Some members of the Chiefs’ rookie class, such as linebacker Nick Bolton, used the break between mandatory minicamp and training camp to spend quality time with family.
Center Creed Humphrey and guard Trey Smith, however, elected to hone their craft by attending the annual mid-July O-Line Masterminds summit, hosted by renowned offensive line coach Duke Manyweather in Frisco, Texas.
“You learn different tidbits, different things you can add to your toolbox,” Smith said after Saturday morning’s practice. “It’s an excellent event. Duke’s been doing it for a lot of years and I really enjoyed it. Creed and I really got a lot out of it.”
“There’s a ton of good NFL players that go to that,” Humphrey said. “So, when I got the invite I was excited.
Over a three-day period, more than 100 offensive linemen, mostly current and former NFL players, spent time in a classroom environment breaking down film and participating in group discussions.
From Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson to New Orleans’ Terron Armstead to Tampa Bay’s Ryan Jensen to even former Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, the attendance list includes a virtual who’s who among the NFL’s elite front five blockers.
Humphrey and Smith spent time learning from established professionals and applying lessons learned through training exercises on an indoor field.
“It was great to hear from everybody,” Humphrey said.
The Chiefs’ rookies enjoyed the overall experience of the annual summit and look forward to applying takeaways to their rookie season.
But they also took advantage of the opportunity to link up with Schwartz, who spent five seasons in Kansas City before being released this offseason in a salary cap-saving move.
From adjusting to the professional level to getting tips about how to handle training camp, Smith and Humphrey found a willing helper in the former Chiefs right tackle to assist them on their journeys as an NFL players.
“It was awesome finally to get to meet him,” Smith said on Schwartz.
Humphrey echoed his rookie teammate.
“It was good to hear from (Schwartz), kind of pick his brain a little bit,” Humphrey said.
The Chiefs’ rookies have two more days of practice before veterans arrive Monday. The first full team practice is Wednesday.
The Chiefs currently have just 30 players, which includes all quarterbacks, rookies and select players, present in St. Joseph.
A total of 28 players, including cornerback Deandre Baker, were dressed and going through on-field work.
Safety Armani Watts, who is recovering from a fractured foot, and rookie defensive end Malik Herring (knee) were not observed on the field.
The Chiefs’ media rules for the rookie portion of training camp prohibit the reporting of personnel groupings (first- or second- or third-team units), specific formations/alignments, trick plays, situational plays and statistics.
Allowed, however, are general observations about head-turning and notable plays. Here are some highlights:
• With a limited roster, the Chiefs weren’t able to run full team-related drills. At some points Saturday, the offense had just four linemen. Derrick Gore was the only running back present, prompting the offensive to utilize rookie QB Shane Buechele out of the backfield. Buechele caught a pass from Patrick Mahomes.
• Mahomes, who had offseason surgery, participated in Saturday’s session and didn’t appear to have any limitations. Mahomes has said throughout the offseason that he’s fine for training camp.
• Linebacker Riley Cole, an undrafted rookie out of South Alabama, made two exceptional plays in pass coverage during team drills. Cole reached around tight end Jody Fortson to knock down a Mahomes’ pass, then snagged a tipped pass intended for rookie wide receiver Cornell Powell.
• Fortson made a nice leaping catch down the right sideline during team drills. On the play, Mahomes scrambled to his right before spotting Fortson behind two defenders and delivering the pass while on the run.