QUICK HITS –
Apparently I wasn't the only one who noticed Tank Tyler's poor morning session. In individual drills this afternoon, Tyler was working with the sleds when defensive line coach Tim Krumrie demanded a second rep from the rookie defensive tackle. Tyler was noticeably frustrated as he lowered into his stance to repeat his attempt at the drill. One wonders what would have become of Ryan Sims had Krumrie been around during the Vermeil era.
Justin Medlock nailed four successive field goal tries in special teams practice early this afternoon. Special teams coach Mike Priefer moved him five yards back each time and he hit from 27, 32, 37 and 42 yards out with good accuracy and loft.
Patrick Surtain and Ty Law have both lost about 12 pounds according to Chiefs play-by-play announcer Mitch Holthus. It shows, too. Law's legs don't look nearly as thick. I'm not sure if it will affect their play on the field, as it was just today that I saw Surtain get his first interception (off a tipped pass), but it can't hurt considering their age.
Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham and head coach Herm Edwards were humorously at odds today over a questionable penalty. A defensive lineman appeared to jump offsides, and in the confusion Edwards took the initiative and assigned the penalty to the defense. Cunningham voiced his disapproval as the surrounding media laughed over the scene.
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Samie Parker isn't dead just yet. He hauled in a gorgeous 20-yard pass from Brodie Croyle down the right sideline in 11-on-11 drills, keeping his feet in bounds and secring the ball.
Rod Gardner might be a long shot to make the roster, but he capped the afternoon practice with the best catch I've seen at camp thus far. The Chiefs were running a two-minute drill and were about 20 yards from the end zone. Quarterback Damon Huard fired a bullet high over the middle. Gardner went up, speared the ball with both hands and twisted around in midair to land in the endzone.
I continue to watch Damion McIntosh closely, and he continues to impress me. Jared Allen beats him occasionally, but he's keeping his sizable bulk in front of the defensive end the majority of the time. Even when Allen uses his hands effectively, McIntosh still wins.
Tyron Brackenridge is still running at nickel corner, and today I finally saw a reason why. Jeff Webb is at least four inches taller than him, but he blanketed the receiver on a 15-yard out pattern, staying right on his hip and competing for a high throw from Brodie Croyle. This young man definitely deserves further study. I'll watch him closely tomorrow.
Turk McBride is definitely ahead of Tank Tyler. It's clear why the Chiefs are using him at right defensive end in the absence of Jared Allen. In 11-on-11 drills midway through practice he got a great jump off the ball against Ramiro Pruneda and turned the corner. The Chiefs had McBride and James Reed at defensive tackle with the rest of the starters in the nickel package. It's not all sunshine, however. Here's a quick rundown:
Play 1: Turk peels off a block and penetrates to tackle the running back
Play 2: Turk vs McIntosh : McBride stays on the tackle's outside shoulder and forces the running back to the inside. Effective use of Turk's hands prevented McIntosh from simply destroying the rookie.
Play 3: Not as good this time. McBride penetrated into the backfield only to be held up by fullback Greg Hanoian.
Plays 4&5 : Again, not as good. McBride took on rookie tight end Michael Allan twice in a row and was unable to get off the block.
I know it's getting old, but Brodie Croyle had another good practice session today. Of the 17 throws I witnessed, the second-year quarterback connected on nine, but two were dropped. In addition to the beautiful throw to Samie Parker I mentioned earlier, Croyle correctly read a zone blitz with a quick 15-yard toss to Mike Pinkard (who continues to impress me) and burned a regular blitz with a toss down the middle to Kris Wilson.
More often than not, as soon as Croyle's back foot hits on the last step in his drop, the ball comes right out. He's more accurate than Huard (who threw one awful pass in the flat behind a running back today and was overthrowing receivers left and right) and his arm is definitely stronger. I'll be very surprised if he's not starting in Houston.
Samie Parker dropped four passes today. Chris Hannon and Jeff Webb dropped at least one a piece. I've yet to see any of the receivers separate themselves from the pack. I'm more impressed with the way KC's running backs and tight ends have been catching the ball.
Casey Printers was awful again today. On one play he couldn't identify his hot read against a blitz, and during 7-on-7's (there is no defensive line in this drill, if you didn't know), Printers couldn't locate a receiver and took off running. What? I won't be surprised if Jeff Terrell wins the third quarterback job.
"Come on! Come on! You called it this way!" – Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham, lobbying an official to change a call against his defense.
"You don't wanna take them guys on! They'll end your career early!" – Head coach Herm Edwards, advising a defensive player to beware of pulling offensive linemen.
"Somebody yell out reverse!" – Cunningham, instructing his defense to alert each other to the situation after Rod Gardner burned the Chiefs with a reverse.
"We'll get a new clock eventually! Like a pro team! So everyone can see it!" – Edwards, assuring quarterback Damon Huard that the Chiefs would replace the tiny clock servicing the River Falls' football field.
River Falls Recap: Wednesday, 8/1 PM Practice
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