Justin Reid gives high praise to Chiefs’ rookie cornerbacks

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The departure of Pro Bowl safety Tyrann Mathieu changes the dynamic of the Kansas City Chiefs defense heading into the new season.

The addition of Justin Reid is viewed more as an evolution of the role rather than a replacement, but he’ll still be looked to as a leader as he’ll be surrounded by plenty of young talent. The drafting of highly-touted rookies in the secondary has Kansas City ready to turn the page on a new era for that unit.

Reid spoke with reporters on Wednesday sharing his thoughts on the rookie cornerbacks after spending just a day with them at training camp.

“LJ (L’Jarius Sneed) is essentially the vet in the room at the corner position,” said Reid. “He has done a great job bringing Trent (McDuffie), Joshua (Williams), and all of the rest of the rookie corners and young guys coming through the system and bringing them along and making sure they are getting adjusted to the system. The playbook that we have here is heavy. I’ve played in four different defensive systems, and this is definitely one of the deepest playbooks defensively that we have.

“But the young guys are doing a great job. (They’re) taking it in stride, listening to the older guys, being learners, and not being combative. Being open to coaching, both from coaches and older veterans. They have been coming along well. We’ve been putting a lot on their plate, and they’re up to the challenge for it.”

One of the players who looked up to the challenge during Day 1 of training camp practice was the team’s fourth-round draft pick, Joshua Williams. The former Division II cornerback had one of the defensive plays of the day with a pass breakup against Mecole Hardman. Reid spoke about the things that he’s seen from Williams that make him believe the NFL won’t be too big for the former Fayetteville State Bronco.

“Very technical, very technical with his footwork,” said Reid. “He’s a long guy. You can’t coach length like that. So he’s able to get his hands on big receivers and make guys run around him. And he plays the system. Again, like I said earlier — as long as you play the system, you buy into the program, you don’t go out and do your own thing, good things will always happen to you. The play is gonna come to you, all you’ve got to do is catch the ball.”

Reid will be a vital part of the Chiefs’ revamped secondary featuring so much young talent that needs veteran guidance. He won’t provide the unique intensity of Tyrann Mathieu, but he can surely pass on important experience and wisdom at training camp.

List

Here were the Chiefs' starters on the first day of training camp