KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Thursday’s organized team activities (OTAs) gave the defensive secondary an opportunity to shine despite the cloudy skies over the Chiefs training facility.
Cornerback Sean Smith paced the defense with two of the five interceptions observed against quarterbacks Alex Smith, Chase Daniel and Aaron Murray during 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 drills. Safeties Kelcie McCray and Daniel Sorensen, and cornerback Deji Olatoye each recorded an interception.
Defensive backs also made plays getting their hands on the ball to break-up passes.
“We had a couple of tipped balls and they took advantage of it,” coach Andy Reid said. “They’ve been doing a good job of that, and then they’re going back and forth, which is good. You need the turnovers on the defensive side – you obviously don’t want them on the offensive side – we’re getting good work in there.”
Rookie cornerback Justin Cox, who possesses 4.36 40-yard dash speed, made two impressive break-up plays, which included staying with speedy De’Anthony Thomas down the field to bat away a pass.
The back-and-forth competition between the offense and defense has Reid appreciating what he saw.
“Both sides are being effective,” Reid said. “I like it. I like the way they’re challenging each other within the rules of you can’t tackle, you can’t play bump. They’re doing a good job of playing.”
The Chiefs, of course, come off a season where the defense recorded just six interceptions, which tied for the worst in the league with the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars.
While it is early and the players are in shorts and helmet, the Chiefs defensive secondary appears committed to improve on last year’s ranking.
“It’s been all positive and the guys are challenging each other, which is beautiful,” Reid said. “Offense makes a few plays, defense makes a few plays and that’s how you like it.”
NOTES: Rookie wide receiver Chris Conley was not present Thursday due to attending the NFLPA Rookie Premiere … Rookie running back Keshawn Hill is dealing with a hamstring strain and did not practice … “He should be OK here in a couple of day,” Reid said of Hill … Running back Cyrus Gray, who is still recovering from last season’s ACL injury, and offensive lineman Jarrod Pughsley, who is dealing with a hamstring strain, did not practice.
Herbie Teope is the lead beat writer and reporter for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: