QUICK HITS –
We may be seeing the beginning of the end for Kendrell Bell. Tonight Keyaron Fox was playing with the second team at weakside linebacker. Not only that, he was making plays, too.
The Chiefs used Kyle Turley extensively at tight end tonight. Either they aren't sold on Keith Willis as the blocking tight end or they're just making use of Turley's talents where they can. As you'll see down the page in "who's not," there's not a lot of options in that regard, at least judging from tonight's practice.
Brodie Croyle took most of the reps with the first team tonight, if not all of them. The Chiefs got a good, long look at the young quarterback – and a good look at how he's working with tight end Tony Gonzalez, who was the target of several Croyle passes, including a short touchdown reception.
Boomer Grigbsy is slowly but surely learning his position. Tonight he completely stonewalled a linebacker on a blitz pickup, allowing Brodie Croyle to hit Samie Parker down the seam with a 15-yard strike.
PLAYS OF THE DAY
I've finally figured out why the Chiefs just don't throw deep much in training camp. Jarrad Page is quickly becoming a "shutdown" safety. It's simply a bad idea to challenge KC's safeties. Tonight Brodie Croyle attempted to squeeze in a long pass down the sideline to Samie Parker, but Page almost effortlessly glided over and swatted it away. Had the ball arrived a half-second later, it would have been a sure interception.
Tank Tyler had to make a play at some point. In goal-line drills this evening he rumbled down the line of scrimmage and rudely greeted running back Derrick Ross, who was denied a touchdown. Tyler absolutely blew up Ross, who had a head of steam on a weakside stretch play.
Brodie Croyle bootlegged out to his right, patiently scanned the field and threw a dart to the sideline. Jarrad Page raced toward wide receiver Chris Hannon, who was streaking down the sideline. He arrived a fraction of a second too late, as Hannon made a spinning, leaping catch, kept his toes inbounds and turned up-field for a sure touchdown. It's tough to pull a fast one on Page, but Croyle and Hannon hooked up tonight for the prettiest play I've seen in River Falls.
The entire defense dominated tonight's practice for the most part. The pass rush put pressure on the quarterbacks, the linebackers filled the gaps and the defensive backs locked down the secondary. The Chiefs didn't play a pure Cover 2 for a large portion of the evening, blitzing linebackers, safeties and corners from all angles at times. They even broke out the zero blitz once or twice.
Honestly, it was just scary to watch. Jared Allen was penetrating into the backfield all night. Jarrad Page was everywhere. Turk McBride came screaming down the line to make a tackle on a running play. Tamba Hali was blowing past any offensive tackle the Chiefs threw at him. Derrick Johnson and Bernard Pollard sliced into the line of scrimmage to stop running backs and blow up screens. Even Greg Wesley, Jimmy Wilkerson and Marcus Maxey (with a forced fumble) got in on the act. You get the point.
Justin Medlock was five for five this evening, nailing kicks from 32, 37, 42, 47 and 52 yards. His final attempt (the long one) came under duress, as the fans and players made a little noise before the snap. When the kick sailed through the uprights, it was almost like the Chiefs had won a game.
Despite the immense pressure the defense put on the offense tonight, I thought Brodie Croyle held his own out there. He wasn't intercepted, and made a couple of really nice plays (the touchdown pass was thrown where only Gonzalez could get it). Even when the Chiefs brought Tyron Brackenridge screaming off the corner on a blitz, Croyle coolly flipped a pass to his All-Pro tight end. According to my notes he was eight out of 13 with one dropped pass. Overall, not a bad night of work considering the Chiefs were throwing the kitchen sink at him.
Rod Gardner just keeps showing up. Tonight he bobbled a pass before batting it back to himself, securing it and keeping his feet in bounds. He concluded the night with a 25-yard touchdown catch from Casey Printers, delighting the fans in attendance.
Will Svitek had a solid night at left tackle. I didn't see anyone breathing down a quarterback's blindside for the most part. The right tackle situation is a complete mess, however. Chris Terry couldn't handle Tamba Hali. Neither could Kyle Turley. Even Jimmy Wilkerson took both of them to school at times, and Montez Murphy rocketed pass Turley on one play. If this had been a live game, the sacks would have piled up. I counted at least six of them out there. Someone's got to step up on the strongside, because right now it's really ugly. I even saw a few false starts.
Tank Tyler is still struggling. Yeah, he made a nice play on the goal line. Then at the end of the night he was playing patty-cake with third-string offensive linemen, putting absolutely no heat on the quarterback whatsoever.
Alfonso Boone, Jason Dunn, Gilbert Harris, Greg Hanoian, Priest Holmes and Dwayne Bowe sat out tonight's practice.
"Yeah, he has the ability to make those kind of throws. They're bullets!" – a random Chiefs fan, enjoying what he saw from Brodie Croyle.
"Come on, seven! Boom that s**t!" – Defensive end Jared Allen, encouraging kicker Justin Medlock.
And with that, Warpaint Illustrated concludes coverage from River Falls. See you next year!
River Falls Recap: Wednesday 8/8, PM Practice
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