With the Kansas City Chiefs top heavy in players drafted from the West Coast, Cornerbacks, Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson, won’t arrive back at Arrowhead until the teams mandatory mini-camp in June. Because of league rules, they’ll miss out on some quality time learning their defensive assignments.
Last year we saw the Chiefs struggle getting Oregon State Running Back, D’Anthony Thomas ready for live game action. Because of the time he missed in May and June, he had a set back in practice, and ended up missing the first quarter of the season a year ago, because the team wasn’t monitoring his conditioning.
Now injuries occur on every snap but these west coast athletes are just as vital to a team as those in the Central and Eastern Time zones. Again maybe it’s no big deal because both Peters and Nelson play a relatively easy position to get adjusted to at the NFL level.
The Chiefs haven’t been one of those teams that don’t seem to be concerned with the NFL rule prohibited players from participating in off the field activities until they’ve complete their course work.
“Well, you wish they were here just for the reps, but can it be done when they’re not here? Yeah, it can be done. And so you’ve got to do some different things. You’ve got to communicate with them, obviously, as a coach and go through whatever you can go through with them and talk to them, make sure they stay up on that, so that’s what we’ll do,” Head Coach Andy Reid said on Monday.
Still communication is a two way street. The good news is both Peters and Nelson have the internal drive and discipline to continue working in preparation for the next time they set foot on a Chiefs practice field.
“With me being away and the coaches only having a small window of time to communicate with us. But I’ll take all of the info that I have from here from this minicamp and I’ll take it home with me and continue to study that to make sure that I don’t have a drop-off when I come back,” Peters explained.
Nelson on the other hand has a more detailed plan that will become part of his daily workout schedule until he arrives back in Kansas City next month.
“I’m actually going to go back out to Arizona where I first started training at and work out there with the guy that trains me. He’s going to help me get through the playbook and keep me in top shape,” Nelson stated.
I understand why the NFL has rules in place to protect the integrity of the collegiate system. After all, these kids are students first and athletes second. If the system works, as it’s intended, finishing class before embarking on your professional career makes absolute sense.
The good news, even if you have an issue with this rule, the Chiefs have an outstanding coaching staff to deal with some of their missing draft picks. Over the three-day rookie mini-camp Peters and Nelson were given a playbook and strict guidelines as to what needed to be done before they arrive back in Kansas City next month.
Knowing the amount of energy General Manager, John Dorsey and his staff did in deciding to draft these two players a few weeks ago, I have little doubt after their extended spring breaks from football, both will be ready when they attend Mini-Camp next month.
Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock USA Today Sports