A trio of big-name Chiefs defensive players have been staying away from offseason workouts. They’ve been joined by another.
Linebacker Dee Ford, a pass rusher who had 10 sacks last year and is eligible for a new contract, has been away. On Thursday, coach Andy Reid was asked about his absence. He seemed to be a little irritated about the subject.
“It’s a voluntary camp,” Reid said. “Let me tell you how I work on this whole thing about guys not being here. I can allow [the media] out here one time. If I get pummeled on who’s here and who’s not here, we’ll just do the one. We come out here, we give you every day that you can talk to these guys, so don’t worry about all of that. It’s a voluntary camp and that’s how I’m going to answer it every time you ask.”
It very well may be that Reid was irritated less about the question than he is about the fact that players are absent. Voluntary or not, coaches want their players to participate — especially since the players who play for their competitors are doing just that.
Complicating matters for any coach with players who opt not to attend optional workouts is that any expression of disapproval or frustration with the absence runs afoul of the labor deal. So while it’s a topic that likely is at the forefront of Reid’s mind, Reid doesn’t want the topic to ever be on his tongue.