KC Chiefs rookies and some players report for minciamp

Cornerback Trent McDuffie (21) participated in day one of the Kansas City Chiefs rookie minicamp at the practice facility on Saturday, May 7, 2022.

Cornerback Trent McDuffie (21) participated in day one of the Kansas City Chiefs rookie minicamp at the practice facility on Saturday, May 7, 2022.

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Horns blaring on the practice field signaled the end of on-court segments on Saturday afternoon, as did Chiefs position coaches yelling instructions and players cheering on their teammates.

Indeed, the sights and sounds of football were in the air on the first day of rookie minicamp.

A total of 73 rookies and first-year players, including 40 on tryouts, were on the field at the team’s Kansas City training facility.

But much of Saturday’s attention fell on the Chiefs’ 10 draft picks, particularly their two first-round selections: cornerback Trent McDuffie and defensive end George Karlaftis, the two best players chosen by the franchise on April 28.

Returning to football activities after enduring the draft process meant a welcome adjustment to life as a professional footballer.

“I fit in now, start a routine and all that kind of stuff,” said Karlaftis, Purdue’s 30th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. “It’s been a little crazy the last few weeks, but that’s what I dreamed of.”

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Defensive end George Karlaftis participated in day one of the Kansas City Chiefs’ rookie minicamp at the practice facility on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Jill Toyoshiba [email protected]

McDuffie, the 21st overall pick in the draft, agreed.

“Personally, for me, I come here to be the best teammate I can be,” McDuffie of the University of Washington said. “Learn the facilities and do what (defensive coordinator Steve) Spagnuolo, (defensive backs coach Dave) Merritt want me to do so I can go out there and produce what they want me to do.”

McDuffie, wearing a newly awarded No. 21 jersey, and Karlaftis, wearing No. 56 once worn by Chiefs big boss Derrick Johnson but more recently by the late Ben Niemann, will get the chance to show what they can do during the three-day rookie minicamp, which ends Monday.

All players have received their new jersey numbers, officially announced by the Chiefs on Saturday morning, and now the work begins.

The three-day camp marks the first time since the draft that head coach Andy Reid and members of the Chiefs coaching staff can work directly with new players.

Their time will be spent in class and in the field. Participants will wear training shirts, shorts and helmets without full protection, and full contact is prohibited.

The coaching staff will teach the players about team standards and expectations throughout the three days, and safety Bryan Cook, selected from Cincinnati, is eager to absorb it all.

“Be the sponge that I can be and it will work out in my eyes,” said Cook, one of the Chiefs’ two second-round picks.

The playbook is arguably the biggest item that Cook and his teammates need to grasp. But so far, it’s safe to count McDuffie, who said he worked as a cornerback and nickel cornerback on day one, as a fan of what he saw in the X and O department.

“I love it,” he said. “We can do a lot of unique things, and especially coming from U-Dub (Washington), it’s kind of similar things here and there, so I can relate a little easier. At the moment, I really like the playbook.”

Beginner players can use the minicamp as a base for later.

After the three-day camp concludes, the chefs will host 10 days of Voluntary Organized Team Activities (OTAs), which are scheduled for May 25-26, May 31-June 2, and June 7-10. The Chiefs will then wrap up the off-season training schedule with a mandatory three-day minicamp from June 14-16. This is followed by a month-long break before the start of training camp at the end of July.

And for the Chiefs’ draft class and undrafted free agent signings, which includes undrafted rookie wide receiver Justyn Ross from Clemson, the weekend will be all about adjusting to the professional level of football and showing that they belong as contributors for the 2022 regular season.

“I think all the guys here are ready to work, ready to earn their stripes, to improve, to earn the respect of everyone in this organization, teammates, coaches, fans, everyone,” Karlaftis said. . “It’s really that: here to improve, here to help the team win at the end of the day, whatever that means to us.”

INJURIES

The Chiefs announced that wide receiver Skyy Moore (hamstring), wide receiver Cornell Powell (hamstring) and Safety Cook (shoulder) may be restricted during rookie camp.

Cook, who spoke to the media ahead of practice on Saturday afternoon, did not appear concerned about his injury.

“I’m in the field until they tell me not to be there,” he said.

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Safeties Nazeeh Johnson (13) and Bryan Cook (6) attend day one of the Kansas City Chiefs’ rookie minicamp at the practice facility on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Jill Toyoshiba [email protected]

This story was originally published May 7, 2022 3:47 p.m.

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