"It gets you through. Today, I was feeling my age a little bit early in practice, but I got through," linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "It doesn't matter what motivates you during this time, you want to see results out there on the field. Everybody is getting evaluated."
The Chiefs get their first break from practice Tuesday since the first rookies arrived at Missouri Western nine days ago. The early portion of camp has been full of story lines surrounding contract negotiations. Others involve position battles.
The biggest on defense is the secondary following the release of Pro Bowl corner back Brandon Flowers and free agent safety Kendrick Lewis signing with Houston.
"The NFL is about change. Depending on personnel, you have a lot of young guys. There are opportunities to take some spots in the secondary that are open. Competition brings out the best in them."
Six-year veteran Husain Abdullah got plenty of work with the first team during OTAs. Second-year corner Marcus Cooper began 2013 well, but was exposed at times in the latter half of the season.
"By the time the fourth preseason game (comes, I'm sure they will have a lot of evaluated tape and we'll get the right guys in."
The Chiefs signed free agent cornerback Damond Smith on Monday in the face of injuries to DeMarcus and David Van Dyke. Smith spent part of last season with the British Columbia Lions os the Canadian Football League.
Rookie defensive back Phillip Gaines also suffered a possible head injury on Monday.