By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
The Kansas Chiefs were back at training camp practice on a warm, muggy Sunday morning, and it was somewhat forgettable day for the offense.
Whether it was misconnections on deep passes early or three consecutive false starts during team drills, it wasn’t the best of days offensively.
Yet, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy was not discouraged and believed his players learned a lesson from it.
"I think today was a good learning lesson," Bieniemy said. "It was an outstanding practice. The defense did a heck of a job. The beauty of it is, it's training camp. You live and learn each and every day and there's a lesson you can gain from this."
The offense did eventually wake up in the latter half of Sunday's workout, particularly Mecole Hardman, who caught a couple of contested deep balls in seven-on-seven.
Daurice Fountain was also productive, as he was back on the field after hurting his finger Saturday. He seemed to have caught everything thrown his way.
On the offensive line, the Chiefs worked Geron Christian in at right tackle with the first-team offense. Up until now, it had been Andrew Wyline manning that spot, but Wylie worked with the second-team.
Bieniemy didn't elaborate too much on this change. Other than to say - execution is the main thing he and the coaching staff are looking for at every position.
"The thing I'm looking for is, when we're out there, are we all being accountable to one another," Bieniemy said. "Are we executing with great attention to details. Are we having a sense of urgency and sense of purpose in what we're doing?"
One player that continues to have a sense of purpose is rookie running back Isiah Pacheco, who's really making a strong case to be the No. 2 back behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Reid remarked Saturday that Pacheco "runs hard every time he touches the ball." Bieniemy is also impressed with the seventh-round pick out of Rutgers, but was complimentary of all the running backs.
"He's a tough kid," he said of Pacheco. "Obviously, we have a lot of good players in that room. In time, everything will tell for itself. Right now, (Pacheco) is doing some good things. He's working his tail off, but you have a lot of other guys in there competing their tails off as well."
Some good news - no new injuries Sunday. Still no Jody Forston as he deals with a strained quad. He's been out for just over a week. Receiver Gary Jennings (concussion) and Taylor Stallworth (knee bruise) also didn’t practice.
Lucas Niang (knee) and Rashad Fenton (shoulder) remain on the injured list.
Carlos Dunlap catching on
He still hasn't gotten reps with the first-team defense, but the 13-year veteran is looking strong, as Dunlap at times dominated the second-team offensive line during team drills Sunday.
Defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi, who has been working with the first-team D-line on the interior, says he used to train with Dunlap a few years ago. He's not surprised Dunlap has caught on so quickly.
"Since (Dunlap) has been here, he's been doing his part," Nnadi said. "He'll try and throw any bit of nuggets to anybody on the D-line. So, yes. He does bring a lot of good leadership to the D-line."
Preseason game approaching
It’s officially game week, as the Chiefs can now look toward that first preseason game at Chicago this Saturday.
It is just preseason, but it’s a chance for the Chiefs to go against somebody in a different jersey.
Second-year linebacker and starter Nick Bolton probably won’t play a ton of snaps, but he just wants the defense to give it their all once the game starts.
"Whatever we have in, just executing it to the highest level we can," Bolton said. "Going down there and stopping the run early. Also just playing the pass game along with that. I just want to go in, execute at the highest level and build from the ground up."
Nnadi added the biggest key to preseason, especially for younger players, is to not overthink too much and stick to what you've learned.
"It's preseason," he said. "Just play. Do what you've been coached to do. If there's anything the coaches want you to improve on, that's a good chance to do it after (the game). Go watch the film, corrections and that's how it goes. Just trust yourself. Don't overthink it and just play."
Saturday’s game at Chicago kicks off at noon central. It’ll be carried live on 96.9, KFIX.
The Chiefs have practice on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday this week.