Matt Cassel throws a pass to Dwayne Bowe. photo/Brent Martin

The rookies on this year’s Kansas City Chiefs team have received a lot of praise from head coach Todd Haley in the first few days of training camp in St. Joseph, Missouri. Much of that praise comes from Wednesday night’s practice which was held under the lights in front of 8,000 fans.

Haley singled out four rookies in particular. Wide receiver Dexter McCluster, safety Kendrick Lewis and linebacker Cameron Sheffield, all practiced well. McCluster scored on a long touchdown pass while Lewis broke up three passes, including two in the endzone. Haley also had nice things to say about tight end Tony Moeaki. “I think it was pretty obvious that this young tight end, looked like he wasn’t affected a whole bunch by that situation. He continued to do the things he has been doing in practice. All the sudden they are under the lights and it created a different atmosphere for them and at the same time.”

Todd Haley on Chiefs’ rookies

While the Chiefs may have been a little late to the dance in terms of installing the Wildcat formation where the quarterback lines up as a wide, the Chiefs spent a big chunk of time during an earlier practice running the Wildcat with McCluster and running backs Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. Not only did the coaches want to see how their skill players handled the wildcat, they wanted to give work to the Chiefs’ defense when an opponent tries to use it in a game.

Notes from Thurdsay’s practice:

Running back Thomas Jones returned to practice after missing Wednesday night’s workout because of an injury.

Ryan Succop made all three of his field-goal attempts, from 34, 39 and 49 yards.

Despite getting high praise from Coach Haley, safety Kendrick Lewis is still second team Jon McGraw.

Guard Brian Waters, fullback Tervaris Johnson and defensive end Wallace Gilberry did not practice. Guard Darryl Harris was injured during practice and Jarrad Page is still unsigned.