Aug. 1, 2014; St. Joseph, MO; Chiefs defensive back Steve Gregory (47) during Friday’s training camp practice. Credit: Nick Jacobs, TWC SportsChannel.
ST. JOSESPH, Mo. – The Chiefs didn’t waste time getting recently signed defensive back Steve Gregory on the field.
Gregory, who signed a one-year deal Thursday, participated in Friday’s practice wearing jersey No. 47.
The ninth-year pro, who spent the past two seasons with the New England Patriots, was set to sign with another team when the Chiefs called.
“I’ve been trying to stay in shape all summer just waiting for my number to be called,” Gregory said after Friday’s practice. “I was happy that the Chiefs did call me, really excited to be here, be a part of this organization. They have a lot of great things going on here and I am just really pumped to be here.”
The Chiefs had a clear need for depth at safety given recent injuries to strong safety Eric Berry (right heel) and free safety Sanders Commings, who underwent right ankle surgery Thursday. Commings also suffered a fractured fibula.
Prior to Gregory’s signing, the Chiefs had projected starting free safety Husain Abdullah, followed by third-year pro Jerron McMillian, second-year pro Malcolm Bronson and rookie Daniel Sorensen.
Gregory played collegiately at Syracuse and spent six seasons with the San Diego Chargers before landing with the Patriots.
He offers experience and veteran leadership to a young safety corps.
“He’s a guy that can take command back there,” defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. “He’s done that in the past in his career, he’s played some different positons, he was a good football player at Syracuse, and we’re excited to have him.”
Sutton said the biggest challenge for Gregory is learning the terminology, and Gregory agreed.
“I am not really too familiar with his defense,” Gregory said of Sutton’s scheme, “but defenses are defenses to some point. There are concepts and rules within every coverage and concept. I will just have to take it one day at a time, one play at a time and just learn everything as fast as possible. I think I will be able to do that relatively quick.”
Gregory has appeared in 111 games with 54 career starts. He has 278 total tackles (79 assists), three sacks, seven interceptions, four fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown.
His transition to the Chiefs has been easy so far.
“I’ve only been here a day but it’s a good atmosphere,” Gregory said. “The coaching staff has been great, the whole organization has approached me really with open arms and welcoming. So it’s exciting to be here.”
Fisher ready for preseason
Starting left tackle Eric Fisher has participated in training camp practices, notably the 11-on-11 drills in full pads where there’s contact.
While he hasn’t participated in one-on-one drill of offensive linemen against defensive linemen, Fisher said he’s feeling good and his shoulder is fine.
More importantly, Fisher said he’ll be available for the first preseason game on Aug. 7 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
“As of now,” Fisher said, “I’m ready to go. Like I said, I’m going to do what I’m told but I think I’m ready to go.”
Still, don’t look away too long from the playing field if Fisher suits up.
It’s rare to see starters see significant time in preseason action, with most resting after the first series, outside of the third preseason game.
Odd question at training camp
Reporter to second-year running back Knile Davis: “Fantasy football season is coming. Are you drafting yourself?”
Davis’ response is perfect.
“I don’t really do fantasy,” he said. “So, I don’t know how it works.”