KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs shift focus to the voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) with the three-day rookie minicamp concluded.
And there won’t be much of a break in preparations before the Chiefs conduct a total of 10 OTA sessions on May 26-28, June 2-4 and June 9-12.
“They’ll start right back up tomorrow (Tuesday),” coach Andy Reid said of the team. “No rest. We just get them right back at it.”
Still, a pair of defensive rookies will have an extended break, although not by choice.
Cornerbacks Marcus Peters, the Chiefs’ first-round pick, and Steven Nelson, the second of two third-round picks, can’t participate in OTAs due to the NCAA quarter system based on a school’s academic calendar year.
The University of Washington, Peters’ school, and Oregon State, where Nelson attended, finish the spring quarter in early June and won’t graduate until June 13.
Peters and Nelson won’t return to the field until the mandatory minicamp on June 16-18, but Reid didn’t appear too concerned.
“You wish they were here just for the reps,” Reid said. “But can it be done when they’re not here? Yeah, it can be done.”
Kansas City’s coaching staff knows how to handle a rookie’s absence from recent experience in 2014 when running back/wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas missed the OTAs based on the quarter system.
The Chiefs stayed in touch with Thomas to ensure he didn’t fall too far behind. The team also got creative with the use of Skype to keep Thomas up to speed during the month-long break between the end of the mandatory minicamp to the start of training camp.
“You got to do some different things,” Reid said. “You got to communicate with them, obviously as a coach, and go through whatever you can go through with them, and talk to them, make sure they stay up on that. That’s what we’ll do.”
Peters said he will stay in shape while working out in California, where he will spend time with his family and son.
He also intends to maintain contact with the coaching staff while studying on his own.
“As much as I’m allowed to, that’s the thing that makes it difficult with me being away and the coaches only have a small window of time to communicate with me,” Peters said. “But I take all the info that I have from here from this minicamp and take it home with me and continue to study that to make sure I don’t have a drop off when I come back.”
Nelson said he will spend the time away from the Chiefs working out with Will Sullivan, who specializes in cornerbacks, at the Sullivan PROformance training facility in Phoenix.
“I’m actually going to go back out to Arizona where I first started training at and work out there with the guy that trains me,” Nelson said. “He’s going to help me get through the playbook and keep me in top shape.”
The Chiefs rookie minicamp offered a preview of the defensive scheme, and Peters and Nelson will have a working knowledge of what to expect when the pair eventually returns.
While they will train at separate locations, the communications lines won’t just be with the team.
The two rookie cornerbacks can also lean on each other.
“We’re going to stay in touch for sure,” Peters said. “We kind of know each other from mutual friends that he played with at Oregon State. We kind of had a relationship, and it’s just going to make us that much closer with us being on the same team now and being able to establish that balance of how we communicate on the field and off.”
Herbie Teope is the lead beat writer and reporter for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: