Chiefs Daily, Aug. 16: The return of Jamaal Charles
The highlights from the Chiefs’ training camp practice Tuesday in St. Joseph, plus Wednesday’s schedule.
The Chiefs held a padded practice for two hours and 40 minutes. All highlights occurred in 11-on-11 play, unless otherwise noted.
▪ One player who stood out was receiver Chris Conley, who seemingly caught everything in sight during the team period and might be showing signs of becoming a reliable target. Conley caught all sorts of passes from quarterback Alex Smith on Tuesday — some easy, some tough — but throughout it all, he displayed a knack for creating a window for his quarterback to throw the ball. Smith connected with Conley at least six times in the team session, with some of them going for touchdowns.
▪ Another player who impressed was No. 2 quarterback Nick Foles, who has generally gotten better every day since his arrival in Kansas City two weeks ago. Foles threw some real beauties during the 11-on-11 red-zone period on Tuesday, including: a touchdown throw to Demarcus Robinson in the corner of the end zone; a touchdown throw to Rod Streater in the corner of the end zone; and a sidearm throw to James O’Shaughnessy in the end zone for a touchdown. Foles also threw touchdown passes to Streater, Ross Travis, Brian Parker and Tyreek Hill and another touchdown to Hill in 7-on-7.
▪ Speaking of Hill, he received a handoff Tuesday, and that’s not the first time that’s happened. Hill may not receive a ton of carries this year but it looks like he’ll receive a few, at least.
▪ After a nice practice Monday, No. 3 quarterback Aaron Murray took a step back Tuesday. He made a nice throw or two — his touchdown throw to Frankie Hammond on an out route was a thing of beauty — but Murray generally struggled with the strike zone, often overshooting or underthrowing his intended receiver. Murray has shown flashes of becoming the kind of player the Chiefs projected him to be when they selected him in the fifth round in 2014, but consistency — like for most young quarterbacks — continues to be an issue for him.
▪ It took tight end James O’Shaughnessy, who missed nine games last season because of a foot injury, a little while to get back in the groove of things, but he generally looks more athletic lately and has made some nice catches in practice. He also flashed some run-blocking ability in the 17-16 preseason loss to the Seahawks on Saturday. He’s currently fourth on the depth chart behind Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris and Ross Travis, but it looks like this 2015 fifth-round pick won’t be going down without a fight.
The defense got its hands on a lot of passes but couldn’t haul any of them in for interceptions.
▪ Hardly a day goes by where fourth-year pro Marcus Cooper doesn’t flash. Cooper, who has gotten lots of work as the starting right cornerback when the Chiefs go to nickel, broke up an Alex Smith pass that could have been intercepted.
▪ Outside linebacker Frank Zombo also dropped a Smith pass that could have been an interception. Zombo had to leap up to grab the ball, but he got his hands on it and probably should have hauled it in.
▪ Inside linebacker Tyrell Adams missed out on a chance to make a splash play when he dropped an interception on a short pass over the middle by Murray.
▪ Other players who flashed were defensive ends Nick Williams and Allen Bailey, who appeared to record sacks against the first-team offense; inside linebacker Derrick Johnson, who broke up a pass over the middle intended for Travis (who is 3 inches taller than Johnson); and safety Shak Randolph, who delivered the hit of the day by unloading on receiver Mike Williams, who had just caught the ball on a short slant route. Williams quickly rose from the ground and slapped hands with Randolph, which was a nice display of sportsmanship.
▪ In depth chart news, Justin March remained the starting inside linebacker next to Johnson. Ramik Wilson worked on the second team.
▪ Running back Jamaal Charles was activated from the physically unable to perform list and joined his teammates for stretching and warmups before retreating to the locker room. Trainer Rick Burkholder said Charles’ brief appearance was planned as the team slowly works him back from a torn ACL.
▪ Running back Charcandrick West missed practice for the second straight day with a mild elbow strain and sprain. Quarterback Tyler Bray missed his second straight practice with a chip fracture in his spine. Inside linebacker Josh Mauga (groin) missed his fourth straight practice.
▪ Outside linebacker Frank Zombo practiced after missing Monday’s session because his wife had a baby.
▪ Outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali remain on the physically unable to perform list and did not practice. Safety Eric Berry still has not reported because of his contract situation.
The Chiefs will hold another open practice at 9:15 a.m.
310 — Days, prior to Tuesday, since Charles donned pads. Charles last wore them in the Chiefs’ 18-17 loss to Chicago on Oct. 11, when he suffered his season-ending right knee injury.
Top songs played at Chiefs camp today
“California Love” — 2Pac ft. Dr. Dre
“You Deserve It” — Future
“We Own It” — 2 Chainz & Wiz Khalifa
“All The Way Up” — Fat Joe, Remy Ma ft. French Montana & Infared
“Forever” — Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Eminem
“No Flex Zone” — Rae Sremmurd
“Top Back” — T.I.
“Alive” — P.O.D.
“Campaign” — Ty Dolla $ign ft. Future
“No Lie” — 2 Chainz ft. Drake
“Are You Gonna Go My Way” — Lenny Kravitz
“I Don’t Really Care” — Wake Flocka Flame ft. Trey Songz
“It Was A Good Day” — Ice Cube
Other camp reports
Aug. 4 — No practice
Aug. 1 — Big plays rule first day of pads
July 30 — No surprises among starters