June 13, 2014

Chiefs will get better look at De’Anthony Thomas during minicamp

Mandatory camp brings added benefits to coach Andy Reid and will also provide another glimpse of fourth-round speedster De’Anthony Thomas, who has missed most of OTAs.

Next up on the Chiefs’ calendar is their three-day mandatory minicamp, which starts Tuesday and apparently has some added benefits to coach Andy Reid and his staff.

“You can have them in the building a little longer, and you can have a walk-through,” Reid said. “That constitutes a second practice. What we’ll do is we’ll have a walk-through in the morning, and then we’ll have the practice in the afternoon.”

Reid said the minicamp helps players prepare for training camp, which will start in July.

“A couple ways, obviously they’re working out and doing football stuff, so from a physical standpoint, it gives them that,” Reid said. “Most of all, in these camps it gives you that mental preparation. That’s important. When you can combine the two of those, when you’re physically fit and you’ve got the scheme down, normally you’re going to get the best out of that player and see what they’re all about, and they’ll be able to show you their best.”

One player the Chiefs will keep an eye on is fourth-round pick De’Anthony Thomas, a versatile speedster who was forced to miss all 10 voluntary offseason workouts because the NFL prohibits players from working out with their new teams until their college’s academic calendar is complete. Final exams for Oregon — which runs on the quarter system — weren’t done until Friday.

Thomas did attend the Chiefs’ three-day rookie minicamp, however, and the coaches are eager to get another look at him.

“He’s a great football player,” running back coach Eric Bieniemy said. “We looked at him on punt return and kick return and in minicamp, he played running back and he did a little bit of receiver. He’s a tremendous athlete, a tremendous asset, and we look forward to seeing what he can do when he gets back.”

Receivers coach David Culley agreed, and said Thomas had a little bit of Dexter McCluster in him.

McCluster made the Pro Bowl as a punt returner and had the best receiving season of his career as a slot receiver under Reid last season.

“(Thomas is) a jack-of-all-trades, kind of like a guy we had here before, the one that left here and went into free agency,” Culley said with a laugh. “He can go different directions and we’re going to use him all over the place.”

Encouraging news

Tight end Travis Kelce again missed practice as he recovered from microfracture surgery on his knee, but Reid expressed optimism both he and receiver Kyle Williams, who has been sitting out due to an ACL tear, would be able to ramp up their training soon.

“We think next week we’ll be able to get a little bit out of Kelce and possibly Kyle Williams,” Reid said. “We’ll have to see how all that works.”

Reid also said Kelce, Williams and offensive tackle Eric Fisher — who missed part of practice while recovering from a shoulder injury — should be ready by training camp.

Receiver Junior Hemingway missed his fourth day of practice Friday because of strep throat.

“We kept him out of the building,” Reid said.

Receiver Weston Dressler (hamstring) and cornerbacks Chris Owens (hamstring) and David Van Dyke (hamstring) also missed practice, while receiver A.J. Jenkins (hamstring) returned to action.

Cornerback Phillip Gaines, left guard Jeff Allen and running back Jamaal Charles were all excused from Friday’s practice for personal reasons.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to Follow him on Twitter at @TerezPaylor.

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