The highlights from the Chiefs' training camp practice Wednesday in St. Joseph.
▪ The Chiefs held a padded practice for two hours and 40 minutes on a sunny, humid day.
▪ The Chiefs opened practice with a bit of a scare, as star receiver Jeremy Maclin collided with cornerback Steven Nelson — who made a play on the ball, deflecting it away — during a 1-on-1 drill and lay on the ground for a while in pain. He eventually rose to his feet and returned to participate in 11-on-11 drills. Crisis averted.
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▪ Perhaps the catch of the day in 1-on-1s came courtesy of Rod Streater, who tipped a pass from Alex Smith to himself two times before snagging it in the back of the end zone. A terrific display of concentration and hands.
▪ But Streater wasn’t done. He later found himself on the receiving end of a gorgeous bomb down the left sideline from Nick Foles. Foles has generally struggled with his accuracy in his six practices as a Chief, but it was one of his best throws — an accurate, tight spiral that went a long way — and an indication that he is working himself into a groove. Speaking of Foles …
▪ He continued to get the No. 2 quarterback reps ahead of Tyler Bray, but Bray has really risen to the challenge since Foles’ addition. He still makes the occasional poor throw/read, but his ability to stretch the field with his excellent arm talent has been established. Every practice, he makes a deep throw that should translate to the game. For instance, on Wednesday he threw at least two dimes — one on a go-ball to Frankie Hammond and another on a deep cross to Ross Travis. What’s unclear is how well Bray has really picked coach Andy Reid’s complicated offense, but he is more impressive than Aaron Murray, at least physically.
▪ Murray might be the No. 4 quarterback now, but he’s definitely looking better than he did in organized team activities. His spirals are tighter, and he’s making some tougher throws, particularly on deep routes. His completion to Travis on a corner route late in practice was a dime.
▪ There hasn’t been much written about second-year pro Da’Ron Brown, but he has improved since last season. Brown is not a burner, but he runs solid routes and consistently showcases good hands — including the ability to make catches in traffic. He has the look of a good West Coast offense receiver — think James Jones — and is someone who has consistently been a standout on the third team. He could have a hard time finding a roster spot but would again be an ideal practice squad stash.
▪ Other players who made nice plays include: receiver Mitch Mathews, who made a sideline catch in front of Marcus Peters on a nice throw from quarterback Kevin Hogan; tight end Demetrius Harris, who made an impressive high-point catch over Steven Nelson. He later had another drop, however, which has become a trend.
▪ A depth chart note: Third-year pro Zach Fulton got some run at right guard with the first string Wednesday, albeit for only a few plays, as starter Laurent Duvernay-Tardif eventually found himself back in the lineup. It’s unclear whether Duvernay-Tardif was hurt for a spell, or the staff just wanted to get a quick look at Fulton with the ones.
▪ Safety Ron Parker made a diving deflection in 7-on-7 on a pass from Alex Smith. After a fairly quiet start to camp, Parker — a good cover man and a willing hitter — has started to flash more in recent practices.
▪ Another safety who has shined recently is third-year pro Daniel Sorensen, who intercepted an Alex Smith pass off a deflection and sped up the sideline. Sorensen is a hitter who might get the first crack at the nickel linebacker role in certain subpackages that defensive coordinator Bob Sutton likes to employ.
▪ Other players who made nice plays include: safety Stevie Brown, who recorded a sack on a blitz, and cornerback D.J. White, who knocked away a Nick Foles pass intended for Rod Streater. White, a sixth-round pick from Georgia Tech, isn’t a superior athlete but he runs fast enough (4.49 40-yard dash) and has a knack for always being in position to make a play on the ball.
▪ Outside linebacker Dezman Moses left practice early due to a glute sprain. Receiver Tyreek Hill left practice early due to cramping.
▪ Inside linebacker Josh Mauga (groin) missed his fourth practice in five days. He participated in Monday’s non-padded practice but sat the last two padded practices. Ramik Wilson continues to get No. 1 reps in his place.
▪ 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 not hold another open practice until Monday.
8 — The number of consecutive seasons in which the Chiefs have been scheduled to face either the Seahawks or Packers during the preseason. The Chiefs will open the preseason against the Seahawks at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Top songs played Wednesday at Chiefs camp
“Thriller” — Michael Jackson
“Poison” — Bell Biv Devoe
“Word Up” — Cameo
“Brick House” — The Commodores
“Livin’ On A Prayer” — Bon Jovi
“Atomic Dog” — George Clinton
“Before I Let Go” — Maze ft. Frankie Beverly
“Motownphilly” — Boyz II Men
“Beat It” — Michael Jackson
“Get Down On It” — Kool & The Gang
Other camp reports
Aug. 4 — No practice
Aug. 1 — Big plays rule first day of pads
July 30 — No surprises among starters