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Pete Carroll On Hawks Turnaround After Arrowhead

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll spoke to the media on Monday and he was asked about the turnaround in his team’s results after losing at Arrowhead Stadium to the Chiefs. Carroll gave credit to his 12-player leadership council for pulling the Hawks out of their slump and ripping off eight straight wins coming into Super Bowl 49. Here’s what Carroll said:

“There’s no question that the change took place the night we got together and the days to follow because of the leadership of the 12 guys that were in that meeting. They took the thought, they took the messaging and delivered it to the club. I told them I will do our best to keep us on topic, but you guys are going to have to embed the thoughts that are going to give us a chance to adjust at this point and they did a remarkable job.

“There’s no doubt that our team has changed and we’ve grown. In essence we really recaptured something that we had understood earlier and we just needed to get back in touch with it. We had lost a little contact with how crucial it is to play for each other and how crucial it is to support the people on your team and how crucial it is to get out of yourself and give to the guys around you. That’s really what has taken place and maybe that sounds oversimplified when I say it to you and all that, but it has been a powerful understanding that our guys have come to. It is the essence of team sport I think. It’s the essence of playing with the team. That it’s not about you, it’s about the people around you and you give yourself to them. That’s really what has taken place.”

Chiefs & NFL Notes: Deflate This!

“If you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying.”

A head coach of the Chiefs once told me that in a quiet, off-the-record conversation. I never saw the team or this man outwardly cheat while he was in charge. They may have pushed the envelope here or there, but I’m unaware of any outright, pre-meditated violation of league rules.

Over the last week we’ve been hit with an avalanche of stories about the inflation/deflation of footballs used by the New England Patriots in their AFC Championship Game victory over Indianapolis. That blizzard will continue into this week when the football and sports media all congregates in the Arizona desert for Super Bowl 49.

(Right: Chiefs fans in the house Sunday night for the Pro Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.)

We have not devoted any bytes here to the story of the Patriots footballs because it’s of minimal value. New England did not dominate Indianapolis because they had balls that were under-inflated to less than the minimum of 12.5 pounds per square inch of air pressure. As we all know now, the balls must be between 12.5 and 13.5 psi.

That Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addressed the media in two consecutive days about the subject alone made it newsworthy. Watching quarterback Tom Brady squirm under public questioning of the type he’s never received before may have been entertaining. Ultimately, it’s all just noise.

There’s one thing I’ve been unable to understand in the whole story – why in heaven’s name does the NFL allow teams to use different balls during the game? …Read More!

Quiet Night For Chiefs At Pro Bowl

Playing at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona the NFL held its annual Pro Bowl. For anyone that cared Team Michael Irvin defeated Team Cris Carter 32-28 on Sunday night.

There were four Chiefs in the game and their contributions were few and far between. On offense, running back Jamaal Charles had four carries for 25 yards, a 6.3-yard average. His big carry was a 17-yard run in the first quarter and did not touch the ball again.

Defensively, nose tackle Dontari Poe and outside linebacker Tamba Hali took part in two tackles each. Outside linebacker Justin Houston was not credited with any statistics from the game.

Overall, the teams combined for 1,063 yards and eight touchdown passes. Team Irvin had 611 offensive yards. Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford was named the game’s top offensive player and Houston defensive end J.J. Watt was the Pro Bowl’s defender of the game.

Chiefs Working At Pro Bowl – Sort of

The Pro Bowl teams practiced at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona and there were plenty of folks interested in getting autographs from Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. Teammates on the Chiefs and Team Carter for the game on Sunday were busy posing on defense: linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali along with nose tackle Dontari Poe. Luke AFB is home to the 56th Fighter Wing.

Chiefs vs. Lions In London On November 1

The NFL has announced that the International Series game between the Chiefs and Detroit Lions will be played on Sunday, November 1 at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Kickoff will be at 2:30 p.m. in London; that translates to an 8:30 a.m. kickoff in Kansas City.

The Chiefs-Lions will be the third of three games in the coming season in London. The New York Jets face the Miami Dolphins on October 4 and then three weeks later, it’s the Buffalo Bills against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

As the NFL likes to schedule teams playing in London with their bye week afterwards, expect the Chiefs to have Sunday, November 8 off. The rest of the 2015 schedule will be released sometime in March or early April.

 

All Pro Bowl Chiefs Are Part Of Team Carter

Jamaal Charles waits to be selected in the Pro Bowl Draft held Wednesday in Arizona

At least Jamaal Charles doesn’t have to worry about getting smacked in the Pro Bowl by one of his own teammates.

All four of the Chiefs that were selected to take part in the NFL’s annual all-star game this Sunday in Arizona landed on the same team. Charles, nose tackle Dontari Poe and linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali will all play for Team Carter, with team captain Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter.

Last year was the first time the players were not assigned by conferences and that had Charles taking a big hit from teammate Derrick Johnson that left everyone talking especially Chiefs general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid. Charles walked away from the blow without a problem, and Johnson did not apologize – it was all part of playing football.

This is the second year the NFL has broken up the selected talent not by AFC or NFC but through a draft and assignment process that was completed Wednesday night at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix. Carter has one team and the other has Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin serving as captain.

Poe was selected Tuesday night in a special pre-draft of certain positions. Charles was an early choice in Wednesday’s action with Houston and Hali being selected much later.

Coaching Team Carter will be Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and handling Team Irvin is Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett.

Kickoff this Sunday goes just after 7 p.m. CST from the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Wide Receivers Set For The 2015 Senior Bowl

On Saturday, the Senior Bowl will be played for the 66th time. There are 110 players working on the practice fields around Mobile, Alabama prepping for the all-star game that will be broadcast by the NFL Network starting at 3 p.m. CST.

There are 15 wide receivers on the rosters, ranging from expected second round selections to sixth and seventh round talents. The Senior Bowl allows players that have used all their eligibility, although they are now allowing players that have graduated but still may have a year to play in the college ranks.

That’s why Auburn University’s Sammie Coates is taking part in the game this year. He has one year of eligibility remaining but graduated in December. He’s the highest rated wide receiver in the game, considered a late first-round or early second-round selection. Other potential second round picks in the game are Stanford University’s Ty Montgomery, Fresno State University’s Josh Harper and Justin Hardy out of East Carolina State University.

Here are the receivers that are in Mobile for the game. Injuries can always remove some players from the action. The number next to the receiver’s name is the early projection on the round he will be drafted. The numbers on height and weight are from the game’s official weigh-in on Tuesday: …Read More!

Chiefs QB Suffers Serious Knee Injury

The Chiefs announced on Tuesday that quarterback Tyler Bray suffered a torn ACL in his left knee. Apparently, that’s one of the reasons they signed Terrelle Pryor as a reserve/futures free agent.

There were no details on how Bray suffered the injury.

“Anytime one of your players suffers a significant injury like Tyler’s it is disappointing, and we hurt for the player,” Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey said in a team released statement. “With Tyler’s injury having a longer recovery time, we’ve signed quarterback Terrelle Pryor to a reserve/futures contract. As we’ve said before, we are always looking to add talented players to our roster, and Terrelle was among the top players on our ready list at that position with his athleticism and experience. We believe having him in our quarterback room and working with our offensive coaches will enhance his growth.”

Bray signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2013 out of the University of Tennessee. He spent the 2013 on the active roster as the No. 3 quarterback and did not take a regular season snap. Then, last season he spent on the injured-reserve list after he supposedly suffered an ankle injury in the final pre-season game. Bray spent the season with the team, including going to all practices even though he could not physically participate.

Almost all of the reserve/futures free agents like Pryor have already been established over the last three weeks. There are 19 in all:

  • Quarterback – Terrelle Pryor, 6-4, 233, Ohio State.
  • Fullback – Spencer Ware, 5-10, 229, LSU.Β 
  • Tight end – Brandon Barden, 6-4, 253, Vanderbilt; Adam Schiltz, 6-4, 256, Emporia State.
  • Wide receiver – Armon Binns, 6-3, 211, Cincinnati; Corbin Louks, 6-0, 200, Nevada; Da’Rick Rogers, 6-3, 215, Tennessee Tech; Fred Williams, 6-0, 190, St. Cloud State.
  • Offensive linemen – Curtis Feigt (T), 6-6, 310, West Virginia; Ricky Henry (G), 6-4, 310, Nebraska; Jarrod Pughsley (G), 6-4, 310, Akron; Derek Sherrod (T), 6-6, 321, Mississippi State.
  • Defensive tackle – Hebron Fangup, 6-0, 324, Brigham Young; Jerel Worthy, 6-2, 308, Michigan State.Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β 
  • Linebacker – Jo Jo Dickson, 6-1, 245, Idaho.
  • Cornerback – Aaron Hester, 6-1, 207, UCLA; Deji Olatoye, 6-1, 194, North Carolina A&T.
  • Long snapper – Brandon Hartson, 6-2, 238, Houston; Jorgen Hus, 6-1, 232, Regina.

Belichick Leads List of 101 Banquet Honorees

The 45th 101 Awards and Banquet goes down on February 28 and on Tuesday the honorees were named during a press conference at the Truman Medical Center.

In voting by a committee of 101 media members around the country New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was named AFC Coach of the Year for the fourth time. Belichick has his team in a sixth Super Bowl coming up on February 1 in Arizona. The NFC Coach of the Year was Bruce Arians from Arizona, who earned the honor for the second time in his brief career as a head coach. He was honored in 2012 when as interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts he helped guide the team to the playoffs in the absence of head coach Chuck Pagano who was being treated for leukemia.

The coaches were the only honorees that have stood in front of the Kansas City audience before to accept the nationally recognized distinction. The five players are all 101 rookies: …Read More!

Wide Receivers Added To 2015 NFL Draft Pool

Nelson Agholor (L), Amari Cooper (C) & Sammie Coates (R) top the list of underclassmen

receivers entering the 2015 NFL Draft

There is little doubt that the Chiefs will be paying particular attention to the wide receiver position as they prepare for the 2015 NFL Draft. It is a major position of need and the annual selection meeting of college players is their chosen route to improving their roster.

The wide receiver group has some depth at the top of the Draft thanks to the underclassmen coming into the talent pool. Among the 84 players the NFL announced on Monday as eligible for this year’s Draft were 16 wide receivers, including six that should be premium picks in the first and second rounds.

The University of Alabama’s Amari Cooper figures to be the first receiver taken. Jalen Strong from Arizona State University and former Mizzou Tigers receiver Dorial Green-Beckham should go off the board in the first round as well. Second round potential comes from the University of Southern Cal’s Nelson Agholor, University of Michigan product Devin Fuchess and Sammie Coates out of Auburn University.

Here are the 16 receivers that petitioned the league to be included in the 2015 class, along with their key physical statistics and pass catching numbers for their college careers and the 2014 season. The number after each receiver’s name is the general consensus among scouts of what round they will likely be selected: …Read More!

The NFL Grants Draft Status to 84 Players

The NFL announced on Monday the names of 84 players that have been granted eligibility for the 2015 NFL Draft that’s set for April 30 through May 2 in Chicago.

A total of 74 players with eligibility remaining applied for draft status and 10 more notified the NFL that they earned their degrees and wanted to be included in this year’s selection meeting.

The 74 players that were granted special eligibility was a 24.5 percent drop in the number from last year when 98 players were added to the draft pool. It’s the first time the total number of players dropped from the season before since 2009.

There were 74 players that filed for the draft after spending three years since they left high school. Those players are: …Read More!

Super Bowl 49 Match Is Set, With A Chiefs Slant

In two weeks Super Bowl 49 will be played in the Arizona desert between two teams that the Chiefs beat in 2014.

The Seattle Seahawks made an improbable comeback and beat the Green Bay Packers 28-22 in overtime to win the NFC Championship Game and go to their second straight Super Bowl. The Chiefs beat the Hawks 24-20 back in the middle of November.

The New England Patriots smashed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 to win the AFC Championship Game, gaining their sixth trip to the final game in the last 14 years. Back at the end of September, the Chiefs beat the Patriots 41-14, supposedly ending the New England dynasty.

A full-season body of work has the NFL’s two best teams meeting in Arizona, and even though the Chiefs found a way to win both of those games, they had no business even dreaming they could have been part of the 49th Super get-together. They beat the Seahawks and Patriots, but they are not in the same league as those teams. They lack the killer or winning instinct those teams possess.

Want an example? After losing to the Chiefs, the Patriots went 12-2, and one of those defeats was the meaningless regular-season finale. The Seahawks are unbeaten, 8-0 since falling at Arrowhead. These teams understand when it was time to slam their foot on the accelerator.

The Chiefs were 7-5 after the New England victory and 2-4 to close out the season in the games after beating Seattle. Andy Rei d’s team administered 25 percent of the defeats suffered in 2014 by the Patriots and Seahawks (2 of 8). But on this championship Sunday, the Hunt Family franchise was three weeks into its post-season vacation.

Action in Sunday’s games played out in opposite fashion for the winners. New England dominated and never trailed in busting up the Colts, while Seattle was down 16-0 at half-time and down nine points at the start of the fourth quarter. The Seahawks found a way to not only push the game into overtime, but win it.

Thoughts on what we saw in the championship game action: …Read More!

Chiefs Agree To 3 More Years For Camp in St. Joe

The Chiefs and Missouri Western State University have signed off on a new 3-year agreement that will keep the team’s training camp in St. Joseph through at least 2017.

The Missouri Western Board of Governors approved the new contract with the team on Thursday afternoon. The Chiefs first moved to St. Joe for the 2010 camp and have now spent five summers driving north on I-29.

“From a football perspective continuing to hold camp at Missouri Western makes sense for us,” head coach Andy Reid said in a statement. “The school and the community take great care of us, the people are phenomenal and it provides our team the resources and facilities necessary to build momentum towards the season. We are excited to be back.”

Under the contract extension, Missouri Western will provide improvements to the practice fields and reimburse the Chiefs for some expenses related to preparing and maintaining those fields. The team’s food costs will be frozen at last year’s numbers for the next three years and the school will provide additional dorm space and additional security.

The St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates the economic impact last year from the Chiefs training camp was $6.3 million to the area thanks to approximately 40,000 visitors.

Defense Dominates New Head Coaching Hires

Jack Del Rio (L), Todd Bowles (C) and Jim Tomsula (R) all got NFL head coaching jobs on Wednesday

Over the last decade the NFL has legislated the game and its rules to foster the offensive side of the ball.

But when replacing head coaches in 2015, owners are going defensive. There are seven spots that will change among the 32 teams and four have already been filled. So far, all of the coaches in new positions are men with backgrounds on defense.

Rex Ryan from the New York Jets to Buffalo, Todd Bowles to the Jets, Jack Del Rio from Denver to Oakland and Jim Tomsula with San Francisco are the names. Ryan was the defensive oriented head man with the Jets, while Bowles (Arizona) and Del Rio (Denver) were defensive coordinators and Tomsula was the 49ers defensive line coach.

With three jobs still open, three of the names at the top of the list for Atlanta, Chicago and possibly Denver are former Broncos head coach John Fox, Detroit defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Fox was scheduled to meet with the Bears on Wednesday. Austin met with the Falcons on Tuesday while Quinn is out of the interviewing routine as the Seahawks prepare for the NFC Championship Game this Sunday against Green Bay. …Read More!

DAT Earns All-League Rookie Honors

The Chiefs running back/receiver/returner De’Anthony Thomas was named to the Pro Football Writers Association All-NFL rookie team that was announced on Tuesday.

The rookie out of the University of Oregon ran for 113 yards, caught passes for 156 yards, returned punts for 405 yards and kickoffs for 428 yards. That was 1,102 all-purpose yards on 85 touches or 12.9 yards per play. He was a fourth-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Chiefs.

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham was named the league’s rookie of the year and offensive rookie of the year. St. Louis defensive tackle Aaron Donald was named defensive rookie of the year.

The Rams led all clubs with three selections – Donald, cornerback E.J. Gaines and running back Tre Mason. Six teams – Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders each had two players on the squad. In all, 19 clubs are represented among the honoredΒ 27 players. …Read More!

Denver implodes; K.C. & S.D. Celebrate, Oak Confused

Twenty-four hours before kickoff in Denver on Sunday afternoon, all things were possible for the Broncos.

Twenty-four hours after the conclusion of the game, the AFC West leaders no longer have a head coach and coaching staff and their quarterback may be finished as well.

Should Chiefs fans celebrate the departure of John Fox as Broncos head coach, leaving Monday afternoon in what was supposedly a mutual decision with the team’s top football man John Elway? Should they get excited about the fact Elway has told Fox’s coaching staff they can seek employment elsewhere, including offensive coordinator Adam Gase?

And, should there be dancing in the streets because of what appears to be the end of Peyton Manning’s NFL playing career?

Certainly, the sun was just a bit brighter in the sky over the Chiefs Nation, however celebration should be subdued for now. Remember the guy pulling the strings with the Broncos – a Chiefs fan of any standing will never breathe easy when Elway is involved in the process.

But the decision on Fox looks like a preview of the decision coming from Manning sometime in the next weeks or months. No matter what his physical ailments may have been, watching Manning over the last half of the Broncos season was a painful reminder that there’s one opponent even Peyton can’t beat – father time.

From the time the Broncos started pushing their running game on offense it was obvious there was something amiss with the quarterback. Let there be no doubt that Manning is the heart, soul and brains of the Denver offense. If he was physically able, there’s no way No. 18 would have stepped back and allowed the focus to shift from the quarterback to an undrafted running back although C.J. Anderson had success as the offensive engine.

With No. 1 wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and No. 1 tight end Julius Thomas both headed for unrestricted free agency as is wide receiver Wes Welker, there are going to be changes in the Broncos offense. With all the money spent on defensive players in last year’s free agency, there are going to be fewer cap dollars available.

However, if Manning hangs it up, Denver will have all sorts of cap room – $16.5 million since the quarterback currently accounts for $21.5 million under the 2015 salary cap.

There’s a good chance that Fox has severe doubts about the return of Manning, or why would he be taking a hike. Fox made it plain on Monday that he wants to continue to coach and that should interest the Jets, Bears, Raiders and Falcons who are all in need of a head coach. Oakland supposedly was very interested in Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. But with Fox now on the market, they would be crazy not to go after a guy that’s taken two different teams to the Super Bowl over Del Rio.

Fox’s coaching staff remains under contract for another season, but they were told on Monday that they can seek employment elsewhere.

More Honors For Justin Houston

There’s more recognition of the outstanding season of Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston as he was named to the All-NFL team by the Pro Football Writers of America.

The voting was conducted by the PFWA among writers and broadcasters that belong to the organization. Houston’s selection for the first team came thanks to his league leading and Chiefs record setting 22 sacks.

PRWA also releases All-AFC and All-NFC teams, and rookie punt returner De’Anthony Thomas was honored on the All-AFC team. Houston appeared on that team as well for the second consecutive season.

The Dallas Cowboys placed a league-high four players – wide receiver Dez Bryant, center Travis Frederick, running back DeMarco Murray and tackle Tyron Smith – on the 2014 All-NFL team. The New England Patriots were second with three All-NFL selections, and five clubs – the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks – each had two players on the All-NFL team. In all, 17 clubs are represented among the 27 players honored by the PFWA. …Read More!

Former Chiefs All Over The Divisional Playoffs

Brandon Carr (L), Andy Studebaker (C) and Tony Moeaki (R) are former Chiefs in the playoffs

There are eight teams playing on Saturday and Sunday in the NFL divisional round games. Just about every one of those clubs has a player or coach that once worked for the Chiefs. Here are the familiar names you may see in the weekend’s four games:

Baltimore

  • Tight end Phillip Supernaw played two games for the Chiefs in 2014 (Seattle and at Oakland), catching one pass for three yards. He started the victory over the Seahawks. After three weeks with the Chiefs, he was released on December 1 and was signed almost immediately by the Ravens, where he’d previously been on the practice squad.

Carolina

  • Defensive tackle Kyle Love signed with the Panthers on December 15 and will see increased playing time against the Seahawks after Carolina lost defensive tackle Star Lotulelei to a broken foot after last weekend’s victory over Arizona. Love spent training camp and the pre-season with the Chiefs, signing with the club in May and he was released on August 30.

Dallas

  • Cornerback Brandon Carr had an inconsistent season with the Cowboys, but came on strong at the end of the schedule and that will need to continue against the Packers on Sunday. A 16-game starter, Carr finished without an interception, while giving up six touchdown passes. He also had 63 total tackles. Carr was the fifth-round choice of the Chiefs in the 2008 NFL Draft.

…Read More!

Chiefs Notes: College Hall of Fame Spot For Art Still

It is Hall of Fame time in the world of football and on Friday the College Football Hall of Fame announced its class for induction in 2015 and it included former Chiefs defensive end Art Still.

The Chiefs first-round selection in the 1978 NFL Draft, Still came out of the University of Kentucky where he was the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in 1977 and collected consensus All-America honors.

Still spent 10 years playing for the Chiefs (1978-1987), and then finished up his career with two seasons in Buffalo. He was selected for the Pro Bowl four times in his career and was voted the team’s MVP in 1980 and 1984 by his teammates. With the Chiefs, he finished with 72.5 sacks and 922 total tackles.

The New Jersey native was one of 15 inductees announced by the National Football Foundation, the group that runs the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. Also part of that group was Kansas State University’s head coach Bill Snyder. …Read More!

Shields Gets Another Pro Football Hall of Fame Shot

Chiefs guard Will Shields was announced Thursday night as part of the group of 15 finalists for possible induction as part of the Class of 2015 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Two others with Chiefs connections are part of the group as well: former Chiefs assistant coach (1989-91) and NFL head coach in Tampa Bay and Indianapolis Tony Dungy and former Chiefs kicker Morten Andersen (2002-03).

It’s the fourth year that Shields has been part of the final group, making the cut since he became eligible in 2012, followed by 2013, 2014 and now 2015.

The group of 15 will be sliced to 10 and then five during voting by the Hall of Fame selection committee on January 31, the day before Super Bowl 49 in Arizona. Ultimately, those five will be voted individually as yes or no selections. They must receive 80 percent of the vote in the final selection to achieve induction. …Read More!

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