KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs closed out the second set of organized team activities (OTAs) Thursday, giving the team a total of six offseason workouts under their belts.
Given a steady morning rain, the team moved indoors for Thursday’s session. But the dreary outdoor conditions didn’t affect the mood of coach Andy Reid, who appeared satisfied with the progress he’s observed from his players.
“Good work this week,” Reid said during the post-workout media session. “We’re glad (about what we put) into those six practices, we’re about at the halfway point. Feel good about the competition; it’s going back and forth. Offense and defense, each one of them making plays, which is a positive. Good special teams work in. Young guys, it looks like they’re improving.”
Outside linebacker Justin Houston and cornerback Brandon Flower continue to be absent since voluntary OTAs began on May 27.
Cornerback Sean Smith, present for the past five workouts, was absent Thursday.
But Reid said Smith “had been excused for personal reasons,” before quickly stressing the voluntary nature of the current workouts.
“It’s not a mandatory camp,” Reid said.
Players are off Monday before returning to the field Tuesday through Friday for the final set of voluntary OTAs.
The Chiefs’ final segment of the offseason workout program is the mandatory minicamp on June 17-19 before training camp, which will be announced at a later time.
Running back/specialist De’Anthony Thomas, who has missed OTAs due to Oregon’s academic quarter system, is scheduled to return for the mandatory minicamp.
Starting wide receivers growing into second season
Dwayne Bowe comes off a disappointing 2013 season from a statistical point of view, but the second season in the Chiefs’ offense should help.
Another factor surrounds how Bowe has looked physically and mentally to his head coach.
“Dwayne came back in phenomenal shape,” Reid said, “that’s one thing. It looks like it out there. He’s really moving around well.”
While other wide receivers like Junior Hemingway, Weston Dressler or Albert Wilson have turned heads, Bowe has also consistently made tough catches look easy throughout the OTAs.
“Look forward to getting to camp and getting to where it actually counts,” Reid said. “He’s in the right frame of mind.”
The Chiefs head coach also complimented Donnie Avery,
“Donnie looks good,” Reid said. “Really looks good, running fast. Remember this time last year he had the high ankle, so there was something there. He really missed all the OTAs, and then he came back and he had he scapula that he hurt. He’s in good shape right now.”
Linebacker Ben Johnson, an undrafted free agent from Tennessee-Martin, is dealing with a “slight hamstring,” Reid said.
Cornerbacks and first cousins, DeMarcus and David Van Dyke, both have “a little tweak there in their hamstring,” Reid said.
No change in the statuses of left tackle Eric Fisher (shoulder), tight end Travis Kelce (knee), wide receiver Kyle Williams (knee), wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (hamstring) and defensive lineman Risean Broussard (knee).
David Van Dyke, Jenkins and Broussard were not present on the field during the team’s OTAs.
Fisher remains limited to individual drills and position warm-ups, while Kelce and Williams observe from the sidelines.
Meanwhile, there’s good news on the road to recover for Kelce, who returns from microfracture knee surgery, as Reid said the second-year pro should be ready for training camp.
“He’s getting close,” Reid said. “He’s been working his tail off. He and (athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) have been spending a lot time together.”
• Quarterback Alex Smith has consistently looked sharp throughout OTAs throwing the deep ball during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11. Smith located wide receiver Donnie Avery streaking behind free safety Sanders Commings, put the ball on Avery’s hands in stride, but Avery dropped it.
• Smith also found wide receiver Dwayne Bowe deep down the field against cornerback Marcus Cooper. Bowe pulled in the catch as free safety Husain Abdullah was late getting over to help.
• Quarterback Tyler Bray had a nice day throwing deep during 7-on-7 and 11-and-11. The first connection that caught attention came when he hit wide receiver Frankie Hammond on the right side of the field for what would’ve been a touchdown in a regular game. Hammond beat third-round pick, cornerback Phillip Gaines, on the play.
• Bray’s second impressive pass came on a connection with tight end Demetrius Harris, who also seems to make plays on a daily basis. Bray threw a perfectly placed pass over the head of linebacker Dezman Moses and Harris came up with an acrobatic one-handed grab for a 20-yard gain.
• Bray’s mistake on a deep pass came when he tried to hit wide receiver Weston Dressler on a post pattern. Dressler was bracketed by a cornerback and strong safety Jerron McMillian, who picked off the pass.
• Quarterback Aaron Murray threw a beautiful back-shoulder throw deep down the left sideline to wide receiver Albert Wilson, who couldn’t make the catch.
• With cornerback Sean Smith absent, Ron Parker filled in on the right side of the defense and worked with the first-team unit during 11-on-11. Marcus Cooper filled in for Brandon Flowers on the left side, while Chris Owens continues to work in the slot.
• The offensive line shuffle continues on the right side with tackle Donald Stephenson moving to the left side in place of Eric Fisher. During the first 11-on-11, Rishaw Johnson was at right guard and Jeff Linkenbach at right tackle with the first-team unit. The Chiefs rotated rookie Zach Fulton at right guard and J’Marcus Webb at right tackle with the first unit during the second 11-on-11.
• Tight end Anthony Fasano, who continues to produce solid OTA workouts, made a fingertip catch from quarterback Alex Smith. Fasano got behind inside linebacker James-Michael Johnson on the play.
• The Chiefs rotated the following at returner during Thursday’s special teams segment: Running backs Knile Davis and Joe McKnight, and wide receivers Weston Dressler, Frankie Hammond, Fred Williams and Albert Wilson.