Ma­homes will get chance to start 2nd half of opener

1st-round pick from Texas Tech is part of ro­ta­tion at QB.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - Contributing Writer By Dave Skretta Ad­di­tional ma­te­rial from The Associated Press.

It’s only been a few years since Johnny Manziel was on a col­lege foot­ball side- line, but he could be back sooner rather than later — this time, as a coach.

Manziel said at the In­ter­na­tional Foot­ball Bet­ting Con­fer­ence in Puerto Rico that he would con­sider coach­ing col­lege foot­ball if his play­ing ca­reer is in­deed over. The for­mer Texas A&M star hasn’t played since the Cleve­land Browns re­leased him

It has been years since the Kansas City Chiefs gave their fans any rea­son to stick around af­ter half­time of their pre­sea­son opener, when the starters and back­ups gen­er­ally take a seat.

That will change Fri­day night.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid plans to give each of his quar- ter­backs a full quar­ter against the San Fran­cisco 49ers. That means Alex Smith will start and vet­eran backup Tyler Bray will get the sec­ond quar­ter, while first-round draft pick Pa­trick Ma­homes II will start the sec­ond half.

It’s ar­guably the most an­tic­i­pated pre­sea­son de­but by a Chiefs rookie since 1983, which also was the last time Kansas City spent a first-round draft pick on a quar­ter­back.

Asked what he wants to see out of his young sig­nal caller, Reid replied: “I’d tell you this with ev­ery­one: ex­e­cute. Obvi- ously the quar­ter­backs have a lit­tle more re­spon­si­bil­ity with all the calls and so on, but the main thing is to ex­e­cute.”

Reid said most of the starters would play the first quar- ter along­side Smith, while the back­ups on the depth chart this week will have Bray un­der af­ter the 2015 sea­son amid a host of off-field prob­lems.

“I’d do some­thing in­volved with sports. I can’t get away from it,” Manziel said. “I’ve had to ask my­self that a lit­tle bit as of late over the past year, but at the same time I’d want to be in­volved in sports in some way, whether it’s coach­ing, whether it’s do­ing some­thing like that. So I think that’d be my route.”

Asked which level he’d like to coach, Manziel said, “Prob­a­bly col­lege.”

The 24-year-old coached at an Elite 11 quar­ter­backs cen­ter. So what­ever the out­come for Ma­homes is Fri­day night, it must be ex­am­ined through the prism of work- ing with third-team play­ers.

Like­wise, it will al­most cer­tainly come against the sec- ond- and third-team 49ers de­fense.

That’s one rea­son Reid was ret­i­cent Tues­day fol­low­ing the Chiefs’ fi­nal open prac­tice of the week to put too much stock in a sin­gle pre­sea­son game. He in­stead will lump the per­for­mances in a game set­ting along with what he’s seen out of prac­tice and the meeting rooms, and be­gin de­lib­er­at­ing with his coach­ing staff on what will ul­ti­mately com­prise his 53-man ros­ter.

With changes to the cut- down rules, he’ll also have camp in Mi­ami in February.

The for­mer Heis­man Tro­phy win­ner also said he’s weigh­ing his op­tions with the Canadian Foot­ball League.

In two sea­sons with the Browns, Manziel posted a 57.8 per­cent com­ple­tion per- cen­t­age to go with seven touch­downs and seven in­ter­cep­tions. He started eight games in those sea­sons, go­ing 2-6. He played in seven other games for the Browns. three more games to ex­am­ine.

“The first pre­sea­son game, ev­ery­one has an op­por­tu­nity to play. Af­ter that, it’s not guar- an­teed,” Reid said. “That kind of stuff has never changed. The thing you don’t want to do is give an­other team, if possi- ble, a good player. You want to make sure you do as thor­ough eval­u­a­tion as you can.”

Sev­eral starters are also un­likely to play be­cause of in­juries, and at least one of them could force the Chiefs to make a ros­ter move ahead of their pre­sea­son opener.

Reid in­di­cated kicker Cairo San­tos could be out while nurs- ing a groin in­jury.

Most of the other in­jury woes have oc­curred on de­fense.

Rookie line­man Tanoh Kpas- sagnon was the lat­est to go down with what Reid called shin splints. De­fen­sive Ben­nie Lo­gan has al­ready been out with a knee in­jury, while sec­ond-year pro Chris Jones re­mains on the phys­i­cally un­able to per­form list fol­low­ing off­sea­son knee surgery.

De­fen­sive tackle Roy Miller, signed last week, con­tin­ues to work his way back from a torn Achilles ten­don sus­tained last Oc­to­ber. He ha s yet to prac­tice.

In the sec­ondary, star safety Eric Berry (heel) and cor­ner­backs De’Vante Bausby (an­kle) and Ja­coby Glenn (con­cus­sion) are out, as are lineback­ers Tamba Hali and Dadi Ni­co­las with knee in­juries. look­ing for­ward to getting back on the field against an op­po­nent.”

Fore­man, a third-round pick from Texas City, fig­ures he’ll have a lot of rel­a­tives and friends watch­ing the na­tion­ally tele­vised game on the NFL Net­work.

“I’m pretty sure ev­ery­body in Texas City (and) ev­ery fan of mine from UT,” he said. “Ev­ery­body wants to see me play and see the Tex­ans play, so I want to give a good show.

“I want to make sure I’m good with all my as­sign­ments. The big­gest thing I want to do is to pro­tect the ball. I’m go­ing to play hard and put ev­ery­thing I can on the film. Run hard and make some ex­plo­sive plays for my team, and have fun with it.”

Fore­man wants to soak up the at­mos­phere in Char- lotte and take ad­van­tage of his op­por­tu­nity.

“I al­ways do,” he said. “That’s one of my things. I’m go­ing to go out there, look around and soak it in and com­pete as best I can.”

Fore­man has worked hard in camp and has made re­mark­able progress since he re­ported for the off­sea­son pro­gram. Against the Pan- thers, he wants to see how he mea­sures up against NFL com­pe­ti­tion.

Fore­man was asked what he hopes to learn about him- self at Carolina.

“I guess how good I am in the NFL, play­ing against NFL tal­ent,” he said.

As a ju­nior at Texas, Fore- man joined Ricky Wil­liams as the only Longhorns to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a sea­son. Now he’s caught in a traf­fic jam at run­ning back, and pre­sea­son games are essen­tial to earn­ing play­ing time in the reg­u­lar sea­son.

“I’m learn­ing the of­fense, learn­ing how to be a pro,” he said. “I played in a shot­gun of­fense in col­lege, and getting back in the I-for­ma­tion, I’m getting the feel of it again and getting com­fort­able with it.

“I think my game is start­ing to grow a lit­tle as far as me getting more com­fort- able with the of­fense, getting my reps and play­ing faster.”

Dur­ing the early part of camp, Fore­man strug­gled in blitz pickup and catch- ing the ball. He’s im­proved in both ar­eas, es­pe­cially as a re­ceiver. He didn’t have to do much block­ing and catch­ing for the Longhorns be­cause he was so dom­i­nant as a run­ner.

“We work on it ev­ery day, and I’ve got­ten a lot bet- ter,” he said. “I feel like my coaches know I’m grow­ing and getting bet­ter. That’s the big­gest thing: I never set­tle, and I want to get bet­ter ev­ery day.

“It feels great. I want them to be con­fi­dent in me when I’m the field. I want them to know I’m go­ing to work hard and give them ev­ery­thing I’ve got.”

La­mar Miller, the start­ing run­ning back, has be­come a men­tor to Fore­man. Miller has been im­pressed with Fore­man’s im­prove­ment. What stands out to Miller is how de­ci­sive Fore­man is when he gets the ball. He sees a hole and takes off, with no wasted mo­tion.

“It’s in­stinc­tive,” Fore­man said of that knack, which all the best backs have. “I’m ver y ap­pre­cia­tive of the praise I’ve got­ten.

“Hon­estly, I watch film ev­ery day and try to find out where I made my mis­takes and try to do bet­ter the next day. I lis­ten to my coaches and watch play­ers like La­mar and (Al­fred) Blue and the other guys when they’re on the field, and I learn from them.

“I’m never go­ing to stop work­ing hard and learn­ing.”

Notes: Coach Bill O’Brien dis­closed what he ex­pects from his three quar­ter­backs — Tom Sav­age, De­shaun Wat­son and Bran­don Wee­den — in the first pre­sea­son game.

“Tom’s go i ng to start the game,” O’Brien said. “De­shaun a nd Bran­don will play.”

As for how much the quar­ter­backs will play, O’Brien said, “You have no idea­how the game’s go­ing to play out. How long is this drive? How long is that drive? You have to play it by ear rel­a­tive to how the game goes.”

Sav­age, who has taken ev­ery snap with the first team dur­ing train­ing camp, needs all the rep­e­ti­tions he can get be­cause he’s started only two games in his first three sea­sons.

“Good op­er­a­tion of the of­fense,” O’Brien said of what he wants to see. “Take care of the foot­ball. Getting in and out of the hud­dle quickly. From all threeof them, just a clean game, a clean op­er­a­tion. Ev­ery­body on the same page, and see if we can score some points.”

O’Brien said hav­ing Sav­age and Wee­den has been good for Wat­son’s de­vel­op­ment.

“Ab­so­lutely,” he said. “When De­shaun has a ques­tion, (they) can help him, not just the coach. That’s what th­ese guys do. Tom and Bran­don have done a re­ally good job with De­shaun of kind of giv­ing him their own in­sight into the of­fense, which is good to see.”

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