Chiefs showing more cloak, less dagger
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One minicamp in the books, and Dwayne Bowe is thrilled, Donald Stephenson is flexible, and Branden Albert is almost a Dolphin.
“No, that’s not true,” new Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid offered as his men wrapped up their first “voluntary” veteran camp of the spring.
Quick backstory: As the Chiefs were going through the paces early Thursday, word on the street was that their left tackle, Branden Albert, had received permission from KC brass to talk to Miami. Probably because it beats making demands on Twitter (which he’s done) or airing your dirty laundry on the NFL Network (done that, too).
The Fins covet a pass protector. The Chiefs covet a high second-round pick. On paper, it certainly seems plausible, except …
“No, that’s not true,” Reid said, again, this time with feeling.
OK, so scratch that last part. Or not. Up to you, really. We’re seven days out from the NFL Draft, which means coaches and personnel types start showing a little more cloak and a little less dagger. Chiefs general manager John Dorsey’s got his cards clutched so tightly against the pectorals this week, the guy’s chest hair has divots.
Dorsey is slated to address the media Friday, where his replies figure to run the gamut from guarded to vague. But, unlike his predecessor, he’s expected to decline comment cheerily.
Still, the rest of the week wasn’t all iron curtains and dirty looks. From an information-gathering standpoint, there were a few nuggets on the Arrowhead front — or as many as one can reasonably ascertain when it’s the middle of April and you’re indoors because winter still can’t seem to get the hint.
We learned center Rodney Hudson (knee) is healthy, but Tony Moeaki (also knee) is not.
We learned Dunta Robinson is the first choice at cornerback lining up opposite of Brandon Flowers, except when Flowers is lined up in the nickel.
We learned that Stephenson is a “flip-flop” tackle. His words, not ours.
We learned that Alex Smith and Chase Daniel aren’t afraid to chuck it deep. We learned that this very much pleases Bowe, the Chiefs’ bell cow wideout.
“That’s something we haven’t done in the past,” Bowe said Thursday. “So I’m excited about that.”
We learned defensive tackle Mike DeVito hits a blocking sled like it owes him money. We’re talking Bernie-Madoff-Ponzi money. It got to the point Thursday where even veteran defensive line coach Tommy Brasher felt compelled to sidle over to DeVito tell him, “Not so hard.” Because, hey, sleds have feelings, too.
We learned, that, for giggles, Reid likes to fire footballs through a JUGS machine going 65 miles per hour at his defensive linemen. (If you’re curious, Dontari Poe caught just about everything tossed at him, comfortably; Daniel Muir did the opposite, and the rest of the gang fell somewhere in the middle.)
We learned names. There were at least twenty-two new faces at this minicamp alone, according to the roster they handed out to the press.
We learned that it’s early. When a reporter asked Reid what he could ascertain after one camp, the mustachioed coach just sort of rolled his eyes a bit.
“We’re in shorts, man,” Reid said.
We learned that those shorts, however, still could provide at least a slight tilt toward the brass’ thinking in The War Room late next week.
“Not necessarily,” Reid replied. “But you get a feel. You get a little bit of a feel of your team. And that’s what you get out of this.”
“I would say just the play-calling, it’s totally different from last year,” Bowe continued. “It’s not checkdowns, or putting the ball in the running back’s hands.
“(These) guys like to throw ball downfield, you know, take the top off. That’s something we haven’t done a lot in the past, put up a lot of points. This year, (they) said we’re going to blow out the scoreboard.”
So, basically, everybody said the right things. Well, OK, maybe not Albert. But then again, he’s not here. He’s cooling his heels down at the Dolphins’ training facility in Davie, Fla. Right?
“That’s not true, no,” Reid said.
Gonna be an interesting week.
You can follow Sean Keeler on Twitter @seankeeler or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org