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Chiefs open three-day voluntary minicamp without Branden Albert

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 | 8:42 p.m. CDT
The Chiefs started a three day voluntary minicamp Tuesday without newly-signed left tackle Branden Albert. The Chiefs announced that Albert signed his franchise tender deal on Thursday, March 21, 2013, two weeks after placing the franchise tag on him. Albert will make $9.828 million if he plays under the one-year contract, but refused to participate in the minicamp.

KANSAS CITY — Alex Smith threw passes to Dwayne Bowe and Jon Baldwin. Jamaal Charles took handoffs and sprinted through the line of scrimmage. The Kansas City Chiefs' defense did everything it could to stop them short of making the tackle.

The start of a three-day, voluntary minicamp Tuesday could have easily been mistaken for a mid-season practice — with the exception of a few errant passes and some minor confusion.

Even that was expected as the Chiefs under Andy Reid get to know each other, a process that could take several months. But they're at least getting a jump-start with an extra minicamp that is allowed under terms of the collective bargaining agreement to teams that made a coaching change.

"We've had the guys for a couple weeks here in meetings, and now we're able to take it on the field," Reid said. "Is it perfect? No, it's not perfect right now, but it's the first step in the process, and we'll keep working at it right now and get better. There's a good attitude."

Everyone on the roster was accounted for except franchise left tackle Branden Albert, who Reid said has made the decision to stay away from the team during the offseason program.

Even though he's signed his contract, Albert has said he wants a long-term deal, and then took to Twitter to refute the notion that he might move to the right side. Now, the Chiefs are listening to offers as they consider trading Albert ahead of next week's draft.

The Chiefs reportedly are seeking a second-round choice for him.

"I understand the business," Reid said, "And we don't really concentrate on who isn't here. We concentrate on the guys who are here. So I'm excited about that."

The only other player who didn't participate in the workout was tight end Tony Moeaki, who underwent arthroscopic surgeryon his knee this offseason to clean out some residual damage.

Otherwise, it looked just like a typical full-squad workout.

"I don't think any guys are minding this at all. I think it's fair — new coaching staff, new group of guys, that we get the extra minicamp," said Smith, who arrived in Kansas City after an offseason trade that sent two draft choices to the San Francisco 49ers.

"You have to take advantage of when coach is on the field with us."

The Chiefs have spent about eight days slowly implementing Reid's offense, which Smith said bears some resemblance to what he ran in San Francisco. The task the next three days is to go over everything again, only this time translating it to the field — and upping the tempo.

"They're hearing it a second time, digesting it, and now going out at a fast pace — a rapid-fire pace — of calling plays, getting up to the line of scrimmage and executing," Reid said. "Like I said, is it all perfect? No, but we're getting there."

If nothing else, the workout represents a fresh start for the Chiefs.

After going 2-14 last season, and enduring numerous off-the-field issues, team chairman Clark Hunt parted ways with coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli and reworked the front office. Reid was brought in as coach and longtime Packers executive John Dorsey as GM, and they've been working feverishly this offseason to overhaul much of the roster.

So along with holdovers like Bowe and Charles, newcomers such as Smith, cornerback Dunta Robinson and tight end Anthony Fasano were trying to get acclimated to their new teammates.

"Coach Reid is so systematic and so disciplined, and I already feel like Day 1 it's rubbing off on the guys," said defensive tackle Mike DeVito, who spent last season with the Jets. "We're working hard, buying into the philosophy and the program, and that's what it takes to win."


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