Football season inched a bit closer on Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs' rookies, selected veterans and quarterbacks reported to Missouri Western State University for the beginning of Training Camp.
And while the rest of the team won't report until later this week, preparation for the upcoming campaign is already underway.
"We're back and we look forward to getting started," said Head Coach Andy Reid, who is embarking on his sixth camp with Kansas City. "[By having these players here], it gives us a chance to get some work done and to get a bit of a jump start on things. Really, it's an introductory period for the first three days as we get going, so when the veterans get in and things are going a million miles an hour, these guys have a foundation and can get adjusted."
Spanning 24 days through late July and August and taking place almost exactly 60 miles to the north of Arrowhead Stadium, the work put in during Training Camp provides a bedrock for what the Chiefs hope to accomplish in 2018.
"We're striving to win a championship and to consistently be in a position where we can win a championship as the years go on – that starts today," Reid said. "We had a good offseason program, but really now, we're able to get ourselves going with pads on. We're also secluded up here where you can develop great fellowship and [build] the foundation for a team."
Cultivating that fellowship is particularly important this year with so many new faces up and down the roster.
"There's more 'new' [this year] on both sides of the ball – maybe more so than we've had since my first year here," Reid said. "Some of the old guys that had been here aren't here anymore - you're missing a few of those guys and you have new guys coming in that you have an opportunity to see perform. That's exciting to me and I'm looking forward to that."
Coaches and rookies arrive at training camp and address the media
Though with so many fresh faces hitting the field – especially the Chiefs' 24 rookies – there's a learning curve that comes along with participating in Reid's camp.
"A few of these guys haven't been through this camp, and there's a certain demand that we have. Whether you were a college player or you're coming from another team, it's new," Reid explained. "It's different here, just like it is with other teams, and how are they going to handle that? Can you rise through the demands of the camp? If you're a college kid coming up, it's a little different intensity level."
And from the players still learning where everything is to the veterans set to arrive later this week, Reid expects each player to hold each other accountable in pursuit of their lofty goals.
"There's high expectations within the building," Reid said. "[The players] demand that from themselves. I expect guys to challenge each other – that's how you get better. We have great competition that we're going to play this year, starting with the [Los Angeles] Chargers, so you have to get yourself ready to go. You take that upon yourself as an individual. Let's start there. They've had some time to work and to get themselves in shape, and now let's get ourselves in football shape and ready for the season."
To learn more about Chiefs' Training Camp, and the 15 practices that will be open to the public beginning on July 26, click here.