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Nick Jacobs' observations from Friday's Chiefs training camp

Juan Thornhill has the catch of the day
Juan Thornhill interception
Posted at 3:57 PM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 16:57:36-04

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs veterans completed their third of 16 practices in Saint Joseph, Missouri, on Friday.

Some things to remember about practices during camp: the players are not in full pads at this time, there isn’t contact and both sides of the ball get turns to work on certain plays or packages against different looks.

So to judge a player’s performance based on a single play is a disservice to what their assignment and coach are asking them to execute to give specific looks for their teammates.

Injury Updates
Linebacker Anthony Hitchens was back on the field Friday morning. He took part in conditioning, which is a good sign for his availability when the games matter.

Tight end Travis Kelce was not on the field early but arrived from the practice facility later during the practice. He did not participate though.

Long snapper James Winchester was on the field this morning and snapping the ball for special teams. Winchester had previously been on the reserve/COVID19 list to start camp.

The team did not sustain any new injuries during practice.

Impressions from practice
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes worked on some of his touch throws during certain portions of practice. He loaded up on a couple of deep throws to Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman.

Mahomes was able to connect with Hill on a couple of deep crosses, including one for a touchdown. And he also found Hardman on a deep post that split the safeties for a 55 yard plus touchdown.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire showed a good burst on a draw and a couple of off tackle runs. Jerick McKinnon showed better than expected acceleration and authority on his runs versus what had been on some of his recent coaches film.

Best plays
The two best plays of the day belong to Juan Thornhill and Charvarius Ward.

Thornhill had an impressive diving interception off the deflection of a pass intended for Mecole Hardman during seven-on-seven's. Thornhill was able to stop on a dime and dive for the ball while making sure to secure the fluttering ball before it touched the ground.

Mahomes loaded up for a go route to Hardman. Hardman hesitated a couple of steps while he found the ball. Ward was able to stay stride for stride with him and timed the deflection perfectly to break up the pass that would have been a 35 yard plus gain.

Quote of the day
Willie Gay Jr. commented on following a quarterback’s eyes in college versus the pros.

“I talk to Coach House about that a lot," Gay Jr. said. "You can read quarterbacks’ eyes. But in this league you have to trust, like last year I didn’t know the scheme. So I was reading quarterbacks’ eyes a lot of times. This year you trust your drops, trust your schemes, trust your play call. And it will put you in the right position every time.”

Looking ahead
The Chiefs practice on Saturday is set for 9:15 a.m before the veterans get their first day off of camp on Sunday.