• Stephen Brown: Noticeable difference in Reid regime

  • Better, much improved!

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  • Better, much improved!
    That's what I thought about Andy Reid's first minicamp with the Kansas City Chiefs. With each practice, there was a feel of resolve and more get-up-and-go compared to last season at this time.
    I’ve followed this team for the last three seasons and attended these types of practices. I honestly saw improvement out the gate. Andy Reid is running a different ship than Todd Haley and definitely not the same as Romeo Crennel.
    First off, I see that Reid is a coach that gives each player attention, especially the offense and the quarterbacks.
    Reid doesn't think twice about stopping the team to reel them in and teach.
    He’s a teacher. Reid 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 fullback Ryan D’Imperio. Reid is schooling his guys.
    Brandon Flowers said after practice that the coaching staff is very detailed, very uptempo compared to last season. Flowers told the media that Reid wants it a certain way, the same with new defensive coordinator Bob Sutton.
    Flowers is right, I saw it.
    With these coaches, 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.
    PLAYERS WHO CAUGHT MY ATTENTION: Eric Berry was sprinting on the practice field like he had a new pair of legs. Berry admitted that he felt like his explosion was back, you could tell in practice. He ran extra hard.
    New Chiefs linebacker Akeem Jordan, just signed from Philadelphia, said Reid has always had energy, but with these practices Reid picked it up to let these guys know who he is. Still, on top of the extra work Reid had the players doing, Berry was doing more. I noticed Berry chasing down players and finishing each play.
    At one point in practice, Berry and Charles had a foot race to the end zone after Charles ran the ball. Charles won, but Berry was a close second.
    “I can’t speak to everybody, but as far as me and my unit, the DBs, we’re coming along as one,” Berry said after practice. “We’re trying to grasp and come together as one to fit in this defense.”
    Chiefs center Rodney Hudson also stood out.
    Hudson was hitting the sled with everything he had, no sign of the leg injury that ended his season early in 2012. No limp or brace, but Hudson was practicing like it never happened. Many of the folks watching were amazed, but it’s a terrific sign for the Chiefs.
    Page 2 of 2 - One less offensive lineman to worry about is a good thing for Kansas City.
    Defensive lineman Mike DeVito is going to show up for Kansas City.
    “These guys are great guys, and it’s an honor to be a part of this team,” DeVito said after practice. “Coach Andy Reid is so systematic and disciplined and I feel already day one it’s rubbing off on the guys. The team is really working hard and buying into the philosophy and that’s what it takes to win in this league.”
    What I and others watching noticed about DeVito, he was always back there. He has a nose for getting into the backfield. Here’s the best part, DeVito was an undrafted free-agent rookie.
    I’m partial to guys like that, to the underdog. DeVito is the sort of character you want on the defensive line.
    Flowers had a good three-day practice. Flowers was hurt early last offseason, he wore the boot. Flowers practiced well even picking off one of Alex Smith’s passes to Bowe. It was a great play by Flowers.
    I saved the most important player for last, Alex Smith.
    If you’re thinking Chase Daniel will give Smith a run for the starting job, then you’re wrong. If you think Smith is the same as Matt Cassel, then wrong again.
    Smith didn’t have a perfect three days, he’s learning a new system under Reid, but two out of the three were good. He has more zip to his throws than Cassel. He didn’t lock in on one guy; Reid’s offense is about finding the target and getting someone the ball quick. Smith does that accurately.
    Too many times I saw Cassel's throws causing his receiver to come back for the ball, Smith doesn't do that.
    Just the first practices, but Smith is different from Cassel in a good way. There’s a long road ahead, but a great start to Reid’s offseason.
    Good day, Chiefs fans!

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