KANSAS CITY, Mo. —The Chiefs' first training camp in Missouri in 20 years will look much like last year's in Wisconsin.
Their practice schedule is nearly identical. Coach Todd Haley intends for the Chiefs to be outside for each workout, as they were in the cooler climate up north.
Haley has no plans to make concessions for the heat that will undoubtedly greet the Chiefs today for their arrival at the new summer home in St. Joseph. Their first practice is 1:50 p.m. Friday at Missouri Western State University.
The Chiefs would occasionally over the years lose a player or two temporarily to the heat when they trained in Wisconsin. The greater chance of that in a Missouri summer hasn't deterred Haley.
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"I'm no more concerned about that than I've ever been,'' Haley said. "Players have to take care of themselves. They have to hydrate. They have to hit the cold tub. They have to do the things necessary to get through training camp practices. That's always a difficult task no matter where you are.
"It's what you always preach as a football coach.''
Haley's plan is to alternate days so the Chiefs don't practice twice in a day for two straight days. Their schedule calls for two practices on Saturday, for example, but only one on Sunday.
They'll be back to two-a-days on Monday. That's how they worked in River Falls last year.
Haley also hasn't shifted practice times to allow the Chiefs to work earlier in the mornings or later in the afternoons to account for the extreme heat. On most days when they practice twice, the Chiefs will start at 8:50 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The Chiefs will practice three times at night this summer, including once at Arrowhead Stadium after breaking camp in St. Joe.
"This was a schedule designed for this purpose,'' Haley said. "It's just something myself and the staff is real comfortable with. The one-two, one-two schedule gives you a chance to give some players a chance to recover and to get out of the heat. A lot of thought was put into it to give us the best chance to succeed and at the same time get a lot of work done.''
The Chiefs have the availability of an indoor practice field at training camp for the first time, but Haley doesn't intend to practice there except in case of a thunderstorm. He wants the Chiefs conditioning in the heat.
It's also a nod to the fans making the trip to St. Joseph from Kansas City or elsewhere. Indoor practices will be closed to fans.
"I'm excited about having the option of going indoors,'' Haley said. "When you do have the option, it's a positive thing because we'll always get good work done. I've been places where if you saw rain coming, you knew you weren't going to be able to get things done. It gives you an option in every scenario.
"There will be a lot of firsts for all of us, so we may have to adjust as we go, but I'm just really excited to be close to Kansas City for the fans' sake. The feedback I've had from fans that have come up to me the last couple of months has been one that's been very positive. A lot of people are coming up to training camp. That makes it good for everyone involved, including the players and the coaching staff. It adds to the level of excitement and gives an energy level to the group on days when it may be a little more difficult to get charged up. If you get a crowd out there, it helps you get going.
"The camp looks terrific. They did a phenomenal job making it training camp ready. It looks top of the line to me. We haven't all been there and we haven't gone through a training camp, but from what I can see I believe we should get accomplished all that we need to.''
The Chiefs will have their conditioning test today in Kansas City before leaving for camp. Haley said that, like last year, no player would be allowed to practice unless he passed the test first.
Second-round picks receiver Dexter McCluster and nickel back Javier Arenas signed their contracts, ensuring they will be able to participate when camp begins Friday.
Five of the Chiefs' seven draft picks are under contract. Still unsigned are safety Eric Berry of Tennessee, the first-round pick, and guard Jon Asamoah of Illinois, a third-round selection.
McCluster will be used as the slot receiver when the Chiefs use their three- and four-receiver formations. Arenas is first in line to be the regular nickel back. Both players will be at or near the front of the line of candidates to become the kickoff and punt return specialists.
The Chiefs also signed tight end Leroy Banks. Banks spent some time practicing with the Chiefs during the off-season before being released. He is a rookie from Southern Mississippi.