ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- A daily look at the hot topics coming out of Kansas City Chiefs training camp at Missouri Western State University:
Sean Smith received some of the starter’s snaps at cornerback, sharing them with Ron Parker and Marcus Cooper. Parker and Cooper had been working exclusively as the starters, but Parker had a difficult time in the preseason opener against Cincinnati while Smith played well. Smith intercepted a pass on his first play in the game and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown. “We’re rolling the three guys in there," coach Andy Reid said. “They’re really getting equal opportunity. It’s great competition right now. Smith is coming off a good game. He’s playing good football right now. We’ve got three or four of those guys, and if we can get a fifth one that’s even better." Parker allowed a pair of touchdown passes during a red-zone drill in practice, first to Demetrius Harris and later to Dwayne Bowe.
Ryan Succop's groin injury is threatening to alter the placekicker competition. The Chiefs plan to again rotate the kicks between Succop and rookie Cairo Santos in their next preseason game on Sunday against the Panthers in Carolina. But they are uncertain whether Succop will be available by game time. He has been absent from most of practice in each of the past two days. The Chiefs would like to go to the fourth and final preseason game on Aug. 28 against Green Bay before making a decision on their kicker. But with the first round of roster cuts due Aug. 26, the Chiefs could release one of their kickers before the Packers game.
The Chiefs have yet to replace veteran safety Steve Gregory, who abruptly retired following Saturday’s practice. Reid indicated general manager John Dorsey was looking into possible replacements. The Chiefs are short on experience at the backup safety positions. The three reserves are Jerron McMillian, Malcolm Bronson and Daniel Sorensen. Only McMillian has played in a regular-season NFL game.
Sunday's practice session wasn’t the best for running back Jamaal Charles. He dropped a pass, lost a fumble and took a big hit from linebacker Derrick Johnson all in a period of red-zone plays. But don’t worry, Charles will have better days.
The Chiefs practice next on Monday at 8:15 a.m. CT.