ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — It was impossible to determine an overall winner in Tuesday’s joint practice with the visiting Arizona Cardinals, but the Chiefs obviously had their share of individual successes and failures.
Their biggest victory came late in practice in a 2-minute drill. Jon Baldwin, already one of the stars of training camp, rescued a slightly underthrown pass by quarterback Matt Cassel. The 6-foot-4 Baldwin went up high to snatch the ball away from 5-8 Arizona defensive back Michael Adams, who appeared he would have a certain interception.
“That’s Baldwin,’’ Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said. “That’s what he does. He makes plays. When we give him the chance, he’ll make the play for us.’’
The Chiefs emerged with no apparent injuries, another victory. The members of their ACL club — running back Jamaal Charles, safety Eric Berry and tight end Tony Moeaki — participated without being limited in their number of snaps.
Berry, in fact, took it upon himself to cover Arizona’s premier receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, in one-on-one passing drills.
“I just wanted to go out and just get a taste against one of the best,’’ Berry said. “You want to see where you’re at with one of the best. I thrive off competition. I love a challenge. Why not go out there (against Fitzgerald)? He’s one of the best players in the league.’’
His big grin afterward told the story. Berry not only was effective against Fitzgerald, but he was truly back after missing all but a handful of plays last season because of his knee injury.
“I feel like I did good,’’ Berry said. “I felt like I was playing ball out there.’’
As for the defeats, Cassel committed a turnover when a blocker pushed back into him as he was setting up to make a throw. The ball wound up on the ground for a fumble.
“You’ve got to protect the ball,’’ quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn said. “He was getting ready to throw and had the ball in one hand, and it just popped out.’’
Ricky Stanzi had the turn to be the second-string quarterback and he didn’t have a good day. In his 2-minute drill, one of Stanzi’s passes was dropped by Arizona linebacker Quan Sturdivant in what should have been an easy interception.
Stanzi’s next throw was intercepted by cornerback James Nixon.
In the practice, the Chiefs even had their ties. They didn’t get a touchdown on Cassel’s 2-minute drill, but they did get a field goal, a 52-yarder by Ryan Succop that cleared the crossbar with little room to spare.
“We’ve been working hard in the 2-minute (drill),’’ offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said. “We’ve been improving on it each day we’re out here. The line’s doing a good job protecting, Matt’s making some good reads, and the receivers are coming down with some good catches. We’ve got a long ways to go with it.’’
The teams meet again Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium in the Chiefs’ preseason opener. Both teams will practice again today at Missouri Western, but their workouts will be separate.
The workout wasn’t as intense as many joint practices are. Crennel said he warned the Chiefs about fighting with the Cardinals, who also seemed uninterested in anything but football. There was nothing close to a brawl or even a shoving match.
The teams spent most of the day on two fields, the Chiefs’ offense against the Arizona defense on one and the Cardinals’ offense against the Kansas City defense on the other. Crennel spent much of the day watching the Chiefs on offense, something unusual for him since he’s also the defensive coordinator.
Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt was with the Arizona offense and the Kansas City defense, so Crennel went over to the other field to help keep peace, if needed, there.
“Having a head coach on each field was probably needed,’’ he said.
The teams ran the same drills they normally would have had they practiced separately.
“I think we got a lot out of it,’’ Daboll said. “Good competition. Overall, we had a good work day.’’
Crennel said: “I thought it was good work. We worked hard against each other and they were protective of each other, also. We went through several situations, and I thought it was good.’’