Camp notebook: Breeland Speaks impresses early in transition to linebacker

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Watching Breeland Speaks intercept at Patrick Mahomes pass during Tuesday’s minicamp practice would never lead a casual observer to believe they just saw a college defensive lineman making the jump to edge rusher in his rookie season.

Chiefs rookie linebacker Breeland Speaks answers a question from a reporter following the team’s minicamp practice in St. Joseph, Mo., on July 23, 2018. (Photo by Matt Derrick,

Indeed, he looked more like the MaxPreps all-American middle linebacker he was at Callaway High School in Jackson, Miss.

Speaks dropped back in zone coverage and spied the pass perfectly. Mahomes fired over the middle, intending for a receiver down at intermediate depth. Speaks timed his jump well and secured the ball for the turnover.

“It’s not brand new,” Speaks said of the Chiefs’ desire for their outside linebackers to drop back in coverage on occasion. “I played middle linebacker in high school, then I dropped some this past season at Ole Miss. So it’s not brand new but the volume of it is new and the amount of times I have to drop is new.”

Head coach Andy Reid said Speaks has a feel for the game and seems to be picking up the defense quickly. Speaks feels comfortable with the transition thus far thanks to quality time spent with the playbook.

“I am definitely trying to hone in and learn a new position so I want to make sure I know that new position,” Speaks said.

Injury report

Rookie safety Armani Watts watched from the sideline one day after an ankle injury abbreviated his rookie minicamp. The Chiefs have not yet released any details about the severity of Watts’ injury. The team expects to provide an update on medical issues Wednesday when the full 90-player roster reports to St. Joseph.

Cornerback Ashton Lampkin was the only other player on the sideline Tuesday. He’s limited in his recovery from a torn ACL suffered last year.

Morse a bachelor no more

Center Mitch Morse and Catie Wilson celebrated their wedding this summer, and apparently it was quite the party.

“It was a blast, man,” Morse said. “I had the guys come, a lot of the guys showed up. It was a hoot man, we had a good time.”

The couplet met at the University of Missouri where Mitch played football and Caitlin played for the volley ball. Catie finished her career ranked ninth all-time in hitting efficiency for the Tigers.

“I married my best friend and that’s all I can ask for,” Morse said. “She’s such a trooper during football season because football players have such high and such lows during the season. She always kind of hits the refresh button every day, she helps me kind get where I need to go.”

Wednesday’s schedule

The Chiefs hold their third and final minicamp practice in the morning before the full team reports in the afternoon. The morning session is typically a quick, breezy session with veteran players often skipping the last day.

The team, Missouri Western State University and Mosaic Life Care – the team’s corporate training camp partner – will hold an introductory press conference at 11:30 a.m. followed by the player report deadline.

A select number of players will address the media as they arrive for camp. Reid will also address the media and the team expects to provide a medical update as well.


Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.