Starting on May 22nd, NFL teams will hold the second portion of their off-season program. It continues a busy off-season for most players, particularly the rookies. OTAs are separated into three different phases over a nine-week period starting in mid-April. The first phase is strictly meetings, strength and conditioning, and rehab for injured players and lasts for two weeks. Phase two is what will begin today for most teams. What this next phase entails is on-field walkthroughs and workouts. It’s important to note that during this phase, no physical contact is allowed. This phase of the off-season program lasts over the next three weeks. For the Kansas City Chiefs specifically, their schedule for off-season workouts looks like this: May 22-24, May 30-June 1, and June 6-9.
The final phase of the off-season program is held over approximately a month period. From the NFL: “Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity. No live contact is permitted but 7-on-7, 9-on-9, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted”. While off-season workouts are encouraged, they are not mandatory. After their activities, Kansas City will hold a mandatory minicamp for veteran players, which will occur from June 13-15. After this final phase of the off-season program concludes, the real fun begins during training camp, which is in July.
Other off-season news
In other off-season news, one of Kansas City’s own signed their rookie contract this past week. Defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah from Kansas State University signed his rookie contract on Friday. He was coming off surgery on his thumb before the draft and has missed some time during OTAs but he should be in good shape to be part of walkthroughs and on-field workouts beginning on May 22nd. I expect him to contribute in a big way in 2023 as he fulfills the team’s needs for an edge rusher.
Speaking of rookies, my expectations for them as a whole this offseason are just to ease their way into the rhythm of being an NFL player: trying to learn a new system, dealing with a new routine of being at practice every day, etc. Kansas City’s draft was filled with adding to their primary needs on the defensive side of the ball. Five of the seven picks were used in that area. They did make a sneaky good move on day two drafting wide receiver Rashee Rice out of SMU. This move caught a lot of people off guard as he was more regarded as a third-round pick in the eyes of most scouts. He said during his rookie minicamp press conference that he’s more than ready to be part of the Chiefs. The upside for Rice is positive and in assistant GM Mike Borgonzi’s eyes, he LOVES the fit because of Rice’s ability to run after the catch. “He’s an explosive, fast-twitch kid. Really good with the ball after the catch; he’s like a running back after the catch”. I really liked this pick and think he will be a nice addition to the Chiefs’ offense.
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