ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Tuesday was Day Two of what some might call a mini-camp before the real work begins at Chiefs training camp.
On Wednesday, camp will be a bit of a melting pot because all veteran players are required to report to camp sometime around noon and join rookies and quarterbacks who are already there. They’ll have their first full-team workout on Thursday.
But there were already a few veterans already in attendance Tuesday, including center Mitch Morse and running back Spencer Ware.
Hear more from them and rookie Derrick Nnadi below. These are transcriptions, provided by the Kansas City Chiefs, of the post-practice discussion with players:
DT DERRICK NNADI
Q: What is some of the advice you’ve received from some of the veterans coming into camp about what to expect?
NNADI: “Off the rip, my teammate Allen Bailey told me to come every day to practice with a purpose because it’s going to be a grind. That’s been my mindset coming in as a rookie and as a draft pick. They brought me here for a reason, so I want to prove to them and myself that they chose the right person.”
Q: Brett Veach said when he drafted you that you have the ability to get on the field quickly and learn defense quickly, where do you think that comes from?
NNADI: “It really goes into how much you want to play. In this business, you get what you put in. If you want to play, you are going to do as much as you want to get on that field. If you don’t really care about it, you aren’t going to put in the effort for it. You won’t be studying film or care as much on the practice field. You are not going to care about what food you put in your body or how much sleep you’re getting. It’s really all about personal effort and how much work you want to put in to get on the field. My desire comes from the coaches I’ve been around back in college as well as my family. My father is probably the hardest working person I have met in my life.”
Q: What does it mean to you to wear the number 91?
NNADI: “It means a lot to me. Being the youngest in my family, I felt like I was in the shadows. People would always say I was one of my siblings’ little brother. When I first started playing football, I chose my brother’s jersey which was No. 75, and I felt like it wasn’t really me. I wanted to stand out and have some type of symbolism saying this is me, only mine. I chose this number since college and have ran with it.”
C MITCH MORSE
Q: How does it feel to be back out there?
MORSE: “It’s a blast, man. Just being out there with the guys, putting the pads back on, at least putting the helmet back on, it was a long process. At first I would like to thank everyone in the training room. Rick (Burkholder), Evan (Craft), Aaron (Borgmann), although he left, (David) Glover, Julie (Frymyer) and Tiffany (Morton). It was a tough time for me last year. The year before I had seen guys like Larry (Duvernay-Tardif) and (Mitchell) Schwartz tough through these injuries. I wanted to get back to my team and get out there. But structurally it just wasn’t there. It was completely blown out. We did everything by the book. These guys, I cannot say good enough things about these guys (the training staff). We took me out, got surgery and took it day by day. They didn’t push me to do anything past my comfort level. They pushed me to become a better football player and a healthier football player. But to answer your question, it is so much fun being out there competing a bit and knocking some of the rust off.”
Q: During OTAs it looked like you were ready to get out there.
MORSE: “I had a screw removed from my foot in May. You had to keep it kind of PG for that, doctor’s orders. Now it feels great, we are progressing. Still a little bit to go. We are in a great place where I can practice comfortably. Just getting back out there and working football stuff with Pat (Mahomes) and the other quarterbacks and running backs and the other offensive linemen.”
Q: How helpless did you feel not being able to contribute?
MORSE: “The truth of the matter was I wasn’t contributing for the guys. I wasn’t putting my best self out there and the guys were picking up my slack when I was out there. It was tough. You want to always positively influence what is going on out there. But we did it by the book. We were comfortable where we were, it just didn’t work out. It happens like that in football. It is a new year, healthier foot. It was a real tough year.”
Q: How did it happen originally?
MORSE: “I don’t know if you have seen Fletcher Cox but he is a giant human. I took a bull rush and, I thought it was my ankle at first, I went out on a screen and I just felt it pop and kind of go. It just happens, man. It is part of the gig.”
RB SPENCER WARE
Q: How are you feeling physically?
WARE: “I’m feeling pretty good. I’m just glad to be back out here.”
Q: How different is it to be at practice versus doing the rehab from home?
WARE: “It’s just about being comfortable around bodies. I’ve got people out there that I’ve got to react more to than having it already set up and knowing exactly where I’m going and where I need to break down or need to make my cuts. Out here, it’s just about getting that feel around other bodies.”
Q: Did that feeling come back right away or did it take a few days?
WARE: “We’re still working and I’m taking it day-by-day. I trust the training facility, I trust my coaches to put me in the right situations – our communication is very good. So, we’re just going to keep moving forward.”
Q: How does this year’s running back competition compare to in year’s past?
WARE: “I mean, competition is competition and I’ve never shied away from competition. My ultimate goal is to make my team better and to get better as a player – to make myself more valuable for my team and let them be able to use me in any way they can.”
Q: What were the conversations around your recent contract negotiations?
WARE: “It’s personal on our side between my organization and my team. I trust them and I’m happy with where I’m at in my rehab process and we’re just going to keep moving forward with where we’re at.”
Q: What‘s your excitement with your role and the offense with Eric Bieniemy as Offensive Coordinator?
WARE: “He’s very detailed and he pays attention to everything. I think the biggest thing Coach Bieniemy will bring to our offense is his intensity. If you take a look at his resume and the players he’s coached and the way they play football each and every play they get out there on the field – having an entire offense with that same mentality is pretty exciting.”