Notebook: Chiefs offense bounces back from doldrums

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One day after the Chiefs passing attacked turned in a lackluster offensive performances, the club’s top three quarterbacks turned in a solid performance with a series of notable highlight plays.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith delivers a pass during practice at the team’s training camp in St. Joseph, Mo., on July 31, 2017. (Photo by Justin Olson, ChiefsDigest.com)

Alex Smith led the way, leading a touchdown drive during the two-minute drill portion of practice. Smith picked up a first down, then absorbed two sacks setting up fourth and long from deep in his own territory.

Smith avoided pressure on fourth down long enough to find wide receiver Albert Wilson in the clear deep downfield. Wilson added a nifty cutback to put his team in the red zone.

Three plays later, Smith scrambled to his right and found wide receiver Chris Conley along the sideline of the end zone for a touchdown.

Newly promoted backup quarter Patrick Mahomes did not score during his possession but did move the ball quickly across midfield before the drive sputtered. Mahomes later delivered a highlight throw during seven-on-seven drills, firing a rocket down the left side to Tyreek Hill for a big gain. The ball threaded the tight coverage of cornerback Phillip Gaines and safeties Eric Murray and Kenneth Acker.

Third-string quarterback Tyler Bray also got involved in the highlight reel. Bray connected with wide receiver Tony Stevens on a strong back shoulder throw along the left sideline. A few moments later he floated a beautifully thrown deep ball deep along the right side to wide receiver Marcus Kemp. Kemp made a leaping catch and maintained possession after falling to the ground.

KPASSAGNON JOINS LINEBACKERS

Rookie Tanoh Kpassagnon showed his versatility during Friday’s preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers, lining up in three different positions along the defensive line and playing linebacker. He played 49 defensive snaps, second-most behind linebacker Marcus Rush.

“They’re definitely trying to see where I can fit best,” Kpassagnon said. “It was fun. I like it.”

Kpassagnon spent much of training camp practices working exclusively with the defensive line. During the last two practices, Kpassagnon worked instead with the team’s outside linebackers.

“Playing outside linebacker position is difficult fun and difficult too,” Kpassagnon said. “But I like being everywhere. You kind of get to know the whole defense.”

Defensive line coach Britt Reid said working with the linebackers allows Kpassagnon to work on his drops and pass coverage. He said its rare to find a player possessing the athleticism and talent to to play such varied positions on the defense.

“Especially going from nose to end all the way to outside backer, very rare,” Reid said.

During Monday’s practice, Kpassagnon covered running back C.J. Spiller step-for-step on wheel route in breaking up a pass down field.

“I knew I could do it,” Kpassagnon said. “I actually got to get better at, being able to turn around and then get a pick off that. That’s not enough.”

INJURY REPORT

The only new injury added to the team’s injury list belongs to cornerback J.R. Nelson. The undrafted free agent from Montana missed practice with a heel injury.

Nelson’s injury thinned an already lean secondary. Safety Eric Berry (heel) and cornerbacks Terrance Mitchell (hamstring), Steven Nelson (groin), Ashton Lampkin (knee/Achilles) and Jacoby Glenn (concussion) all missed practice as well.

Defensive lineman Chris Jones (knee) practiced but did not appear to take part in team drills. Defensive tackle Bennie Logan continuing expanding his practice workload, returning to the first-team defensive line during team drills.

Conley (knee) and Gaines (finger) were the only injuries listed by the team following Friday’s preseason game. Both players have practiced in full this week.

Linebackers Tamba Hali and Dadi Nicolas along with offensive lineman Parker Ehinger remain on the physically unable to perform list.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“I didn’t hear that but that sounds like something Chris would say. That’s an honor. He’s a good player and he’s a great dude. He’s been teaching me a lot and showing me a lot of the ropes, showing me different things I could work on because we are kind of similar. He knows exactly what I could do and what I should be doing. He’s helped me a lot.”
— Tanoh Kpassagnon on teammate Chris Jones describing him as a “more athletic Chris Jones.”

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.

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