Chiefs training camp is be dwindling down, but position battles are heating up. The Chiefs will only be in St. Joseph for two more days following Tuesday’s practice, and every player is trying to make their case for a roster spot.
Ultimately, the coaching staff and front office have the final say. Assistant head coach and specials teams coordinator Dave Toub stressed the importance of making every moment count.
“Every rep is important in practice,” Toub said. “Every rep is twice as important in a game. We preach that all the time and the guys understand that. That’s why they play so hard.”
Like camp every year, there are a multitude of young players trying to make it in the NFL. With so few games in the regular season, compared to other sports, cornerbacks coach Sam Madison preached consistency and transitioning to the NFL.
“We only have 16 games,” Madison said. “It’s not like baseball, basketball and hockey. We have to be spot on every single play and just trying to get them out of that college mentality, into the NFL mentality and being able to apply it every day.”
The coaches were asked about a few players trying to make the team and what they have seen from them so far in camp and the first preseason game.
Toub was asked about fan favorite, undrafted free agent wide receiver Cody Thompson, and how his return skills make him valuable among a crowded receiver’s core.
“I like his effort, he’s got good ball skill,” Toub said. “He’s a good kick returner. We are developing him as a punt returner. He really wasn’t a punt returner (in college). He’s got upside.”
On the defensive side, the secondary struggled a year ago. Madison and the Chiefs are looking at all their options to improve this year, and Madison likes what he sees from Mark Fields, an undrafted cornerback out of Clemson. Fields’ speed at camp has gotten some attention.
“He ran one of the fastest times at the combine and it’s showing,” Madison said. “He’s had opportunities to cover Mecole (Harman) and as well as (Tyreek Hill) and he’s running stride for stride with these guys. The little, small details about being able to transition to man, he’s really good in his man coverages. Now we just need to hone him in and tighten him up on his zone coverages.”
With three preseason games left on the schedule, a lot is still to be decided on who makes the official 53-man roster. Rookies and veterans alike will continue to battle it out, doing whatever they can to get noticed and make an NFL roster.