Kansas City Chiefs: Latest Updates on Training Camp Storylines
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Roughly 4,000 red-and-gold-repping devotees filed into St. Joseph, Missouri, on Friday—smaller crowds can be found at Marlins games on dollar night—to watch camp kick off with a crowd-pleasing touchdown.
Over the first four afternoons, pads were thrown over shoulders, contact made its debut and heart-rate monitors broke a collective sweat.
Four storylines have dominated local news coverage.
Every year, training camps always serve as reminders that injuries are inevitable in football. They come with the territory.
Fortunately, the Chiefs haven't suffered any ticker-worthy cart-offs. The only major injury came in the form of rookie Sanders Commings' broken collarbone.
A number of minor tweaks and strains have appeared over the past four days, though.
Dwayne Bowe's training camp premiere took place on the sidelines, but it was later disclosed that he was battling a respiratory virus. Bowe passed his physical and returned to the field on Sunday.
According to The Kansas City Star, Eric Berry and Dunta Robinson were victimized by minor hamstring strains. Jeff Allen, who authored a cringeworthy rookie campaign, has battled Geoff Schwartz for the starting position at left guard. He left the field with a shoulder injury on Saturday.
Rebounds and Returns
A handful of Chiefs were rendered to spectator status throughout OTAs.
Tony Moeaki was the most notable absence, but he hasn't taken a backseat to Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce throughout training camp.
TEs Fasano, Moeaki, and Kelce all getting first team reps— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) July 28, 2013
Obviously, Moeaki's placement on the depth chart will be dictated by his blocking. If he returns to his 2010 form, he could demote Kelce to third-string. Adversely, if Moeaki's surgically repaired left knee holds his effectiveness hostage, he'll find himself at the bottom of the trio.
The return of Donnie Avery, who is no stranger to injury reports himself, also warranted its share of applause.
Smith to Avery burns Demps on an 80-yd TD pass. #Chiefs— Dave Skretta (@APdaveskretta) July 29, 2013
Avery's 12 drops tied for the fourth-most among NFL receivers in 2012. If he becomes more efficient, it's feasible that Kansas City's newest speedster could lead the team in 20-plus-yard receptions.
If the past is indicative of the future, Andy Reid dreams about drag routes, and Alex Smith will be ordering ice from Costco.
Smith slung a career-high 445 passes in 2011; Reid's Philadelphia Eagles attempted 618 last season.
The Chiefs didn't carry out a single rushing play throughout the first two days of camp.
Does that hold any weight in the grand scheme of the offense? Probably not. The passing overload cranked up the tempo and set the tone—it established a baseline of conditioning expectations for the players.
A home run hitting All-Pro like Jamaal Charles will receive a healthy dosage of carries. That being said, injecting a West Coast offense with one of the NFL's most efficient quarterbacks won't cure an aerial addict like Reid, though.
Whenever an incoming regime spring-cleans the roster, training camp will serve as host to a multitude of position battles.
As touched upon earlier, Tony Moeaki is splitting first-team reps with Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce. Meanwhile, Geoff Schwartz is filling in for Jeff Allen, who is out indefinitely, at left guard.
While there has been chatter of Donnie Avery supplanting Jon Baldwin as the No. 2 receiver, that hasn't been the case throughout camp.
Jon Baldwin running as Chiefs No. 2 receiver http://t.co/miqIMMFRmn— Rotoworld Football (@Rotoworld_FB) July 29, 2013
Also, professional experience seems to be edging out schematic experience at strong-side linebacker.
Akeem Jordan taking 1st team reps next to Derrick Johnson at ILB. #ChiefsCamp— BJ Kissel (@bkissel7) July 28, 2013
If Akeem Jordan continues to fend off Nico Johnson, it will likely trace back to Johnson's liabilities in coverage.
Finally, no update would be complete without mentioning Tyler Bray and Ricky Stanzi.
“@Liamquigs: How did the QBs look today??” Smith was solid, Bray outstanding, Stanzi inconsistent, Daniel struggled.— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) July 28, 2013
Assuming the trend continues, the only red and white Stanzi reps on Sundays will be his NASCAR sponsors.
Statistics provided by Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
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