The Kansas City Chiefs returned to the practice fields up at Missouri Western State University on Monday morning after kicking off the preseason with a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium.
Highlights of the morning included a strong performance by cornerback Bashaud Breeland, a one-handed grab by wide receiver Demarcus Robinson and a deep touchdown connection between quarterback Patrick Mahomes and rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman.
It also marked the first practice for veteran cornerback Morris Claiborne, who signed with the Chiefs as a free agent last week. For more on Claiborne, click here.
Following practice, Head Coach Andy Reid provided a quick update on the Chiefs’ injured players as wide receiver Davon Grayson (knee), tight end John Lovett (shoulder), cornerback D’Montre Wade (knee contusion), wide receiver Gehrig Dieter (back) and defensive lineman Xavier Williams (back) didn’t take the field on Saturday. Reid added that defensive end Alex Okafor (hip flexor), “came out and went for a little bit, then we took him out of there.”
Reid, Claiborne and tailback Damien Williams each met with the media following practice to discuss Saturday’s victory and the upcoming week of camp. Here are five things that stood out.
1. Reid kicked things off by discussing Saturday’s game after reviewing the tape
“I thought there were some good things in the game and I think we came out with plenty of things to work on,” Reid said. “It was good to get the young guys in and to give them that much time – I just think that’s important right now – while also giving the [first team] at least an opportunity to get their juices going and play a little bit.”
2. Reid later explained the Chiefs’ decision to sign Claiborne and what he expects moving forward
“He’s played in this league for a few years here now and he’s a good, solid player,” Reid said. “You can’t have enough of those guys – especially at that position. We’ll get him in the mix and see how he does, but I’ve competed against him and thought he was a good player. [General Manager] Brett [Veach] studied him like crazy and felt good about him, so we went with it.”
Reid also discussed what the immediate plan is regarding Claiborne as the veteran cornerback joins the Chiefs’ defense.
“We need to ease him into this thing. He hasn’t played any in the offseason and he’s coming off an injury, so we’re just going to ease him in, see how he does and get a feel for where he’s at,” Reid said. “He came out and worked [today]. I thought it was good work, but it’s probably going to take him a couple days to get his legs [under him]. We’ll see how he does.”
Reid went on to say that it’s unlikely Claiborne plays in this Saturday’s preseason matchup against Pittsburgh.
3. Williams was asked to speak about the Chiefs’ young running backs who impressed in Saturday’s game, such as rookies Darwin Thompson and Josh Caldwell
“It’s a thrill for me, especially because we’re coaching these guys as well,” Williams said. “The coaches are doing a great job teaching these guys things…we told them to go out there and have fun. Don’t go out there and stress fabout this or how many fans are out there. At the end of the day, this is an extended practice. Go out there and have fun.”
Thompson tallied 51 total yards and a touchdown on six touches (5 rushes for 22 yards and 1 catch for 29 yards) while Caldwell, who grew up in Lee’s Summit, rushed for a team-high 59 yards and a touchdown on just four attempts.
Williams added that he “felt great” after a hamstring injury forced the veteran tailback to miss some practices last week. Williams didn’t play in Saturday’s preseason game but practiced on Monday.
4. Claiborne, meanwhile, explained why he chose to sign with Kansas City last week
“They’ve got a good ball club and the best offense in the league, and they added a couple pieces here in the offseason with the defense,” Claiborne said. “I just feel like it’s a good club and [we have] a good chance to play in the playoffs and play in the Super Bowl.”
The 29-year-old Claiborne tallied career-highs in numerous categories with the New York Jets last season, including tackles (57), passes defensed (14) and interceptions (2).
5. Claiborne went on to speak about how long he thinks it will take to get back into the swing of things on the field
“I feel like a couple days. You can do all the working out that you want to do by yourself, but when you get in this environment, it’s totally different,” Claiborne said. “You’ve got to get your legs under [you]. I feel like today I was on the ground a little too much, but I know that’s all a part of coming back without playing football in a while. You know you come back and expect some of those things.”
The Chiefs will return to practice on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before breaking camp. For a look at the practice schedule, click here.