The third year of the Andy Reid-John Dorsey regime is set to commence, and after a busy offseason full of wheeling and dealing, the goal is once again clear — playoffs or bust.
But following a 9-7 campaign in which they narrowly missed the playoffs, the Chiefs have plenty of work ahead of them if they want to return to the postseason. That process will begin in earnest Tuesday, when the Chiefs’ rookies and quarterbacks report to Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph for the start of training camp.
The Chiefs will hold their first practice on Wednesday at 8:45 a.m., though that practice — and the next two, on Thursday and Friday — will be closed to the public.
Here’s a list of rookies and quarterbacks and an early thought on each player:
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▪ LB D.J. Alexander: His speed and burst to the football is evident on tape, but folks will be watching closely to see what kind of physicality the 6-foot-2, 233-pounder brings to the table once pads come on.
▪ QB Tyler Bray: After tearing his ACL in January, it will be interesting to see where this 6-foot-6, strong-armed gunslinger is at in his rehab.
▪ WR Da’Ron Brown: He’s in for a fight to make the team, but his status as a seventh-round pick — as opposed to an undrafted free agent, like some of his competition — means the Chiefs will give him every opportunity to show what he can do.
▪ WR Chris Conley: One of the stars of organized team activities, Conley’s combination of size and speed stood out. If he does the same in pads, the Chiefs could have a third-round steal on their hands.
▪ WR Kenny Cook: Another star of OTAs, the 6-foot-4 Cook used his long limbs and ball skills to make contested catches. If he does it in pads, this undrafted free agent could give himself a chance to stick.
▪ QB Chase Daniel: Daniel is a very solid backup to Alex Smith, and has the look of a guy who can be relied upon to take the reins if Smith were to go down again.
▪ LS Andrew East: His recent engagement to former Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson could overshadow anything he does over the next month, but he does have a chance to win the Chiefs’ long-snapping job.
▪ OL Garrett Frye: Undrafted rookies need versatility to stick, and Frye — who practiced at center and tackle during OTAs — has some of that.
▪ OLB Sage Harold: Pass rushers are difficult to evaluate without pads, which is why it will be interesting to see what Harold — who racked up 13 1/2 sacks as a senior at James Madison — can do this month.
▪ RB Keshawn Hill: The Chiefs have plenty of options at running back, but Hill — who rushed for 1,150 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior at Sam Houston State — has some natural ability worth checking out.
▪ DE David Irving: Irving missed his entire senior season after being dismissed from the team at Iowa State, but his size (6-7) and speed (4.84-second 40-yard dash) stood out during OTAs.
▪ WR Donatella Luckett: Caught the Chiefs’ eye during the scouting process with his athleticism and will look to step up in training camp.
▪ LB Justin March: Isn’t very big (6 feet, 230 pounds) but flashed good speed in OTAs and made a few plays in coverage. His physicality could determine how long he sticks around.
▪ C Mitch Morse: Athletic, smart and tough, Morse won the Chiefs over during the scouting process. After spending the last two years at tackle, he will need to show a command of the scheme and be consistent snapping the ball to wrestle the starting center job away from Eric Kush.
▪ C Daniel Munyer: A three-year starter at Colorado with experience at center and guard, Munyer will look to prove he belongs after earning a contract following his rookie camp tryout.
▪ QB Aaron Murray: Murray really picked it up toward the end of OTAs, making some very nice throws. If he shows that continued improvement in his anticipation and accuracy during camp, it’s a tremendous sign for his development.
▪ CB Steven Nelson: A confident, competitive corner with good hips, Nelson — the one of two third-round picks — seemed to get more work at nickel back than he did on the outside during the team’s mandatory minicamp in mid-June.
▪ DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches: A one-gap player who used his quickness off the ball to win in college, it’s safe to say he could potentially help in passing situations down the road. However, it will be more interesting to see where he practices, at least initially, in the team’s base 3-4 front.
▪ TE James O’Shaughnessy: With the frame to pack on more weight and the athleticism to help as a pass catcher, O’Shaughnessy steadily improved throughout OTAs and has a chance to earn playing time this season with a solid camp.
▪ CB Deji Olatoye: Was a bit overshadowed by another corner the Chiefs plucked off the Ravens’ practice squad last fall, but possesses the size (6-1) the Chiefs like in corners.
▪ CB Marcus Peters: His confidence, competitiveness and aggressiveness stood out on his college tape, and it will be fun to watch how his game translates when the pads come on. Like other young corners, technique will be big for him against the athletic receivers the NFL has to offer.
▪ G Marcus Reed: This 6-5, 350-pounder, who was claimed off waivers during the Chiefs’ mandatory minicamp, gets his first real chance to make a first impression during training camp.
▪ CB Kevin Short: This former Kansas cornerback, who signed a free-agent deal with the Chiefs after the supplemental draft, has prototype size (6-2, 190 pounds) for a press-man corner.
▪ QB Alex Smith: The unquestioned starter, Smith takes a lot of heat for his risk-averse style. But the Chiefs have added a few more weapons this offseason, and if the offensive line protects him, there’s no reason he shouldn’t take a few more risks on the field.
▪ WR Jeret Smith: Undrafted rookie who was signed at the end of minicamp after catching 54 passes for 1,143 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior at McMurry.
▪ NT Charles Tuaau: Undrafted free agent who boasts outstanding size (6-5, 310) for a nose tackle. Was extremely productive as a junior, recording 25 1/2 tackles for loss and 12 1/2 sacks.
▪ ILB Ramik Wilson: Fourth-round pick who opened some eyes with a number of interceptions in OTAs. But like Alexander, a fellow inside linebacker, he’ll look to prove he’s got some run-stuffing chops.
Veterans report Friday
All veterans are required to report to St. Joseph on Friday, however, and the club’s first full-squad practice — which will be held on Saturday — is open to the public for a $5 admission fee. The first of two team autograph sessions will be held afterward, while the second will take place on “American Family” Fun Day, which will be held on Aug. 8 and also has a $5 admission fee.
All of the Chiefs’ 14 full-squad practices will be open to the public. The Chiefs will have a designated position group sign autographs every day after practice.
Practices that start at 8:15 a.m. will run for approximately two hours and 40 minutes, while practices that start at 9:15 a.m. will run for one hour and 40 minutes. There is a $5 parking fee per vehicle, per day.
▪ Tuesday, July 28: Rookies and quarterbacks report to Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph
▪ Wednesday, July 29: Practice, closed to public
▪ Thursday, July 30: Practice, closed to public
▪ Friday, July 31: Practice, closed to public; veterans report to camp
▪ Saturday, Aug. 1: Open practice, 3:30 p.m. ($5 admission; team autograph session)
▪ Sunday, Aug. 2: Open practice, 8:15 a.m. (free; team autograph session)
▪ Monday, Aug. 3: Open practice, 8:15 a.m. (free)
▪ Tuesday, Aug. 4: Open practice, 8:15 a.m. (free)
▪ Wednesday, Aug. 5: Open practice, 9:15 a.m. (free)
▪ Friday, Aug. 7: Open practice, 8:15 a.m. (free)
▪ Saturday, Aug. 8: Open practice, 8:15 a.m. (“American Family” Fun Day, $5 admission; team autograph session)
▪ Sunday, Aug. 9: Open practice, 8:15 a.m. (free)
▪ Monday, Aug. 10: Open practice, 9:15 a.m. (free)
▪ Tuesday, Aug. 11: Open practice, 8:15 a.m. (free)
▪ Wednesday, Aug. 12: Open practice, 8:15 a.m. (free; season-ticket member appreciation; team autograph session)
▪ Saturday, Aug. 15: Preseason game No. 1, Chiefs at Arizona, 8 p.m.
▪ Monday, Aug. 17: Open practice, 8:15 a.m. (free)
▪ Tuesday, Aug. 18: Open practice, 8:15 a.m. (free)
▪ Wednesday, Aug. 19: Open practice, 9:15 a.m. (free)
▪ Thursday, Aug. 20: Camp breaks; no practice
▪ Friday, Aug. 21: Preseason game No. 2, Seattle at Chiefs, 7 p.m.