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Chiefs camp report, Aug. 8: Deep passing game showcased in light practice

Chiefs Daily, Aug. 8: offense works the deep ball

Long passes were plentiful as the Chiefs offense worked on going deep. Creating a pass rush without Tamba Hali and Justin Houston could be a challenge. Video by Shane Keyser, skeyser@kcstar.com
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Long passes were plentiful as the Chiefs offense worked on going deep. Creating a pass rush without Tamba Hali and Justin Houston could be a challenge. Video by Shane Keyser, skeyser@kcstar.com

The highlights from the Chiefs’ training camp practice Monday in St. Joseph, along with an injury report and Tuesday’s schedule.

The offense

▪ The weather was largely sunny for the abbreviated one-hour, 40-minute non-padded practice. The Chiefs held a light 10-10-10 session in which they installed plays, went 11-on-11 and worked on special teams.

▪ The Chiefs worked a ton on the deep ball and quarterback Alex Smith was on point. Granted, it was against the No. 2 defense, and yes, the defenders played at an easy pace with no hitting — which essentially amounts to a glorified walkthrough — but the No. 1 offense was humming as the ball rarely hit the ground. Smith completed 29 of 30 passes, many of them on deep throws like posts and deep crosses.

▪ There were some nice grabs mixed in, too. Players who on the receiving end of the aerial circus included Jeremy Maclin, Chris Conley, Albert Wilson and of course, Tyreek Hill, who ran a deep cross in which he burned the safety, Shak Randolph, by at least five yards, much to the delight of the crowd. Wilson’s catch was also nice, as he extended to catch a ball with his fingertips in stride for a touchdown.

▪ Perhaps the catch of the day belong to Kashif Moore, a speedy 5-foot-9 receiver who occasionally battles the ball but really showed something when he tapped a deep pass back to himself near the sideline and somehow remained inbounds. It was a tremendous catch on a ball from Tyler Bray.

▪ Speaking of Bray, he didn’t make an appearance with the second team at quarterback until the final 11-on-11 period as Nick Foles snapped up most of those reps. It might be hard to put much into that, though — it looked like the second team was essentially functioning as the scout team as it was matched up against the No. 1 defense all day.

The defense

▪ Not a ton happened in the first 11-on-11 session for the No. 1 defense, as the unit worked on defending the read option. It was interesting to see Foles, the Chiefs’ new 6-6, 243-pound quarterback who isn’t exactly Russell Wilson, run some read option in a scout team capacity, however.

▪ There were some interceptions on the day. Safety Daniel Sorensen, the star of Sunday’s practice who often lines up as a linebacker in nickel, flashed for the second straight day as he undercut a short pass by rookie quarterback Kevin Hogan for an interception.

▪ No surprise here, Marcus Peters had another interception. He jumped a wheel route intended for running back Darrin Reaves. It was his fifth straight practice with an interception, a ridiculous pace for any corner. Teams would probably be wise not to even test him this year.

▪ Another good day for second-year cornerback Steven Nelson, who has come on strong of late. He had a pair of deflections, including one he could have intercepted.

▪ Some depth chart notes: One of the Chiefs’ most impressive young players has been 6-6, 310-pound rookie defensive tackle Chris Jones, whose combination of size, athleticism and power has the Chiefs excited. It’s notable that Jones lined up next to Poe as one of two interior rushers in the nickel on Monday — the first time I’ve noticed that — but don’t read too much into it, as Allen Bailey and Jaye Howard are probably the team’s best interior pass rushers and will definitely see plenty of time there in the fall. Still, if Jones can develop into an impactful rotational player on passing downs, it will allow the Chiefs to keep the interior starters fresh and potentially add some juice to the pass rush.

▪ The Chiefs are still mixing and matching their first-string defensive backs in the nickel. Peters and Marcus Cooper were the outside corners (Phillip Gaines sat), while Steven Nelson slid inside to the slot. The starting safeties were Ron Parker and rookie Eric Murray, who the Chiefs have high hopes for — one day. Again, don’t read too much into Murray starting just yet — the Chiefs are doing a lot of mixing and matching to see what they have.

Injury report

Knile Davis returned to practice after leaving Sunday’s practice because of a shoulder injury. Inside linebacker Josh Mauga (groin) returned to practice after missing two straight. Receiver Albert Wilson (calf) returned to practice after missing four straight.

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 because of his contract situation.

Tuesday’s schedule

8:15 a.m. practice

The number

3 — Consecutive days the Chiefs practiced in pads before Monday.

Top songs played today at Chiefs camp

“No Hands” — Waka Flocka Flame ft. Wale & Roscoe Dash

“Hustle Hard” — Ace Hood

“Lil Jon 101 Intro” — DJ Erie

“We Still In This (Clean)” — B.o.B.

“Andale” — Wildfellaz ft. Lil Jon

“Even Flow” — Pearl Jam

“Hypnotize” — The Notorious B.I.G.

“M.A.D.D. City” — Kendrick Lamar ft. MC Eiht

“Hustlin’” — Rick Ross

“Two Phones” — Kevin Gates

“Da Rockwilder” — Method Man & Redman

Other camp reports

Aug. 7 — Daniel Sorensen channels his inner John Lynch, Marcus Peters continues to shine

Aug. 6 — Quarterbacks raise their game, offense thrives

Aug. 5 — Foles flashes, defense wins first “live” tackling session

Aug. 4 — No practice

Aug. 3 — Trick plays, interceptions and more from a light practice

Aug. 2 – Tyreek Hill, other new receivers, star on second day of pads

Aug. 1 – Big plays rule first day of pads

July 31 – Receivers, cornerbacks shine during heavy passing practice

July 30 – No surprises among starters

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