Skip to main content

Kansas City Chiefs Official Team Website |

Five Observations from Saturday's Practice

News and notes from training camp

For the first time this year at Kansas City Chiefs training camp, the fans had good weather to watch the team step onto the Mosaic Life Care fields and prepare for the 2016 season.

It was sunny and the temperature hovered in the 70s—great timing for Family Fun Day—which is always one of the most popular days of camp of any year, and this year was definitely no exception with more than 5,000 fans in attendance.

Photos from the Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp Family Fun Day

Chiefs Kingdom was well represented as kids were getting their faces painted, the blow-up jungle gyms were packed and the entire team stayed after practice to sign autographs for the thousands in attendance.

On the field, the guys made plays and the skill players continued to show why there should be plenty of optimism surrounding this team.

Here are five observations from Saturday's practice:

  1. Few players remain out with injuries; Nick Foles gets a new number.

After suffering a calf strain a few days ago, wide receiver Albert Wilson did not practice once again on Saturday but was seen working with trainers off to the side.

Wilson was joined by veteran inside linebacker Josh Mauga, who strained his groin during practice on Friday and was set to have an MRI.

Rakeem Nunez-Roches, who began practice warming up with this teammates, also didn't practice and was training with Wilson and Mauga off to the side. Cornerback Vernon Harris also didn't practice on Saturday.

Jamaal Charles, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali remain on the PUP list and were not seen during practice hours on the field.

After wearing No. 1 on Friday for his first practice after signing with the Chiefs, quarterback Nick Foles traded numbers with receiver Da'Ron Brown and is wearing No. 4 now.


Safety Jeron Johnson, who just signed with the Chiefs on Friday, is wearing No. 39, which had been worn by cornerback Shannon Edwards, who was waived on Friday to make room for Johnson.

  1. Observations from one-on-one drills early in practice on Saturday.

There are a few things that are becoming a daily occurrence at camp practices:

The first is that Marcus Peters intercepts a pass—that's just what he does—and he had another nice one on Saturday. This one occurred in the back of the end zone during seven-on-seven drills in the red zone. Peters seemed to slide underneath a post route and intercept the pass while toe-tapping in the back of the end zone. He's good.

The other thing that seems to be happening every day is linebacker Justin March making a play in coverage. Whether it's in team period or in one-on-ones, March is always around the ball and is showing a kind of rare athleticism for an inside linebacker in space.

Here's a look at one of his plays today:

One of the other top plays from this drill was running back Charcandrick West getting past veteran Derrick Johnson down the field. West showed some pretty good hands on this play.

  1. Ross Travis has the day many people were waiting for.

All throughout OTAs and minicamp, even going back to last year on the practice squad if you ask his teammates, tight end Ross Travis shows rare athleticism for a guy who stands at 6 feet 7 and 235 pounds.

Travis has made plays every step of the way, but it's always been without pads in shorts.

That's a big deal for a guy who didn't play college football. Travis is looking to be the next guy in what's becoming a long and impressive list of college basketball players who have made the transition to the NFL.

On Saturday morning during a red zone team period, Travis hauled in back-to-back touchdown receptions that showed everyone what he's capable of doing.

The first was a fade in the back corner of the end zone when he was split out and covered one on one by cornerback Marcus Peters. Travis high-pointed the ball and kept two feet in bounds as he came down with the contested catch. It's one of the best catches of training camp thus far.

On the very next play, Travis caught a little skinny post across the middle in traffic for another touchdown.

It's the 2 minutes of football that many wanted to see from the former basketball player, who might still have a lot to learn to master the offense but is showing the tools are there for him to be a talent that can contribute.

  1. Few notes on the offense

It's worth nothing that while these practice recaps are often describing the best plays of the day, oftentimes from players many fans aren't yet familiar with, one player has consistently made plays throughout the last week of camp and shouldn't go unnoticed.

Even though he's only been here for one year, veteran receiver Jeremy Maclin is a technician when it comes to running routes and making plays. It seems as though he's not always having to make the same kind of contested catches as his teammates because he so readily creates separation he's not usually in a position with a defender close enough to have to do that.

On the few occasions that someone has been in the area, Maclin still comes down with the ball.

That said, one of the players who is talked about almost daily but once again had a great day on Saturday was rookie Tyreek Hill.




It's really special to watch him once the ball is in his hands. His teammates have spoken glowingly about his speed and even more than that, the fifth-round speedster is absorbing all of the knowledge with all of the humility expected of him by his veteran teammates.

  1. Few notes on the defense

It shouldn't come as a surprise to those paying attention that the Chiefs defensive line is going to be a strength of this team, and on Saturday, Jaye Howard and Allen Bailey once again showed why they were part of the best short-yardage defense in the NFL last season.

Ever since the pads came on, the defensive line has been taking it to the offense. During nine-on-seven drills on Saturday, Howard couldn't be kept out of the backfield and Bailey was rarely moved.

When you add in the size, talent and athleticism of Dontari Poe, and now the emergence of rookie Chris Jones, who has been making plays as well, this is going to be one of the strengths of this team.

After practice, Jones was living that rookie life, carrying his teammates' pads for them.

Finally, one of the best plays of the day came from second-year cornerback Steve Nelson during seven-on-seven red zone work.

Alex Smith delivered a nice pass across the middle into the back of the end zone for second-year receiver Chris Conley, who had the ball in both hands and was attempting to come down with his feet in bounds as Nelson came flying in and knocked it away—saving a touchdown.

If it had been a game, that would have been one of the key plays.

Nelson continues to have a good offseason and validates coach Andy Reid's comments at the end of OTAs that he had earned the nickel cornerback spot moving forward. He's held on to that position and his play on Saturday only further validates his development over the past couple of years.

Sunday's practice begins at 8:15 a.m. and you can find all the information you need on camp at******.

Key Upcoming Matchups

  • 9/11: Home Opener vs. San Diego Chargers  – GET TICKETS
  • 10/23: Kansas City Chiefs vs. New Orleans Saints – GET TICKETS
This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content