Sat, 19 Sep 2020

Matt McMullen

Training Camp rolled along at the practice facility for the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday as the team continued to work through a "phase two" portion of their offseason preparation.

Head Coach Andy Reid explained a bit more about what "phase two" entails following practice.

"We're in a 'phase two' period with the whole team, and with 'phase two' you're allowed to wear helmets and padded shirts - there's no offense versus defense - and then we had a special teams period," Reid explained. "We got a lot of good work in. We'll have two days of this and then we'll be able to start doing some offense versus defense things with shells on. It was a good practice today and good to have the guys moving around. It's the second phase of the ramp-up period and the guys moved around quick, but again, there's no offense versus defense."

In addition to Reid, a handful of players also spoke with the media via web call after practice concluded.

Here are five takeaways from Sunday's pressers.

1. This has undoubtedly been a unique offseason due to COVID-19 precautions, but despite the lack of in-person activities during the spring and summer, Reid is pleased with the players' mental preparation headed into camp.

The coaches worked with the players virtually throughout the offseason, and now it appears that work is paying off as the guys hit the field.

"We were able to give our players [offseason study materials] over Zoom, and now we're able to work on those things. Then, any additions that we put in, we're able to work on those. The one nice thing about having [the offseason] slowed down a little bit is that you're able to teach - you can walk through it - and now we're able to run through it [at camp]," Reid said. "Eventually, we'll get into pads and there's no lull in the action. There hasn't been that month off where guys have put it aside and then they come back and they're right back into the mix. So, I look at that for right now as a positive thing. Everybody would love to have the offseason, but that's not what it is. So, the positive is that we're getting all that worked in. The guys have been so receptive. You can tell that they payed attention on the Zoom, which can be tough when you're at home and some of these guys have children, so you have the little ones running around and you're kind of juggling that, but their retention has been great and they've been working hard, so we appreciate that."

2. After Reid's presser, quarterback Patrick Mahomes explained what he believes the offense needs to do during this camp in order to be ready to go for the regular season.

"I think you need to take advantage of every single rep you have. If that's in the meeting room, on the field, in practice, in walk throughs or whatever that is, you have to take advantage of knowing that [when] you're not getting those preseason games, practices are going to mean that much more and I think Coach Reid does a good job of that," Mahomes said. "He's going to put us in situations that are going to be game-like situations. He'll try to prepare us for every single situation that we could encounter during a game...So, I'm excited for the opportunity to go out and continue to move forward and get to that next step of getting the pads on and getting to the season."

3. Mahomes also discussed how he's mentally handled this offseason while still preparing for the upcoming campaign.

"I think the biggest thing you have to do with 2020 is just try to accept every challenge of the next day. Every morning, you wake up knowing you're going to have to go in with an open mind and just be prepared for whatever comes your way," Mahomes said. "For me, I mean that's kind of how an athlete has to prepare for every single day, every practice and every meeting - whatever it is - so, I'm going to do that and I'm going to continue to do that. Every single day, I wake up and it's a blank slate. I'm going to go out there, attack it, be the best person, athlete or whatever [I need to do] that day and, hopefully, we keep going good as far as a football facility and, as a nation, we try to progress and get to the other side of this."

4. One of Mahomes' main weapons on offense, wide receiver Sammy Watkins, later explained what his goal is for the 2020 season.

Watkins was at his best during the playoffs last season, hauling in 14 grabs for a franchise-record 288 yards. His 20.6 yards-per-catch were the most by any player with at least 10 receptions in a single postseason since 2016, and now with the 2020 season nearly here, his primary goal is simple enough.

"I'm visualizing a Super Bowl," Watkins said. "When you play this game and you're on the type of team that I'm on, as far as being an individual goes, you love to have those numbers and have all the touchdowns, but you have to be realistic. We have arguably seven superstars on one offense. I think it's hard on the coaches. It's not hard on me. My game is to just go out there and play, and the goal is to go and win another Super Bowl. An individual goal [for me] is definitely set, but the focus is to win games. If we can win games and the Super Bowl while I still get 1,000 yards, that's great."

5. Lastly, rookie defensive back L'Jarius Sneed talked about his experience with the Chiefs' virtual offseason program and how that's translating now to training camp.

"We studied during the offseason and had virtual meetings. The coaches have done a great job of teaching us. Us rookies are learning each and every day, and we're coming in and soaking everything up," Sneed said. "We look up to the veterans and they're showing us one hell of a job and how to be a pro."

Sneed, who the Chiefs selected in the fourth round out of Louisiana Tech, already appears to be enjoying the culture in Kansas City, too.

"I love Kansas City man. It's a great environment and it's a friendly environment," Sneed said. "It's not a, 'Oh, I don't want to help him,' [kind of place]. It's everyone together, and that's what I love about it."

The Chiefs will continue with "phase two" of camp before putting on the pads in the coming days as the regular season draws closer by the day.

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