NFL Network's Steve Wyche Believes Chiefs are "In the Mix" in AFC Picture

Heading into his eighth year covering the NFL for NFL Network, Steve Wyche has seen his fair share of football.

He's a senior writer for NFL.com and contributes insider reports, analysis and moderates panel discussions on NFL Network's signature show, "NFL Total Access." He also files field reports at various team facilities and games on "NFL GameDay Morning" and "Around the League Live."

Wyche was on the campus of Missouri Western State University on Monday and was reporting live all day on Kansas City Chiefs training camp.

Between hits for NFL Network, Wyche shared some of his observations from Monday's practice with KCChiefs.com.

"The physicality of the defensive line," Wyche noted as what stood out. "I mean, I know Dontari Poe isn't there, but Jaye Howard, the nose tackle, Mike DeVito and the effort they play with was impressive. Something else that caught my attention—Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Dee Ford and how they factor into some different things they do on defense.

"This team should be out of sight defensively. I mean, they should be really, really good."

Much of the day belonged to rookie first-round pick, cornerback Marcus Peters, who had three interceptions and broke up numerous passes.

But as Wyche noted, it's just one day and there's a long way to go before the season begins.

"He had all of those interceptions and a lot of them were just beautiful plays," he said. "It wasn't as if they were under throws or something either, Peters just made great plays. Seeing him and how he gets his hands on the receivers and having a good start like this has got to do wonders for him.

"He just has to keep everything in order. The season's not won today."

On the offensive side of the ball, Wyche likes what he saw from the outside guys in the passing game.

"They're really spreading the ball out to a lot of different receivers," he said. "But one thing that's really good with Maclin is not just the speed, but the evasiveness, the toughness. He's not afraid to go over the middle.

"And then you look at just the speed they have at the position with [Albert] Wilson, De'Anthony Thomas—they've got some guys who can hit it."

The Chiefs took to the field for the first full pads Training Camp practice. The second half of practice was moved indoors due to lightning strikes in the area.

In coach Andy Reid's first two years leading the Chiefs, they've managed 20 regular season wins—the most for any coach in his first two years in franchise history.

The early success for Reid in Kansas City doesn't surprise Wyche, who praised the way he treats the players.

"He treats guys like men," Wyche said of Reid. "That's the same theme for coach Reid as it has always been, 'You be you.' You overstep a line or something and we'll have to intervene, but be you and play football for me and I'm going to treat you like a man. I think the players have a respect for him, and he's also a very solid coach with a very solid staff, I mean, look at some of the assistant coaches—these are guys that could be head coaches places.

"He's a fantastic coach and I think the folks in Kansas City are lucky to have him."

After a 9-7 season a year ago and just narrowly missing out on the playoffs, Wyche believes that the offseason moves they've made and getting back linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive lineman Mike DeVito from injury should position the Chiefs for success.

"I don't know why they're not in the conversation right now as a team in the AFC that could be in the mix," Wyche said. "I think because they worry about the Chiefs not scoring enough touchdowns. So you don't put enough points on the board? You don't necessarily need to do that if the defense is good enough, but there are games when you have to do that.

"But I like Kansas City because of the physicality and the toughness, and as much as we're talking about offenses now, it seems like the tougher defenses—defenses that create turnovers—are the teams that advance in the playoffs.

"I think that's the edge that the Chiefs have on a lot of teams."

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