While the offense was having trouble getting lined up at times, with botched snaps and handoffs a regular occurrence in practice, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton has his guys flying around all over the place. What was once the Romeo Crennel bend-but-don't-break approach for the Chiefs defense has changed to attacking the offense on every snap, every play and if that means sending seven players at the quarterback in the middle of May, then that's what Sutton and his unit are going to do.
"It's good to see the energy that they have and that they bring to practice," Reid said of his defense.
Of course, when physical play is outlawed and bodily contact infrequent under OTA rules, it's really not an even playing field for the offense vs. defense. When a defense is going aggressively after the passer, it needs to show the ability to cover receivers and they have to be able to do it in man-to-man press coverage, right on the line of scrimmage.
That's been a real change for the Chiefs' cornerbacks - holdover Brandon Flowers and new additions in Dunta Robinson and Sean Smith. But they've taken the opportunity and right now, the battles between defensive backs and receivers may be the most heated in these offseason practices in Kansas City.
"Coverage-wise, I think they're doing a great job with that," said Reid.
What has Sutton and his staff excited is the players' ability to take what is being covered in the meeting rooms out to the field and making it work.
"There are a lot of moving parts in this defense and you have to make sure what you are doing," said strong safety Eric Berry. "The fun part is that we are grasping it. Right now we are getting it, they are teaching it very well. We are going through it on the board in the classroom, watching tape, we come out here and walk through it and then we come out and run it on the field (during practice). We are picking it up pretty good."
The defense that Sutton is installing is very different than the 3-4 scheme the Chiefs played for the past two seasons under Crennel. It's not just different in approach, but different in terminology.
"There are things we do that have different names than they did last year," said defensive end Tyson Jackson. "They are completely different, and sometimes you've got to stop for a second and make sure you know what you are supposed to do.
"But I really sense that everybody is getting the idea and catching on. I know we are playing fast and aggressive."
Fast and aggressive is what Reid is looking for from Sutton and the defense.
"That is absolutely the kind of defense you want," said Reid. "You win games in this league on defense; I understand that. I know the confusion it can present to offenses. He has good players to do it with and he's getting his plan in place. I think Bob and his staff are doing a nice job and Dorse (General manager John Dorsey) has added a few guys into the mix there that I think make good competition."
The defense has also started to get a bit mouthy, as they enjoyed what was an overall dominance of the offense in early practices. The defensive backs especially, seemed to be playing every snap like it was a real game and reacting to positive plays with enthusiasm.
"They're challenging each other and talking a little bit," said Reid. "That's all healthy, and that's how you get better."
Don't pencil in a starting offensive line just yet for the 2013 Chiefs. While coach Andy Reid is throwing the same five guys out there as the first unit, there are a lot of changes being made during OTA sessions and there's no question that the focus is on who will play left guard. Jeff Allen finished the season there as the starter as a rookie and had a tough year. Allen is with the first group, but some of his snaps have being going to second-year tackle Donald Stephenson and veteran guard/tackle Geoff Schwartz. Reid says he's going to start the five best players. The rest of the group appears set with Branden Albert at left tackle, Rodney Hudson at center, Jon Asamoah at right guard and No. 1 draft choice Eric Fisher at right tackle.
"We've got some flexibility," said Reid. "You need all those guys. That seems like a close-knit group and they've welcomed the new guys in. The guys that are in there are doing a decent job."
One of the few open spots among the first 22 on the Chiefs' depth chart is at MIKE linebacker, playing next to Pro Bowl inside linebacker Derrick Johnson. Veteran Akeem Jordan has come in as a free agent from the Eagles and it's a competition with fourth-round draft choice Nico Johnson. The rookie from Alabama has found plenty of help from Johnson.
"Derrick tells me all the time that he's been in this situation before, so he's just trying to keep me and the other linebackers motivated to get better every day and understand that you're going to make mistakes, but just to keep looking forward," said Johnson. "I want to go out and do my best and show him that I'm willing to work to earn whatever I'm given."
No. 1 draft choice Eric Fisher has been at right tackle now for a rookie minicamp and about a half-dozen practices. After an adjustment period, Fisher says it's all starting to feel natural to him to be away from the left side where he played for the final three seasons at Central Michigan.
"It's becoming more natural," said Fisher. "It's starting to set in. I think the biggest thing is the muscles in the leg. Obviously you have to use different feet and in the stagger (stance) I've been in the left-sided stagger for the last three years. I think my muscles need a little bit of an adjustment and I think I can already feel a change in the muscles. Every day it's just going to come along more and more."
"It's high energy, fast paced. There's never a dull moment out here; it's non-stop for sure. It's a new offense and we have to catch up and make up as much ground as fast as we can."—Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith on the Kansas City offense.
A closer look at the Chiefs' picks:
Round 1/1 - Eric Fisher, T, 6-7, 306, Central Michigan
The Kansas City decision-makers fell in love with more than just the physical tools Fisher displayed over the last four years. They love his personality, intelligence, versatility and work ethic. Whether it's at left or right tackle, Fisher provides an upgrade at the position.
Round 3/63 - Travis Kelce, TE, 6-5, 260, Cincinnati
The former high school quarterback is just developing as a tight end, but he can catch and he can block well enough to get plenty of snaps in coach Andy Reid's offense. The Chiefs say they aren't concerned about his 2010 suspension for a positive drug test.
Round 3/96 - Knile Davis, RB, 5-10, 227, Arkansas
It was three years ago that Davis had a huge season with the Razorbacks, running for 1,322 yards at 6.5 yards per run. But he missed the 2011 season with a dislocated ankle and developed fumbling problems last year. Reid thinks the Chiefs can cure him of that problem.
Round 4/99 - Nico Johnson, ILB, 6-2, 249, Alabama
One of the leaders of the Crimson Tide's defense in their back-to-back national championships, Johnson will have the opportunity to see a lot of playing time in the Chiefs' base defense next to Pro Bowler Derrick Johnson.
Round 5/134 - Sanders Commings, CB, 6-0, 223, Georgia
Is he a cornerback, or is he a free safety? That's the question that ultimately comes up with Commings because of his size and physical skills. The Chiefs need an upgrade at the position and Commings may get a chance to move out of a crowded field on the corner.
Round 6/170 - Eric Kush, C, 6-4, 313, California (Pa.)
Calling him a sleeper pick, Reid said the Chiefs liked the small-school Kush because he has nimble feet, size and plays with toughness. For the Vulcans, he played some at left tackle, but the Chiefs see him as a center.
Round 6/204 - Braden Wilson, FB, 6-2, 218, Kansas State
Reid thought Wilson was the best blocking fullback in this year's draft class. That's pretty much all he did at K-State, touching the ball just 39 times in 51 games for the Wildcats.
Round 7/207 - Mike Catapano, OLB, 6-4, 270, Princeton
He was the Ivy League defensive player of the year in 2012 with a dozen sacks and 17 sacks in his career with the Tigers as a defensive end. Playing the 3-4, the Chiefs plan to move Catapano to outside linebacker, where he'll get the chance to back up Pro Bowler Tamba Hali.
T Branden Albert (tendered at $9.828 million; signed tender March 21).
CB Travis Daniels has likely played out the string on his role as a reserve defensive back with the Chiefs. Daniels no longer has the speed or quickness to play the corner.
S Abram Elam jumped in and helped out with depth at safety last year when free safety starter Kendrick Lewis had injury problems. If he stays, it will be at the Chiefs' price.
RB Peyton Hillis landed in Kansas City last year and figured to get plenty of opportunities as a power option to Jamaal Charles' speed. But Hillis never got going, stopped first by a high ankle sprain in Week 3 and then he couldn't get out of the blocks. It's hard to see him coming back since he doesn't participate in the kicking game.
G Russ Hochstein joined the roster when the Chiefs lost center Rodney Hudson in Week 3. He provided the most veteran depth on the team, but there are dozens of Hochstein-like players available every offseason.
G Ryan Lilja had a remarkable 2012 season, moving from left guard to center after starter Rodney Hudson was lost in the third game. Lilja battled injuries all season and said in early January that he planned to retire.
TE Jake O'Connell has survived four years with the Chiefs despite making marginal contributions as a receiver, blocker or special teams performer. He does not figure to return.
LB Brandon Siler was only a special teams performer until Jovan Belcher's suicide. That's when Siler stepped into the starting lineup in what was largely only a first-down role as a run stopper. If he returns it will be at the Chiefs' price.
DT Shaun Smith returned to the Chiefs halfway through the 2012 season and arrived in less than top condition. It's hard to see him returning.
LB Leon Williams worked on special teams with no defensive snaps. Limited potential makes his chances to stay in Kansas City very limited.
(not tendered offers)
DB Kyle McCarthy (not tendered as ERFA).
TE Martin Rucker (not tendered as RFA) was injured in OTA workouts in May and never saw the field. It's doubtful there will be much effort by the Chiefs to retain his services.
RB Knile Davis (3/96): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
CB Sanford Commings (5/134): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
C Eric Kush (6/170): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
FB Braden Wilson (6/204): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
LB Mike Catapano (7/207): 4 yrs, terms unknown.
T Branden Albert: FFA; $9.828M/1 yr.
WR Dwayne Bowe: Potential UFA; $56M/5 yrs, $15M SB/$26M guaranteed.
P Dustin Colquitt: Potential UFA; $18.75M/5 yrs, $8.9M guaranteed.
LS Thomas Gafford: UFA; $715,000/1 yr.
LB Edgar Jones: UFA; terms unknown.
S Husain Abdullah: FA; $715,000/1 yr.
WR Donnie Avery: UFA Colts; $8.55M/3 yrs, $2.25M SB/$2.55M guaranteed.
QB Chase Daniel: UFA Saints; $10M/3 yrs, $3M SB/$4.8M guaranteed.
S Quintin Demps: UFA Texans; terms unknown.
LB Zac Diles: UFA Titans; 1 yr, terms unknown.
DE Mike DeVito: UFA Jets; $12.6M/3 yrs, $6.2M guaranteed.
TE Anthony Fasano: UFA Dolphins; $16M/4 yrs, $4.5M guaranteed.
WR Mardy Gilyard: FA; $555,000/1 yr.
LB Akeem Jordan: UFA Eagles; 1 yr, terms unknown.
LB Orie Lemon: Not tendered as ERFA by Cowboys; 1 yr, terms unknown.
DT Daniel Muir: FA; $715,000/1 yr.
CB Dunta Robinson: FA Falcons; $15M/3 yrs, $3M SB/$3.95M guaranteed.
G/T Geoff Schwartz: UFA Vikings; $630,000/1 yr.
QB Alex Smith (trade).
CB Sean Smith: UFA Dolphins; $18M/3 yrs, $12M guaranteed.
LB Frank Zombo: Not tendered as RFA by Packers; terms unknown.
TE Kevin Boss (failed physical).
WR Steve Breaston (released).
QB Matt Cassel (released).
FB Patrick DiMarco (released).
DE Glenn Dorsey: UFA 49ers; $6M/2 yrs, $2.285M SB.
LB Cory Greenwood (released).
TE Steve Maneri: Not tendered as ERFA/Bears; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
G Bryan Mattison (released).
DE Ropati Pitoitua: UFA Titans; terms unknown.
QB Brady Quinn: UFA Seahawks; terms unknown.
G/C Rich Ranglin (released/non-football injury).
LB Andy Studebaker (released).
QB Alex Tanney (released).
T Eric Winston (released).