KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs wrapped up the first set of voluntary organized team activities Thursday, and coach Andy Reid was pleased with the past three days of work.
“It’s good to get everybody out here and be able to put on our helmets and move around a little bit,” Reid said, “go offense vs. defense and get some work there against each other’s scheme. I appreciate the effort by the guys. I thought they did a nice job with it, worked hard.”
Of course, the Chiefs were still down two defensive stars, as outside linebacker Justin Houston and cornerback Brandon Flowers were once again absent.
But much like the players who have spoken to the media in recent days about Houston and Flowers, Reid wasn’t concerned.
“I’ve been around this a long time,” Reid said. “I understand the business side. These are voluntary. I got it. That’s not a distraction. We just focus on the guys and coach the guys that are here, and these guys are working their tails off.”
Joining Houston and Flowers as absent were running back/specialist De’Anthony Thomas (Oregon quarter system), defensive tackle Risean Broussard (knee) and quarterback Aaron Murray (NFL rookie premiere).
Houston and Flowers are the only two players who chose not to attend the voluntary OTAs.
Whether there’s a holdout for the Chiefs’ mandatory minicamp on June 17-19 remains to be seen, but Reid wouldn’t entertain that scenario.
“I don’t even get into that,” Reid said. “Everybody has the dates. They know. Everybody knows the rules. Honestly, that’s not where I put my focus. I’ve got a lot of guys that are here trying to make this football team and that’s where you have to put your [focus]. When you’re coaching that part, that’s how I go. That’s how we roll.”
The Chiefs are off Friday before returning Monday for a non-OTA day.
The players and coaching staff then return to the field for the second set of OTAs Tuesday through Thursday.
Left tackle Eric Fisher (shoulder) continues to do initial work with the offensive line before going to the sidelines to observe during team-related drills. The Chiefs hope to have him back at full-go by training camp.
“Fisher will probably be training camp where he can actually jam and hit somebody,” Reid said. “That’s what you can’t do right now. They don’t want him to do that. He’s doing everything else working his feet.”
Tight end Travis Kelce (knee) observed from the sidelines for a third straight day, but Reid indicated the second-year tight end is getting in some work.
“He started to run outside and doing some things,” Reid said.
What Kelce is doing now coincides the recovery timetable from microfracture knee surgery.
Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins is dealing with a hamstring issue, but it doesn’t appear to be serious.
“He should be good down the road,” Reid said.
Wide receiver Kyle Williams continues to recover from his ACL injury suffered in November. Williams observed practice from the sidelines for a second straight day.
Defensive tackle Risean Broussard (knee) wasn’t present for a third straight day, but Reid said Broussard is “making progress.”
Alex Smith’s contract
Consider this the obligatory update on quarterback Alex Smith’s contract extension talks.
“I said what I said before,” Reid said. “Alex has said it. Dorse (John Dorsey) said it. As long as they’re working at it, then that’s all good. I think there’s enough said on it. I don’t think he’s concerned and we’re not. I’m sure it will get worked out down the road.”
Translation: Move along; nothing to see here.
• Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe very quietly strung together three days of solid practice. One of his highlight catches on Thursday was a leaping grab in front of free safety Husain Abdullah.
• Tight end Richard Gordon and Demetrius Harris turned in some nice catches. Harris, in particular, continues to look good and drew praise from Reid following practice.
“First of all,” Reid said, “he did a great job in the weight room. He and (strength and conditioning coach) Barry (Rubin) became one there. They joined hips there and started working that son-of-a-gun to where he felt strong and so far he’s been able to transfer that on the field which is a good thing.”
• Cornerback Marcus Cooper filled in for Brandon Flowers for a third straight day, with Chris Owens pulling slot duty.
• First-round pick, outside linebacker Dee Ford, saw some time with the first-team defense in Justin Houston’s normal spot during 11-on-11.
• Offensive tackle Ryan McKee, who signed Tuesday after trying out during the rookie minicamp, saw time with the first unit at right tackle. Jeff Linkenbach ran with first unit at right guard. The Chiefs appear to be evaluating options the last three days, as Rishaw Johnson and Linkenbach have played right guard with the first unit. Additionally, Otis Hudson and J’Marcus Webb have run with the first unit at right tackle.
• Running back Jamaal Charles appears to be in regular season form. During team drills, Charles caught a pass in the flat between safeties Sanders Commings and Husain Abdullah. He made one cut, split the defenders and took off down the field.
• Strong safety Daniels Sorensen, who had a strong rookie minicamp, continues to work mostly with a blend of the second- and third-team units.
• An interesting matchup presented itself during the 11-on-11 portion. Wide receiver Weston Dressler, who is listed at 5-foot-7, split wide against cornerback Sean Smith, who stands 6-foot-3. At the snap of the ball, Dressler appeared to pull away beyond 5 yards before Smith grabbed the jersey, which would’ve drawn a penalty flag in a real setting. Dressler later went against cornerback Ron Parker, who stands 6-0, on three straight plays. Parker pressed Dressler and covered him like a blanket, never allowing the shorter Dressler an opportunity to get by.