By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
Carlos Dunlap is a veteran defensive end, entering his 13th season in the NFL and his first in Kansas City after the team signed him last week.
He reported to training camp for the first time Thursday, though he didn’t do much on the field as he’s being brought up to speed.
Dunlap, who owns 96 career sacks, says there were several teams interested in him, but Kansas City’s recent success was an appeal.
“I’ve done a lot of football,” said Dunlap, who spent 10 seasons in Cincinnati and nearly two seasons in Seattle. “One of the things I haven’t done is, I haven’t gotten over 100 sacks (in my career), I haven’t won a playoff game and I haven’t won a Super Bowl. Those are things I would like to do at this point in my career.”
“I’m in hot pursuit and I feel like this team gives me a great opportunity, the best opportunity to do it.”
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo says Dunlap’s physical length, along with his experience, adds a nice wrinkle.
“It’s another veteran who’s been through the thick of things,” Spagnuolo said. “Short of that, I’ve obviously seen him play. It’s really going to be us figuring out what he can do and where to put him.”
Dunlap talked about Kansas City being the right fit for him, as he signed a one-year, eight-million dollar deal. Another factor in the decision, Dunlap says, was the strength of the Chiefs’ 2022 schedule.
Kansas City will play 12 games this year against an opponent that made the playoffs in 2021. Another intriguing part of the schedule, at least for Dunlap, is the two games against Denver.
The Broncos didn’t make the playoffs last year, but Dunlap’s former teammate, a guy named Russel Wilson, has taken the reigns at quarterback in Denver.
Dunlap says there’s no animosity between he and Russell.
“I have a job to do just the same as (Wilson) does,” Dunlap remarked. “There’s a lot of things on that schedule that I liked that played into my decision as well.”
Receivers Daurice Fountain and Gary Jennings did not practice Thursday. Fountain has a groin injury and Jennings is concussed. Jody Forston sat out again due to a strained quad.
Offensive lineman Prince Tega Wanogho was back on the field for the first time at camp Thursday after being out with a leg injury. Rashad Fenton and Lucas Niang are still on the injured list.
Skyy’s the limit
Rookie receiver Skyy Moore has gotten comfortable with the Chiefs offense right from the get-go at training camp.
He’s consistently worked with the first-team offense and has made eye popping plays several times, including a couple of nice catches Thursday.
Moore says he’s intrigued by the scheme Eric Bieniemy runs.
“It’s starting to click,” Moore said. “I feel like everything in this offense is counters. We run this play, and this play is a counter to that play. So, once you get the basics of everything, it starts to click a whole lot faster.”
Moore was a second-round draft pick out of Western Michigan. He’s one of several new receivers Patrick Mahomes will look to throw to this season.
Moore is also a potential candidate to return punts this season, along with fellow receiver Mecole Hardman. Moore also worked out with Mahomes in the offseason Texas.
“That was another opportunity for me to see what he likes and see how he operates,” Moore said of Mahomes. “It was very beneficial to go into his work space. I went to Dallas. That’s where he’s from.”
Offensive line – not so young anymore
The Chiefs’ clear priority before the 2021 season was to reload at offensive line after the Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay.
Reload they did, acquiring now three-time Pro Bowler Orlando Brown at left tackle, and drafting Creed Humphrey (center) and Trey Smith (right guard) last year. They also added guard Joe Thuney in free agency.
Right tackle Andrew Wylie is entering his fifth season with the Chiefs, and has by now solidly earned his starting role. With a group that’s no longer not so new, Wylie has high expectations for the offensive line this season.
“We have a lot of the same guys in the room,” he said. “We’re expected to go out there and kick a lot of ass this year. We have a great O-line.”
The NFL preseason officially gets underway Thursday night with the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio between Las Vegas and Jacksonville at 7 p.m. central.
The Chiefs will play at Chicago on August 13 to kick off their preseason. Spagnuolo says there are a few benefits to playing an actual game versus the reps in training camp.
“There’s a little bit more pressure,” Spags said. “There’s people watching. They know every other team has an eyeball on them. Any time we can put pressure on these guys, in my opinion, is a good thing.”
Kansas City will also host Washington on August 20 and Green Bay on August 25 this preseason.
The Chiefs will rest Friday and will practice every day from Saturday through Tuesday of next week.
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