It's been 23 days since the Kansas City Chiefs QBs, rookies and injured players reported to Scanlon Hall dormitory on the campus of Missouri Western State University, joined three days later by their veteran teammates. One day later, on July 26th, Andy Reid began his first training camp as the Chiefs head coach.
Fast forward to this morning, as suitcases begin to be packed, before the Chiefs complete a final walk-through, grab lunch and then head home.
Walking outside of Scanlon this morning, I saw players packing their cars for the brief trip home, later greeting Chiefs OL Matt Reynolds, saying, "Congrats! You did it!" and with a huge smile on his face, he responded with three words, "We did it!", rejoicing over the proud accomplishment of conquering camp.
The 2013 Kansas City Chiefs are energetic and filled with motivation by each coach, player and staff member to make this an unforgettable season, returning the winning ways to Arrowhead Stadium.
Since leaving the practice fields for the final time of the year, yesterday, when Chiefs equipment manager Allen Wright and his phenomenal staff began loading the sleds, jug machines, etc., it served as just another huge step in this promising 2013 journey.
Before leaving the practice fields Wednesday, the Chiefs players took time to create lifelong memories for the fans, signing autographs, taking pictures and Chiefs WR Dexter McCluster even gave away his cleats. Here's more of what some of the players said about Chiefs Camp.
Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson - Shares his thoughts, following camp (and more in the video above)
"I feel great, where we are right now. During the games is my main point to see where we're at during the preseason, before we get to Jacksonville (in Week one of the regular season). We still have a long way to go. There is no light at the end of the tunnel yet, even though we are leaving St. Joe. We feel good where we're at, but we can't wait to put our skills against the 49ers."
Chiefs RT Eric Fisher - On his personal progress during camp
"I think I've made strides; getting that playbook down is the biggest thing. You just have to stay in the playbook every day and going against Justin (Houston) and Tamba (Hali) again, it's a great matchup that's making me better every day."
Chiefs FB Anthony Sherman - Describing coach Reid's training camp
"It's old-school football. We have pads on every day, we're hitting and we're competing. These are the days that are going to help us in late December, when the adversity needs to kick in and we can pull from what we did in camp and execute what we need to do then."
Chiefs LB Frank Zombo - Overall thoughts on training camp
"I enjoyed myself. I like that we practiced in the morning, it was kind of cooler and we were able to knock it out right away and rest the remainder of the day and rehab a little bit. I like that aspect of it for sure, but it was a tough camp, there's no doubt about it. There weren't a whole lot of days in shells or anything; it was a hard-hitting camp, but I think we kept injuries at a minimum and guys got better."
Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe - Don't miss what else Bowe said, during the interview above, including his thoughts on WR Jon Baldwin.
"Defintiely one of the toughest camps I've been a part of, but during the game-time experience, it's going to have us ready. I definitely appreciate and love the grind, knowing what it's going to bring in the game."
Another vital component to the success of Chiefs Camp is the team's general manager John Dorsey, who Bowe said is "one of those guys who is going to expect perfection out of you. He's one of those guys that you don't want to let down. He wants the best for you."
Chiefs RB Shaun Draughn - On how players are feeling physically, as they leave camp
"Coach Reid did a good job of taking care of us; we have fresh legs and we're good to go. Everybody's just ready to see how good we can be with our potential."
The team has another opportunity to showcase its potential, tomorrow night against the visiting San Francisco 49ers. The preseason home opener at Arrowhead is scheduled for a 7:00 PM CDT kickoff.