The Kansas City Chiefs hit the ground running at Missouri Western as they opened the closed practice portion of training camp on Saturday.

Patrick Mahomes led the group of quarterbacks, rookies and select players in the first of three closed practices before the rest of the team arrives to camp on Monday.

The select veterans retuning include safety Juan Thornhill (knee), defensive end Taco Charlton (ankle) and cornerback Deandre Baker (leg) who are rehabbing from injuries.

As the Super Bowl 54 champions return to St. Joe, the Chiefs’ rookies are happy to be immersed in the team’s winning culture.

“Even though we may be looked at as Super Bowl winning team… We have a standard here and I’m just trying to uphold that. I knew that coming in, I knew that as soon as I was drafted, and it’s really a credit to my teammates for kind of getting me up to speed on that and then rolling that out here on the practice field,” Chiefs tight end Noah Gray said.

After their break following OTAs and minicamp this summer, the rookies look to continue chasing perfection now in training camp.

“Honestly, everything needs to be reinforced,” Chiefs offensive lineman Trey Smith said. “The little nuances, that’s something I can take better care of in my game, paying attention to detail, not being too overaggressive with a lot of things I do, just being official in my play. Like I said, we’re always chasing perfection, but we’ve got to do it every day and it’s unobtainable. There’s so much I have to work on my game. I’m not even close.”

As the rookies fully adjust to their first training camp, they know the grind that lies ahead.

“I learned there’s nothing you can really do to get ready for training camp besides doing it and learning from experience. So just coming out here, make sure your conditioning is up, making sure that you know the plays, knowing and being knowledgeable of the game and your assignment and your alignment will take you far,” Chiefs wide receiver Cornell Powell said. “The rest of it is just football at the end of the day. You got to go out there and be a dog and make plays.”

The Chiefs’ veterans report on Monday. The first practice open to public takes place on Thursday, July 29th.

Micaela Dea can be reached at

Follow her on Twitter: @NPNowDea

Micaela Dea is a sports reporter for News-Press NOW. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Growing up in San Diego, Micaela loves to travel, meet new people, and tell stories. Have a story idea? Don't hesitate to email!

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