Chiefs Coach, Andy Reid, has made it clear he wants to run a more physical camp. The Chiefs have already begun fully padded practices, something that hasn’t quite happened much the last few years. Former head coaches, Herm Edwards and Todd Haley, were known to run a more relaxed and mental training camp.
When I went up to St. Joe in 2011, the Chiefs were coming off a division win and had a lot of similar optimism towards that season. What I noticed most the two times I was there were that the Chiefs weren’t in pads, and there was a lot more stoppage of plays and standing around from the players. Todd Haley even admitted that he was running a more mental camp.
The Chiefs Started off 0-4 that season. A horrible 0-4 at that, getting blown out by Buffalo and Detroit. If you look back to when Herm Edwards first started coaching, it isn’t much better. In 2006, the Chiefs started 0-2, 2-3 in 2007(not bad,) and 1-3 in ’08. Herm’s teams were in re-building years but the teams didn’t look prepared to play.
More of the same with Todd Haley, with the exception of the 2010 division winning season. Point is, the difference between what they were doing then, and what Andy Reid is instilling, is the more physical approach to camp. Reid told reporters in his first press conference in St. Joe last week,
“We’re going to tackle to the ground and it’s going to be a physical camp. It will be a challenge for them. I mentioned that to you guys and I mentioned it to the players before we left. They have to come back and they have to be ready to go. It will challenge them. That’s what it does and that’s what this game is about.”
This approach should help the Chiefs get off to a better start. First of all, Andy Reid is bringing a lot of structure to this camp. In his interview earlier after Monday mornings practice, Tamba Hali was asked what some of the differences were in this camp compared to camps he’s been a part of in the past,
“We’re not wasting time. We’re not just standing around on the field. We’re coming out and executing, doing what we gotta do. It’s more team oriented.”
Hali also felt that the practices were more productive.
Andy Reid is trying to instill a more physical side to the team overall. He wants the Chiefs to be that team that no one wants to face. The Chiefs have been labeled as more of a “finesse” team the last few seasons. They had more of a bend but don’t break mentality. Something that works for a team that can score a lot of points. The Chiefs offense should be vastly improved this season, and the Chiefs want to run a more “attack” style defense.
A physical camp may be just what the Chiefs need to help take that next step, especially defensively. The defense needs to hit. It’s impossible to simulate tackling with out doing it. Several times during Monday mornings rainy practice, Jamaal Charles was picking himself up off the wet field. Even the superstars are taking shots. Owner Clark Hunt admitted to “cringing” a couple of times when Charles was taking licks.
That’s the part to worry about, the injuries. Andy Reid said it best though,
“It’s a tough game, tough guys play and it’s a tough game to get yourself ready for. It’s a long season. This is building the foundation for that and we’re building for that right here. At the same time, you have to stay sharp mentally. So through all this heat, humidity, sore bodies, you have to crawl yourself out of bed, and get yourself some nutrition, food in you, keep the liquids in you and then you have to come out here and perform.”
It’s a tough game and tough guys play it. The Chiefs first four games are all winnable and the physical approach should help them get off to a fast start.
I like Reid’s approach to camp so far, what say the rest of the kingdom? Is Reid’s approach too risky? Do you think it will help the Chiefs get off to a fast start?