KANSAS CITY, Mo. – One of the pleasant developments of rookie camp from the Kansas City Chiefs’ perspective was quarterback Aaron Murray, the fifth-round draft pick from Georgia. Murray was less a standout for his play than his availability a mere six months after his Nov. 25 surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left knee.
The Chiefs had two other quarterbacks at the rookie camp, but neither is under contract and Murray got most of the work. He moved around well and other than wearing a bulky brace on the knee, showed little sign of the injury.
“The knee is great,’’ Murray said. “It feels awesome. The best thing is there's no second thought. While I'm back there in my drop, moving around the pocket, my rollouts, there's no 'Be careful of the knee, don't step into a throw.' It's all just going out there to play, having fun and executing the play.
“There (are) no limitations at the moment. I'm doing everything I need to do.’’
Murray has been throwing for some time but faced a pass rush for the first time since the surgery. The rookie camp was no contact, but Murray still had to move to avoid pass rushers.
“It's a nice mental hurdle to get over knowing I just have to trust it,’’ he said. “I have to trust, I have to step into throws. I can't worry about what's going on (around) me. There's no second thought right now. It's just reaction and playing football.’’
Murray said after being drafted by the Chiefs he had been cleared by doctors for full participation. But general manager John Dorsey said he thought Murray might not be ready until training camp, so it was a surprise to see him get as much work as he did.
“We've been keeping a close eye on it,’’ coach Andy Reid said. “He's done everything up to this point . . . and it will keep getting stronger as he goes. This was good because this was the first time there was a pass rush on him. He had to move around a little bit. You got to see his movement ability. You have to do that in the National Football League and you have to do it out here in these camps.’’
Murray threw four interceptions in the first of the camp’s three practices but improved as it went on, saving his best for last. He will step back Tuesday when the Chiefs begin full-squad practice with veteran quarterbacks Alex Smith, Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray get on the field.
Just by being with them, Murray is ahead of schedule. After three days of extensive work in practice, he now has something to work with.
“The way you get better in any kind of offense, especially at the quarterback position, is to get reps, reps, reps, reps,’’ he said. “(Running) the plays out, seeing new defenses, seeing how certain plays work against certain coverages and certain blitzes. The more reps you get, the better.’’