While the NFL is set to announce its 2014 regular season schedule tonight at 7:00 pm on NFL Network, the Kansas City Chiefs players continue to train and condition themselves for the long season ahead, beginning with training camp in late July. The team is not quite halfway through Phase One, which last two weeks, focusing on strength and conditioning and rehabilitation. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid gave another perk of the offseason training program.
"A lot of these guys, you haven't seen for a few months, so you get to put your eyes on them and see if they've been working and you have a pretty good idea," coach Reid said. "You give them an opportunity to get in there and get busy. Before we blink, we're going to be in training camp; that's how this thing works and then, you're out of camp and you're in that first preseason game and then boom, you're right into the season. It's exciting."
While the team's offseason workouts are voluntary, coach Reid says the players in attendance can benefit from the extra time in the building.
"This is how I look at it, it gives people a better opportunity that are already here to do their thing," coach Reid said. "That's what I'd tell you about anyone who were to miss; you just open it up for that next guy to get themselves better at what you're doing. We've been lucky to have pretty good attendance though. That's a good thing."
Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles rushed for 1,287 yards and 12 TDs in 2013 and also added 70 receptions for 693 yards and seven TDs; the three-time Pro Bowl RB didn't mince words, when explaining why he chooses to participate in the volunteer workouts.
"Just to be with my teammates and to come and talk with the coaches and being around, where we can build a foundation and be back to meet the new guys, see who likes to work, who likes to grind, and that's what it's all about," Charles said. "You try to get all the knowledge you can about the people in the locker room, knowing that where we want to go is the Super Bowl and that's why we're here; that's why we all come back here to train and condition, because that's what we want."
Take a look at the top photos of DT Dontari Poe this season.
Chiefs DT Dontari Poe is coming off his first Pro Bowl season in 2013, which included 43 tackles, eight assists and 4.5 sacks. Like Charles, Poe was asked to explain the primary reason he's attending the voluntary workouts.
"To just come in with my teammates," Poe said. "There are a lot of new faces around. We come in to help each other, to push each other and to get to know them, hang out with them, so that when we do have those tough times in training camp or in the 15th or 16th game of the year, we'll be ready; we'll always know that we're there for one another."
The Chiefs are right back at the practice facility today, improving with each and every workout, preparing for the 16 regular-season contests ahead, with dates, times and locations of each 2014 game being revealed later tonight.