You might be hard-pressed to find a professional football player who, per se, enjoys organized training activities, but after suffering through a brutal 2-14 season with the Texans last year, new Chiefs linebacker Joe Mays might be the closest you find to it.
“Guys don’t get a chance to go through that often,” Mays said. “To go 2-14, it was definitely rough.”
A chance at winning is one of the reasons Mays, 28, agreed to a two-year, $6 million deal with the Chiefs this offseason. Unlike the Texans, who have a new coach in Bill O’Brien, the Chiefs are trying to build on a playoff season in which they went 11-5 under coach Andy Reid, whose presence was cited by several players as a major reason they managed to rebound after posting the league’s worst record in 2012.
But that’s not the only difference Mays, who had 67 tackles in 14 games (13 starts) with Houston last season, sees in Kansas City.
“I think we get a lot more reps in these OTAs,” Mays said. “Coach Reid likes to get in and get out fast, get a lot of plays in.”
Still, Mays was complimentary of his former teammates in Houston and says they showed a lot of character by continuing to compete in the midst of a difficult season.
“I’ll say this, every single person showed up game day and played,” Mays said. “They showed up in practice, and they worked hard. It didn’t feel like a losing atmosphere even though we lost as many games as we did.
“Each and every week we were saying that we were going to stop it. Somehow and some way, we would end up in a situation that we couldn’t get ourselves out of. It was tough. It was a learning experience, and hopefully it is going to make me a better player this year along with the guys that I am playing around.”
Receiver A.J. Jenkins (knee), receiver Kyle Williams (knee), cornerback David Van Dyke (hamstring) and linebacker Ben Johnson (hamstring) did not practice.
Cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring) returned to action after missing Thursday’s practice.
Cornerback Brandon Flowers and outside linebacker Justin Houston missed their seventh consecutive voluntary practice. The Chiefs’ three-day mandatory minicamp begins next Tuesday.
Receiver Junior Hemingway missed Tuesday’s practice because he was sick, a team spokesman said.