KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Entering his seventh season and on his fourth team, Chiefs linebacker Joe Mays has been around the block and brings plenty of experience.
Mays has played with some of the NFL’s best pass rushers, including Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Trent Cole, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller.
So when Mays compliments first-round pick, outside linebacker Dee Ford, the words carry weight.
“That guy is explosive,” Mays said of Ford following Tuesday’s organized team activities (OTAs) workout. “He’s quick off the ball.
“He kind of reminds me of Von Miller with the way he gets off the ball, get around the offensive linemen. He’s a freak, man. He knows how to work angles, uses his hands real well. He can bend and do all type of stuff you don’t see in every day pass rushers, so definitely as advertised.”
For his part, Mays has played on aggressive defenses in his career, and his mentality inside alongside Derrick Johnson should suit the Chiefs well in defensive coordinator’s Bob Sutton’s scheme, which also suits Ford’s skill set.
“The guys come out and are always going after the ball,” Mays said, “always going after the quarterback. Whoever has the ball, you’re going to have 11 guys to the ball. That’s something I found out once I came here. Always get to the ball. We want everyone on the ball so we can try to create more turnovers, have more takeaways and get the offense back on the field.”
The Chiefs wrapped up Tuesday’s OTA workout still down two Pro Bowl defensive starters, as outside linebacker Justin Houston and cornerback Brandon Flowers weren’t present. Both players have missed all voluntary OTA workouts to this point.
Also absent Tuesday were cornerback David Van Dyke (hamstring), wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (hamstring) and linebacker Ben Johnson (hamstring).
Wide receiver Junior Hemingway, present for the previous six workouts, was not on the field. The Chiefs will likely update his status as the week progresses.
Cornerback Sean Smith returned after missing Day Six last week for personal reasons. Cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, who left the field on Day Six with a hamstring injury, also returned.
Tight end Travis Kelce (knee) and wide receiver Kyle Williams (knee) continue to observe from the side.
The Chiefs return to the field Wednesday for Day Eight and will wrap up the voluntary portion of offseason workouts Friday before mandatory minicamp on June 17-19.
• Cornerback Ron Parker ran with the first-team defense during 11-on-11 drills. He lined up on the left side, with Marcus Cooper shifting to the right side in place of Sean Smith. Parker ran with the first-team defense on Day Six during Smith’s absence. Smith ran with the second-team on Day Seven. [Note: Smith was arrested, cited with DUI early Monday morning]
• With cornerback Chris Owens leaving the field during the workouts, free safety Malcolm Bronson spent a lot of time defending the slot in place of Owens.
• In what is now virtually a daily occurrence, tight end Demetrius Harris update made a nice play after getting behind cornerback Marcus Cooper on a corner route to haul in an over-the-shoulder catch from quarterback Tyler Bray.
• Undrafted free agent wide receiver Darryl Surgent was on the receiving end of two nice plays. The first play came deep down the field against cornerback Vernon Kearney, who had tight coverage. Kearney appeared to disrupt the pass, getting a hand on the ball and tipping it. But Surgent showed excellent concentration to haul in the pass as he landed on his back. The second attention-grabbing reception came later when Surgent flashed across the middle of the field and made a leaping grab in front of free safety Malcolm Bronson
• Undrafted free agent strong safety Daniel Sorensen drew a thumbs up from defensive back coach Emmitt Thomas during an 11-on-11 drill. Wide receiver Weston Dressler lined up in the slot with Sorensen covering. The former BYU Cougar stayed with the quick receiver across the field. The play went to the other side, but Sorensen showed some good quickness of his own, drawing the approving sign from Thomas.
• Free safety Sanders Commings displayed good ball hawking skills on a deep pass during 11-on-11 drills. Commings came across the field to intercept a quarterback Tyler Bray down the right sideline intended for wide receiver Darryl Surgent.
• The shuffling on the right side of the offense line continues, as expected, considering left tackle Eric Fisher (shoulder) isn’t participating in team-related 9-on-7 or 11-on-11 drills. With Donald Stephenson moving to Fisher’s spot, the Chiefs rotated Rishaw Johnson at guard with Zach Fulton and J’Marcus Webb at tackle with Jeff Linkenbach. Rokevious Watkins also saw time at right guard with the second unit during 11-on-11.
• Sixth-round draft pick, offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, lined up at left guard with the second-team unit during the second set of 11-on-11 drills.
• Quarterback Alex Smith threw a nice over the shoulder pass to a streaking Weston Dressler out of the slot against Malcolm Bronson, but Dressler dropped the ball after extending and hitting the ground.
• Recently signed wide receiver Deon Anthony wears No. 4 and cornerback Justin Rogers wears No. 44.