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Defense dominates as Chiefs return to practice

Updated: 2013-08-05T18:32:34Z

By RANDY COVITZ

The Kansas City Star

— The Chiefs ran the gamut of plays during Thursday’s practice, including third-and-long, goal-line and short-yardage in their first day on the field after a day off.

They even simulated a game, starting with first-and-10, and spotted the ball and ran plays based on the down and distance following each play (or penalty) rather than follow a pre-determined script.

And in almost every situation, the defense dominated.

Cornerback Brandon Flowers jumped a route on Dexter McCluster and turned an interception of a pass by Alex Smith into a touchdown. Rookie linebacker Nico Johnson tipped a Chase Daniel pass that rookie safety Bradley McDougald picked off. During seven-on-seven drills, safety Kendrick Lewis intercepted a pass by Daniel that was tipped.

The defense also did a good job of flushing Smith and Daniel out of the pocket and defensive end Miguel Chavis blew up rookie running back Jordan Roberts on a short-yardage play.

“I thought the defense did a nice job,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “That’s what you expect, early in camp, for the defense to be dominant. It always takes the offense a little longer to get going. That’s how it normally works.”

Some of the offense’s mistakes were self-inflicted.

Running back Jamaal Charles dropped a screen pass, rookie tight end Travis Kelce fumbled after making a catch; and wide receiver Jon Baldwin dropped a slant on third-and-15, only to compound that by committing a false start on fourth down.

“You’ve got to catch the football,” Reid said. “In any offense in the National Football League, drops cost you, so you have to focus in and concentrate on the football, particularly when you’re tired, sweating, tired, it’s the NFL. You’ve got to catch the football.”

Injury report

• Tackle Donald Stephenson is out for a week after requiring surgery for a broken finger and is expected to miss the preseason opener at New Orleans.

• Rookie tackle Colin Kelly is going to have knee surgery, which likely will end his season.

• Rookie outside linebacker Mike Catapano (calf) and defensive back Sanders Commings (collarbone) were out.

• Safety Eric Berry left practice late in the day when his hamstring tightened up, while safety Husain Abdullah was carted off at the end of practice because of a groin injury.

To reach Randy Covitz, call 816-234-4796 or send email to rcovitz@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/randycovitz.

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