Kansas City Chiefs coaches, quarterbacks and rookies arrived on campus at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph on Friday, July 22. The rest of the team – its veterans – reported back three days later, on Monday July 25.
Starting left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., who hasn’t been on all of the team’s offseason programs, didn’t report that day — then stayed home while the team was conducting its first five training camp practices.
Over the past week and counting, head coach Andy Reid, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and several other Chiefs players have been asked about the status of the starting left tackle, who was unhappy the team didn’t get him. did not offer what he considered to be a long enough – fixed-term contract.
On Monday, Brown showed up to camp — and on Tuesday, after signing his tag and attending his first practice, he finally got to speak for himself.
“I’ve missed a lot of the ball so far,” Brown began. “And obviously, I missed the locker room. I missed the coaches – everyone here in the building. I know how important this five-day stretch is to coaching (Andy) Reid and everyone here at KC, so it didn’t feel right to stay home. [and] miss it. It’s something I want to be part of. I was brought here to help win the Super Bowl, and this week is very important for our progress.
Given that Brown and the Chiefs had negotiations that went to the wire, there could be a natural awkwardness that could come from his late arrival. But in his first press conference at training camp, Reid spoke about Brown’s (and other players’) ability to practice during contract disputes.
“There’s an element of time, and I think the players, over time, they’re able to sort that out,” Reid said on opening day. “The business side and the football side – they are able to separate that. For the most part, those I’ve worked with have done a great job with this. And then they show up and they do their share of football.
“They’re still going to get paid, and Orlando is going to get paid pretty well, so they can separate that and move on. That’s how it goes.
Brown would have liked to show up to camp with a guaranteed long-term deal — but as Reid noted, the alternative isn’t so bad. Under the now-signed franchise tag, Brown will earn more than $16 million this season — with a chance to earn more if the two sides can agree on a deal next offseason.
General manager Brett Veach has said publicly that the Chiefs still want to do something with Brown in the future. Considering Brown’s prospects for his own career, that’s a significant note.
“I want to be here,” Brown said. “I want to end my career here in Kansas City. I am on [there are] questions there. But for me, with the contract situation, there just weren’t enough guarantees – and I want to be here for the rest of my career in Kansas City. It’s really important to me.
The Chiefs’ final offer would have run for six years at an average of $23.6 million — but with an easily voidable sixth year, that amounted to five years for around $19 million a year. It has since been established that the Chiefs had reason to offer what they did, while Brown’s camp had reason to walk away.
Regardless of how the negotiation went, the long-term deadline of July 15 passed – and the only option left was the label. And so on, the necessary conversations took place – and just as Reid described on day one, the business was separated from football.
“Me and Veach talked,” Brown said. “Me and Coach Reid have been talking – understanding business is business, you know what I mean? Ultimately, that part is behind us for now. Moving on… I’m here to win the Super Bowl. In the end, that’s what matters to me. »
So, as the Chiefs continued their quest to win their first Super Bowl since 2019, the first of six eight-day padded workouts began Monday. As Brown alluded to during his remarks to the media, it’s safe to say that this is the most important part of the team’s nearly month-long training camp.
On Tuesday, the Chiefs coaching staff did not choose to throw Brown straight into what would be considered a full workload, opting instead to build his football form with partial practice.
To start, Brown endured warm-ups, one-on-one position sessions and one-on-ones – but the team held him out of scrimmage periods at 11-on-11. Facing defensive end Mike Danna, Brown seemed to be working the rust.
“I felt good, I felt good,” Brown said. “I was excited to go out and get some live reps. Obviously I’ve done a ton of stuff – training on my own and things like that, but it feels good to hang out with the guys. .. I spent a lot of time this summer playing tennis there in Miami.
“I’ve been spending a lot of time swimming – twice a week and training at Pete Bommarito’s Performance Systems, so my body feels great. Man, I’m good to go.
On the podium, Brown appeared slimmed down – and while there was a palpable sense of disappointment, there was also a sense of relief. Brown no longer has to rely on Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce and offensive linemen Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith to speak for him, as they’ve all been asked to do in his absence.
He was there, in the flesh, speaking in his own name.
“Those are some of my brothers, man,” Brown said. “Fortunately, I’ve been able to grow with them over the past year, especially on and off the court. Man, I really appreciate them – and I appreciate everyone in this locker room. It’s been a driving force for me this offseason and every year. I’m so grateful to be able to block for someone like that and play with other guys like Trav, all those men up front. Andy Heck, Coach (Offensive Line), Andy Reid, Coach (Head), [offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy]I could just over and over again.
Before the session ended, Brown reminded the media and fans how grateful he was to have the opportunity to play left tackle for the Chiefs. His unwavering passion for playing left rather than right was the original reason he became commercially available from Baltimore.
His appearance also comes with explicit goals for 2022.
“I want to progress in almost any way, shape, form or fashion,” Brown said. “I want to be a better run blocker. I want to be a better pass blocker, a better leader, letting them count on me when they need me most. That’s something I felt like I struggled with a bit last year – not putting myself in the best position when games were close – so on some third downs or in close games against certain talents, it was something that I really wanted to improve. .”
Those goals keep him hopeful that by this time next year he will have earned that long-term security from the Chiefs.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of people here at the front office and at Coach Reid – and everyone understands,” he added. “I love the ball. I love blocking for Pat Mahomes. I love putting the Chiefs logo on my helmet and I really enjoy being here so I know time will tell. And things will work out over time. I just can’t wait to be on the court this year.
You can find the full observations released from Wednesday’s practice here.
If you don’t see the above integration (Apple iTunes), Click here. Press conferences are also available on Spotify.
- Did not train (due to injury): CB Rashad Fenton (shoulder) OL Lucas Niang (knee) OL Prince Tega Wanogho (leg), TE Jody Fortson (quad)
- Leaving early: WR Skyy Moore (hip)
Tweet of the day
Our John Dixon compiled everything tweets from tuesday here. here is tweet of the day:
Chiefs LT Orlando Brown Jr. a man of the people, stopping to sign autographs before heading up the hill as part of his acclimatization process.
He did team drills and one on one against DL, looked good. pic.twitter.com/lKaM6daqn9
—Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) August 2, 2022
Nice of Brown in his catch-up for lost… autographs.
quote of the day
Defensive end George Karlaftis on whether he has a sack target for his rookie season in 2022: “No, no, it’s not a matter of numbers [of sacks]it’s about playing in arizona [in Super Bowl LVII] in February.”
The Chiefs return to the practice ground Wednesday for their sixth practice open to the public. Practice begins at 9:15 a.m. Arrowhead Time. Here is the complete program. The team’s offensive and defensive linemen will be available to sign autographs after practice as head coach Andy Reid speaks to the media from the podium.
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