ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs veterans trickled into the dormitories for training camp Friday, the final day of frivolity before the real work begins.
The status of whether Eric Berry would report was the only true drama as the full team arrived for camp. But players said they are focused on the task at hand and extending the this season further than last year’s ended.
“We’re ready to play some more football,” wide receiver Chris Conley said. “Last year didn’t end the way we wanted it to. We won 11 straight games, we were riding on a huge high and we ended on a low. We’ve been preparing and looking at all those things and mistakes we made this whole offseason and the guys have been working extremely hard. We’re glad to get back.”
Fellow wide receiver Albert Wilson agreed.
“Getting into the playoff situation so early in my career and knowing how great the experience is just brings over that dog inside you that wants to get back there every time you the field as a receiver,” Wilson said.
The first three days of training camp were focused on the rookies. Young players who have been getting heavy work loads with the coaches will now have to make the most of their limited opportunities as they make way for the veterans.
“There’s just an adjustment period everyone has to go through,” Conley said. “In that group, they’ll try to ease them in as much as they can, but when you hit the ground you hit the ground running.”
Players prepare themselves for training camp in different ways.
Right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff spent his downtime since last season in his native Canada pursuing his medical degree. Acclimating to the dog days of August was his concern.
“I don’t think you can get used to that much heat at any point in your life,” Duvernay-Tardiff said. “Coming from Montreal, of course, it’s a little bit different. I did some spinning sessions in a sauna, so I was able to find ways to get around it and work on it.”
Amid the players funneling into the dorm with pillows, mattress pads and televisions, fullback Anthony Sherman displayed his fashion sense sporting denim bib overalls. It was one last opportunity to have fun before getting back to work.
Kicker Cairo Santos says he’s ready.
“I don’t know if I’m getting much sleep tonight just because I’m so excited to get 2016 rolling,” Santos said.
Training camp begins in earnest Saturday, with the first practice open to the public at 3:30 p.m. Admission is $5 and the players will sign autographs after the workout.