Some thoughts after Monday's rainy Chiefs practice:
• Wide receiver Donnie Avery had perhaps his best practice since arriving in Kansas City, and that has to be a relief to the Chiefs. On back to back plays, he took a slant pass from Chase Daniel for a long gain and then made a leaping catch of a Daniel pass over a defender along the sideline. Between missing much of offseason practice because of a high ankle sprain and then dropping passes early in camp, Avery had shown the Chiefs little. Perhaps that’s changing. If so, he would be a valuable piece of the passing puzzle for a team that is searching for reliable receivers to complement Dwayne Bowe.
• The continued job prospects didn’t look good for veteran Quintin Demps in May when he was signed by the Chiefs, who had Eric Berry, Kendrick Lewis and rookie Sanders Commings already playing his position. But Demps, who played two seasons for Andy Reid with Philadelphia and three for Houston, suddenly looks like a necessary addition. Demps has taken over Commings’ spot when the Chiefs use six defensive backs. Today he filled in at starting strong safety for Berry, who was bothered by a balky hamstring. He also could wind up returning kickoffs for the Chiefs. Demps was a good returner early in his career. The Chiefs are also looking at Dexter McCluster and Knile Davis, among others but Demps may be their best option.
• One reason the Chiefs might like to go with Demps to return kickoffs is that they need to be careful of the workload they place on the diminutive McCluster. At 5-feet-8 and 170 pounds, he will wear down with too much use and the Chiefs plan to use him a lot on offense. Special teams coach Dave Toub said today that McCluster will probably win the job as punt return specialist.