The highlights from the Chiefs’ training camp practice Monday in St. Joseph, plus Tuesday’s schedule.
The Chiefs held a padded practice for two hours and 40 minutes. All highlights occurred in 11-on-11, unless otherwise noted.
▪ There has been some shifting on the depth chart following the Chiefs’ first preseason game, a 17-16 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday. The backup offensive lines looked radically different. Here’s the second-string line, from left to right: Zach Sterup, Zach Fulton, Daniel Munyer, Jarrod Pughsley and Jah Reid. Sterup played right tackle on Saturday, Fulton played center, Pughsley played left guard and Reid played right guard. Jordan Devey, who was the second-string left guard, practiced at third-team center Monday. Again, Chiefs coach Andy Reid likes to cross-train his linemen at different positions, so it’s probably wise not to read a ton into it.
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▪ Now, for the highlights. Quarterback Aaron Murray was impressive Monday, flashing a quick release, improved accuracy and better velocity since organized team activities. Sure, he was still on the third team — and he had a few misfires, too — but overall, he made some gorgeous throws, particularly on two fade balls to receiver Mike Williams. Murray also completed a jump ball to tight end Ross Travis for a touchdown. All three plays were made against cornerback Bryce Cheek. Murray also lofted a pretty ball to tight end James O’Shaughnessy for a short touchdown on a boot and hummed a tight spiral to tight end Brian Parker on a slant in 7-on-7. Reid praised Murray’s recent performance after practice.
▪ No. 2 quarterback Nick Foles also seems to be trending upward. After struggling with his accuracy last week, he made a few nice throws Monday, including one to 6-foot-2 receiver Rod Streater, who is proving to be a reliable target due to his combination of size, hands and catch radius. Streater caught a jump ball near the sideline from Foles over cornerback KeiVarae Russell. Foles also threw a tremendous deep ball to Seantavius Jones on a post route on 7-on-7.
▪ Speaking of 7-on-7, here are some observations from that period: tight end Demetrius Harris, who impressed with his blocking Saturday, had a tough drop on a pass from quarterback Alex Smith. Harris has had a few too many of those in camp but should be fine, provided he continues to block well. Tight end Brian Parker failed to haul in a pass from Foles that deflected off his body and was intercepted by safety Jeron Johnson.
▪ Another player who flashed was receiver Albert Wilson, who made a nice diving catch on a short pass over the middle and caught a deep post for a touchdown. Both passes from quarterback Alex Smith.
▪ Some depth chart notes: The biggest change came at inside linebacker, where Justin March got the first-string nod next to Derrick Johnson instead of Ramik Wilson. Wilson eventually got some time with the first-string, but in subsequent 11-on-11 sessions, March always seemed to take the field first. The switch makes some sense; March was terrific Saturday, flashing multiple times, while Reid said afterward that Wilson was a tad hesitant to attack at times.
With the absence of starter Frank Zombo, Dezman Moses, who performed well Saturday, moved up to first team with starter Dee Ford. This allowed rookie Dadi Nicolas, who also flashed Saturday, to get some second-team reps. Nicolas also maintained his spot on the third team in practice, which allowed the coaches to get a closer look at him.
▪ Rookie safety Eric Murray got a few first-string reps in the nickel next to starter Ron Parker. Murray also had some nice deflections on two passes attempted by Foles.
Others who moved up include cornerback Deveron Carr and defensive end David King. Both were third-teamers Saturday who saw some second-team reps Monday. King was particularly disruptive against Seattle, racking up a sack and three quarterback hits.
▪ Now, for the highlights. Cornerback Steven Nelson, who was thrown at a bit against Seattle, opened the first 11-on-11 session with a flurry. He broke up a pass intended for Albert Wilson on a short drag across the middle, then intercepted a go-ball from Smith on the next play.
▪ Cornerback Marcus Cooper also joined the interception fray, as he jumped a curl route by Tyreek Hill and picked off Foles. Cooper also knocked away a Foles pass intended for Chris Conley in 7-on-7 and continues to flash in camp in his bid to make the roster. …
Other players who flashed: outside linebacker Ford, who made a nice play in coverage on Spencer Ware by sticking with him and forcing an incompletion; outside linebacker Andy Mulumba, who had a sack; and March, who knocked away a pass intended for Knile Davis.
▪ Running back Charcandrick West missed practice due to a mild elbow strain and sprain on Saturday. Trainer Rick Burkholder said West, who wore a brace Monday, injured the elbow during the Chiefs’ loss to the Seahawks and is day-to-day.
“During the ball game, he fell on an outstretched left arm, his elbow shifted a little bit,” Burkholder said. “It wasn’t a dislocation, a sublux or anything like that. He was fine after the ball game. He came in yesterday very swollen, very stiff, so we did an MRI … he damaged some muscle and (had) a little bit of stretch on a ligament.”
▪ Quarterback Tyler Bray did not practice Monday due to a chip fracture in his spine. Burkholder said the injury sounds worse than it is but there is no real timetable for a return.
▪ Outside linebacker Zombo missed practice because his wife is having a baby.
▪ Inside linebacker Josh Mauga (groin) missed his third straight practice. He did not play Saturday.
▪ Outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali and running back Jamaal Charles remain on the physically-unable-to-perform list and did not practice. Safety Eric Berry still has not reported due to his contract situation.
The Chiefs will hold another open practice Tuesday at 8:15 a.m.
3 — The number of open practices remaining, counting Tuesday, for fans to watch the 2016 Chiefs. Thursday’s practice will be the last open to the general public until 2017.
TOP SONGS PLAYED AT CHIEFS CAMP TODAY
“We Ready” — Archie Eversole
“Jumpman” — Drake ft. Future
“Can’t Stop” — Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Best Friend” — Young Thug
“How We Do” — The Game
“Awwsome” — Shy Glizzy
“Headlines” — Drake
“Hail To The King” — Avenged Sevenfold
“Be Real” — Kid Ink ft. DeJ Loaf
“Wat U Mean” — Dae Dae
“Oh Yeah (Work)” — Lil Scrappy ft. Sean P. & E-40
“Centuries” — Fall Out Boy
OTHER CAMP REPORTS
August 10 — Rod Streater stars, Tyler Bray rises to occasion
August 4 — No practice
August 1 – Big plays rule first day of pads
July 30 – No surprises among starters