They look like Kansas City Chiefs. They're wearing Chiefs uniforms, with the iconic helmets.
But don't be deceived: they are not Chiefs, and most of them will never be Chiefs.
The Chiefs rookie mini-camp wrapped up Monday. It is a cross between orientation and final exams. The 69 players are learning the team's offensive and defensive playbooks. That's the orientation. But, they're also interacting with coaches in classroom settings - and showing how quickly they can learn their assignments, with everything captured on video tape. A failure to pick up things quickly can spell death for a free agent at the bottom of the depth chart.
While the vast majority of the roster will be on hand when the team opens training camp this July, a few will be gone, replaced by other free agents who are hungry for an opportunity.
The fact is, most of these guys will not be on the team when they kick off the regular season at the Texans on Sept. 13.
While the coaches are looking at every player this summer, you can bet their focus is on the guys who are expected to make a difference next season. That means their every move will be scrutinized, every practice rep will be recorded and played back during meetings.
How's offensive guard Mitch Morse's footwork? Is cornerback Marcus Peters as athletic as advertised? (And how does the first-rounder interact with his coaches and teammates?) Can wide receiver Chris Conley run away from DB's like he did in college?
Those are a few of the questions, the next few months will provide some answers.
From a fan standpoint, how many of the undrafted free agents will make a splash this summer?
Up next after rookie camp, OTAs, which will bring most - if not all - of the players back to the practice field and meeting rooms.
When OTAs start later this month, the guys wearing Chiefs uniforms will actually be Chiefs players - not Chiefs hopefuls.
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