Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writers Randy Covitz and Terez Paylor

Chiefs training camp report, July 21: Drops abound in first practice

07/21/2014 11:51 AM

07/21/2014 2:40 PM

The Chiefs held their first practice of training camp Monday morning at Missouri Western State University. Only rookies and quarterbacks were required to attend, although a few select veterans were also in attendance.

A few quick notes and observations:

Approximately 35 players were in attendance and practiced today, including several rookies and first-year players. A few notable names who participated were tight end Travis Kelce (who is coming off microfracture knee surgery and ran a few routes), receiver Weston Dressler (a Canadian Football League transport), receiver Kyle Williams (recovering from ACL surgery), receiver A.J. Jenkins and cornerback Chris Owens.

Jenkins and Owens are veterans, but they each missed a healthy portion of organized team activities due to hamstring injuries.

There were a number of drops today, which isn’t totally unexpected for the first day. Jenkins, Dressler, Williams, De’Anthony Thomas, Demetrius Harris and Deon Anthony are among the players who had drops throughout the course of the day. Some of the players listed above had multiple drops, including Jenkins and Anthony.

Kelce got some work as a deep snapper, which could affect tight end Sean McGrath, who serves as the backup behind Thomas Gafford. If Kelce proves he can handle the job in a pinch, the Chiefs could be more willing to go with the intriguing Harris instead of McGrath as the third tight end. Just something to keep an eye on.

Rookie quarterback Aaron Murray took snaps Monday, which probably means he’s ineligible to be placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list. We’re checking with the Chiefs to make sure that’s the case.

The Chiefs didn’t practice in pads, so there’s only so much that can be gleaned from today’s practice.

However, quarterback Alex Smith snapped off some nice passes during the final team period. Two went to Thomas and another went to A.J. Jenkins.

Thomas, by the way, spent most of his time at running back, though he often ran a lot of short routes or motioned out of the backfield before the snap.

Rookie cornerback Phillip Gaines had a nice day. By my count, he knocked away a pass and had coverage on at least three more incompletions. He did get beat by Jerrell Jackson on a deep route, though. Murray made the throw, which hung in the air for a bit but looked pretty coming out of his hand.

Receiver Frankie Hammond had a nice practice. He blew past cornerback Brandon Jones on a go route for a touchdown. Murray made the throw.

Murray also forced a pass into coverage downfield. The pass, which was intended for Hammond, was not caught. But it was not a great decision.

Otherwise, Murray — who is still wearing a brace on his left knee — looked unencumbered by the knee injury he suffered last November.

Linebacker Alonzo Highsmith made a nice red-zone interception. Linebacker Ben Johnson deflected an Alex Smith pass over the middle.

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

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