SB LVIII Team Pool Reports from Vegas. Baby

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes tries to make a throw as his is hit by Bills Matt Milano.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes tries to make a throw as his is hit by Bills Matt Milano.

Feb. 7, 2024

By Peter King, NBC Sports

Pro Football Writers of America

HENDERSON, Nev. – Coach Andy Reid put AFC champion Kansas City through a 1-hour, 16-minute workout Wednesday afternoon at the Raiders’ Intermountain Health and Performance Center, calling it a “mental day, a good polish day” as the team ramped up preparation with its second full practice of the week for Super Bowl LVIII.

After two cold and rainy days in the Las Vegas area to open the week, Kansas City practiced outside with no pads or helmets (except for the three quarterbacks, who wore helmets) on a windy, mostly sunny 55-degree day at the Raiders’ pristine facility.

Teams often view Wednesdays as a heavy work day, but Reid has lightened the load on his players in the last few Wednesdays. Most players were in sweatpants and jerseys. Tight end Travis Kelce treated it like a mid-summer workout, with shorts and jersey and bright yellow gloves.

 “This is a normal Wednesday for the latter quarter of the season,” Reid said as his players left the grass practice field. “It’s a lot of mental work. Recognition, going through the plays, formations. We just cut back on the speed of it. We came out on Monday, and we were in full pads. Then yesterday we did just a quick get out of the hotel and go through more reps with the plays. Slow pace. Then today, we did this part.”

 Patrick Mahomes looked sharp with the first-team offense in about 18 minutes against the Kansas City scout-team defense.

 All of Kansas City’s roster was available, but as expected, Nick Allegretti manned the left guard spot in place of Joe Thuney, who has been out with a pectoral injury. Reid said it looks like Allegretti, 27, will get the start against the Niners’ formidable defensive front on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium. Allegretti started the AFC title game at left guard with Thuney idled.

 “I would probably bet towards Allegretti playing,” Reid said. “For Joe [Thuney], it’s a strength thing. Right now, it’s not strong enough.”

 Reid acknowledged how odd it is to be practicing at the facility of Kansas City’s arch-rival. But he lavished praise on the 135,000-square-foot facility with a huge adjoining field house. “They did this the right way,” Reid said. “It’s roomy. They’re not going to outgrow it in a year or two.

 “I never thought I’d be practicing here. I’m not sure that they’re the happiest about it. We’re trying to take as good a care of it as we possibly can. We respect what they’ve got here. This is beautiful.”

 The CBS crew, led by Jim Nantz and Tony Romo, was on hand to watch the workout.

 The AFC Champs will conduct their third practice of the week at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the same scheduled time as Wednesday’s workout.

San Francisco 49ers Practice

Feb. 7, 2024

By Nicki Jhabvala, The Washington Post

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The goal is to find normalcy in a chaotic week, and the San Francisco 49ers found a semblance of that Wednesday.

In their first pre-Super Bowl workout, the 49ers practiced for roughly 90 minutes on the practice fields at UNLV’s Fertita Football Complex.'

“I’m glad to finally get out here,” Coach Kyle Shanahan said. “We got here Sunday, but it feels like we’ve already been out here a week.”

Players had off Tuesday, and Monday was inundated with media, so Wednesday was the first day of the week that resembled San Francisco’s usual game weeks.

After an early team meeting, the 49ers had a walkthrough at UNLV before transitioning to their non-padded workout.

Linebacker Fred Warner broke the huddle and players scattered for individual warmups and then positional drills. They followed with a team period that lasted about 25 minutes, a brief special-teams period for the field-goal unit and a final team period to close.

Although the rain finally subsided and gave way to sun and temperatures around 55 degrees, the wind reached 0-15 mph. “Usually you deal with it (the wind) because you’re going to play with it on Sunday,” Shanahan said. “But we know we’re not, so we made sure the quarterback went with the wind all day so it wasn’t a problem for him.”

Tight end George Kittle (toe), defensive end Arik Armstead (knee/foot), cornerback Ambry Thomas (ankle) and linebacker Oren Burks (shoulder) were all limited in Wednesday’s workout. Defensive tackle Kalia Davis (ankle), whose practice window to return from injured reserve was opened two weeks ago, was a full participant. Tackle Trent Williams received his usual Wednesday veteran rest day and observed but did not practice.

Although the 49ers reportedly had concerns about the softness of the practice fields at UNLV, which have a layer of natural grass on top of artificial turf, Shanahan said the setup “is what it is” and “we were all right.”

His bigger priority was ensuring his team was focused.

Shanahan said he’s pleased with how his players have handled the week so far and how they practiced Wednesday.

“Just want to keep sharpening our axe,” he said.

Striking that balance to ensure players are fresh but well-prepared 20 weeks into the season can be challenging, especially with the altered schedule of the postseason.

The 49ers put in their game plan last week and made some adjustments over the weekend before traveling to Vegas. They have two more practices left in the week — Thursday’s workout will be their most intense and Friday will be more of a walkthrough — before they face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

“You try to keep everything the same,” Shanahan said. “It was good to get back in the groove.”



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