the play call that pertains to you, so you just listen for that, go out there and run the play."

Paylor: Yesterday, were you mainly at guard or tackle?

EHINGER: "Just left guard yesterday."

Paylor: Did you start there in college? I think you started at right tackle and right guard in college, right? Never at left guard?

EHINGER: "Yes sir. No, just for the East-West Shrine Game."

Paylor: How do you feel about left guard?

EHINGER: "It's a little bit different. It's a little bit of an adjustment at first. I played left guard at the East-West Shrine Game so it's not too uncommon for me, it's just bumping down inside. I'm a little more comfortable coming out of a right hand stance at guard, but it's nothing I can't handle at left guard."

Paylor: Are you more comfortable on the edge or on the inside moving these big guys?

EHINGER: "Whatever the team needs me to do. Whatever is best for the team, I'm happy to do it. I'm comfortable at both positions, so I'll do whatever is best for the team."

Paylor: Do you feel like you have the skillset to chip in at tackle if you need to?

EHINGER: "Yeah I think so. I played a lot of games at tackle in college and I think I could compete for a spot at tackle if they need me to go in there. Whatever is best for the team."

Paylor: Are you getting a sense that they will place you at tackle at some point? Have you begun the process of cross-training?

EHINGER: "You know, right now it's just mentally preparing yourself for what could happen. Coach (Andy) Heck told me I could get some tackle reps here in the next few days, so it's just mentally preparing myself so that if I get bumped up at that position, that I can make that switch physically and mentally and it will be an easy switch."

Paylor: Have you talked to Travis Kelce yet?

EHINGER: "Yeah, he actually took me out for sushi the first night I got here."

Paylor: How did that go?

EHINGER: "Good. It was good to see him again. The last time I saw him was probably last year during spring ball. We were good friends in college."

Paylor: How comfortable are you getting to the second level and squaring guys up?

EHINGER: "I feel very comfortable doing it. I have done it, had to do it in college when I played guard and tackle. Have to get on the second level and have a good base. A lot of guys are not afraid to hit you, so especially with my frame as a big, tall guy, you have to have a good base and play with low hips. When you get up on the second level, not have your feet close together. You're going to be put on your butt."

Paylor: Did you watch a lot of pro football before?

EHINGER: "Yes sir."

Paylor: Which linemen do you see or like to emulate?

EHINGER: "Probably either Alex Boone or Joe Staley. Joe Staley went to the same high school as me, was coached by the same head coach, so I heard a lot about him growing up through the ranks in middle school and freshman, sophomore year."

Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal): When the Chiefs drafted you, were you aware that left guard was basically an open position?

EHINGER: "I didn't know before I had gotten drafted that the Chiefs availability was possibly at guard. After I got drafted, I kind of looked into it, but obviously Coach Reid is going to put the best five guys out there. We're all just competing to get a spot out there, so the best five will play on Sunday."

Teope: Has there been any pressure to pick up this offense so you can get to OTAs running?

EHINGER: "Yeah, I mean they're throwing all this stuff on you in three days. It's quick. You've got to be able to learn fast and once you get out there, you've got to be able to perform. Putting it all together is a big part of it."

Brad Porter (Time Warner Cable Sports): What are you doing for Mother's Day?

EHINGER: "Actually I took my mom out for dinner and got her a gift before I left to come down here, but I'll call her when I get a chance later today."

Porter: So you already celebrated before you came to Kansas City?

EHINGER: "Yeah, I already took her out and got her gifts and everything."

Porter: How do you like Kansas City so far? Have you gotten out to do anything yet?

EHINGER: "I haven't gotten out and done anything yet. I like the city a lot, just kind of wandered around the area with Travis (Kelce). Travis kind of showed me around a little bit, but I came from the city in Cincinnati, so it's kind of the same thing, but obviously there's a little more country out here too. Hopefully I'll move out there when I get a place around here."


Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star):How did you end up with No. 21?

MURRAY: "They kind of just sprung it on me. It was just there in my locker and I was surprised just like everybody else."

Paylor:You said 'like everybody else,' do you mean your teammates?

MURRAY: "When you come in and you're a rookie, you don't really expect to get a good number. It's always a surprise."

Paylor:Did any of your rookie teammates say something to you about that?

MURRAY: "KeiVarae (Russell)."

Paylor:What did he say?* *

MURRAY: "He was like 'Man, I'm going to have to fight you for that 21.' We've been arguing back and forth about that."

Paylor:Is the speed in the NFL normal for you or is it fast?

MURRAY: "The speed is normal, it's just the learning curve, which is the fastest part about it because you want to learn the system in three days and you have to come out here and do it and they throw a book at you. That's the toughest part about it."

Paylor:Just to be clear, when you came in Friday, you were in the locker room when you got your jersey number?

MURRAY: "Yeah, I didn't pick any number."

Paylor:But you walked to your locker and saw it?

MURRAY: "Yeah, it was Friday."

Paylor:How much more complicated are the concepts that you're seeing or is this kind of what you did at Minnesota?

MURRAY: "Most of it, we did at Minnesota. The only thing that's different is the lingo, that's the only different part. But most of it we did (at Minnesota) and we probably had more concepts, but they have more definitive concepts if that makes any sense."

Paylor:How comfortable are you playing off coverage and reading and reacting?

MURRAY: "I didn't do too much of it at Minnesota, so I'm really not that comfortable with it. But I'm always open to learning, adding something else to my repertoire."

Paylor:Do you get the sense that that's something you're going to have to add here?

MURRAY: "Yeah."

Paylor:What has it been like working with Al Harris?

MURRAY: "It's been great, just being able to learn from him, somebody who's been through what you've been through, so I think that's a huge plus."

Paylor:Three rookie corners in one draft, this is going to be a little bit of a competition. What was your reaction when you saw they took D.J. White?

MURRAY: "Just more competition, I have to be sharper and I have to be better than anybody else I have to compete with."

Paylor:The scout who scouted you said people at Minnesota said you were the toughest guy on the team. What does that mean, does that sound right to you?

MURRAY: "I don't just go around trying to exercise or something like that. I just don't take any mess, I guess. If somebody wants to get crazy, it's fine."

Paylor:How important is it when you're on the field to let receivers know that this is going to be a battle today? What happens if you're a corner and you don't do that?

MURRAY: "I feel like if you don't do that, they think they can do whatever they want and they think they can get away with certain things. If you let them know early on (they're) not going to get away with this today, then they're going to have to come up with something else to do."

Paylor:When did you learn that?

MURRAY: "I don't know, it just kind of came, kind of came as the years went by."

Paylor:Did you learn that before college or was it as a football player, you just learned that early?

MURRAY: "Probably not as a football player, just more as a person in life. Just upbringing and stuff like that."

Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal):How often have you found yourself working at nickel cornerback at these practices?

MURRAY: "Not very often. Not often at all."

Paylor:Have you ever played safety?

MURRAY: "I never played safety before, at all."

Paylor:Even in high school you were a corner?

MURRAY: "Yeah. So, we'll see."

Nathan Vickers (KCTV5):What are you doing for Mother's Day?

MURRAY: "I'm calling my mom later. We'll have a long conversation and just talk."


Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star):Is this about normal speed for you?

NICOLAS: "Overall, yesterday I took it like 'Welcome to the NFL.' I wasn't expecting anything, but I was just going with the flow."

Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal):How similar is the playbook to what you had at Virginia Tech?

NICOLAS: "Very different. It's the NFL, professional, more details and all that good stuff. Compared to when I was at college, it's simpler – just because I was on the defensive line where I'm worrying about covering and rushing at the same time."

Paylor:Do you feel like you have to train your eyes to understand the stuff that's going to be run at you? How comfortable are you coming out of a two-point stance?

NICOLAS: "I'm really blessed to be in this position that I am here in Kansas City. I'm looking forward to the opportunity of growing as a player. I think I have great potential at the position and I have great coaches and great veterans around me to help me grow."

Paylor:Did you do much in coverage at Virginia Tech?

NICOLAS: "Not as much as I'm going to do. But I prepared before getting here, prepared for everything."

Teope:How did you prepare?

NICOLAS: "Just getting with the right people – Chuck Smith, stuff like that, (Defensive Line Inc.), they got me right."

Paylor:What was it like working with Chuck Smith?

NICOLAS: "Chuck is good people. He's a good mentor as well."

Paylor:What made you want to work on the technique with Smith instead of focus on your 40 time?

NICOLAS: "Just because, what I had in front of me in terms of the Senior Bowl, stuff like that. So I was preparing for that as well as the Combine and everything else."

Paylor:How long did you work with Smith?

NICOLAS: "A good seven weeks."

Paylor:What do you think you learned?

NICOLAS: "I was able to grow my IQ, learn a whole lot more about the position and pass rush."

Paylor:What's your go-to pass rush move?

NICOLAS: "Speed."

Paylor:What do you do off that?

NICOLAS: "After that? Spin."

Paylor:Do you have a comfort with those? Did you regularly work those in or was the spin something you added?

NICOLAS: "I always had that, I feel like, but I still need to perfect it because there's a right timing to do everything. Detail is way more important the higher you go up. Just still growing as a player."

Teope:Do you get a sense that the Chiefs want you to put on more weight or are they happy with where you're at?

NICOLAS: "For me to play as much as I want to play, I need to gain weight, that's obvious. I plan on gaining about 15 more pounds, 10-to-15 more pounds by the time August comes around."

Nick Jacobs (Time Warner Cable Sports Channel):What pass rushers in the NFL do you try to craft your rushes after?

NICOLAS: "We have great rushers. Right now, all I'm worried about are the ones that we have here – Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. I'm just trying to get right and learn from these guys and just grow as a player, stuff like that."

Paylor:Do you get the sense that you're going to have to do more thinking at the line of scrimmage as far as understanding the concepts that are going to be run at you?

NICOLAS: "Indeed. That comes with the position, there's more of a responsibility and all that good stuff."

Teope:If you do put on 10-15 more pounds, how worried are you that you'll lose your speed?

NICOLAS: "I'm not worried at all. I'm just looking forward to growing. It's mandatory to do that, just because of the demand of the game and to protect myself, for me to last."

Paylor:There are some people that had you as a second-or-third-round pick, did you get a sense for why you ended up falling?

NICOLAS: "I'm not sure, I don't care. I'm just grateful for this opportunity. Looking forward to it, looking forward to making the best of it."


Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star):What was the base coverage you guys relied upon at Georgia Tech?

WHITE: "Our base coverage was cover four."

Paylor:So you ran a lot of cover four?

WHITE: "A lot of cover four, yeah."

Paylor:Did you do a lot of man coverage or was it mainly zone stuff?

WHITE: "It was a mixture. We ran some one-high and mixed that in with the cover four as well as cover three."

Paylor:Do you feel comfortable with your ability to play off coverage?

WHITE: "Oh yeah, definitely. Just trying to keep working, trying to get better. But I definitely know I have the ability to do it."

Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal):What about press-man?

WHITE: "Press-man, too. I feel comfortable in both. Coming in here as a rookie, I'm just trying to continue to get better."

Teope:What is it about playing press-man that you enjoy?

WHITE: "The competitiveness of it. Getting in guys' faces and just competing."

Paylor:How complicated is the defensive playbook so far? Is this more complicated than you're used to?

WHITE: "Yeah, it's a little bit more of a step. Coming in from the corner perspective, a lot of it is kind of consistent with what they're teaching. But it's more of a step as far as conceptually picking up on things."

Teope:What do you need to do to set yourself apart from the other two cornerbacks the Chiefs drafted?

WHITE: "Just work. The way I look at it, I'm competing against myself, first and foremost. Those guys are good players, they're here for a reason. But for me, I'm just trying to be the best I can be."

Nick Jacobs (Time Warner Cable Sports Channel):On his play against Pittsburgh chasing down James Conner in 2014:

WHITE: "I just saw the guy take off and, from where he was, I felt like I could get him. Honestly, when I stripped it, I didn't think we were going to get the ball back. I didn't know the rule at the time; but when we got it, it was pretty cool, my teammates were happy."

Jacobs:Do you feel like that's a play that defines who you are?

WHITE: "Yeah, part of it. That's one play amongst some others. But that's a play, I would say, as far as my effort, I try to play with that kind of effort."

Jacobs:Where do you find those playmaking abilities?

WHITE: "I don't know, I just love the moment. When the moment's there, I just try to make the most of it."

Paylor:When you chased down James Conner, did you know you could get him because he's 240? He's a big dude.

WHITE: "No, honestly – he is a big dude. It's funny, because earlier in the season, I tried to do the same thing to another team, but the guy was a little bit too far ahead. No disrespect towards him, but I kind of saw he wasn't too far, so I just tried to go get him."

Paylor:It's not unusual for you to give that effort, is it? Even if it was a little guy, you would have done the same?

WHITE: "Definitely, I would have done the same thing. Absolutely."


WHITE: "A couple reasons: You're competing, you're trying to win the game, so you don't want them to score – you never know how that may end up. If you stop him, you can get a stop or a turnover. And on top of that, your teammates look to that. They see that it's fuel and energy."

Paylor:On film, when you give that kind of effort, do you feel like the coaches give you a little more love?

WHITE: "Yeah, coaches always respect effort. That's not why you do it, to get the love. But they definitely, from a coaching perspective, when you see that, you don't have to coach effort, it's just there."

Paylor:Where did you pick up that mentality?

WHITE: "I've always been competitive growing up as a kid. That's kind of where it comes from. I know, in college, my defensive coordinator, he really emphasized playing until the whistle blows."

Paylor:Which coordinator was that?

WHITE: "Ted Roof."

The 2016 rookies take the field on Saturday to get work in.

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