KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Between hiring a new general manager and head coach and acquiring several new players, including a starting quarterback, the Chiefs have spent the past few months trying to distance themselves from a disastrous 2012 season.
The process hits another milestone Friday with the start of a three-day minicamp at the Chiefs’ Truman Sports Complex practice facility.
These will be the Chiefs’ first practices with Andy Reid as head coach, John Dorsey as general manager and Alex Smith as starting quarterback. This week, they will begin to get an idea of whether this creation is any better than the last one.
“Up until this point, you could only look at the team on paper, basically,” said Smith, acquired in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers. “You see potential there, but from here on out it’s about us putting in the work and coming together, getting out here on the field, executing plays. That’s what it’s going to come down to.
“You have to treat every day like a sprint, work as hard as you can to get better each and every day and keep stacking days together.”
Smith is just one of several new offensive players; the list also includes tight end Anthony Fasano and wide receiver Donnie Avery.
The changes are just as dramatic on defense. The Chiefs’ new defensive coordinator is Bob Sutton, who coached the past 13 seasons for the New York Jets. New players include defensive end Mike DeVito and defensive backs Dunta Robinson and Sean Smith.
“Everything is different: new coaching staff, new regime, new system, new players,” cornerback Brandon Flowers said. “It’s good to put names to faces, coming out here just starting this chemistry and getting this thing turned around on the right path.
“The new coordinator came from a place that played great defense. He’s going to make sure we know everything that we need to know to be the top defense that we need to be in order to win games. I’m looking forward to it. He seems like a great guy, from meeting him. I’m looking forward to it.”
Participation in this week’s sessions is technically voluntary. The Chiefs’ mandatory minicamp will be held in June.
But attendance should be strong. Every player Chiefs player except besides left tackle Branden Albert participated in the conditioning portion of the program the past two weeks.
Albert, as the Chiefs’ franchise player, is unhappy with his situation. The Chiefs are reportedly trying to trade him.
Here are some things to look for this week:
• Health issues
The Chiefs had several players finish the 2012 season on injured reserve, and there could be other lingering problems. Perhaps the most interesting case is center Rodney Hudson. He broke his leg in a September game against New Orleans, ending his season. • Where’s McCluster?
Reid has sounded intrigued by the possibilities provided by Dexter McCluster. He has talked about using McCluster in a variety of spots but hasn’t been specific about his plans. Can Reid get more from McCluster than previous coaches were able to?