By Matt McMullen
Saint Joseph, Mo. (Cheifs.com) – The football season inched a little bit closer on Friday afternoon as the Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterbacks and rookies reported to training camp at Missouri Western State University. It marked the team’s first official activity since mandatory minicamp concluded in June, and with the regular season only a little over a month away, Kansas City’s preparation for the upcoming campaign can finally begin.
“It’s great to be back, and we’re excited to get things going,” said Head Coach Andy Reid. “There are some new players on the team, which makes it exciting…We had great energy during [offseason practices], and I’m sure we’ll have that up here.”
The players in attendance will take the field for morning practices over the next three days before the rest of the team reports on Monday. Essentially, these initial practices are designed to help the quarterbacks and rookies find their rhythm before the full team practices begin on Wednesday.
“[We want] the quarterbacks to come in, knock a little rust off and hit the ground running when the veterans get here,” Reid said. “They have to learn the most of anyone – they have to know everything backward and forward – [while also playing] with efficiency. They have a lot on their plate, and reps help.”
It’s a similar idea for the rookies, who are collectively embarking on their first training camp as professionals. In fact, the Chiefs will take the field for 17 practices between July 27 and Aug. 18. It’s a grind, but this weekend’s practices at least allow for Kansas City’s youngest players to find their footing before things really get started.
“This is exciting. I’ve heard a lot about it, so I kind of know what to expect. I’m just excited to get out there on the field,” said cornerback Trent McDuffie. “The big thing for me will be about bonding as a defense and really coming together. There are a lot of new moving parts, so we kind of get to establish a new identity. It’s going to be fun.”
In terms of injuries, Coach Reid said that cornerback Rashad Fenton (shoulder), offensive tackle Lucas Niang (knee) and wide receiver Justyn Ross (foot) won’t be practicing to begin camp.
This weekend’s practices are closed to the public, but beginning on Thursday – which marks the second full team practice – ticketed fans are permitted to attend. For more information on how to obtain tickets, most of which are free, click here.