With the first week in the books for every team in the AFC West, let’s take a look around the division at a few things that have transpired in training camp.
As expected, Peyton Manning’s presence is drawing large crowds at Broncos camp. Lindsey Jones of the Denver Post reported that the Broncos announced a record crowd of 5,034 for Thursday morning’s practice, led by a group of teenage girls who led the crowd in chants and cheers.
On the field of play, it seems Manning has taken a liking to both Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. Decker seems to be his favorite target while he can’t seem to get over Thomas’ size and athleticism.
Jacob Tamme and Brandon Stokley, who have both played with Manning before, seem to have taken on the role of mentor to the younger receivers as expected.
Decker suffered a groin injury earlier in the week, but is not expected to miss any significant time.
Defensively, the only news to report is that new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio with call plays from the sideline. In Del Rio’s own words:
“I’ve been on the sideline my whole career. I spent one miserable year in Baltimore in the booth — the worst year of my life. I see it on the field. I like to feel it, like to be there to look into guys’ eyes on the sideline. That’s just where I’m comfortable calling a game.”
San Diego Chargers
Running back Ryan Mathews was involved in a car accident earlier in the week but was back in camp two days later. The accident does not appear to have had an impact on his play, as he has been carrying his normal workload ever since.
Despite a minor hand injury suffered earlier in the week, first round pick Melvin Ingram appears to be the real deal on the defensive side of the ball, impressing various teammates during drills. Fellow linebacker Jarrett Johnson was quick to offer praise. “How he engages blocks,” Johnson said, “he’s a physical dude. … He’s going to be a legit player in this league.”
Second round pick Kendall Reyes has spent significant time with the first team defensive end spot due to Corey Liuget sitting out with soreness.
Kansas City Chiefs
The defense appears to be sharp and as advertised. Tamba Hali in particular seems to be turning heads in camp.
Dwayne Bowe’s absence has given the Chiefs a chance to feature Jonathan Baldwin at the No. 1 receiver spot. Baldwin’s performance in doing so appears to have lost Bowe some leverage.
The Kansas City Star reports that the Chiefs will join the recent trend of featuring two tight ends in offensive sets. Kevin Boss and Tony Moeaki are expected to get the bulk of those reps.
Cornerback Brandon Flowers suffered a bruised foot sometime during the week. It does not appear to be significant, but the trainers will continue to monitor it.
That’s all I got for now, Nation. I’ll be sure to keep you posted throughout camp of any significant news from behind the enemy lines of the rest of the AFC West.