Jul. 24—Any way possible, the Kansas City Chiefs are always looking for an edge up on the competition.
One way Andy Reid does that is by getting his team out of its comfort zone and going away for training camp, something the franchise continues to do with the 29-year head coach at the helm. The Chiefs did just that, arriving with coaches and a group of 30 players Friday at Missouri Western State University.
With just five teams going away from their home site for training camp in 2021, and the Chiefs being just one of the few to remain away, Kansas City believes there is still a massive advantage in their way of running the offseason.
"I think the biggest thing is the relationships that you build. It's really cool to be somewhere where you're fully (immersed) in football," quarterback Patrick Mahomes said in a Zoom conference with reporters Friday. "Every single moment, you're either meeting, you're working out, you're practicing, you're eating lunch with your teammates, it's just all football.
"There's definitely an advantage to that I think, and it gets you ready for the season of the grind that you're going to have to go through of several months of being day to day football and making sure you're prepared for that."
For the next four weeks, the Chiefs will live, eat and sleep on Missouri Western's campus one year after the annual trip was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols. In between practices and meetings, rookies are prepared to use that time building up to a comfort level for the standard they know awaits.
"I'm entering the best organization in the league right now, so the expectations are high, team standards are high," said rookie center Creed Humphrey, a second-round selection in the 2021 draft. "I'm ready to get in, get to work, and meet those standards. ... Just come in, take it day by day, and work with a blue collar mentality. Make sure I'm doing the best I can every single day in everything that I do."
For fellow second-round pick Nick Bolton, a rookie linebacker out of Missouri, he admitted to nerves on the eve of his first training camp practice, starting a three-day session for rookies, quarterbacks and veterans returning from injuries before full camp next week.
"Excited, a little nervous. Kind of both. Going forward, just trying to develop as a player, as a teammate," Bolton said. "I know what the ultimate goal here is and I'm just trying to do my part. Trying to be a part of winning a championship and doing my one-eleventh."
For four weeks, Reid expects his players to take advantage of a circumstance that doesn't happen much in professional sports, nearly one month away from family with time strictly spent with the team.
With a hopeful run at a third Super Bowl now underway in St. Joe, Reid's confident this period will be nothing but beneficial to his team.
"There's this concentration of football that you take in here," Reid said. "You're here and it's football kind of 24/7 right now. That's how it works.
"So, we're going to keep taking it day by day like we've always done and make sure we try to do the best we can each day to get ourselves becoming a better football team."
Brandon Zenner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowZenner.