ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Quarterback Alex Smith’s crisp throws to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin on Saturday afternoon were replaced Sunday morning with errant passes.
Smith was clearly off the mark – either throwing high or behind – with his new No. 1 receiver throughout practice.
But Sunday’s performance shouldn’t cause alarm.
“It’s the second day and you’ve got to take everything that we have done in the last 24 hours with a conditioning test,” offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said, “and then a hot afternoon practice, and coming back out here today.
“Today was more of just kind of getting the juices flowing again. It takes a couple of days and then it builds back up. That is kind of what happens during training camp. So, no concern there. We are encouraged with what is going on, and we have a lot of great days ahead of us.”
The Chiefs also have organized team activities and mandatory minicamp to look back on, periods when Smith and Maclin were often on the same page during practice.
And then there are the film room sessions and position group meeting to continue evaluating what went right or wrong in preparation for the regular season.
“That’s part of training camp, too, especially with those two guys,” Pederson said. “They’re new. They had a lot of work in the spring, but we get in the film room, we get together and we study. I want to hear what Jeremy has to say. I want to hear what Alex has to say. I want to hear what all the guys have to say – get them all on the same page and we get out here to work on it and not make those mistakes in the future.”
WILSON READY FOR ACTION
Smith may have been off target with Maclin, but he produced one of the morning’s best plays when he found second-year wide receiver Albert Wilson deep down the left sideline during 11-on-11 drills.
Wilson got behind cornerback Sean Smith and hauled in the throw for a touchdown.
“It was a great ball by Alex,” Wilson said. “I don’t see any DB making that play on that ball from Alex.”
Smith immediately dropped to the ground and began doing pushups, and Wilson took pride in beating the Chiefs’ top cover corner.
“It’s competition all day,’ Wilson said with a smile. “Of course when I look to the side and see him doing pushups, it makes me smile a little bit.”
And there are no lingering concerns over Wilson’s hamstring injury, which caused him to miss time during OTAs and minicamp.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I’m ready to go.”
Strong safety Eric Berry’s return to football eight months after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma has been remarkable.
But tight end Travis Kelce got to see behind the scenes just how amazing the comeback was after working out with Berry during the summer.
“EB is superhuman,” Kelce said. “Even Superman doesn’t have anything on Eric Berry, man. That guy is – you can’t say enough good things about him. It’s good just to have him back as a brother, but also as a leader and a football player. It’s good to have him back in good spirits and everybody back on the same page, lighting up the atmosphere a little bit.”
• The Chiefs used the same first-team offensive line for a second straight day with left tackle Eric Fisher, left guard Ben Grubbs, center Eric Kush, right guard Jeff Allen and right tackle Donald Stephenson. This grouping with a solid mix of veterans and experience in the scheme provides arguably the best five player to begin the season. The big test arrives Monday when the pads come on for the first time in training camp.
• The second-team offensive line consisted of (left to right) Jarrod Pughsley, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, rookie Mitch Morse, Zach Fulton and Derek Sherrod. The third-team line consisted of (left to right) Tavon Rooks, Paul Fanaika, Daniel Munyer, Marcus Webb and Garrett Frye.
• The Chiefs appear to be easing in safety Eric Berry through the early part of training camp. Berry saw action with the first-team defense in the nickel package, but lined up with the second-team unit in the base defense.
• Safety Ron Parker put in a second straight day of a strong practice, batting balls away and coming away with an interception on a tipped pass during team-related drills.
• The Chiefs moved wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas around for a second straight day, but he continues to see heavy action out of the slot during team-related drills. Of note, the Chiefs have officially removed the running back designation from Thomas and now list him with the wide receivers. The last roster of mandatory minicamp had him listed as a running back/wide receiver and with the running back group despite him working exclusively with the wide receivers. Consider him a wide receiver barring a change to his designation on the roster.
• Second-year running back Charcandrick West showed good hands and receiving skills out of the backfield on screen passes for a second straight day. West is in line to take over the No. 3 running back spot with the release of Cyrus Gray.
Herbie Teope is the lead beat writer and reporter for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.