The first day of Kansas City Chiefs training camp is in the books for all the rookies ready to make their mark in the league. The team notably drafted multiple players on defense, emphasizing building around a young core that can grow together.
One of the top names selected was Cincinnati safety Bryan Cook, who is expected to be a future leader on the Chiefs’ defense. Cook was known for his outspoken, take-charge attitude in college and showcased some of those qualities in his first official NFL training camp practice on Saturday.
On defense, S Bryan Cook forced TE Matt Bushman to fumble shortly after he caught a pass from Mahomes. “We always harp on punching the ball out… saw an opportunity,” he said.
Cook added he wished he was able to pick it up but is happy to be practicing good habits.
— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 23, 2022
Cook spoke about the improved experience communicating on the field with his fellow rookies again, including chemistry with first-round pick Trent McDuffie during the post-practice press conference.
“We have a lot of high-level guys, very intelligent guys around me,” said Cook. “I think everything starts with relationships first… Everybody doesn’t reach the same way… So the better I know my teammates, the better I can help their situation so that, on a Sunday, we all can stay tight. So I think that’s the biggest thing, but things are definitely improving for us. I’m definitely excited for the future.”
During his last season at Cincinnati, Cook earned first-team ACC honors with 93 tackles passes, 5.5 for loss, two interceptions, and nine breakups in 14 starts. He shared his early thoughts on working with fellow rookie McDuffie and their growing camaraderie on the field.
“We joke about it all the time,” said Cook. “Because here’s your situation where you’d come from being a nickel to being a corner. I’ve got to help, like, ‘oh, no, you’re not there anymore, you’re over there.’ So keeping me on my toes, too, so I can like learn a whole defense as well and keep everybody in tune. But I love that part, being the safety. Making sure everybody is on the same page and making sure everybody is staying tight, connecting. And communicating is very key, defensive-wise. So it keeps me on my toes and sharp as far as certain things, and it helps [McDuffie] out as well.”
Only one day into training camp, it is evident that the young rookie defensive unit is being prepared to play significant roles in this season’s system. The arrival of veterans to camp should make things interesting as players will push each other for opportunities.