Wednesday OTA observations, nuggets from coordinators

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs’ fifth day of organized team activities (OTAs) is in the books, and still no sign of outside linebacker Justin Houston and cornerback Brandon Flowers.

June 4, 2014; Kansas City, MO: Chiefs coach Andy Reid observing OTAs at the team's training facility. Photo used with permission from Chiefs PR. Credit:
June 4, 2014; Kansas City, MO: Chiefs coach Andy Reid observing OTAs at the team’s training facility. Photo used with permission from Chiefs PR. Credit:

But given the voluntary nature of the workouts, the Pro Bowl players don’t have to be at the Chiefs training facility until the mandatory minicamp on June 17-19.

Also missing from Wednesday’s workout were wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (hamstring), defensive lineman Risean Broussard (knee) and cornerback David Van Dyke, who is now dealing with a hamstring injury.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid addresses the media Thursday, so injury updates will be available then.

Quick hits from the Chiefs coordinators and position coaches:

The Chiefs coordinators and assistant coaches held a round-robin style session with assembled beat writers and various TV reporters. Here are some nuggets:

• Special teams coordinator Dave Toub on rookie kicker Cairo Santos, an undrafted free agent out of Tulane: “I think Santos is an NFL kicker. Whether he’s kicking for our team or kicking for another team, he’s going to be in the NFL as a kicker. The ball just flies off his foot. He’s very talented, he’s very consistent in his technique. He’s a real good guy to have in camp right now.”

• Toub on his philosophy to returners: “There are a lot of touchbacks, but our philosophy is we’re coming out. Even if it’s 8 or 9 (yards) deep, we’re coming out with the ball. So if they want to get a touchback on us, they have to kick it out of the back of the end zone.”

• Toub on the luxury of having numerous options to consider at returner, including rookie running back/specialist De’Anthony Thomas, rookie wide receiver Albert Wilson, running back Joe McKnight, wide receiver Weston Dressler and wide receiver Frankie Hammond: “Our scouting department and (general manager) John Dorsey did a great job of getting me a bunch of guys that can do it. They all did it in college and in the NFL. You get four or five guys at each position, create competition and the cream will rise to the top.”

• Assistant head coach/wide receiver coach David Culley on rookie wide receiver Albert Wilson, an undrafted free agent out of Georgia State: “That’s not surprising with Albert (on the consistent catches he’s made throughout OTAs). What’s surprising is the fact that for us we felt like the kid was probably drafted somewhere and he wasn’t.

“We were very fortunate to get him here as a free agent. He played at a smaller school that just started football about four or five years ago. He was very productive down there. He came to the Combine, I remember him specifically. He ran well. He had a very productive career down there with big plays. As he’s starting to learn our offense, we’re starting to see kind of the things he did down at Georgia State.”

• Culley on wide receiver Weston Dressler: “The six years that he’s had in Canada, obviously he’s played some very productive football up there. He’s very good in the slot. He’s very quick. He’s a returner, which we’re looking for. He’s come in and has had nice OTAs for us. I’m looking forward to seeing how does in training camp.”

• Running back coach Eric Bieniemy on Joe McKnight: “Joe has been outstanding. He’s been doing a great job. If you guys haven’t noticed, we have a lot of great competition out here. Obviously, Joe had the misfortune of missing last season. But understanding that, ‘Hey, you know what? I have another opportunity.’ And this could be his last opportunity, so he’s learning to make the most of every opportunity that’s presented to him.”

[Related: Chiefs’ Joe McKnight refocused with opportunity]

• Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton on defensive lineman Vance Walker, who signed a three-year, $13 million deal in March, a move suggesting he would take over Tyson Jackson’s former spot: “He’s done a good job. He’s been working in there. We’ve got him playing a couple different positions in there, he’s learning our techniques. I think Vance is going to be fine.”

OTA observations:

• Left tackle Eric Fisher (shoulder) remains limited to mostly individual drills and warm-ups, and isn’t participating in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 segments. But as Reid indicated last week, Fisher should be ready for training camp.

• As with previous OTA sessions, tight end Travis Kelce (knee) and wide receiver Kyle Williams (knee) are present, but not participating. While Williams wasn’t present for the first day of OTAs last week, he’s been present since.

• During the first 11-on-11 segment, the first-team offensive line offered left tackle Donald Stephenson, left guard Jeff Allen, center Rodney Hudson, rookie right guard Zach Fulton and right tackle J’Marcus Webb. Wednesday was Fulton’s first run with the first team.

• The second 11-on-11 segment towards the end of practice saw Rishaw Johnson replacing Fulton at right guard, and Jeff Linkenbach replacing Webb at right tackle. With Eric Fisher not participating in team drills, the Chiefs have used various combinations on the offensive line since the start of OTAs.

• Rookie wide receiver Albert Wilson, running back Joe McKnight, wide receiver Weston Dressler and wide receiver Frankie Hammond have shared the majority of special teams repetitions at returner. Wide receiver Kyle Williams (knee) is often with the group behind the action. Look for rookie running back/specialist De’Anthony Thomas to join the mix when he returns from Oregon’s academic quarter system.

• Free safety Husain Abdullah turned in a strong practice, recording two interceptions. Cornerback Ron Parker also recorded an interception, while cornerback Sean Smith dropped one.

• The defensive secondary was very active during the 7-on-7 and 11-and-11 portions, as cornerbacks Marcus Cooper, Sean Smith, Chris Owens and Ron Parker all had pass breakups.

• Tight end Demetrius Harris has consistently made athletic catches, but all the Chiefs tight ends have turned in solid performances during OTAs. Anthony Fasano looks 100 percent healthy from an injury-plagued 2013 season, while Sean McGrath and Richard Gordon are comfortable running routes and catching passes.

• Easily the play of the day occurred when quarterback Chase Daniel delivered a perfectly thrown deep pass to rookie wide receiver Albert Wilson, who beat cornerback Chris Owens. The flip side to Daniel’s nice pass came later when he threw an interception right to free safety Husain Abdullah.