KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs on Friday put the finishing touches on 10 days of organized team activities (OTAs).
While the players are in shorts and helmets without pads, coach Andy Reid appeared pleased with what he saw from his players the past three weeks.
“I think what you see are guys learning the offense, the defense, special teams, learning the new techniques,” Reid said. “Now, look, a big part of this game is putting the pads on and hitting and doing all that stuff, so you can’t do that now. But you see progress in those other areas.”
The head coach didn’t want to name any specific player who surprised him, preferring instead to group them together.
“It’s good to see some of the young guys out here,” Reid said. “I’ve been impressed with some of those guys, and really, all of them. We’ve thrown a ton at them, they’re kind of catching up to a four-year program – going on a four-year program – by that time, you got a lot in the plan.”
Kansas City’s coaching staff had an opportunity to see more than just individual players the final week of OTAs.
The Chiefs spent the final four days installing plays in preparation for their divisional opponents and Week Two’s regular-season opponent, the Houston Texans.
“Good work out here this week putting four days together and we had an opportunity to look at our opponents in the AFC West,” Reid said. “And then because the first game is against San Diego, we looked at Houston and so, again, as a review there.”
With OTAs finished, the Chiefs now shift focus to the mandatory three-day minicamp on June 14-16, where Reid will adjust the schedule to coincide with what the team experiences during the regular season.
The players will have a morning walkthrough, followed by an early afternoon practice.
“That’s what I’ve done in the past,” Reid said, “and it kind of gets them used to what they have to look forward to for the new guys.”
Safety Eric Berry, who has yet to sign his $10.8 million franchise tender, missed all 10 days of voluntary OTAs.
Whether he signs the tender and reports for the upcoming mandatory minicamp remains to be seen.
“I don’t know that,” Reid said. “I don’t know where we’re at with that one. He’s here, we’re going to coach him. If he’s not, we’re going to coach the next guy.”
Despite the mandatory nature of the minicamp, the Chiefs can’t fine Berry should he miss any days because he is currently not under contract.
The Chiefs have until July 15 to sign Berry to a multiyear deal or extension. After that date, the Chiefs can only sign Berry to the one-year franchise tender.
Cornerback Phillip Gaines, who returns from an anterior cruciate ligament surgery, was not on the field Friday by design.
“We gave Phillip a rest day,” Reid said. “No injury, no setbacks, just a rest day. We’re just trying to keep him on schedule.”
Gaines participated in the first nine days of OTAs.
Running back Charcandrick West missed a third straight practice with an illness.
“He is making progress,” Reid said.
Cornerbacks D.J. White and Shannon Edwards suffered hamstring strains, but the head coach didn’t appear concerned.
“We’ll see how they do,” Reid said.
Running back Jamaal Charles (knee) and wide receiver Mike Williams (hamstring) were observed on the side field conducting rehab work on a 25-yard course. Both players lightly jogged in 5-yard increments.
Charles, Williams, outside linebacker Justin Houston (knee) and outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee) did not participate in any OTA workout, but Reid indicated one of the four could participate in mandatory minicamp.
“You might see them doing drills, one or two of them,” Reid said, “but it probably won’t be Tamba and it probably won’t be Justin.”
Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for The Topeka Capital-Journal and ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.