Throughout training camp, Chiefs Reporter B.J. Kissel will share his top observations from each practice.
Here are five things that stood out Sunday morning:
1. It was a good day for the edge rushers
If there was one position group that stood out above the rest Sunday morning at Kansas City Chiefs’ training camp, it was probably the edge rushers.
Several different guys had great days and the group as a whole seemed to be doing a great job of generally disrupting things during the different team periods. It makes sense considering the first period was a third-and-medium-to-long drill, which sets up well for the defense to get after the quarterback.
But fifth-year player Dee Ford, who by all accounts has had a great camp this year, had multiple reps in which he was able to get the edge and force what would have been a sack.
“I think he’s had a great camp,” Chiefs’ defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said of Ford following Sunday’s practice. “He’s been really physical in our 9-on-7 run periods. He’s developed into a really good player. He’s had a great attitude and energy out here.”
Ford has spoken all offseason about how much better he feels and how he has high expectations for himself this year.
Rookie Breeland Speaks, second-year player Tanoh Kpassagnon, and veteran Justin Houston also flashed at different points throughout practice as well.
2. Marcus Kemp did it again, twice
Yesterday, second-year receiver Marcus Kemp made one of the best catches of the entire camp, which can be seen here.
Then on Sunday, Kemp followed it up by making another couple of fantastic catches down the field in which he used his entire 6-foot-4 and 210-pound body to go up and get it.
And big plays are really nothing new to the former University of Hawaii standout considering he finished with 73 catches for 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns in his last collegiate season in 2016.
Kemp spent much of last season on the Chiefs’ practice squad—finding action in one game, which came against the Pittsburgh Steelers when he registered eight offensive snaps and four special team’s snaps.
Many might remember his name from a couple of great special teams plays he made against the Seattle Seahawks last preseason.
After practice on Sunday, Chiefs’ Assistant Head Coach and Special Team’s Coordinator Dave Toub spoke about the role special teams will play in determining the final 53-man roster.
“We meet every single night as a staff,” he explained. “We grade every player, rank every player, every night, everyone hears what everyone says. There are no secrets. There’s not going to be any surprises. We all talk about everyone. Everyone hears it and we are all on the same page.”
Toub went on to say that he knows how tough the decisions will be this year.
“I think we have a lot of talent,” he noted. “I think there’s going to be a lot of good players that are going to get cut and you’ll see they will get picked up by other teams. I just think we have a lot of depth, and that’s a good thing to have.”
Photos from Sunday's practice
3. Some of the other top plays on the day
One player who stood out in coverage a couple of times was rookie linebacker Dorian O’ Daniel, who has missed some time recently with a thumb injury. He showed the athleticism that was talked about with him coming out of Clemson.
Patrick Mahomes threw one deep to Tyreek Hill for a touchdown. Rinse and repeat.
Former K-State receiver Byron Pringle caught a couple of touchdowns and continues his solid camp.
Linebacker Reggie Ragland, who spoke to the media about the defense’s mindset against the run this year on Saturday, showed that it wasn’t just lip service as he helped lead that group in a few goal-to-go reps late in practice on Sunday. He’s a fan of being physical, and it’s easy to see when watching him.
4. “Up the Hill” with Patrick Mahomes
“How much Fortnite is too much Fortnite?”
5. The injury updates
Safety Eric Berry didn’t suit up for practice on Sunday with a sore heel, joining cornerback Makinton Dorleant (hamstring), safety Leon McQuay (hamstring), center Jimmy Murray (sore knee), offensive guard Alex Officer (knee), cornerback Keith Reaser (quad strain), and safety Daniel Sorensen (knee) as the players that didn’t take the field.
Running back Charcadrick West, who has missed the last several practices, has been cleared for the last two days as a limited participant as he works his way through the concussion protocol.
There were a few guys who left practice early with injuries, which include OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif – (Head), Damien Williams (Shoulder), DL Xavier Williams (Stinger).
It’s interesting to note that when Duvernay-Tardif left with a head injury, Andrew Wylie, who had worked mostly at tackle for the first part of camp, slid into the right guard spot with the first-team offense for the final team period.
And with Eric Berry missing practice, there was an opportunity for rookie safety Armani Watts to jump up and get some time with the first-team defense. Fellow rookie Derrick Nnadi also mixed in with the first-team defense during some 11-on-11 work, which is good to see as he had missed a lot of those periods lately because he was coming back from an elbow injury.