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Five Observations from Monday's Practice and Also Key Bonus Observations

News and notes from training camp practice

The Kansas City Chiefs participated in their third full-team practice of the season Monday morning, and for the first time in 2016, they strapped on the pads.

Here are my five observations from Monday morning's practice:

1. Having the pads on changes everything.

B.J. Kissel wrote a whole piece on it Sunday afternoon, and he was right.

For all that is made of offseason workouts—from the scouting combine to OTAs and mandatory minicamp—there's nothing quite like a padded practice.

Unlike in non-padded workouts, players are able to partake in actual football when the pads come on, and that happened Monday in one-on-one wide receiver-defensive back drills, one-on-one offensive line-defensive line drills and what seemed to be about 80 percent-speed team drills.

There was still no tackling to the ground, but that didn't completely wash away all big hits, and we saw the first one of the season from rookie defensive back Eric Murray. As wide receiver Rod Streater came across the middle during an 11-on-11 session, Murray bodied him and Streater fell to the ground.

2. It was a good day for many of the team's receivers.


Speaking of Streater, he, along with many other of the team's receivers, had good days on Monday morning. Jeremy Maclin, Albert Wilson and Chris Conley also come to mind.

All four receivers were reliable for the quarterbacks in both individual and team drills, and it didn't matter if the passes were short, intermediate or downfield throws.

3. Chris Jones was impressive in one-on-one defensive line vs. offensive line team drills.


Pads allow for one of the most important drills in terms of both repetition and evaluation, and that's defensive line vs. offensive line one-on-ones.

HOW IT WORKS:The drill starts with five members of the offensive line set up on the line of scrimmage. One at a time, each offensive line member is tested by one member of the defensive line. The defensive lineman's objective is to get to a target on the ground, which serves as the drill's quarterback. The offensive lineman's job is to prevent that from happening.

Monday was important because it was the first opportunity to see this year's top draft pick, defensive lineman Chris Jones, in action in a genuine football situation.

During the drill, Jones was impressive, showing off an ability to use power and quickness in getting around protecting O-linemen.

"He did some good things in the team carries," head coach Andy Reid said. "Again, he's a big man that's got skill and he's long. So he's got great arm length and good athletic ability. Does he have to learn? Does he have to continue to get stronger throughout the season? Yeah, that's how it works for the young guys."

Read more on Jones' day here.

4. Quarterback Alex Smith is showing even more poise in the pocket this training camp.


It really started last year when quarterback Alex Smith rushed for a franchise-record (quarterbacks) 498 yards.

Just three practices in, it's already seeming that he has taken that dual-threat ability to 2016. When it seems as if the play is broken or over, Smith has moved nicely throughout the pocket or rolled out when necessary and found an open receiver.

"Alex makes it tough," safety Ron Parker said of Smith. "He's a really great quarterback. He does a good job of looking up the defense, and when he comes to the line of scrimmage he has everything down pat. He's sharp and he's skilled, and he makes us better as a defense when were out there going against him."

5. Marcus Cooper is not making the lives of the backup quarterback candidates easy, at all.


Marcus Cooper had two interceptions on Monday morning.

First, during one-on-one receiver vs. defensive back drills, Cooper intercepted Aaron Murray. Later on in practice, Cooper picked off Tyler Bray during 11-on-11 drills.

Promised bonus observations

  • Chris Wilhelm, or the fan-actor behind the "Fake Andy Reid," attended practice Monday morning in full Reid garb. Once practice was over, Wilhelm had the opportunity to meet Reid, and then actually took the podium to mimic a press opportunity.

The real Reid was a good sport about it all, taking photos with Wilhelm before kicking him off the podium and telling him to go get a cheeseburger.

Times are good in Chiefs camp.

  • I covered it in this article this morning, but Tuesday, August 2, marks the first "Tailgate Tuesday" of training camp. The Chiefs will be giving away prizes just for walking through the door, and Tuesday kicks it all off with a pair of Chiefs sunglasses that also serves as a bottle opener.

To me, that sounds like the best thing you never knew you needed.

Photos from day three of the Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp practice at Mosaic Life Care Field on the campus of Missouri Western State University.

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