Training camp is over, but there’s still plenty to be done before the Kansas City Chiefs’ first regular season game.
The Chiefs hosted their final training camp practice Thursday morning, and head coach Andy Reid said it was a successful three weeks in St. Joseph.
“The guys came out with what I thought was a great attitude,” Reid said. “They had a purpose of wanting to be better. That’s the way they approached it. Every day, they came with something individually to make themselves better and then collectively as a team to make themselves better.”
Safety Tyrann Mathieu said the Chiefs accomplished a lot as well, but he knows the defense still has a lot of work to do.
During the first preseason game last Saturday, the Chiefs’ defense left much to be desired. The Cincinnati Bengals put up 253 passing yards and 21 rushing yards at Arrowhead.
The offense was in high gear even though the starters played extremely limited time. Their 400 total offensive yards and five touchdowns secured the 38-17 win, but Mathieu said the Chiefs need to work on the details if they want to be successful in the long run.
Still, the strides the defense has made since rookies first arrived on Missouri Western’s campus on July 23 show promise for what the rest of the preseason holds.
MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes II has gone up against the new defense a lot since offseason workouts began, and he said he sees the difference between then and now.
“It seems like every day they’re giving me a different pressure or a different coverage that they’re playing that they’re going off something they have done days before,” Mahomes said. “When you feel like you’ve figured it out, they add something to it. I think that’s an attribute to the coaches — Coach (Steve Spagnuolo) and all these other coaches — who have come in from different backgrounds and put their input into it, kind of made them a well-rehearsed defense.”
Mathieu said the chemistry between the defense plays a significant role in making it successful.
“The offense is doing something, and, defensively, we go to the side and work on different techniques and different communications, or even between meetings, just studying extra film and really diving into one-on-ones,” Mathieu said. “We’ve been trying to do all that, but it is hard to do, especially at camp when everyone is tired once the day is over, but a lot of guys have just been committing themselves to do the extra.”
Players even have stuck around after the official practice was over to work on technique and fundamentals in order to get better.
“I think ultimately if guys just buy in and commit themselves, anything can work out,” Mathieu said.