QUICK HITS –
The Chiefs moved their afternoon practice to River Falls stadium. Justin Medlock started the session by nailing a 57-yard field goal, bouncing the ball off the crossbar. He followed up that stellar kick with a 60-yard effort that was on target, but fell just short.
The coverage abilities of KC's linebacker corps, from top to bottom, were evident in a passing drill shortly after practice began. Here's a taste:
1. Derrick Johnson blanketed tight end Keith Willis to start the drill, forcing an incompletion. Later he rode tight end Mike Pinkard's hip all the way down the field, resulting in a high throw.
2. Donnie Edwards flashed his own skills next, smothering Derrick Ross. He's still got it, folks.
3. Next came Kendrell Bell, and a stark contrast to the first two reps. Bell was beaten badly on an out-and-up move by Pinkard way down the field, surrendering a big gain. Bell was beaten again later during the drill by a running back in his second rep.
Safety Bernard Pollard was back and practicing after his injury this morning. Apparently the Chiefs put a splint on his finger, but he was so aggravated by it he eventually just took it off. Alfonso Boone, however, remained on the sideline.
The Chiefs sat Patrick Surtain and Ty Law this afternoon Benny Sapp and Dimitri Patterson worked in their absence. Tyron Brackenridge also rotated in.
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Brodie Croyle bootlegged to his left, paused, cocked his arm and fired. Bernard Pollard raced to the sideline. Croyle's pass beat Pollard's hand swat by a microsecond, and Brad Ekwerekwu cradled it for a 20-yard gain. On one play, Croyle showed athleticism (the bootleg), accuracy (a pinpoint pass) and arm strength, throwing back across his body.
Welcome to training camp, Casey Printers! The second-year quarterback finally showed a glimpse of potential, completing a gorgeous 35-yard pass to wideout Ean Randolph down the left sideline. What was most impressive about this play was that Printers delivered a pretty, accurate ball off his back foot under intense pressure.
Benny Sapp denied the Chiefs a touchdown early in this afternoon's session. On a third-and-goal situation, Brodie Croyle lofted a jump ball in the direction of Chris Hannon. Sapp may be 5-foot-9, but he jumped high to steal the ball from the 6-foot-3 wide receiver.
Brodie Croyle might not be the declared starter, but he sure looks like it. The Chiefs aired it out this afternoon and Croyle received extensive reps. Here's a recap of his performance.
• Croyle started practice with a short 11-on-11 red-zone drill. He completed two of four passes, but one was a drop. The third was intercepted.
• Later, in 7-on-7's, Croyle started to heat up. After an incompletion he connected on four passes in a row, including a touchdown pass to Kolby Smith. A few minutes later he delivered the strike (noted above) to Brad Ekwerekwu along the left sideline.
• Croyle almost hooked up with Chris Hannon for a long touchdown in the back of the endzone, but it was just beyond the reach of the wideout's leaping grasp. On the next play, the offensive line provided superior protection as Croyle faked a double reverse and threw over the middle accurately to Samie Parker for a 15-yard gain.
• By my count, Croyle completed 14 of 22 passes in the PM session, but two were dropped and Jared Allen batted down another. I was most impressed with Croyle's quick decision making. He doesn't hold the ball long at all, and makes extremely quick reads, especially against the blitz – and the Chiefs didn't shy away from blitzing him, sending defenders from all angles.
• Speaking of blitzes, Croyle's best play might've come against one. The Chiefs sent the house, but Croyle quickly got the ball away and burned the blitz with a long run-after-catch gain to tight end Mike Pinkard, his hot read.
Boomer Grigsby simply caught everything thrown his way this afternoon. Most importantly, he caught each pass with his hands, extending every time to pluck the ball from the air. Who knew? Kolby Smith also had a fine receiving session, and was the target of several passes in the flat. He was hit hard on his touchdown reception but held on.
Casey Printers may have thrown a nice pass at one point, but overall his practice wasn't very inspiring. His first attempt was an awful interception in 7-on-7's, picked by linebacker Keyaron Fox. Even when Printers makes the throw, he can't catch a break. His receivers dropped two touchdown passes today. Even so, he's got to stop holding the ball and looking at the pass rush. At one point today he just started running out of the pocket. You're not in the CFL anymore, Casey.
Damon Huard, Patrick Surtain, Ty Law, Casey Wiegmann, Priest Holmes, Jason Dunn, Eddie Kennison and Brian Waters did not practice.
"It's hot out here!" – Head coach Herm Edwards, lamenting the rigors of two-a-day's.
River Falls Recap – Tuesday, 7/31 PM Practice
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