LDT feeling good as Kansas City Chiefs wrap up minicamp
Published Thursday, June 17, 2021 9:34PM EDT
Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, center, blocks against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 54 football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
KANSAS CITY -- The Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up their three-day mandatory minicamp Thursday with a sense of optimism that comes from playing in the last two Super Bowls and the offseason additions to the roster.
These three days comprised the final practices the Chiefs will have in Phase 3 of the offseason program ahead of training camp which begins late July.
Head coach Andy Reid was most pleased that he could see his player in person.
"On these Zoom calls, you can install," he said following Thursday's practice. "You can talk about fundamentals and techniques, but you can't work on them, and that's just what's real.
"This gives you an opportunity to actually run the plays and work on the fundamentals and techniques. … The coaches have evaluated their last season and (can) help them get better with the techniques and fundamentals that they might need this season.
"I think it's a win-win. I think it's great to have the technology, but at the same time, I think it's important that we're still able to get them on the field."
The Chiefs were looking to upgrade one of the league's best offenses, particularly the offensive line. During February's Super Bowl, quarterback Patrick Mahomes was pressured a Super Bowl-record 29 times. According to NextGenStats, via Seth Walder of ESPN.com, Mahomes ran 497 yards before throwing the ball or being sacked.
So the Chiefs traded for a new starting left tackle, signed a free agent left guard, signed a free agent center and drafted another center, and got two linemen back from last year who sat out because of Covid.
Mahomes should be more comfortable this season. That, and the motivation of losing in the biggest game last season, has him ready to go.
"When you get beat like that on a stage like that, you're going to (be motivated) at all times. I'm going to try to make sure that doesn't happen again no matter what game it is."
Among those who were on the field was Quebecer guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a licensed physician who missed the 2020 season to work in a long-term care facility in Montreal.
"Back home in Montreal, the gym has been closed for the past year. I was able to stay in pretty good shape, but I think when it comes to football shape, there's no other treatment than just playing football," he said. "Today was a great day, a great start and I'm looking forward to more practices. I think that's the key, is to get exposure, get some reps."