Kansas City Chiefs: Player attendance is a fair question

Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports /

Andy Reid got frustrated with reporters asking about player attendance at Kansas City Chiefs offseason workouts, but it is a fair question to ask.

It got to the point where Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid snapped at reporters. After being asked repeatedly about the attendance of certain players during voluntary practices, Reid laid it out pretty clearly. However, the question of why these guys aren’t at practice is a fair one.

Now, to Andy Reid’s credit, he has answered the question repeatedly, and has has done it the same way every time. Organized Team Activities (OTAs) are voluntary. Players don’t have to be there. They don’t have to give a reason for not being there. Reid has said as much many times.

However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t something to be concerned about. If it’s not that big of a deal, then why have these practices at all? Clearly, at some level, it is a big deal. That doesn’t mean a player missing OTAs is bad. It does mean that it’s something worth asking about though.

Maybe The Wrong Question?

It is possible that this is really a case of miscommunication. Reporters are asking Andy Reid why players like Justin Houston, Eric Berry, and Marcus Peters aren’t at practice. However, is that really the question they mean to ask?

Eric Berry and Justin Houston both missed offseason workouts last year (though Houston was in attendance). Berry due to contract negotiations, and Houston due to an injury. However, Eric Berry was less than a year removed from finishing his chemotherapy treatments. That is probably the biggest concern on everyone’s mind. Everyone wants to be sure that these guys are healthy.

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That’s the biggest concern, player health. The other major concern? Contract situations. Health and money are often the biggest reasons for players to skip workouts. It’s something the Chiefs have had to deal with in recent years.

Some Clarity Arrives

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Fortunately, we have gotten some word on why a few guys have missed practices. Eric Berry and Justin Houston have been training together down in Atlanta. In a recent Instagram post, both were seen talking to some young football players on a practice field. Based on the pictures, it’s safe to say that both are keeping in shape.

However, that doesn’t shed any light on why Marcus Peters isn’t at practices. Nor does it tell us why Dee Ford wasn’t on the field today. That’s something that fans simply want to know, which means reporters are going to have to ask.

Andy Reid could defuse a lot of this by simply telling reporters: “Everyone is healthy and there aren’t any contract concerns”. That would put an end to most of the questions. Because really, that’s what we want to know.

The Kansas City Chiefs are looking to be a contender this year. That starts with a strong offseason program. So it’s only natural that fans and reporters want to know where the star players are at. While that may be annoying for Andy Reid, it is a reasonable question to be asking, especially based on recent history.