The Kansas City Chiefs finished up their third and final day of mandatory minicamp with an abbreviated practice on Thursday afternoon.
After having practice moved up a couple of hours to beat the heat on Wednesday, the coaches and players caught a bit of a break as clouds helped shade a lot of Thursday's practice, although temperatures still hovered over 90 degrees.
A look into the Kansas City Chiefs third day of the 2016 Minicamp.
After going through individual drills the last two days, veteran running back Jamaal Charles was given the day off on Thursday as he recovers from the knee injury that sidelined him for most of last season.
Linebacker Dee Ford, who left practice early on Wednesday with a sore knee, was back out there for the beginning of practice on Thursday but left early once again. Chiefs coach Andy Reid said that Ford has tendinitis in his knee.
Reid also mentioned that receiver Kenny Cook, who spent last year on the practice squad, suffered a torn quadriceps at practice on Tuesday and had surgery on Thursday.
After missing practice on Tuesday and Wednesday because he was sick, Travis Kelce was out on the field for Thursday's practice.
Here is a list of players who didn't practice on Thursday:
WR Kenny Cook (quadriceps)
OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (sick)
CB Shannon Edwards (hamstring)
LB Tamba Hali (knee)
LB Justin Houston (knee)
CB D.J. White (hamstring)
WR Mike Williams (hamstring)
The team will now have a six-week break until they are set to report to the campus of Missouri Western State University at the end of July for training camp.
Here's what we learned from coach Andy Reid after practice on Thursday:
OPENING STATEMENT: "Kenny Cook, he had a quadriceps tear. He had surgery on that today and we'll just see how he does with that. Dee Ford has tendinitis on his knee. So that was his injury, there was nothing more than that. He did some stuff today.
All in all, listen, we finished up the offseason program, I was happy with the progress we made, saw some good things. We have plenty of stuff to work on for training camp, which is a good thing. But the guys, this group is willing to work, do whatever you tell them to do or ask them to do, they're going to be right there for you. I look forward to getting up there and being able to work with them in St. Joe. Time's yours."
Q:What about Jamaal Charles?
REID: "Jamaal did not work today. He's doing good, we gave him the two days and then we backed off. We thought that was a positive thing."
Terez Paylor (Kansas City Star):In your experience, how significant is tendinitis in the knee?
REID: "He'll be fine. Once we get back to camp, I don't think it will be a big deal."
Paylor:Did Dee Ford leave because of the tendinitis, or was that planned?
REID: "We told him to go do what you can do out there and he did it. He was in communication with Rick (Burkholder) during every period. We pulled off when we needed to."
Adam Teicher (ESPN):Were you able to learn much about your young quarterbacks?
REID: "I liked what I saw. I think Tyler (Bray) and Aaron (Murray) really worked hard and have learned from the last year or two or three and it shows. I thought they really did some good, quality snaps. And then Kevin (Hogan) came in and, I thought, did a heck of a job for not having been in the offense. I thought he was very productive."
Teicher:Are there specific things you want to see from each of those three?
REID: "I think the next step, getting pads on and then let's get them in a game. And then I think it gives you a little better area of evaluation when that rush is live on them. They're not going to get that in training camp – there's going to be a live rush, but they won't be live. Let's see how they do during games. It's wide open, wide open competition."
BJ Kissel (Chiefs.com):What's the most encouraging thing you saw from the guys throughout OTAs and minicamp?
REID: "I thought the execution was good. I mentioned that to the team this morning. We were able to add quite a little bit of stuff in this being our fourth year. They came out and handled it, the stuff that we've been running, the nucleus of our offense, defense and special teams, they were right there with it. I thought they were sharp. And that's where we should be. Can we get better? Yeah, we'll do that. We need to get ourselves in pads and get rolling here up at St. Joe."
Bob Gretz (Topeka Capital-Journal):Do you feel satisfied that you have the offensive line group that you need?
REID: "Yeah, I think I feel pretty good about it. Again, let's see them hit and bang it around a little bit, see how they do in games. But I think we have a nucleus there that's good. I'd even stretch it right into the two-deep, I'm feeling pretty good about that. And then we'll see about the other guys as we go."
Paylor:What led to the decision to bring Dezman Moses back?* *Did he come back in pretty good shape?
REID: "Yeah, yeah he did, actually. He came back in real good shape. We did a little conditioning thing here and he moved around very well. Dez is a good football player. He was still out there, so we needed some depth at that outside position. We know he knows the system and did a nice job. We've had a chance to look at some young guys and made the decision that Dez would fit in better."
Paylor:What have you seen from Dadi Nicolas so far? He had a little scuffle yesterday.
REID: "Yeah, that was a pillow fight I think. I'm not sure there was much to that. It was with his own guy, the guy playing next to him. Normally it goes offenses versus defense, so that's a little unique. I would tell you he's 100 miles an hour and I'd tell you he's better at the pass game right now than the run game. We don't have much evidence of that, but I'd tell you I think that's what you'd see once we get the pads on."
Paylor:Are you developing his eyes against the run?
REID: "I think his strength right now is the pass rush. That's his strength. He's going to need some work on his fundamentals with the run game."
Herbie Teope (Topeka Capital-Journal):Do you have any update on Justin Houston? Do you anticipate him doing any work in training camp?
REID: "I don't know how much he's going to do in camp. But listen, he's where he needs to be right now. He's a hard worker, so he's bound and determined to get back. I've told you before, when you're around him, you have this optimism. I feel optimistic that he's going to be back in a short period of time, but in reality, it's going to take a little bit – and that's okay. You've got other guys that will step in, step up for him at that spot until he gets back. The important thing is he gets back, that he's healthy and that you don't rush it and do something foolish."
Teicher:John Dorsey said he didn't know when, but that Houston would play sometime this season. Is that still a reasonable expectation?
REID: "That's the feeling the kid gives you when you're around him. I don't think any of us probably know, but he makes you feel that way. He makes you feel like he's going to be out there playing. I think that's all Dorse was saying. We'll just see how it works out. There's no timetable, it's just when he's right, he's right and ready to roll."
Teicher:Injury-wise, is there anyone else you expect to be limited or held out when camp starts?
REID: "I think we'll have to see with Jamaal. Again, you don't want to take any steps back, he had two good days here. And we'll see how he does at camp. We're optimistic by the two days, but let's not rush him. We know what he's all about and let's get him back to where he feels good. Whatever time table that is or how much he practices there, we'll see how it goes day-by-day."
Teicher:What about Tamba Hali and Mike Williams?
REID: "Tamba would be another one. Again, the thing you always have to do with Tamba is back him down a little bit. He's full throttle. We'll see how he feels once we get to camp. He didn't do anything this camp, although not too many of us in this room could probably hang with him with his workouts because he's unbelievable in that way. We'll see how he does once we get up there."
Teicher:Does Hali necessarily need a lot of practice time?
REID: "All the guys need practice. You get these veteran guys who have been around as long as Tamba has and you can spot it. The main thing is you try to keep the swelling out of his knee the best you can and keep him healthy where he can function. He'll need to get some work in, he knows that. We'll try to do that and monitor him the best we can."
Gretz:On your mental checklist of what you need to get done this offseason, did you check them all off?
REID: "I've said before, it's like being a farmer – the work's never done. Listen, I was pretty happy with how and what we got done. That's a tribute to the players and the coaches. They did a nice job coming out and working when they're supposed to work. But do we still have things that we need to get done at camp? Yeah, absolutely. We made progress as a team, I felt, this offseason."
Teope:What's your assessment right now of the secondary, especially on the right side and at nickel?
REID: "I'd probably tell you (Steven) Nelson came out as the first nickel out of this right now. He took snaps at the corner, too. And then (Phillip) Gaines, I think when it's all said and done, he'll probably be the guy at the corner spot. We'll see, Coop (Marcus Cooper) had some good snaps there and Nelson had some good snaps. We'll see, we'll see how it goes."
Nick Jacobs (Time Warner Cable Sports Channel):What do you think the team needs to accomplish over the next couple of months to get themselves in championship contention?
REID: "I mentioned to the guys, especially these next five weeks that they have off, don't lose what you've gained here, conditioning-wise. Make sure you come back in good shape so you give yourself a chance. The last thing you want to do is come into camp and be worried about your physical conditioning and not getting better as a football player. Start there. And then once we get into camp, and you're tired and pushing through the fatigue, you have to discipline yourself through that period, because that's going to be January and February and that latter part of December, you're going to be feeling all those same aches and pains and fatigues – you have to make sure you push through that."
Teicher:Did Dick Vermeil have any advice for you today?
REID: "Listen, every time I'm around Coach, I learn something. He's been phenomenal within my career. We've kind of followed some of the same steps with Philly and here, California – being born in California and that whole deal. He's a wealth of knowledge, man. I love the guy."
Gretz: When you walk out of the building before camp, can you shut it down over the next five weeks? Or does the head coach never get to shut it down?
REID: "You mean stop eating?"
Gretz:Stop scheming, thinking, planning, can you turn that off?
REID: "Yeah, to a point. I'm still responsible for 90 guys, so I make sure they all handle themselves right. I enjoy what I'm doing, so my mind isn't far away from football ever. And that's okay, I enjoy that part. I'll try to back up a little bit."
Paylor:Is there any part of the growth from Chris Conley and Albert Wilson that can be attributed to the work they've done with Jeremy Maclin in the offseason?
REID: "Sure, absolutely. And those are a couple of guys that I thought had good camps. They're kind of growing up before our eyes here, which is fun to watch. They work very hard – I think it paid off for them. We were able to move Albert to that inside slot position at times and he handled that well. I think I'd tell you yes, that both of them working with Maclin paid off."
Karen Kornacki (KMBC):Will you get the chance to vacation?
REID: "Yeah, I'll step back. I'm going to take a little time off, get out of town for a little bit, just to get away for a minute and relax. I'll be back."
Kornacki:Do you encourage all your players to do that?
REID: "Yeah, step back, take a break. They've been going pretty hard here. Take a minute and get yourself right and then get ready for the long haul here."