Danny Parkins: Observations from Wednesday's Night Practice
Wednesday night was the best Chiefs practice of training camp. I’m not sure if Todd Haley feels the same way. But from a fan perspective, which there were a lot of with over 7,000 in attendance, it was by far the most entertaining practice to date. And given that it’s their last dress rehearsal before the curtain comes up Friday night against Tampa Bay, that’s a good thing.
The reason for the uptick in interest was obvious: there was hitting. Only six plays of hitting, and none involving the starters, but it was more than enough to infuse a bit of life into Spratt Stadium on the campus of Missouri Western.
The play of the night came when third string cornerback Quinten Lawrence lit up 7th round pick Shane Bannon. The Yale graduate’s mouth piece flew out of his helmet and the defense on the far sideline started hootin and hollerin in earnest. Brandon Flowers ran 15 feet onto the field he was so excited.
And then after they left the field, to a man, the players talked about how good it felt to hit again. I was reminded that as much as we all miss football as fans, the players miss it ten times as much.
It wasn’t all positive at camp. Jon Baldwin struggled to get off jams at the line of scrimmage. Justin Houston’s conditioning still lags behind the rest of the defense. And despite that, he still routinely beat starting right tackle Barry Richardson in 1 on 1 pass rush drills.
But overall, it was a good night of practice that provided a brief glimpse of what we’ll see Friday night. It won’t always be pretty, but it will be football.