Chiefs Notebook

Chiefs' offense picks up the pace during offseason practice

Updated: 2013-05-22T21:25:51Z

By ADAM TEICHER

The Kansas City Star

Harassed at times last week by the pressure of the defense, the Chiefs’ offense countered at practice Tuesday with a faster pace of its own. The offense as a result had perhaps its best day of the spring.

“Right now, it’s just (about) tempo,’’ backup quarterback Chase Daniel said. “Get up and down on the ball, completions, completions, completions. Run our plays and don’t worry about what the defense is doing and just press them. We like to blitz the defense by getting a lot of formations and a lot of shifts and motions and (a fast-paced) tempo.

“The tempo wears down a defense. Whether a team has four, five six different types of tempos … after the sixth or seventh play of the drive, huddle up. Let us get our breathers and then get right back into the tempo.’’

Earlier offensive practices had been marked by the offensive players lining up in the wrong spots and botched snaps from center. Other than one missed exchange between backup center Eric Kush and Daniel, things were sharper on the offensive end.

Daniel gave credit to four days off from practice for that.

“All the jitters are out,’’ he said. “The rookies know what it’s like. They know what we expect. The offense is in. We’re just putting guys in different spots and we’re moving.

“It just really gives them a chance to get into the playbook. You can tell a lot of the guys did. There were no, ‘What?’ calls in the huddle to us or “What does this mean?’ You can tell our guys are studying.’’

Opurum at practice

Fullback Toben Opurum practiced for the first time since he signed his contract with the Chiefs. Opurum began his career at Kansas as a running back but later played both linebacker and defensive end.

Opurum said that while a couple of teams were interested in him as a linebacker, more liked him as a fullback. He said he was pleased not only to be playing close to Lawrence but also as an offensive player.

“I think I’m good where I’m at right now,’’ he said. “It’s where I’m comfortable. It’s where I spent most of my life playing. I’m just glad to be back on that side of the ball.’’

Stephenson plays at guard

The Chiefs drafted Donald Stephenson in the third round last season thinking he would eventually become one of their starting tackles. That path has been blocked after the Chiefs re-signed left tackle Branden Albert and drafted Eric Fisher to play the right side.

So Stephenson, who played in high school at Blue Springs, is spending a lot of time at guard. He received snaps at both guard spots with the starters in practice Tuesday while also serving as the backup at left tackle.

“It’s a pretty complex offense and (trying to learn the position and) trying to learn guard at the same time can be tough but that’s what (off-season practice is) for,’’ Stephenson said.

“I’m used to playing out in space against better athletes. Now everything is kind of like in a phone booth. A lot of things happen quicker. Everything is on you faster.’’

Stephenson moved on from Blue Springs to Oklahoma. He said he didn’t know anyone personally affected by the tornado that destroyed Moore, Okla., which is adjacent to Norman.

“Nobody in particular but I know I have a lot of friends and old teammates out there so my prayers go out to everybody in Oklahoma,’’ he said.

To reach Adam Teicher, call 816-234-4875 or send email to ateicher@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/adamteicher.

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