Kansas City Chiefs veterans report for training camp, look forward to putting on pads

Kansas City Chiefs veterans on Monday officially joined the rest of their teammates for training camp at Missouri Western State University.

While there is an air of excitement, the sights and sounds of football will need to wait at least another week because of a five-day acclimation period.

Instead of pads coming on sooner than later like in past years, the opposite is true.

Nevertheless, player enthusiasm remains high.

“Shoulder pads or not, I’m still looking forward to getting them on,” left tackle Orlando Brown said. “But I’m going to attack every day just like I got them on.”

Linebacker Anthony Hitchens agreed.

“I’m right with him,” Hitchens said. “I’m excited about it, as well. Just looking forward to keep improving this year in this camp.

The Chiefs will use the coming week to acclimate to the humid conditions and ramp up activity, which includes physicals and a conditioning test.

Throughout the coming weeks, there will also be opportunities during downtime for players to either strengthen bonds between teammates or for new players, like Brown, to build new friendships and camaraderie.

“Training camp is always important because of that reason,” Brown said. “I think it gives you an opportunity to get around coaches, teammates and really get to know people for who they are.”

Still, the Chiefs players are away from home for a primary objective — preparation for the upcoming regular season.

And it starts Wednesday with the first full team practice, which is exclusive to season ticket members. The general public’s first look at the Chiefs arrives Thursday, and the Chiefs will put in on-field work with open practices through Saturday before taking Sunday off.

Then, if all goes according to the schedule, the sounds of pads smacking from contact should arrive early next week.

Sure, practicing in helmets and shorts provides some level of comfort and relief from the Midwest summer conditions.

Regular-season games, however, aren’t played in shorts. Perhaps that is why the padded practices is what players look forward to in training camp.

“It’s been a while,” Hitchens said on the last time he wore pads. “It’s been since early February, so any time you get out there — we’re blessed to be able to do this for a job — any time you get the pads on and get out there running and hitting and having fun, it’s always a good thing.”

Brown agreed emphatically.

“I’m excited, man,” Brown said. “One of my favorite parts of football isn’t necessarily just wearing helmets, but the shoulder pads, too.

“So, once we get the shoulder pads on and things get rocking, that’s when the real ball players come out and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”