Chiefs wrap up OTAs, turn attention to mandatory minicamp

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs concluded voluntary organized team activities Friday, and now enter the home stretch of Phase III of the offseason workout program.

Up next, the mandatory three-day minicamp on June 16-18 to pick up where the team left off with the final OTA workout.

June 12, 2015; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs linebackers prepare for individual position drills on the final day of OTAs at the team's training facility. Credit: Teope

June 12, 2015; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs linebackers prepare for individual position drills on the final day of OTAs at the team’s training facility. Credit: Teope

“I think we’ll just continue to progress from where we’re at right now,” coach Andy Reid said. “This whole thing is a minicamp, that’s just a mandatory one. I would expect the guys to continue to grow in the offense and the defense, special teams. It will be good to get the two young guys, the corners (Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson), and they have a lot of work ahead of them.”

Peters and Nelson missed the OTAs because of the NCAA quarter system, which is based on a college’s academic year, but will attend the minicamp.

While the Chiefs are set to welcome the two rookie cornerbacks, Reid didn’t appear optimistic outside linebacker Justin Houston would attend.

“He probably won’t be,” Reid said of Houston. “We just move on. I don’t really get caught up in all that stuff.”

Houston, whom the Chiefs designated as a non-exclusive franchise player in March, has yet to sign the one-year tender.

The All-Pro linebacker missed all 10 days of OTAs as he seeks a long-term contract.

[Publisher’s correction: The original published version incorrectly stated Houston could be subject to a fine for each day missed of the mandatory minicamp, in accordance with Article 42, Section 1 (a) (ix), Exhibit A of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Houston, however, is not under contract and hasn’t signed the tender, so he wouldn’t be subject to the fine].

Houston, who played the 2014 season in the final year of his contract, skipped OTAs and the mandatory minicamp last year before reporting on time for training camp.

The missed offseason workouts didn’t hurt him, however, as Houston went on to lead the NFL in sacks with 22.

NO UPDATE ON BERRY

Reid said on the first day of OTAs that strong safety Eric Berry finished his treatments for lymphoma and was meeting with doctors to go over test results.

News on the results, however, will have to wait.

“The initial meeting I told you guys about is to give him answers to what’s next,” Reid said. “It’s really this next meeting that they do that. They normally do that, I believe, after that meeting that I mentioned to you, it’s normally three weeks after that. We’re getting to right about that time.”

Berry was originally diagnosed with lymphoma Nov. 24, 2014, and he finished the season on the non-football injury list.

OTA OBSERVATIONS

• Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin got the best of cornerback Phillip Gaines during 7-on-7 drills. Gaines moved close to the line of scrimmage, but Maclin blew by the second-year cornerback down the sideline and was on the receiving end of a perfectly placed pass from quarterback Alex Smith that would have been a touchdown. Still, keep in mind the no-contact rule in place during OTAs. Gaines in all likelihood would have pressed Maclin at the line of scrimmage in a different setting.

• Tight end Travis Kelce was on the receiving end of what would have been a touchdown pass from Alex Smith during 11-on-11 drills. Kelce, who appeared to run a skinny post, caught the ball in stride, and then did a Deion Sanders high-step into the end zone.

• Smith also had another nice deep pass when he connected with wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr., who got behind cornerback Marcus Cooper and safety Tyvon Branch during 7-on-7 drills.

• Backup quarterback Chase Daniel threw a perfectly placed pass to wide receiver Junior Hemingway, who broke free coming across the field during 11-on-11 drills. Hemingway reached up and snatched the pass in front of two defenders, prompting cheers of, “I see you, June!” from the sideline.

• Undrafted rookie cornerback Justin Cox had two pass break-ups down the field, the first coming against wide receiver Armon Binns, the second against rookie wide receiver Chris Conley.

• Cornerback Jamell Fleming had a nice pass break-up during 7-on-7 drills against wide receiver Chris Conley. The 5-11 Fleming out jumped the much-taller Conley, who measures 6-3, to knock the ball down.

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Herbie Teope is the lead beat writer and reporter for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.

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