Chiefs draft pick Laurent Duvernay-Tardif getting up to speed

05/25/2014 8:22 PM

06/03/2014 10:17 AM

Sixth-round pick Laurent Duvernay-Tardif knew his adjustment from Canadian football — he’s spent the last four years playing at McGill University in Montreal — to the NFL would be a steep one.

But through the first two days of the Chiefs’ three-day rookie minicamp this weekend, there were a handful of occasions where he saw just how wide the talent gap is. For instance, on the first day of camp, speedy outside linebacker Dee Ford, who happens to be the Chiefs’ first-round pick, lined up in a three-point stance, several yards outside of Duvernay-Tardif, who was playing right tackle, and proceeded to blow by him with a noticeable speed rush and accompanying swim move.

To his credit, Duvernay-Tardif is actively working to get use to combatting the speed of NFL-quality pass rushers like Ford.

“It’s different, but especially the alignment where I’m not used to having a rusher that far on the edge,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “So I think I just need to get used to guys that are more vertical, and I think I’m going to be able to catch that.”

In particular, Duvernay-Tardif said he’s working on improving his kick step, which is the first step a tackle takes in pass protection.

“Yeah, I think I need to work on that,” Duvernay-Tardif said. “Coach gave me a few coaching points yesterday and I’m going to work on it.”

Local players

On the 35 players invited for tryouts, only two — Pittsburg State linebacker Nate Dreiling and Kansas State long snapper Marcus Woodside-Heit — are from area schools.

Etc.

Defensive tackle Risean Broussard did not participate in Sunday’s practice. The Chiefs are expected to release an update on his status Monday.

Practice observations

Fifth-round quarterback Aaron Murray threw only one interception Sunday (after throwing four Saturday), but his accuracy was still a little off. Still, that’s to be expected only six months after an ACL injury.

Tennessee-Martin inside linebacker Ben Johnson made a nice play when he picked off Murray once on a rollout.

Running-back coach Eric Bieniemy is going to ride fourth-rounder De’Anthony Thomas this camp. Biemiemy was constantly screaming at Thomas and others to finish each play.

CFL transport Weston Dressler made a sliding catch. He’s shown good hands and some shiftiness, so it will be interesting to see how he fares when the whole team gets here.

Former Florida wide receiver Frankie Hammond had a nice practice. Hammond, who spent the 2013 season on the practice squad, flashed some quickness and was on the receiving end of a number of passes.

Basketball-player-turned tight end Demetrius Harris has dropped some passes the last few days. Some of that has to do with spotty quarterback play, but you’d still like to see more consistency.

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