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Examiner
Chiefs First Minicamp Shows Promise
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April 17, 2013 12:01 a.m.



Minicamp Day-1

Better! Much better!

I'm not just saying that because it was the first practice or it's been a while since we've seen Chiefs’ football, but there was a real sense of urgency and energy compared to last season at this time.

I’ve been able to follow this team for the last three seasons and attend these types of practices. I honestly saw improvement out the gate. Andy Reid is running the ship different than Todd Haley and definitely not the same as Romeo Crennel.

First off, Reid’s a coach that will give each player attention on offense, especially the quarterbacks.

Andy Reid would stop his offense, reel them in and teach.

He's a teacher, it seemed he would ask his quarterback what they just did, then you’d see the quarterback explain his decision and why. I would see Andy Reid use hand motions to describe the proper route to his receivers telling them which way they should go.

It didn't matter which player it was, whether it was Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles or FB Ryan D’Imperio… Reid is schooling his guys.

Brandon Flowers said after practice that the coaching staff is very detailed, very up tempo compared to last season. Said Coach Reid wants it a certain way, the same with new defensive coordinator Bob Sutton.

Flowers is right, I saw it.

John Dorsey was on the field as well, wearing his red Chiefs’ hoodie and usual Chief hat.

All these guys, it just feels like they’re football people, that's what they are. Watching and knowing that made me feel good about the Chiefs and 2013. The Chiefs are in capable hands, with guys who know football.

Branden Albert: Being there and seeing what the players go through I also realized what Albert is missing. When folks say it's just business and it's “just” voluntary I don't think they understand. Being at this first practice I witnessed what the players did, the way they reacted to each other and what was said after practice.

It’s more than that, these first practices are important because it’s a new regime.

Branden Albert is missing a lot, even if it is voluntary. A rabbit trail that crossed my mind yesterday at minicamp day-1.

ALEX SMITH

If you're thinking Chase Daniel will give Alex Smith a run for his money, then you're wrong.

If you're thinking Alex Smith is the same as Matt Cassel, then wrong again.

Even at a practice I could tell Cassel wasn't the guy, you just know. There are guys who practice the way they play; Cassel was one of those guys.

Already I see that Alex Smith has more zip to his throws. He doesn't lock in on a guy.

Reid’s offense is about finding a target and getting someone the ball quick. Smith does that putting the ball in a spot where his receiver can catch it keeping the defender away.

Too many times with Cassel I saw him throw a ball to a spot that the receiver had to come back to and get the ball or the defender had a better play on it than the receiver.

Just the first practice, but Smith is different in a good way than Cassel.

Smith is fast on his feet too, he moves around in the pocket well, so he's more mobile than Cassel.

Alex Smith is a thinker. You can tell Smith goes from one read to the next quickly and is always looking to get the ball out before taking a sack.

Alex Smith's throws are on point.

Smith throws across his body well too, so there was a lot I liked from Smith in this first practice.

Jamaal Charles: Charles looked good on minicamp day-1. He was running looking anxious. Another thing, but if Charles and Alex Smith get those 6-7-yard catches down out the backfield, they'll be money.

I can tell that Reid wants Charles to catch the ball often.

Like I said, Alex Smith to Jamaal Charles will pick up 6-7 yards easy.

Jamaal Charles lined up as a wide receiver a few times in practice too, so Andy Reid is changing the offense up. New offensive plays are coming.

Will be fun, yes… better than 13.2 points a game!

DON’T GIVE UP ON JON BALDWIN!

Some didn’t walk away impressed, but I don’t think they were paying attention.

Yes, Jon Baldwin was doing his usual superstar practice, but one particular play got my consideration.

Baldwin was lined up against new Chief DB Dunta Robinson. Baldwin went out for pass from Alex Smith gave Dunta a move then preceded straight ahead. Dunta was running with Baldwin, but at the end Baldwin reached out and took the ball out racing Dunta Robinson for the score.

Baldwin made sure he let Dunta know about it too.

I'm not giving up on Baldwin, Baldwin had a good practice yesterday, and Andy Reid noticed it too.

"I would tell you this, Jon is working hard," said Reid after practice when asked if he can turn Baldwin into a productive receiver. "You saw him out there today. Jon is a unique specimen being as big as he is. He can do some things that people can't do just because of size and strength if he puts himself in the position to do that. He's working hard at it. He had a good day today."

It will be up to Baldwin to make it happen. Fans have seen the great practices before, which I thought Baldwin had day-1 of minicamp, but like Reid said… he'll need to do it himself.

"He'll do it himself," said Reid on Baldwin. "He’'l do that. He wants to do a good job. That’s the mindset that he's in right now. It's important that he just continues to do that."

SIDE NOTES:

After the first 20 minutes we no longer could take pictures or video so it was back to pen and paper.

Looking spry and ready to go was Dexter McCluster, Dwayne Bowe, #19 Devon Wylie, #32 Cyrus Gray and #70 Mike DeVito.

Mike DeVito I noted will be a motivating force on the team. Not just the defense, but to the entire team. Has a great attitude about him, a real positive locker room guy.

Allen Bailey, you don’t realize how big that guy is until you see him alongside the other defensive lineman. He's not fat, not an ounce of fat on him, but he's just as large as a Dontari Poe.

No joke, but if Bailey shows up, he'll be a force. One big dude!

RODNEY HUDSON LOOKS HEALTHY

Rodney Hudson looks good to go. He was hitting the sled with every other offensive lineman, no big deal. Was able to get Hudson talking to the media after practice, be sure to see that on chiefconcerns.com.

Hudson didn't go into great detail about his leg, but talking to Hudson before his injury, he's not one to give you much. Not much of a talker, but Hudson looked good hitting the sled with full force. No limp or brace.

Hudson looked 100 percent normal.

Well, two more days left starting with day-2 today.

Will give out the info as I get it!

Go Chiefs!

Good day, Chiefs fans!

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