By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
Due to persistent showers and storms Wednesday morning, the Chiefs were forced to practice inside the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex, meaning practice was closed to the public.
The Chiefs practiced for over two hours in full pads, and head coach Andy Reid thought it to be a productive day.
"I thought the guys handled it well," Reid said of the indoor workout. "It was a red zone day, got a lot of work done there. A lot of good competition between ones versus ones and twos versus twos."
Receiver Skyy Moore was back on the field practicing after hurting his hip Tuesday. Tight end Jody Forston was not present, nor were Lucas Niang, Rashad Fenton and Prince Tega Wanogho, who remain on the injured list.
One player that was present and accounted for was left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. Wednesday marked just his second training camp practice after he missed OTAs, mandatory minicamp and the first five practices in St. Joseph due to ongoing contract negotiations with the Chiefs.
"I know he's been working hard down in Miami," Reid said of Brown Jr. "It looks like he's in good shape. We're ramping him up. So, we're trying to be smart with that as best we can."
Willie Gay has lofty goals
With the departure of guys like Anthony Hitchens and Tyrann Mathieu in the offseason, Gay has taken on more of a leadership role as he enters his third season in Kansas City.
He’s quietly had a great training camp. On Wednesday, during red zone drills, he intercepted Patrick Mahomes in the end zone. That happened in camp late last week as well
Gay says his goals for this season go far beyond what happens in camp.
"It gives me a lot of confidence," Gay said, when asked about intercepting Mahomes. "I got goals to lead linebackers in the NFL in interceptions this year. When Pat throws me some, I know other quarterbacks will too, because they're not as good as him."
Gay had two interceptions last season to go with four pass deflections. He along with Nick Bolton and Elijah Lee have been the lead linebackers at camp thus far.
Pacheco, the seventh round pick out Rutgers, has proven to be one of the most exciting rookies this camp.
At 5-10 and 216 pounds, Pacheco has been rotating with the first-team offense, and he’s going to start the preseason as the lead kickoff returner, as specialist coach Dave Toub confirmed Tuesday.
Coach Reid has taken notice, and says Pacheco has a special attribute.
"He's got a little juice to him," Reid said. "He's got good speed, toughness, all of that. Looking forward to getting him in a game and seeing how he does there. He's working hard, picking everything up and doing a nice job there."
Willie Gay used the same adjective when asked about the running backs and Pacheco in particular.
"He's just got so much juice when he runs, man. I feel like he's been such a great addition to the room."
Pacheco, along with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Ronald Jones and Jerick McKinnon have gotten most of the snaps at running back with the first-team offense.
Justin Watson and Patrick Mahomes connecting
Watson is one of many new wide receivers on the team this year, and he's been getting his reps with the first-teamers. He was also named by Coach Toub as one of the players making an impact on special teams.
Watson worked out with Mahomes in the offseason in Texas, two weeks before OTAs and then one week after, along with the other receivers on the team.
Needless to say, after just being signed by the Chiefs in February, Watson was surprised to receive a text from Mahomes himself.
"To reach out to me and invite me in the offseason before we ever met, to come down there and work, it meant a great deal," Watson said. "It definitely showed me that he wanted to get to know who I was and wanted to see what I had to do. Those first couple of weeks were fun."
Watson, a Penn graduate, was drafted by Tampa Bay in the fifth round in 2018. He missed virtually the entire 2021 season due to knee surgery. Watson has come back strong, and Reid sees him making the most of his reps.
"It's just working in the offense," Reid said. "More and more and more. The reps that he gets are so important. He's working with the ones and the quarterback, he trusts him. Which is a plus."
The Chiefs practice again on Thursday morning and will rest Friday. The forecast looks dry and not as hot for Thursday, with temperatures reaching the upper 80s.
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