More Major Payroll Decisions Ahead For Chiefs

From St. Joseph, Missouri

John Dorsey . . . welcome to your job as an NFL general manager.

Holding the position for going on 20 months now, Dorsey and the Chiefs faced a triple crossroads with big ramifications on the near term and future for the Hunt Family franchise. The decisions made in the current contract negotiations between the Chiefs and three of their best players are not just in the real time of the 2014 season. They will reverberate over the next four or five seasons, maybe longer.

Alex Smith, Justin Houston and now Jamaal Charles all want more money than they received from the Chiefs in 2013 and what they are scheduled to pull down in the coming months. Last year, the Chiefs paid the three players a combined total of $12 million and change. This year, they are on the books for $12.8 million, but that’s only if Charles reports because once he does, he is due a $1 million reporting bonus.

A deal was worked out with Charles on Wednesday, with a two-year extension and $18.1 million in new money for the running back. He now has a four-year contract.

So that’s one down, two more to go, or at least two more that we know about. This contract pickle is the price of success. When a team wins 11 games and goes to the playoffs, the cost of players goes up. The NFL does not work in an economic vacuum and on-field results influence revenue and expenditures. There were not many folks looking for a raise coming off a 2-14 season like the one the Chiefs posted in 2012. …Read More!

Charles & Chiefs Agree On Contract Extension

From St. Joseph, Missouri

It tells us plenty about the importance of Jamaal Charles that his holdout from training camp will be measured in minutes, rather than days.

By mid-day on Wednesday, the running back had agreed to a two-year extension on his contract, picking up $18 million in new cash for the effort. He’s now tied up for the next four seasons at something in the neighborhood of $28 million.

Charles was on his way to camp on Wednesday and should be on the field Thursday afternoon for the team’s first full-squad practice.

With the extension, Charles will receive $8.3 million this year rather than the $3.9 million due him under the contract he signed in December 2010.

The deal elevates him to a spot near the top of the league’s running backs.

Notes From The Chiefs – July 18


From the highways, byways and flyways of America

A thought or two about a thing or four as St. Joe grows bigger in the windshield . . .

Getting those last swings in

Chiefs quarterback was very talkative on Wednesday and Thursday, largely because he was accessible to the media at the American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe.

Smith went off Friday morning in the first round of the event at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, playing with Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and Cincinnati TE Tyler Eifert.

On the NFL Network, Smith was asked if new contract terms will be agreed upon any time soon with the Chiefs.

“Who knows?” Smith said. “Certainly, there’s been a lot of continued open conversation between both sides. But come camp for me that’s going to be forgotten about. For me, it’s all about football. And if it gets done, it gets done. But until then, it’s focused on that first game really.”

Other Chiefs related names taking part in the 25th edition of this celebrity tournament are former players Marcus Allen and Trent Green, and former head coach Herm Edwards.

In fact, Herm has the most interesting group, as he will play with former vice-president Dan Quayle and former Notre Dame coach-now ESPN college basketball analyst Digger Phelps.

The defending champion is former NFL quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver. Television coverage on Saturday and Sunday will show up on NBC. …Read More!

Waiting For Smith & Houston Deals

At a time when the start of Chiefs training camp is so close one can taste it, the chatter has picked up considerably about the contract status of quarterback Alex Smith and outside linebacker Justin Houston.

And, it figures to get only louder in the next week as the first full-team practice of training camp is scheduled for next Thursday afternoon in St. Joseph. The players, the fans and the Chiefs want these contract extensions and/or new contracts done, signed and put into the fulfillment/payout box in the Hunt Family vault.

In the NFL more often than not the big-money deals need a deadline for completion. Right now, there is no deadline for either deal to be done between the players and Chiefs over the next six months. Both Smith and Houston are under contract for the 2014 season and there is not much either player can do to challenge that fact. They could stage a holdout, but that is not an option they should consider for several different reasons.

There’s been no indication that Smith will not show; he was active in all parts of the off-season program. On Wednesday, every media outlet except the Tool & Dye Times was reporting that Houston was “expected” to report next week for camp, but that he “wasn’t happy” about the lack of a new deal. There were no names attached to these “scoops” but it would be unusual at this point in the drama for Houston sources to start talking, even behind closed doors and only identified as “sources close to the situation.”

But it’s just common sense that Houston will show next Wednesday. …Read More!

2014 Training Camps Start Opening On Wednesday

By the end of business on Wednesday, three NFL teams will have players in training camp.

Rookies for Baltimore, Buffalo and San Francisco will be in camp, the first wave of the 32 teams with rookies and veterans reporting for the start of the 2014 season. The last group to report will be the Detroit veterans that will show up on July 27th.

But there’s one team where the players may show up early – that’s the New Orleans Saints. Head coach Sean Payton is taking his club to the mountains of West Virginia for the first weeks of training. It will all go down at The Greenbrier Hotel (pictured above) in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The Saints veterans may show up early because the resort has five golf courses and Tom Watson is the golf professional emeritus. There’s so much more with 55 different activities including off-road driving, horse riding, falconry, a gun club, archery, paint ball, ice skating, fly fishing, a casino, a spa, shopping and 14 restaurants and bars. All of that is on 10,000 acres. It is posh.

And, it’s almost 900 miles away from the Big Easy and about 20 degrees cooler on a daily basis, with much lower humidity. That was the attraction for Payton in helping his players rebound each day from practice.

“Every year we evaluate all areas of our operations and look for ways to improve,” Payton said. “We all understand the importance of training camp – that’s to get the team ready for the regular season. As far as the time we will spend at The Greenbrier, it offers a tremendous opportunity to our team in a more moderate summer climate.”

The Chiefs rookies will not report to first-class resort. They’ll start arriving at Missouri Western State College on Sunday afternoon and have their first practice on Monday. The three rookie practices next week are closed to the public. The veterans report on Wednesday with the first public practice on Thursday.

Andy Reid and his campers are one of 13 NFL teams that do not hold training camp at their regular season facility. More and more teams have stopped transporting players to a remote setting where they stay in a dormitory or hotel. …Read More!

Time To Tell The Nation About Joe Delaney

Last week I spent over an hour talking on camera with the film crew that is putting together the ESPN 30-for-30 series program on former Chiefs running back Joe Delaney.

Based on the questions I was asked by the producers and the other people that were on the interview list this will be a strong feature that will expose the entire country to Delaney’s story. The questions ranged from his time growing up and living in Haughton, Louisiana, to college at Northwest Louisiana State University and then NFL with the Chiefs. The ending is still a sad one, as Delaney’s died in a construction pond in Monroe, Louisiana where 31 years ago (June 29th) he tried to save three boys that were in trouble. Delaney drowned; he did not know how to swim.

Turns out, the producers behind this project are long-time Chiefs fans, Grant Curtis and Jeremy Wheeler. They are natives to the area; Curtis grew up in Warrensburg, Missouri and was a huge Royals-Chiefs fan over the years. Wheeler is the son of former Chiefs executive Mitch Wheeler the chance to grow up around the team as a child.

Curtis has quite a resume as a producer. Most recently he was one of the executive producers of the 2013 film Oz the Great and Powerful and he served as producer for the three most recent Spiderman movies. He’s worked extensively with director Sam Raimi and has done dozens of documentaries over his career since graduating with from the Central Missouri State University.

This story is one he has wanted to tell for years. …Read More!

Notes From The Chiefs – July 13

From the highways, byways and flyways of America

A thought or two about a thing or four . . .

A night of nostalgia in San Fran

I’ve been traveling a lot but my itinerary did not get me to the competition I most wanted to attend. No, not the World Cup. Don’t count me as a soccer hater, or soccer lover. All I know is football requires a helmet and a strange oblong ball.

No, the game I missed was Saturday evening in San Francisco at a soon to be demolished Candlestick Park. It was billed as the Legends of Candlestick and was the final event inside the stadium built in the early 1960s for the baseball Giants when they moved to the Bay Area from New York.

This flag-football event drew 25,000 fans and all proceeds were going to police and firemen charities in northern California. The leader of this event was former 49ers-Chiefs quarterback Joe Montana. But he wasn’t the only former player that wore red and gold taking part: quarterback Dave Krieg, quarterback Steve Bono, guard Will Shields, guard Dave Szott, safety Mark Collins and defensive tackle Dan Saleaumua.

Also part of the night was the Chiefs equipment manager Allen Wright. He was asked by Montana to join them and help with the locker room stuff. Montana always bonded with folks that worked behind the scenes and that happened in his two years in K.C. with Wright. That’s Wright posing above with Shields, Montana, Collins, Krieg and Szott.

The game was won by the 49ers alumni 45-40 with Montana connecting with former Niners owner Eddie DeBartolo for the winning score. Eddie D. wandered onto the field from the sidelines and was wide open. …Read More!

Pickings Slim in 2014 NFL Supplemental Draft

A University of North Carolina linebacker leads the list of four players that have been deemed eligible for the NFL’s 2014 Supplemental Draft on Thursday.

Tar Heels middle linebacker Darius Lipford appears to be the only one of the four with any chance of being selected among the 224 slots. He was all set to return to Chapel Hill for his senior season, but decided to leave sometime after spring practice.

Last season with the North Carolina defense, the 6-3, 250-pound Lipford played outside linebacker in 10 games, with 29 total tackles, six tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. During spring practice with the Tar Heels he was moved to middle linebacker and was expected to be the starter there this fall.

Lipford missed the 2012 season because of a torn ACL in his left knee. He originally suffered the injury in the 2011 Independence Bowl when North Carolina played the University of Missouri. The North Carolina native re-injured the ligament during rehab in July ’12 and had surgery.

The NFL Supplemental Draft is scheduled each year to deal with players that became eligible after the main NFL Draft in the spring. Teams can use a 2015 draft choice to select a player in one of the seven rounds. …Read More!

It’s Another Season For bobgretz.com

The focus shifts from vacation to training camp for the Chiefs as the 2014 NFL season begins. The coming week will also be when full coverage kicks back in for bobgretz.com.

Many of you have already signed up for a subscription, and thank you for that. There’s plenty of time for everyone else to sign on. Here’s the link to subscribe.

Notes From The Chiefs Off-Season

 

Workers at Missouri Western are moving to make room for the arrival of the Chiefs

They are busy at Chiefs headquarters in the Truman Sports Complex, and they are busy at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph.

The team and MWSU are both getting ready for the start of the Chiefs 2014 training camp. As of Tuesday, it’s a dozen days until the staff and rookies report to campus with a practice on Monday, July 21st that’s not open to the public. The rookies will practice for three days and then the veterans report and the first full-team workout is Thursday, July 24th.

A lot of work must get done before it all comes together. Last week, the folks in St. Joe were moving the school’s equipment out of the workout facility that will be the working home of the Chiefs for three weeks.

“That first Monday after the Fourth of July, we start packing,” said Jay White, the school’s athletic operations director. “This is our fifth year doing it and it’s just standard protocol now.”

As they move out, Chiefs equipment manager Allen Wright and his crew begin moving in and setting up an equipment room, training room and meeting rooms.

Football is almost here! …Read More!

Chiefs Guard Slapped With 4-Game NFL Suspension

Three months ago, Rokevious Watkins had the opportunity to establish himself as a contender for the starting job at right guard for the Chiefs.

Now, he’ll be lucky to have a spot on the 53-man roster.

The NFL announced Thursday that Watkins has been suspended for the first four games of the 2014 regular season because of a violation of the league’s drug policy.

Watkins can participate in training camp and the pre-season, but will then have to serve four games on the sidelines. Of course, that’s if he’s still on the Chiefs roster or with another team. He would be eligible to return on September 30th.

Thursday afternoon the Chiefs acknowledged the NFL suspension and had no further comment on the situation.

This is the second strike against Watkins in the NFL drug program. He served a one-game suspension at the start of the 2013 season  after he was released by St. Louis and spent the pre-season with the Chiefs.

Back in March when Geoff Schwartz and Jon Asamoah departed in free agency, the right-guard spot was wide open, with Watkins and Rishaw Johnson the favorites to fill that role from the returning roster. Both players have sunk behind sixth-round draft choice Zach Fulton, who finished the off-season program as the No. 1 left guard.

Abdullah Heading To Middle East Again

Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah missed the 2012 NFL season so he could make a pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia that fall.

Abdullah is returning to the Middle East in just a few days. This time he’s not there for an extended stay. He’ll be back to join the Chiefs in training camp in late July at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph.

He will head to Doha, Qatar where Abdullah will take part in various activities promoting American football and how he balances his career as a player with his Islamic faith.

“Being chosen from an elite pool of professional athletes is humbling,” Abdullah said in a publicity release from the sponsoring group for the trip, the Aspire Zone Foundation. “I look forward to teaching, coaching and sharing my passion for American Football with participants in Doha.

“Nothing in this world is more important to me than worshipping Allah the way He has instructed us to do. With American football being a sport I love, I must find balance to make sure that my enjoyment of sport does not interfere with my worship of Allah. I continue to work towards a balanced lifestyle so I can continue enjoying the game I love, while keeping Allah first.”

Abdullah’s schedule will include training sessions for local flag football teams and a special coaching clinic for the youth of Qatar.

Updating Chiefs Injury Situation Before Camp

Kyle Williams (L), Eric Fisher (C) and Travis Kelce (R) remain physical question marks for Chiefs

Last season, the Chiefs were among the healthiest teams in the NFL.

Now, healthy is a relative term when it comes to pro football. Every player hurts, in time many of those hurts become injuries, and over the course of training camp, pre-season and the 16-game regular season, nobody escapes pain.

In Andy Reid’s first season in charge, the Chiefs lost 24 games from starters and key contributors, or an average of 1.5 players gone per game. There were five games where the Chiefs had all their starters and key contributors. Those games came in week two (Dallas), week seven (at Tennessee), week eight (Cleveland), week nine (at Buffalo) and week 10 (at Denver.) The game where the most starters/contributors missed the action was game 14 in Oakland against the Raiders. That day left tackle Branden Albert, tight end Anthony Fasano, outside linebacker Justin Houston and wide receiver Dexter McCluster were all in active.

Reid will give credit for the relative health of his team to his two leaders in that category: head trainer Rick Burkholder and strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin. Both have been around football and the NFL for a long time and are known around the league for their expertise. What cannot be ignored, however, is the element of luck. That includes timing of injuries, and what position they play.

The Chiefs did not lose a start at quarterback, running back, nose tackle, safety, one cornerback spot, inside linebackers and one cornerback spot. The offensive line missed the most starts with 10 (Albert 4, right tackle Eric Fisher 3, guard Jon Asamoah 2, and guard Jeff Allen 1.) Only seven games saw the starting offensive line at the time together on the field.

The roster’s off-season rest and work periods are over, and they are now on a month-long build up to the start of training camp. There will not be much in the way of vacation for the players if they are smart. Too much blood and sweat has been shed to give it back by lying on the beach for four weeks.

As they scattered around the country, here’s an update on where injured and previously injured players stand: …Read More!

Flo Stays In AFC West, Signs 1-Year Deal With Chargers

The Chiefs won’t have Brandon Flowers for 16 games in the 2014 season, but there’s a very good chance they’ll see him twice on the field.

Flowers agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the San Diego Chargers. The terms of the deal include a $1.5 million base salary, $1.5 million signing bonus and another $2 million available through various personal and team incentives.

The Chargers did not officially announce Flowers’ signing, as they were still working on clearing a roster spot on their 90-man pre-season list. He was released by the Chiefs on June 13th and was contacted by numerous teams that were interested in his services. Flowers made two visits last week to San Diego and San Francisco.

When he joins the Chargers, Flowers will be the 11th cornerback on the roster for a team that struggled in pass defense last season. At the end of the year the starters were Shareece Wright on the right side and Richard Marshall on the left. San Diego selected Jason Verrett in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft and other cornerbacks on the roster are Crezdon Butler, Marcus Cromartie, Chris Davis, Greg Ducre, Brandon Ghee, Brandon Jones and Steve Williams.

Shifting, Juggling Dominate Chiefs Offensive Line

As the Chiefs hold their final three practices of the 2014 off-season with the mini-camp starting Tuesday there’s one thing that’s crystal clear after the team’s 10 OTA sessions:

Don’t use ink when listing the offensive line starters.

That’s not entirely true, given that Rodney Hudson has been the No. 1 center in the starting group all through May and June. At the other four spots, matters are not so obvious. That’s especially true at right guard, where Andy Reid and his coaching staff are seeking a starter to replace the departed duo of Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz.

As G.M. John Dorsey and Reid start to look at cutting their current 15 offensive linemen down to a group of seven to 10 for the 53-man regular-season, they are mixing and matching at guard and tackle.

“That’s one group that’s improving,” Reid said of the blockers. “There are guys that have stepped up. The other guys have grasped it pretty well and look like their doing pretty good.

“You need more than five. You need to make sure that you have a good 10 of them ready. You want to find that number, whether it’s eight, nine, 10; you want to see what you’ve got there. …Read More!

Father’s Day Thoughts On Dad, Noll & Flowers

Found myself thinking about a lot of different things on the first Father’s Day of my life without my Dad. I thought about him, his father and his father’s father. I thought about my kids, their kids and the juggle of past, present and future.

I’m quite sure my Dad would be mourning the death of Chuck Noll. On Friday night, the 82-year old former head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers died in his sleep at his home in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. Noll is the only coach in the Super Bowl era that’s taken his team to a championship victory four times.

My father was a big Noll fan because he saw the coach turnaround a franchise that had been in the NFL gutter for decades. As my Dad grew up, became an adult, earned a pharmacy degree, got married and had children, the Steelers were awful. It led to the frequently used saying amongst the folks of western Pennsylvania: S-O-S – Same Old Steelers.

What Noll did with the Steelers was nothing short of a miracle. The franchise went from laughingstock to one of the most revered, feared and hated teams in the league. Hall of Famers were everywhere on that team, and they became some of the biggest names in the game: Bradshaw, Mean Joe, Franco, Swann, Stallworth, Iron Mike, Lambert, Ham and on.

Noll was the chief engineer behind the turnaround, but spent no time pounding his chest and taking credit for his success. That’s another thing my Dad liked about the Steelers coach: he wasn’t a loud-mouth, a headline maker, a yakker, or a jagov to use the parlance of western Pennsylvania. …Read More!

Flowers Move Is The First Falling Domino For Chiefs

So you’re not happy that the Chiefs cut Brandon Flowers on Friday. That feeling is understandable; Flowers has been a good to very good player for the Chiefs defense over the last six seasons.

But how would you feel if the Chiefs still had Flowers, but not outside linebacker Justin Houston? What if Flowers was still wearing his No. 24 and the Chiefs were without quarterback Alex Smith?

That’s the situation the Chiefs faced as they attempt to build a consistently successful roster and do it within the limits set by the league’s salary cap. In this day and age, a team can’t keep all its good players and pay them accordingly. Decisions must be made. Sometimes they are distasteful, but it’s part of business in the NFL.

The release of Flowers came when it did so the Chiefs could split the so-called “dead money” on their cap to be used in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. That’s $7 million, divided by two years, so Flowers will still count $3.5 million under the team’s cap in the next two seasons.

Flowers carried a $10.5 million number under this year’s salary cap, so releasing him will free up $7 million cap dollars. According to the NFL Players Association, the Chiefs had $2,632,465 remaining under the cap. Add $7 million and the Hunt Family franchise now has close to $10 million. …Read More!

Chiefs Cut Flowers

Brandon Flowers, the starting left cornerback for the Chiefs since he was selected in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft, was released by the Chiefs on Friday.

The news comes just days ahead of the team’s mandatory mini-camp that starts on Tuesday at their facility. Flowers has been absent from the Chiefs off-season program and OTA practices, where attendance is voluntary.

“We appreciate Brandon’s contributions to the team over the last six seasons,” Chiefs GM John Dorsey said in a team release. “It’s in the best interest of the club and the player to part ways at this time. We wish him nothing but the best as he continues his career.”

Flowers played in 88 games in six NFL seasons with the Chiefs, positing 421 total tackles, 17 interceptions, 2.0 sacks, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. He returned those INTs for 344 yards and three touchdowns.

Last year working into the Chiefs new defense under Andy Reid and coordinator Bob Sutton, Flowers struggled at times. In 13 games he had 68 total tackles, but just one interception and seven passes knocked down. He added an interception in the post-season loss to Indianapolis. Despite that, he was named to the NFL Pro Bowl roster for the first time in his career.

At 5-9, 187 pounds, Flowers does not fit the cornerback prototype general manager John Dorsey seeks at the position. Flowers was the team’s smallest returning cornerback by three inches. They now prefer defenders on the corner that are tall, long-armed and lanky, more along the lines of Marcus Cooper (6-2, 195), Sean Smith (6-3, 218) and third-round draft choice Phillip Gaines (6-0, 195 pounds).

Chiefs Add 2, Subtract 1 From Roster

The Chiefs added a former quarterback now wide receiver and a veteran NFL cornerback to their roster on Thursday.

Signed was Deion Anthony, a quarterback the last two seasons at Troy University in Alabama. He’s penciled in as a wide receiver for his NFL chance with the Chiefs.

In a second signing, the Chiefs inked cornerback Justin Rogers, a former seventh-round selection of Buffalo in the 2011 NFL Draft. In three seasons with the Bills (2011-13), Rogers played in 34 games, picking up 76 total tackles and three interceptions. A product of the University of Richmond, he averaged 28.7 yards on 15 kickoff returns for Buffalo.

To make room for the additions the Chiefs waived injured defensive tackle Risean Broussard. Earlier in the week they released offensive tackle Colin Kelly. …Read More!

Chiefs Make Roster Move on O-Line

Thirty-five players were on a tryout basis with the Chiefs during the three-day rookie mini-camp that ended Monday.

One man remained on Tuesday, as the Chiefs signed offensive tackle Ryan McKee and added him to the 90-man roster. The 6-6, 305-pound native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas came into the league in 2009 as an undrafted college free agent out of Southern Mississippi University. Claimed on waivers by St. Louis near the end of the ’09 season, McKee spent the next three seasons with the Rams, with most of that time spent on the practice squad.

At Southern Miss he was a three-year starter at right tackle. The 27-year old McKee was not in the NFL last season; he worked as a graduate assistant coach with the University of North Carolina football program.

To create room for McKee the Chiefs released offensive lineman Chandler Burden.

Honoring Those That Served – Salute Memorial Day

Chiefs Sign First-Round Choice

The signing season for 2014 was closed out Saturday when first-round draft choice Dee Ford signed a four-year contract with the Chiefs.

It’s easily the earliest finish to the negotiations on new contracts for a season in club history. That doesn’t mean there won’t be more negotiations and signings, but the to-do list for the 2014 roster is finished before the end of May. That’s unprecedented for the Hunt Family franchise.

Now, general manager John Dorsey and his staff can really zero in on getting deals done for 2015 with quarterback Alex Smith and outside linebacker Justin Houston. Both men are entering the final season of their contracts, and both are headed for big money, certainly bigger than their salary cap numbers for the 2014 season: Smith $8 million and Houston $1.598 million.

For the first practice of the Chiefs rookie mini-camp on Saturday, Ford was wearing No. 55. Since being selected with pick No. 23 in the first round, Ford had been sporting No 90.

D.T. Grabs Another Hall of Fame Spot

As expected the College Football Hall of Fame announced its induction class for 2014 and among the 16 newest members is former Chiefs and University of Alabama linebacker the late Derrick Thomas.

One has to wonder what took so long for the voters involved with the college hall to see Thomas’ credentials after his four seasons with the Crimson Tide. He is still the NCAA major college leader with 52 career sacks. D.T. finished with 204 total tackles, 74 tackles for loss, 10 forced fumbles, a pair of safeties and nine blocked kicks

Alabama was 35-5-1 during his four years in Tuscaloosa, and he played in four bowl games. After the 1988 season, Thomas was named the Southeastern Conference’s defensive player of the year and was a unanimous All-America selection as a senior.

Thomas was the Chiefs 1989 first-round selection in the NFL Draft, taken at No. 4 after Troy Aikman (Dallas), Tony Mandarich (Green Bay) and Barry Sanders (Detroit). He played 11 seasons and was selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

Joining Thomas in the 2014 class is a former blocking antagonist, another former member of the Chiefs and Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Roaf. When the Chiefs held training camp in River Falls, Wisconsin and the New Orleans Saints were in La Crosse, there were frequent practices between the teams and the Thomas-Roaf battles were outstanding football theater.

The rest of the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame class: …Read More!

Murray Signs, Plus Other Roster Movement

The Chiefs picked up a signature from quarterback Aaron Murray on Wednesday, as he becomes the fifth of six 2014 NFL Draft picks to sign with the club.

The only unsigned Chiefs draft choice is first-round outside linebacker Dee Ford.

Also on the personnel wire for Wednesday was one player coming, another going. Departing the roster was offensive lineman R.J. Dill. He was signed earlier this year as a reserve-futures player.

Added to the roster was undrafted rookie free agent linebacker/safety DeRon Furr out of Division II Fort Valley State in Georgia. He’s 6-2½, 232 pounds and was clocked in the 40-yard dash in times under 4.7 seconds. Furr had 60 total tackles in 13 games during the 2013 season. Coming out of Carver High School in Columbus, Georgia, he originally signed to play at Auburn University. Furr left before he got on the field and transferred to the University of Memphis, where he played two seasons. He finished up his college career with two seasons at Fort Valley.

Chiefs Alumni Named To New Posts

Jimmy Raye (L) and Bill Kuharich (R) named to new posts

Two men with recent history of working for the Chiefs were named to new management positions in the league on Tuesday.

In Cleveland, Bill Kuharich was named executive chief of staff for Browns general manager Ray Farmer. Kuharich spent a decade with the Chiefs (2000-09) in various personnel roles including vice-president of player personnel.

At the league office in New York, former Chiefs assistant coach and offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye was hired as one of three senior advisors to the new executive vice-president of football operations Troy Vincent. …Read More!

Chiefs Signing Defensive Tackles

The personnel business is a busy one across the NFL right now and the Chiefs have joined the chorus with near daily comings and goings.

On Tuesday, the club zeroed in on defensive tackles, signing a pair of street free agents, announcing the signing of an undrafted rookie free agent and the release of two players.

Added to the roster were Jermelle Cudjo, Kyle Love and Kona Schwenke. Released were defensive tackle Cory Grissom and outside linebacker Ridge Wilson.

Released last week, the 6-2, 311-pound Cudjo spent the last four NFL seasons with St. Louis. He appeared in 38 games, starting four times and picking up 45 total tackles, 1.5 sacks and three passes knocked down. He missed the 2011 season with a back injury. The 27-year old Oklahoma native grew up in Lawton, and was a Division II All-America selection at Central Oklahoma University.

Love spent two weeks on the Chiefs active roster last season, appearing in a game against San Diego and he was inactive the next week against Denver. The 6-1, 315-pounder spent three seasons in New England (2010-13), playing in 42 regular season games with 25 starts, along with six post-season games with four starts. Love had 80 total tackles, 5.5 sacks and one recovered fumble. Born in South Korea where his father Colonel Anthony Love was stationed, he grew up in Fairburn, Georgia, the same hometown as Chiefs Pro Bowl strong safety Eric Berry. He played college football at Mississippi State University.

The signing of Schwenke, a 6-4, 297-pound Notre Dame product out of Hawaii was covered Monday right here.

Chiefs Add Tackle, College Free Agents – Update

The Chiefs added veteran offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb to the roster, signing the free agent over the weekend.

The 6-7, 333-pound Webb has spent four seasons in the NFL, playing for Chicago and Minnesota. He appeared in 54 games and started 45 at both left and right tackle. The Texas native came into the league as a seventh-round selection of the Bears in the 2010 NFL Draft.

In college, he played at the University of Texas, Navarro (Junior) College and West Texas A&M.

The team also announced the signings of three undrafted college free agents: fullback James Baker (Idaho), center/guard Ben Gottschalk (SMU) and kicker Cairo Santos (Tulane). Plus, the alma mater of another undrafted rookie says he signed with the Chiefs and on the NFL’s daily transaction report, it shows the Chiefs signing another undrafted player.

Here’s a rundown on those five: …Read More!

De’Anthony De’Signs His De’al

Another day, another Chiefs draft choice putting his John Hancock to an NFL contract.

Fourth-round running back De’Anthony Thomas agreed to terms Friday on a four-year deal. Financial terms were undisclosed. The University of Oregon product figures to have the best chance of making a contribution in his rookie season with the Chiefs offense and special teams.

Thomas brings to four the number of Chiefs draft choices with contracts. Only two remain unsigned – first-round choice outside linebacker Dee Ford and fifth-round pick quarterback Aaron Murray.

At the close of business on Friday, 93 draft choices had signed or agreed to terms on their first NFL contracts.

Chiefs Have Half Of Draft Class Already Signed

The signing season started early in the NFL and just a week after the first round of the 2014 Draft there are already 48 selections that have signed or agreed to terms.

One of those was Chiefs third-round pick cornerback Phillip Gaines of Rice University. He signed a four-year contract; financial terms were not released.

That leaves three of the six draft choices without deals: first-round outside linebacker Dee Ford, fourth-round running back De’Anthony Thomas and fifth-round quarterback Aaron Murray.

On Thursday, Oakland became the second team to sign a first-round selection, getting linebacker Khalil Mack’s signature on the four-year contract.

Another Draft Pick Signs With Chiefs

It’s two down, four to go in the draft choice signing department for the Chiefs.

After getting sixth-round pick guard Zach Fulton locked up on Tuesday, the club’s other sixth-rounder offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif from McGill University in Canada agreed to terms on Wednesday.

There were no details on the deal, but draft picks generally sign four-year contracts that start with $2.455 million in base salaries; that’s the total of the minimum salaries for the players over the next four seasons: 2014-$420,000, 2015-$585,000, 2016-$675,000, 2017-$775,000. The only difference in these deals comes in the bonuses, whether signing, workout or other possibilities.

The remaining 2014 choices without contracts are outside linebacker Dee Ford, cornerback Phillip Gaines, running back De’Anthony Thomas and quarterback Aaron Murray.

Chiefs Sign First Draft Choice

Less than a week after the NFL Draft, there are more than a half-dozen choices that have already signed their rookie contracts.

That includes Chiefs sixth-round selection guard Zach Fulton out of the University of Tennessee. He inked his deal on Tuesday, becoming the first of the six Chiefs draft choices to sign.

When the current labor agreement between the owners and players went into effect in 2011, it made formal what had always been the slotting of pay for draft choices. That and limiting the amount of money teams can pay their rookies through the salary cap takes a lot of the guess work and negotiating histrionics out of the picture.

No details on terms of the deal for the 6-5, 323-pound Illinois native.

Breaking Down The Chiefs May ’14 Roster

The NFL roster limit right now is 90 players, but that only counts the players under contract. After the moves since the draft and the undrafted free agent signings the Chiefs have announced they have 79 men under contract. That does not include the team’s six unsigned draft choices.

Here’s a look at the roster as it stood on Monday night. Players in italic are those that were part of the team at some point in the 2013 season. This year’s half-dozen draft choices are included in the count. Only the six undrafted free agents announced by the Chiefs have been included:

Quarterbacks (4)

Tyler Bray, Chase Daniel, Aaron Murray, Alex Smith

This will be all about the No. 3 spot as Bray and Murray compete against each other. It would not be a shock if come September all four quarterbacks remain on the 53-man roster. …Read More!

He’s Now Dr. Alex Smith

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith can hardly be considered old. He will turn 30 years old next Wednesday and he’s working on his 10th season in the NFL. In the real world, he’s a youngster.

But he now holds an honorary doctorate in human letters presented to him Thursday night during graduation ceremonies in Salt Lake City for his alma mater, the University of Utah. Smith graduated in three years from the school with a degree in economics in 2004 and he returned this week as the commencement speaker, selected by a student vote.

There were almost 8,000 graduates, from 76 countries, all 50 states and ranged in age from a remarkable 15 to 71 years old. They and their families and friends filled the Huntsman Center where Smith actually asked them to boo him at the start of his speech. It was a transition for him into the theme of his address, specifically learning to “embrace the challenge of your own imperfection.” He talked about his up and down time with the 49ers before his trade to the Chiefs last season. It was a very personal message. …Read More!

Chiefs Add Offensive Lineman

The Chiefs deepened the depth on their offensive line on Thursday when they announced the signing of Otis Hudson.

Selected in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Hudson spent three years with the Cincinnati Bengals, most of that time on the team’s practice squad. He was on the 53-man roster for eight games in the 2011 season, but he was a game-day inactive player all eight times, including the Bengals game in the 2011 playoffs.

A native of Chicago, Hudson started his high school career in the city at John Marshall High, but finished in the suburbs at Barrington High School. The 6-5, 330-pounder began his college career at the University of Minnesota where he spent three years. Hudson then transferred to Eastern Illinois University, where he played in the 2008 and 2009 seasons, starting 21 games at right tackle.

With the Bengals, he was listed as a guard and played there during pre-season games. Hudson was not signed before the 2013 season, but spent several weeks with the Bengals in the pre-season after an injury opened a spot for him.

Coming out of Eastern Illinois, where he claimed a degree in construction management, Hudson was measured with 34-inch arms, 10.5-inch hands and he ran the 40-yard dash in 5.1 seconds.

Hudson is the seventh guard on the Chiefs roster joining Jeff Allen, Chandler Burden, Ricky Henry, Rishaw Johnson, Jeff Linkenbach and Rokevious Watkins.

Smith Confirms Contract Talks, But No Deal Yet

From the Truman Sports Complex

Alex Smith said Monday there was no agreement on a new contract with the Chiefs. But the quarterback said conversation between the team and his agent, former Chiefs guard Tom Condon were on going.

“(Condon) handles all of that,” Smith said on the first day of the team’s off-season program. “That is why you hire that guy, to take care of that so you can focus on football.”

Smith has one season left on the contract he brought with him from San Francisco last year when he was traded to the Chiefs. He’s set to make $7.5 million and will count $8 million against the salary cap for the 2014 season. Team chairman Clark Hunt has said publicly several times in the off-season that a new deal for his quarterback was a priority.

“I had no date as far as an expectation,” Smith said. “I didn’t have any expectations and don’t know when it will get done.”

The sooner an extension gets done, the sooner Smith will bank a major payment, either in a signing bonus or guaranteed base salary. He says it’s not something he’s worried about.

“I’ve played long enough, going into year 10 now,” said Smith. “It’s all year-to-year in my mind at this point. You have to continually prove yourself, so I don’t think it changes anything as far as my mindset and approach to the game at all.”

Chiefs Start 2014 Season By Dealing With Last Year

From the Truman Sports Complex

Eric Berry watched the tape many times over the last four months. Derrick Johnson hasn’t hit the play button even once.

Two very different ways of dealing with the gut wrenching aftermath of January’s disastrous loss in the first round of the playoffs when the Chiefs blew a 28-point lead with 28 minutes to play, eventually losing to Indianapolis.

It was a subject addressed upon the start of the Chiefs nine-week off-season program on Monday at the team’s facility. Head coach Andy Reid would not indicate how many of the players on his roster were in the house, saying only “we had a good turnout.”

The day began with a team meeting and words from Reid, and he went right for the white elephant in the room – the blown lead and subsequent loss to the Colts. Typical of Reid’s straight ahead style, he immediately addressed the subject.

“There are great things you can learn from that football game as a young team,” Reid said. “They came into a game, a game in the playoffs; got this great lead and you learn you’ve got to keep your foot on the accelerator for four quarters. You can’t let up an inch against a good football team.

“We can take some things out of that game that will make us better this year.” …Read More!

NFL Off-Season Rules Have Become Ridiculous

Jobs that require high performance from mind and body require extra effort to achieve individual and team success.

Yet, the NFL has become an enterprise that limits the amount of time a player and thus a team can devout to their craft. Striving for excellence was outlawed in the league’s labor agreement that was signed in 2011.

On Monday, the last batch of NFL teams will begin their nine-week off-season programs. That group includes the Chiefs, who will gather at the team’s facility in the Truman Sports Complex for the first time since the loss in the first round of the playoffs back in early January. Teams with new head coaches got a jump on their start date, opening two weeks ago. All of the clubs are limited in the amount of organized team activities (workouts, meetings and no-pads practices) they can hold.

Other than these nine weeks, players are not allowed to meet with their team’s coaching staff. They are not allowed to go into the team’s facility and run through a physical workout under the direction of team trainers or strength coaches. They can get treatment for injuries and ailments that they carried out of the 2013 season, but that’s the only active involvement allowed under the rules between players and the team.

Think about that for a minute in another context – a bright young cello player works with one of the top orchestras in the country. But his practice time is limited by rules developed by the cello players union. He must go months at a time without playing his cello or listening to recordings of his performances. Does that make better music? Does that make any sense, for the musician or his employer?

Would other professions or business put up with similar rules limiting the search for achievement? …Read More!

Some Easter Egg Notes On The Chiefs

Enjoy the holiday weekend folks and remember the Chiefs off-season program starts on Monday. It’s the first step in the 2014 NFL marathon and comes on the same day when they stage the Boston Marathon.

Now, on to some notes, quotes and informational nibbles from the Chiefs and pro football:

One more step ahead for Bowe

The case of the City of Riverside vs. Dwayne Bowe was walked off the legal agenda this week when the Chiefs wide receiver took a plea bargain, agreeing to guilty charges of defective equipment and littering instead of speeding and marijuana possession.

Bowe wasn’t even in the courtroom when it all went down on Wednesday. He paid $610 in fines and the marijuana charge was dismissed completely. It was all a product of Bowe being stopped on November 10th last year while driving home from the airport with two friends. He was clocked at 48 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone and was stopped by Riverside police, who subsequently found marijuana in the car.

On the legal docket, Bowe has cleaned up the matter, but that does not necessarily clear him when it comes to possible NFL discipline. Commissioner Roger Goodell has wide-ranging powers to fine and suspend players for conduct detrimental to the league. A plea deal does not lessen the possibility of action out of the NFL office. …Read More!

On The Surface, All’s Quiet In The Chiefs Draft Room

It went down last week at the Chiefs facility in the Truman Sports Complex and reverberations were felt a thousand miles away in Georgia. Down in the ATL, former general manager and now assistant G.M. of the Falcons Scott Pioli’s head had to be spinning and belching smoke.

Why? Pioli’s successor John Dorsey and the Chiefs invited media members to a conversation about the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. The session provided background on the team’s draft preparations and carried one limitation – comments by Dorsey were not to be reported publicly. The meeting went down in the Chiefs draft room on the second floor of their offices. It’s where Dorsey, head coach Andy Reid and the team’s hierarchy will gather to select six draft choices on May 8-9-10.

In four seasons running the franchise into the ground, Pioli banned the media from the second floor of the building and did not allow the locals to even know where the draft room was located, let alone step inside. It wasn’t just the media either but many of the people on the Chiefs payroll. Pioli’s insecurities and poor decisions made it imperative that he operated in the shadows. Thankfully for Chiefs fans, those problems now belong to the Falcons.

Dorsey does not share those personality defects, so bringing a group of scribblers, golden throats and hairdos into the draft nerve-center for a chat was nothing for him to worry about. The Chiefs did cover up their current draft ratings and all Dorsey revealed is that once final evaluations are completed, the team will have approximately 150 players for consideration on their draft board. That’s a pretty standard number for most teams. …Read More!

Aldon Smith’s Waste Of Talent, Career & Life

Aldon Smith has as many mug shots as action photos in last eight months

He is 24 years old and despite fame and fortune, Aldon Smith is still acting like a troubled teenager.

The local kid out of Raytown and the defensive end for the San Francisco 49ers can’t seem to get out of his own way, adding another chapter to what is now a two-year rap sheet of trouble. Smith was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday, his third legal entanglement in the last eight months. Upset when he was selected for a secondary security check, Smith reportedly told a TSA agent that he had a bomb. He was allowed to walk away, but was then arrested at his gate as he waited for his flight.

Being annoyed about airport security checks does not make Smith any different than many other travelers these days. But he again showed his immaturity and inability to control his temper by failing to deal with his situation as an adult. That was visible before when he was arrested in September for driving under the influence and marijuana possession. It was there again in October when he was charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of assault rifles.

Smith went off to rehab, missed five games last year, returned and he was looking to the future. Right now, his 2014 season is suddenly in danger. More importantly, his life is at a crossroads. Over at Mizzou, wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckam got booted off the team for a series of behavior problems that finally overpowered his talent. His choice now is to mature and smarten up.

It may be time for the 49ers or NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to do the same with Aldon Jacarus Ramon Smith. It’s time to grow up. …Read More!

Bengals, Panthers, Vikes & Pack In Chiefs Pre-Season

The Chiefs opponents for the 2014 pre-season were announced Wednesday and among the four games Andy Reid’s club will face three division champions from last year and a nationally televised game.

That comes on Sunday, August 17th, when they visit Charlotte to play the Carolina Panthers, the top team in the NFC South in 2013. The game will be broadcast by FOX-TV with kickoff set for 7 p.m. CDT.

They will travel to Green Bay to finish up the pre-season schedule. Home games are against Cincinnati and Minnesota at Arrowhead Stadium. The Packers finished in the top spot in the NFC North and the Bengals won the AFC North.

Actual dates and times have not been finalized for three of the four games. The regular season schedule should be released sometime by the end of April.

Here’s how the August schedule breaks down: …Read More!

NFL 2014 Pre-Season Television Schedule

Date

Game

Net/Kickoff (CDT)

Sunday, August 3 New York Giants vs. Buffalo
Hall of Fame Game / Canton, Ohio
NBC / 6 p.m.

Week 2 (August 14-18)

Thursday, August 14 Jacksonville at Chicago ESPN / 7 p.m.
Sunday, August 17 Chiefs at Carolina FOX / 7 p.m.
Monday, August 18 Cleveland at Washington ESPN / 7 p.m.

Week 3 (August 21-24)

Friday, August 22 Oakland at Green Bay CBS / 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 23 New Orleans at Indianapolis CBS / 7 p.m.
Sunday, August 24 San Diego at San Francisco FOX / 3 p.m.
Sunday, August 24 Cincinnati at Arizona NBC / 7 p.m.

Movie Imitates NFL Life – Sort of

Fake Chiefs GM Brent Reichert talks with fake Cleveland GM Kevin Costner in Draft Day

On Thursday the movie Draft Day will hit theaters around the country. The film will give the ladies a chance to ogle Kevin Costner, who is the big Hollywood star in this production. It also gives the guys a chance to ogle Jennifer Garner, one of the co-stars. And, it will give football geeks a chance to drool over an early taste of the NFL Draft.

The real 2014 NFL Draft remains a month away, the selection meeting pushed back two weeks this year for reasons that have nothing to do with football and everything to do with image and entertainment, words that are very important in fueling the money-making engine that is the NFL.

Although the NFL did not make this film, the league had its say in all aspects of the production, including approval and rejection of various plot elements and the like. The movie’s director Ivan Reitman had little trouble admitting the fingerprints of the league office were all over his work.

“We needed their cooperation,” Reitman said last year. “We couldn’t make up team names the way certain films have and create our own league or our own draft, because then the film really wouldn’t have any power. It wouldn’t have the energy that the story had.” …Read More!

Off-season Program Dates Set For Chiefs

The Chiefs off-season program will begin on the day after Easter and finish up four days after Father’s Day.

So much of the timing and structure of the spring and summer work by NFL players is controlled by the labor agreement between owners and players. Andy Reid put his schedule together for his second Chiefs team under those parameters.

On Monday April 21st, the team’s strength and conditioning program will begin. The players will lift and run for the next five weeks, with classroom work added near the end of that time.

A rookie mini-camp will start on Saturday, May 24th for three days over the Memorial Day weekend. Rookies, first-year players and others in for tryouts can take part.

Tuesday, May 27th begins the OTA portion of the off-season, as the team will be on the field for 10 practices that are scheduled to last just under two hours: May 27-28-29, June 3-4-5 and June 10-11-12-13.

That leads into the team’s mandatory mini-camp that starts on Tuesday, June 17th for the first of three practices that will wrap up the off-season program.

DeSean Jackson Update – Saturday

This is the first, and maybe the only, DeSean Jackson Update that will be produced here.

The free agent wide receiver is drawing a lot of attention around the NFL, not only in front offices and coaching suites, but among other NFL players and fans.

Jackson won’t be signing this weekend; he’s going to do the whole tour thing, starting on Monday in Washington with the Redskins.

Apparently, one place he will not visit is Kansas City. NFL.com reported Saturday evening that the Chiefs had checked out the situation with Jackson and are not a suitor for the Pro Bowl receiver.

If true, that’s why we won’t waste our bytes and your time with more DSJ updates. Beyond the rumor about the Chiefs non-interest, there were plenty of other items just 24 hours after the Eagles released Jackson:

– He will visit the Redskins reportedly on Monday, as Washington has made it plain they are very interested. …Read More!

DeSean Jackson: Is The Talent Worth The Risk?

After being released on Friday by the Philadelphia Eagles, wide receiver DeSean Jackson is available to sign with any NFL team.

The Chiefs are interested in acquiring his services.

Should they be?

Absolutely.

But – there always seems to be one of those in these situations – it is ground the Chiefs must tread carefully if they are going to get into the DeSean sweepstakes. There are a host of issues that must be dealt with if Jackson is going to call Arrowhead home. Here are the most important questions seeking answers for the KCC to get together with DSJ:

Q: How good is Jackson as an NFL wide receiver?

A: Very good; sometimes very, very good. One of the league’s most electric receivers, Jackson is a big play waiting to happen every time the ball reaches his hands. He played 87 games (86 starts), grabbed 356 catches for 6,117 yards and 32 touchdown passes. That’s 17.2 yards per catch and a touchdown on every 11 receptions. He was selected for three Pro Bowls (2009-10-13) and over the last six seasons, Jackson ranked third in average yards per catch and 10th in receiving yardage. Those numbers make him an elite NFL receiver. …Read More!

NFL Meetings Wrap Up With More Changes

On Wednesday the NFL spring meeting came to an end in Orlando, Florida with ownership voting for several rules changes, while they tabled other proposals and voted down several ideas.

It was a rule already on the books that got the most attention during the final hours of discussion – taunting. Last season, stopping taunting by players was a point of emphasis with the officials. That factor helped push the number of taunting penalties from nine (2012) to 34 calls last season.

“We are going to clean the game up on the field between the players, in-your-face taunting, those types of things,” said Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher, a member of the league’s competition committee. “It’s all in the book; it’s all under unsportsmanlike conduct. There is no change in the rule. We are going to enforce the current rule. …Read More!

NFL Will Start Flagging End-Zone Dunks in 2014

It’s good that Tony Gonzalez got out of the NFL when he did.

His signature move of dunking over the crossbar after scoring a touchdown was outlawed on Monday by the league owners meeting in Orlando, Florida. Now, it will be a 15-yard penalty and a healthy fine from the league office.

That was just one of several items the league’s owners voted on at the Ritz Carlton Resort in the Florida sunshine.

There was not a new rule added; rather it’s a new interpretation of an old rule where the football can’t be used as a prop. The change came not because of Gonzalez and the former Chiefs tight end’s signature move after a score. The impetus of the change was due to a dunk by New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham last November that forced a delay in a game at Atlanta because the goal post was knocked askew. The Georgia Dome grounds crew was forced to come out and level the crossbar. …Read More!

Cooper Scores With League’s Performance Bonus

Part of the labor agreement between NFL owners and the players is a performance-based bonus that’s intended to provide extra compensation for players that outperformed their contract.

Essentially it’s a way to reward late-round draft choices, undrafted rookies and street free agents that received more playing time than expected when they signed their contracts. Most of those deals were for the league minimum. The bonus is not based on production numbers like rushing yards or tackles. Instead, it’s based on how much playing time a player saw during the season.

There’s $110.72 million in the performance pool for the 2013 season, or $3.46 million per team. From last year’s Chiefs there were 61 players that received bonus money topped by rookie cornerback Marcus Cooper. When the league pays out these bonuses in April 2016, Cooper will receive $253,737. That ranked him at No. 15 among all the league players. Offensive tackle Jordan Mills of the Chicago Bears had the biggest bonus at $318,244.

Last season Cooper earned $405,000 in base salary with the Chiefs after he was claimed off the waiver wire from San Francisco the week before regular season game No. 1. According to NFL reckoning, he appeared in nearly 54 percent of the team’s plays in the 2013 regular season. …Read More!

What Andy Said/Fisher Will Play Left Tackle

Part of the week for NFL head coaches at the league’s spring meeting is a session with the media. On Tuesday it was the AFC coaches and Wednesday will be the NFC guys.

That put Andy Reid at a round table with various media types and he touched on a lot of different subjects as the scribblers and tin throats threw questions at him. Here’s some of what the Chiefs head coach had to say about:

Replacing Branden Albert at left tackle: “I think I’ll start off with Eric (Fisher) at the left and keep Donald (Stephenson) at the right. That’s where (Fisher) played in college; although Donald Stephenson played there for me, I know that he can do that too.”

Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson who is available in a trade: “I have nothing but good things to say about the kid. I did draft him. I had a great relationship with him. When his father passed away, that was a hard thing for him to go through at a young age; they were best friends. I’ve experience life things with him. He was great for me when I was there.” …Read More!

NFL Coaches Together In Orlando

The NFL spring meetings kicked off on Sunday and the league’s head coaches all got together and smiled pretty.

Andy Reid and his Hawaiian shirt are easy to pick out in the center of the 31 coaches that showed for the occasion. Who is missing? New England’s Bill Belichick, who was in Orlando but decided not to show for the picture (he was in attendance watching the NCAA basketball games on Sunday.)

How many of those 31 faces can you name?

Front row, left to right: Sean Payton, New Orleans; Mike Zimmer, Minnesota; Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati; John Harbaugh, Baltimore; John Fox, Denver; Pete Carroll, Seattle; Lovie Smith, Tampa Bay; Jay Gruden, Washington; Dennis Allen, Oakland; Tom Coughlin, NY Giants.

Middle row: Mike Pettine, Cleveland; Bill O’Brien, Houston; Doug Marrone, Buffalo; Jim Caldwell, Detroit; Chicago, Mark Trestman; Mike McCoy, San Diego; Mike Smith, Atlanta; Chip Kelly, Philadelphia; Bruce Arians, Arizona; Ken Whisenhunt, Tennessee.

Back row: Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis; Rex Ryan, NY Jets; Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco; Gus Bradley, Jacksonville; Jason Garrett, Dallas; Ron Rivera, Carolina; Andy Reid, Chiefs; Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh; Joe Philbin, Miami; Mike McCarthy, Green Bay; Jeff Fisher, St. Louis.

Chiefs Sign CB, Cut DL & Lewis Signs With Houston

There was a lot of transaction related news from the Chiefs on the NFL wire on Friday, as the team signed one, cut one and saw a starter from last year sign with another team:

  • Cornerback Chris Owens was signed as an unrestricted free agent. He’s a five-year veteran that played last year for Cleveland and Miami.
  • Released defensive lineman Brandon Moore, who was signed in January.
  • Four-year starting free safety Kendrick Lewis signed as an unrestricted free agent with Houston.

The 5-9, 180-pound Owens will be 28 years old in December five seasons he played in 72 games with 14 starts, picking up 184 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. He came into the league as a third-round selection by Atlanta in the 2009 NFL Draft. Owens played four seasons with the Falcons and then signed last season with Cleveland as an unrestricted free agent. …Read More!

Chiefs Add Defensive Lineman

On Wednesday, the Chiefs continued their shopping at the bargain basement of NFL free agents when they agreed to terms with defensive lineman Ticory “Cory” Grissom.

Undrafted last season coming out of the University of South Florida, Grissom signed with New England and played in the pre-season there before suffering a high ankle sprain in the Patriots third pre-season game against Detroit. He spent the year on the injured-reserve list.

Grissom was released by the Patriots on March 10th.

The 6-1, 316-pound Grissom will be 24 in June and is a native of LaGrange, Georgia where he attended Troup County High School. At South Florida, he was a three-year starter and opened 40 of the 46 games he played for the Bulls. He finished his career with 105 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and five sacks.

NFL Owners Set To Consider Many Rules Changes

The NFL will hold its annual spring meeting next week in Orlando and they’ll need plenty of extra time to consider a significant number of changes to rules and regulations.

Ultimately, knowing how full ownership tends to handle change very slowly, many of these suggestions from individual teams and the league’s competition committee will likely be tabled, delayed for more discussion or shot down by negative votes.

The agenda was revealed Wednesday by the league and has a number of ideas that are worthy of consideration and discussion. Here are some of them with our opinions: …Read More!

Free Agency & Other Subjects With John Dorsey

General Manager John Dorsey spoke on a number of subjects other than Emmanuel Sanders on Tuesday when he joined the media horde on a conference call.

Here’s what Dorsey said about:

The search for roster help at wide receiver: “This is just really the mid part of the second week of free agency; there are still players out there. This draft is very deep in terms of wide receivers with skills. We always talk about (how) we’re going to turn over every rock possible as we move forward here and that’s kind of part of the process right now. As this plan moves forward, we’re going to continue to add competitive depth to our roster and that’s what we do every day. We come in here and we try to find the best possible players we can.”

Status of contract extension talks with quarterback Alex Smith and outside linebacker Justin Houston: “That’s an ongoing process as we speak and we’ve had communication with representatives. That’s kind of where we are.” …Read More!

Dorsey Puts Sanders Affair ‘In The Rearview Mirror’

The Emmanuel Sanders Affair sparked again Tuesday after smoldering for several days in the free agency atmosphere of the NFL.

Steve Weinberg, the wide receiver’s agent, said through a publicity release that “there was absolutely no handshakes, verbal agreements or signed documents with the Chiefs” last weekend. The team thought they had worked out a contract with Sanders on Saturday, only to see him agree to terms later that night with division-rival Denver.

General Manager John Dorsey spoke with the Kansas City media on Tuesday and indicated the water from the Sanders Affair had flowed under the bridge for him and his team.

“During free agency, anything can happen,” Dorsey said. “I was interested in a player and at the end of the day the player and agent decided to go to Denver . . . we move on and that’s kind of what I’ve done. I’ve put it in the rearview mirror and I’ve moved forward.” …Read More!

Answer Bob/Pre-Free Agency – Part #2

Here’s the second installment of your questions and my answers. Many thanks.

————————————————–

Tucson Chiefs fan says: Hi Bob, how much do you think a player’s personality (free agent or draftee) comes into play when Dorsey/Reid look at players? It may seem like an odd question but I believe we had a losing mentality for quite some time and I think that may be the biggest hurdle for us to overcome (although we definitely have started). People are talking about copying Seattle’s blueprint for success with tall press coverage. That’s great but what I see with the Seahawks is a team that consistently expects they will win each week. Same with New England – new players all the time but the “cocky, we are winners” attitude prevails. Is attitude a big or small part of what they look for?

Bob says: Tucson, great question and not odd at all. Personality is a huge part of what they are looking for in players. Both Dorsey and Reid said at the NFL Combine last month that they want to find payers with a passion for the game. That passion shows itself not just on the field during a game, but in practice, the off-season, the locker room, the meetings – every aspect of the job. They want to see and hear that passion when they meet and interview college players. They seek as much information on the history of veteran players as they can dig up. Players with the Chiefs are asked to give a lot, in everything from time, to sweat and blood. If they don’t have a passion for the game, it’s not going to work. The bodies trying to crack NFL rosters all possess outstanding athletic ability. The ones that stick bring something else to the team. That’s what they attempt to find. Last year, Dunta Robinson proved to be over the hill as a cornerback and his signing did not help the Chiefs defense on the field. But Robinson’s presence was not a compete bust – he’s one of those guys that approaches his business with passion. He had a huge influence on the rest of the secondary with his advice and the work ethic he displayed. Robinson did this even when his playing time shrunk and then disappeared. …Read More!

Answer Bob/Pre-Free Agency – Part #1

Thanks for your questions about the Chiefs and free agency. It all begins Tuesday afternoon and we’ll bring you analysis and commentary for moves by the Chiefs and the rest of the NFL.

Here are the first questions and answers.

————————————————–

R W says: Excellent! Great to have “Ask Bob” back again. My question: Is Dorsey/Reid basking in the glow, treading water, or embarrassed from 2013 free agent/draft picks . . . and WHY once you assign a status on the mentioned choices?

Bob says: R W, it’s nice to be back. As for Dorsey/Reid and how they reacted to their 2013 acquisitions, I would say their emotion was simply, “We’ve got to get back to work.” I can guarantee you that the personnel and coaching staffs are not resting on any laurels from last season. In the NFL, every team starts new again every season – it’s impossible for a team to stay intact in the locker room.

Looking back at 2013, the roster additions were less than scintillating and would fall into your category of treading water. In unrestricted free agency, they hit on defensive end Mike DeVito and guard Geoff Schwartz. Some of the other signees made contributions but they were inconsistent and not always reliable: wide receiver Donnie Avery, cornerback Sean Smith, inside linebacker Akeem Jordan and safety-returner Quintin Demps would be the best examples. On a grading scale of one (horrible) to 10 (outstanding), the UFA class was a four. …Read More!

Ask Bob/Pre-Free Agency Edition

Life remains topsy-turvy and I’ve learned I have to ride this wave and see where it takes me.

That doesn’t mean I can’t take some Chiefs and football questions. The new league year starts on Tuesday, which means all 32 teams must be under the cap and free agency begins. Those two items go hand-in-hand, especially for teams like the Chiefs.

I’ll take questions about free agency and the Chiefs until 6 p.m. on Sunday. I’ll post answers as quick as I can.

You know the drill. The mailbox is open.

Chiefs Slice Two From Bottom Of Roster

It’s the time of the off-season when NFL teams grab their pruning shears and cut away players on their roster with very little chance of making the squad for the 2014 season.

The Chiefs went snip-snip on Thursday, releasing linebacker Robert James and tight end Dominique Jones.

James was signed in the week before the Chiefs game against Indianapolis in the playoffs and participated in 19 snaps in the kicking game at Lucas Oil Stadium. He was added to the roster when James-Michael Johnson went to the injured-reserve list before the wildcard matchup with the Colts.

Jones was signed to the Chiefs practice squad on October 10th and promoted to the active roster on December 7th. He played in two games, getting 43 snaps of blocking in the Chiefs offense. Jones was moved to the reserve/non-football illness list on December 17th.

Familiar Names On College Hall Of Fame Ballot

On Thursday, the National Football Foundation released the ballot for the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame.

Some of the more familiar names on the list are running back Eric Dickerson, wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, linebackers Brian Bosworth, Ray Lewis and Ron Rivera and defensive tackle Warren Sapp. A group of 17 college athletic directors, conference commissioners, Hall of Famers and the media will vote on the finalists, with this year’s inductees named in May.

There are 162 players and 32 coaches from all levels of college football on the ballot and nine men are familiar to the Chiefs organization in some fashion: …Read More!

No Repeat Of Franchise Tag For Branden Albert

The NFL deadline for using the franchise player designation passed on Monday afternoon and only four teams used that tool to tie-up one of their soon to be unrestricted free agents.

One of those clubs was not the Chiefs. As expected G.M. John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid made the decision to not franchise left tackle Branden Albert for a second season. Thus, he will be a UFA come the start of free agency on March 11th.

The Chiefs have continued talks with Albert’s agent, but at this point it would be a surprise if they were able to reach a contract agreement before the free agency kickoff. After March 11th, the chance of Albert returning after reaching the open market is slim. Left tackles of his quality are going to attract big-money offers, something the Chiefs may not be able to afford under the 2014 salary cap.

Several other soon-to-be free agent left tackles also were not tagged, like Oakland’s Jared Veldheer and Jacksonville/Baltimore’s Eugene Monroe; it will be interesting to see how the market shakes out for teams in dire need of a blind-side tackle. …Read More!

Charles, Cooper, Holmes Honored By Chiefs

The annual 101 Banquet is a night where Kansas City honors the NFL’s best from the 2013 season. It’s also an evening for celebrating the best Chiefs performances past and present.

That went down Saturday evening at the Westin Crown Center Hotel. During the black-tie affair the Chiefs announced:

  • Running back Jamaal Charles was selected the team’s MVP for the 2013 season, winning the Derrick Thomas Award.
  • Cornerback Marcus Cooper was named the club’s top rookie for last season, winning the Mack Lee Hill Award.
  • Former running back Priest Holmes was chosen as the 44th member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame.

Charles won the MVP title for the fourth time in five years (2009-10-12-13). He had 1,980 offensive yards over the season and led the NFL in scoring touchdowns with 19. Charles also earned his third trip to the Pro Bowl and was named first-team All-Pro for his 2013 performance.

Cooper joined the team in the week before the first regular-season game, claimed off the waiver wire from San Francisco. He ended up playing in 16 games, making six starts, picking off 3 passes and contributing 41 total tackles. Cooper also recovered a muffed punt in the end zone for a touchdown against Tennessee.

Holmes spent seven seasons with the Chiefs (2001-07), earning three trips to the Pro Bowl (2001-03) and two Chiefs MVP awards (2001-02). He finished with 6,070 rushing yards, 76 rushing touchdowns and 83 total scores. He led the NFL in rushing during the 2001 season with 1,555 yards.

Congratulations Len

Saturday night at the annual 101 Banquet the best players and coaches of the 2013 NFL season will be recognized.

Also one of the game’s greatest contributors will be honored – Len Dawson. He will receive the Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football, given each year to a person or institution that has represented the game in the same manner as the late Chiefs owner and founder.

If there was a Mt. Rushmore of sports in Kansas City, Dawson would be one of the faces. It wasn’t only his Hall of Fame career as a player and MVP of Super Bowl IV, and his long Hall of Fame career in football broadcasting from NBC, to HBO, to the Chiefs Radio Network. What makes Dawson one of the city’s sporting icon is his presence in Kansas City since 1963. A son of Ohio, who lived in Pennsylvania and briefly in Texas, Dawson has called Kansas City home for more than 50 years. When his career on the field ended, he didn’t move on to sunny and warmer climes.

Dawson remained an everyday face in the city, as well as one of the most important names in football history.

Congratulations Len.

More From John Dorsey At The NFL Combine

From Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

General Manager John Dorsey met the media on Friday afternoon at the NFL Combine and succeeded in replying to questions while providing minimal information. In just one year, Dorsey has already mastered the No. 1 trait for the typical league GM.

He did touch on a couple subjects that provided new information or a different look at the Chiefs players and position groups.

Here’s what Dorsey said about

The rookie season of last year’s No. 1 NFL Draft choice, offensive tackle Eric Fisher: “I think he made great strides as the season went along. You could see a great degree of comfort with him in the second half of the season. I’ve always said that between the first and second year, that’s when those guys make their greatest strides and I expect great things from Eric in his second year.” …Read More!

Don’t Count Branden Albert Gone Just Yet

From Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana

Earlier this month radio station KCSP-AM reported that the Chiefs had decided they were not going to attempt to re-sign soon to be unrestricted free agent left tackle Branden Albert.

On Friday at the NFL Combine, general manager John Dorsey said that was news to him.

“This is the first I heard about it,” Dorsey said. “We have on-going conversations with the representatives for all of our unrestricted free agents and it just so happens we’ve had conversations with Branden’s representatives. That’s the beauty of the Combine; all those guys are here.

“We will continue to have conversations as the Combine passes.”

Last year, the Chiefs kept Albert by using the franchise-player designation and he received $9,828,000 in salary. They have the ability to do that again this year, with Albert receiving 120 percent of his salary from last season, or $11,793,600.

But Dorsey said that would not be the case this season.

“We probably won’t use that,” Dorsey said of the franchise tag. “We will continue to have ongoing discussions with his representatives at the Combine as well as after the Combine.”

Dorsey said the team had been in contact with all the agents for their unrestricted free agents. They currently have 14 players that were with them last year and are without contracts for the 2014 season: …Read More!

More of What Andy Said At The NFL Combine

     
 

From Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

It was jaunty Andy Reid that met with the media on Thursday afternoon here on the first official day of the annual NFL Combine.

“Alright, it’s great to be here,” Reid said when he took the podium in front of a horde of several hundred media types of all shapes and sizes. “Another Combine and you enjoy this time of year because you have an opportunity to start adding to your football team, good football players. This is one of the first steps of that process.”

Reid actually sounded like he meant it was great and he wasn’t just throwing out the football version of being politically correct in the month of February. He said he was pumped up and excited about the process of getting to learn more about the players that will make up the NFL Draft Class of 2014.

“I enjoy it,” Reid said. “I probably feed off of John’s (Dorsey) energy with it. You see him light up when he talks about certain guys and having the opportunity to talk to certain guys and then watch them work out.

“We go through these interviews with the guys and you’ve heard all these names and you’ve watched them play a little bit, now you get to sit down and talk to them and watch them move around out here. It’s exciting. I enjoy this first step in the process.” …Read More!

Andy Returns To Scene Of Post-Season Collapse

From Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

When Andy Reid walked into Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time this week at the NFL Combine, he couldn’t help but remember his last visit to the house that Peyton built.

That was back on January 4, when he brought the Chiefs to town to face the Colts in a first-round game in the AFC playoffs. Reid’s team built a 28-point lead with just over 28 minutes to play in the game, and ended up losing to Andrew Luck and the Colts 45-44 in one of the biggest postseason meltdowns in NFL history.

“It was a little rough the last time here,” Reid said. “We are trying to smooth that over right now. It was a rough day, but there are some great things we can learn from that as a young football team, and we will learn from it.”

It’s only in the last few weeks that Reid and his coaching staff began dissecting every moment of an 11-5 season that ended with the postseason disappointment. …Read More!

Dolphins Coach Owns Locker Room Problems

Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

The first general manager/head coach to appear before the media Thursday morning at the 2014 NFL Combine was Joe Philbin.

The Miami head coach did not say so, but the timing was obvious; before the media horde had downed its first cup of coffee, Philbin wanted to get his time behind the microphone completed as soon as possible. The release last week of the report on the atmosphere of the Dolphins locker room that created the problems involving Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito guaranteed interest in what Philbin had to say.

“I want everybody to know I’m the one that’s responsible for the work place, the environment in the Miami Dolphins facility,” he said. “I’m the one that sets the schedule, I decide when the practices are, I decide what time players eat, how they meet, how they lift – everything that they do in the facility.

“I think you can imagine that when I read the report . . . some of the facts, the behavior and the language that was outlined in the report was inappropriate and it’s unacceptable.” …Read More!

Back in the saddle – sort of

From Indianapolis, Indiana

The next few days here for the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium is an attempt to restart a life that has been forever altered.

Whether hanging around the NFL for a few days is a good decision, I do not know; I’ll tell you come Sunday. The emotions come in waves these days, strong and disruptive at times, placid and soothing at other moments. It all remains very surreal, as if I’m watching somebody else’s life. Unfortunately, starring at the ceiling when its 3 o’clock in the morning there is painful recognition it’s my reality.

I’m limping but moving forward. Sooner or later a return to normal, or near normal, has to come. Pro football is here this week in the house Peyton built and it’s a valuable platform to gain information on the league and May’s NFL Draft. So I’m in the circle city, attempting to climb back into the saddle.

In the next few days there will be updates on news coming out of this convention; for instance Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is scheduled to meet with the media Thursday afternoon, GM John Dorsey steps to the podium on Friday and Missouri’s Michael Sam will meet the media on Saturday. There are also players from Missouri Western and Northwest Missouri State that will be passing through, along with more players from Mizzou and a few from K-State. Plus, there’s always a surprise or two.

Many of you have asked about the future of bobgretz.com. At this point, I have no answers to provide, but check back in the coming weeks. The stories from the NFL Combine are available to everyone, so tell friends and football fans to check them out and get a free taste of the site – for now.

I can’t express how important the concern and consideration I’ve received from readers and subscribers has been over the fortnight. It’s been very helpful in dealing with my new normal. Thank you.

Now, onward to the underwear football Olympics!

Complete Player List For NFL Combine 2014

This is the list of 335 invitees to the 2014 NFL Combine that will be held later this month in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.

There are 59 defensive backs, including 39 cornerbacks that have been invited, along with 55 defensive linemen, 50 offensive linemen and 49 wide receivers.

Topping the list are 19 quarterbacks, topped by former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.

Among local schools, Missouri has 7 players on the list and 2 for Kansas State. There are also players from Missouri Western, Northwest Missouri State and Lindenwood

Here is the list of players expected to be participating in Indy: …Read More!

Reid Adds Former Mizzou RB Brock Olivo To Staff

Andy Reid filled the lone open position on his coaching staff on Thursday by hiring former Mizzou and NFL RB Brock Olivo to serve as assistant special teams coach.

He takes the spot vacated when last season’s kicking game assistant Kevin O’Dea signed on as special teams coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Olivo joins the Chiefs after two seasons (2012-13) as RB coach and special teams assistant at Coastal Carolina University where he coached the running backs and assisted on special teams. Prior to that Olivo spent the 2011 season as RB coach for the Omaha Nighthawks of the now defunct United Football League. He actually began his coaching career in Italy, as the head coach and offensive coordinator of the Italian National Football Team. He was also the head coach, offensive coordinator and special teams coordinator of the S.S. Lazio Marines, a Serie A1 team which competes in Italy’s IFL, the country highest level of American football.

After his record setting playing career in Columbia, Olivio spent 4 seasons (1998-01) with the Detroit Lions. During his 44-game NFL career, he had 2 carries and 7 receptions, plus 15 kickoff returns for 263 yards (17.5 avg.). He also recorded 2 special teams fumble recoveries. At Mizzou, Olivo set the then-school career record for rushing yards with 3,026 from 1994-97. He also led the team in scoring in three straight seasons (1994-96).

Olivo was the first recipient of the Mosi Tatupu Award, an honor bestowed on college football’s top special teams player. He became just the seventh player in Missouri football history to have his number (27) retired. While playing for the Tigers, the Mizzou coaching staff included Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub.

She’s Gone

Early Wednesday morning Anita passed away after a six-month fight with cancer.

She’s no longer in pain. She is not suffering anymore. We knew the end was coming and we thought we were ready, but there’s no way to prepare for the moment. She left us way too early. Melanoma is a bastard that was unfazed by radiation, drugs and surgery. Anita fought hard, but it was a foe simply too well entrenched.

Thank you for the prayers and encouragement offered in recent weeks and months. In the last 10 days I’ve lost two of my best friends and two souls I loved very much. Nothing in my life prepared me for this overdose of death and I do not know what the future will bring. We will say good bye to Anita in the days ahead and after that . . . I just don’t know. There is exhaustion physically, emotionally, financially and mentally.

I wish I had answers, but right now I’m not even sure what the questions are.

Recent Events and the course of history


Over the next few days I will post reaction to recent events. They’ll be short and sweet, or in this case, not so sweet.

The Chiefs turnaround from 2-14 to 11-5 was this season’s bounce-back story of the NFL and reconfirms the belief that in the NFL a team can go from worst to almost first very quickly.

It’s really not that easy. When an NFL team has been controlled by bad management, one season is not enough to turn the ship. A team that lacks a creative decision maker can leave a franchise in a very deep hole for some time.

From recent events, here’s an example of how former GM Scott Pioli was devoid of creativity in the personnel business and his cloud still hangs over the roster.

This past Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl 48, using a stifling and active defense to shutdown Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. The Hawkers did this with an offense that was directed and led by second-year starting QB Russell Wilson.

A sensation since he was selected with the No. 75 choice in the 2012 NFL Draft, Wilson was supposedly too small to be a successful passer in the pros; he’s 5-11. Certainly, Pioli could not see or appreciate the qualities Wilson brought to the NFL. He was wrapped up in numbers when analyzing quarterbacks; he brought from the Patriots a QB template that required a player stand no shorter than 6-3. Thus, Wilson was not even a consideration. …Read More!

The Early Vegas Line On Next Super Bowl Winner

From R.J. Bell of Pregame.com in Las Vegas here are the Super Bowl odds for the February 2015 game that’s set for Glendale, Arizona:

  • 7/1: SEAHAWKS.
  • 8/1: BRONCOS, 49ERS.
  • 12/1: PATRIOTS.
  • 20/1: PACKERS, SAINTS.
  • 25/1: FALCONS, BENGALS, PANTHERS.
  • 30/1: CHIEFS, COLTS, EAGLES, BEARS, CARDINALS.
  • 40/1: COWBOYS, GIANTS, REDSKINS, LIONS, RAMS, STEELERS, RAVENS, TEXANS, CHARGERS.
  • 50/1 DOLPHINS.
  • 60/1: BUCS, TITANS.
  • 75/1: JETS, BILLS, BROWNS.
  • 100/1: VIKINGS.
  • 200/1: JAGUARS, RAIDERS.

RIP: Albert R. Gretz, Jr. 1932-2014

THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR THEIR KIND WORDS. WE HOPED TO GET BACK TO FULL SPEED THIS WEEK BUT OTHER EVENTS HAVE INTERVENED. MORE ON THOSE LATER.  Thanks BG.

I wanted to alert all that the website will not have much information for the rest of this week.

My father Al Gretz passed away on Monday in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, his home for the last 59 years. He was 81 years old.

For the last several years he’s been in a lot of pain from various ailments, but even in a diminished state physically and mentally, he fought to survive. Finally, his body gave out. He now is at peace.

So much of what I am today comes from the help, knowledge and opportunities that he provided. I miss him. Thanks for your understanding.

Do Chiefs Matchup With Super Bowl Teams? Part #4

As we continue to take a very close look at Super Bowl teams Seattle and Denver, and where the Chiefs land in comparison to those clubs, we’ve looked at the premier positions on offense, defense and special teams.

This time, we look at offensive roster of the three teams; it’s an important comparison of productive talent, and the depth on the roster for each team.

It’s not just that the Seahawks and Broncos are in the title game; they posted the best regular season records in the league. They are experienced, talent-filled rosters and that’s the type of team the Chiefs must match and exceed if they plan to play in next year’s Super Bowl.

The rankings at each position come from discussions with personnel leaders around the league.

Here are the offensive comparisons: …Read More!

Do Chiefs Matchup With Super Bowl Teams? Part #3

As we take a close look at Super Bowl teams Seattle and Denver, and where the Chiefs land in comparison to those clubs, we’ve looked at the premier positions on offense and defense. This time, we look at the four key contributors in the kicking game.

It’s not just that the Seahawks and Broncos are in the title game; they posted the best regular season records in the league. They are experienced, talent-filled rosters and that’s the type of team the Chiefs must match and exceed if they plan to play in next year’s Super Bowl.

Statistics are from the NFL and the rankings at each position come from discussions with personnel leaders around the league.

Special Teams

The typical NFL game does not have as many plays in the kicking game as it does on offense and/or defense.

But even though there are fewer snaps, the importance of the kicking plays equals that of offense and defense. That’s one of the reasons they are called special teams. Both of the Super Bowl teams have very good performers in the kicking game. So do the Chiefs. Do they match up in the four key spots? Let’s take a look. …Read More!

Do Chiefs Matchup With Super Bowl Teams? Part #2

In several installments over the coming week we are going to take a close look at Super Bowl teams Seattle and Denver, and where the Chiefs land in comparison to those clubs.

It’s not just that the Seahawks and Broncos are in the title game; they posted the best regular season records in the league. They are experienced, talent-filled rosters and that’s the type of team the Chiefs must match and exceed if they plan to play in next year’s Super Bowl.

We will look at both sides of the line of scrimmage, along with the special teams. We started with a look at how the Chiefs matchup in the most important defensive positions. This time we look at the most important offensive positions. Statistics are from the NFL and the rankings at each position come from discussions with personnel leaders around the league.

Quarterback

It’s hard for Chiefs fans to look at the two years that Peyton Manning has spent in Denver and not wonder – what if?

When Manning was looking for a place to finish his career after Indianapolis, what if . . . the Chiefs had somebody in charge of the operation other than Scott Pioli? Manning’s camp didn’t even want to talk with Pioli and the Chiefs, turning them down flat via e-mail rather than a phone call or face-to-face meeting. Manning wanted no part of the circus that was Arrowhead under Pioli.

What if . . . the duo of Andy Reid and John Dorsey were on board going into the 2012 season? Would Manning be wearing an arrowhead on his helmet rather than a horse’s head? That’s impossible to predict but there’s no question what Manning means to the Broncos. He’s the best quarterback in the NFL, two years after missing a season because of neck injury/surgery. …Read More!

Dontari Poe Grabs & Goes At Pro Bowl

For Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe it was a defensive lineman’s dream.

In the second quarter of the 2014 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Houston DE J.J. Watt hit San Diego QB Philip Rivers as he was throwing the ball. It popped up in the air and into the hands of Poe.

The Chiefs defender took off running and put together a 42-yard return before he was run down from behind by Carolina FB Michael Tolbert.

It was just one of several plays contributed by the 10 members of the Chiefs that were in Hawaii for the NFL all-star game. By the time it was over, Team Jerry Rice beat Team Deion Sanders 22-21.

That left QB Alex Smith, OLB Justin Houston, CB Brandon Flowers, WR Dexter McCluster and ILB Derrick Johnson on the winning team with alumni captain Jerry Rice. On the losing end with Sanders team were Poe, RB Jamaal Charles, OLB Tamba Hali, LT Branden Albert and SS Eric Berry.

Starting for the winners were Flowers and Houston, with Charles, Berry and Hali starting for the losing side.

The Chiefs came up with big plays for both teams in this game, topped by the interception and return by Poe. There was also: …Read More!

Super Bowl Won’t Be Last Stand For Peyton

Sorry Chiefs fans – if you held the dream that a Denver Broncos victory in the Super Bowl would lead to Peyton Manning’s retirement, then this counts as a nightmare.

The Broncos quarterback said Sunday upon the team’s arrival in New Jersey for Super Bowl 48 that he plans on playing in 2014.

“I still enjoy the preparation part of it, the work part of it,” Manning said. “Everybody enjoys the game. Everybody is going to be excited to play in the Super Bowl.

“I think when you still enjoy the preparation, the work part of it I think you sought to be still doing that. When I stop enjoying it, when I can’t produce, when I can’t help the team that’s when I’ll stop playing. I certainly want to continue to keep playing.”

More than a few folks in the Chiefs Nation, the AFC West, the AFC and the NFL hoped a Denver victory would have Manning walking away from the game carrying the Lombardi Trophy.

Others have done it, and Manning spoke to some of them.

“A number of players have walked away as champions,” Manning said. “I’m sure that’s a great feeling for those people. John Elway. Ray Lewis did it last year. Michael Strahan. Talking to Ray Lewis and talking to John Elway, they couldn’t play any more (physically). That was all they had to give. They truly left it all out there.

“I still enjoy playing football. I feel a little better than I thought I would at this point coming off that (neck) surgery. ”

The only people that don’t feel well are those that must face him in the 2014 season.

Do Chiefs Matchup with Super Bowl Teams? Part #1

In several installments coming up in the next few days we are going to take a very close look at Super Bowl teams Seattle and Denver, and where the Chiefs fall when compared to those clubs.

It’s not just the fact that the Seahawks and Broncos are in the title game, but they posted the best regular season records in the league. They are experienced, talent- filled rosters and that’s the type of team the Chiefs must match and exceed if they plan to play in next year’s Super Bowl.

We will look at both sides of the line of scrimmage, along with the special teams. We start with a look at how the Chiefs matchup in the most important defensive positions in today’s game, led by on the edge pass rushers and cover cornerbacks. Statistics are from the NFL and the rankings at each position come from discussions with personnel types around the league.

In these defensive positions, the Chiefs fare well. …Read More!

Chiefs Getting Ready For Pro Bowl on Sunday

Above is the Hunt Family franchise’s contingent at the NFL Pro Bowl that will be on the field Sunday in Honolulu.

The 10 Chiefs are the largest contingent from any NFL franchise and they are split evenly between the team in white known as Team Jerry Rice, and the team in gray the team known as Team Deion Sanders.

The Pro Bowl Teams For Sunday In Hawaii

For those that like to keep score at home, here are the rosters for the teams that will compete against each other in Sunday’s Pro Bowl.

Team Jerry Rice

QB: Drew Brees (NO), Philip Rivers (SD), Alex Smith (KC).

RB: LeSean McCoy (PHI), Matt Forte (CHI), DeMarco Murray (DAL), Mike Tolbert (CAR).

WR: Brandon Marshall (CHI), Josh Gordon (CLE), Alshon Jeffery (CHI), Larry Fitzgerald (ARI).

TE: Jimmy Graham (NO), Tony Gonzalez (ATL). …Read More!

5 Chiefs With Deion, 5 With Rice For Pro Bowl

Brandon Flowers was one of the early selections in the second day of the first Pro Bowl Draft.

In an attempt to put some life and interest into the Pro Bowl the NFL has created a new method for field the teams. It’s no longer AFC players vs. the guys from the NFC.

It’s Team Deion Sanders against Team Jerry Rice as the Pro Football Hall of Famers stand as the alumni captains for the competing teams. All the players selected for the Pro Bowl went into one pool of talent and on Tuesday and Wednesday the first Pro Bowl Draft were held in Hawaii.

Without conference distinctions it sets up situations where teammates during the regular season will be opponents on the field for the all-star game.

That is what went down with the 10 members of the Chiefs in the game. They ended up being split 5/5 on the squads. Drafted by Team Deion were RB Jamaal Charles, NT Dontari Poe, SS Eric Berry, OLB Tamba Hali and LT Branden Albert. Selected by Team Jerry were CB Brandon Flowers, OLB Justin Houston, ILB Derrick Johnson and returner Dexter McCluster. QB Alex Smith was assigned to Rice’s team when he was the last quarterback available.

In fact, Smith was the last player assigned and that was quite a difference from how he entered the NFL – as the first player selected in the 2005 NFL Draft.

The first player selected in this Draft was Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck, drafted by Team Deion. The No. 2 selection was New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham, taken by Team Jerry, where one of the co-captains was Saints QB Drew Brees.

Pioli Finally Finds Football Home In Atlanta

It took a full year after he was fired by the Chiefs for anybody in the NFL to offer Scott Pioli a job.

When that moment came, it was an old friend that stepped forward and gave him a place to land.

Pioli has been hired by the Atlanta Falcons as their assistant general manager. He will work with G.M. Thomas Dimitroff, who is one of Pioli’s best friends in the business and they worked together in personnel for many years in New England.

After watching the 2013 season as a member of the media with NBC, Pioli was actively seeking a front office job in the league. But he did not get a phone call from either Miami or Tampa Bay, teams working to hire new general managers.

In the four seasons he was in charge of the Chiefs, Pioli’s record as G.M. was 23-42.

Thoughts on Chiefs, Pro Bowl & Super Bowl 48


The NFL wanted a cold weather Super Bowl for some reason. After Tuesday snowstorm in the Northeast, they got it.

Thoughts and facts on all sorts of football matters as the NFL heads to its first outdoor Super Bowl north of the Mason-Dixon Line:

So if one should happen to be a fan of the Chiefs, are you excited about 10 players on your favorite team playing in the NFL’s annual all-star game?

Or, are you ticked off because the team with the most Pro Bowlers goes out of the league tournament in the first round?

The Pro Bowl has become a clown show and has outlived its usefulness to the league, with the exception of the league officials and club personnel that get their annual trip to Hawaii. They are attempting a new format this week, but that’s turning on the hose after the barn has already burned to the ground.

In light of that, I’m not impressed by 10 Chiefs players suiting up for the game, no matter which team they are selected for in the Pro Bowl drafts coming up on Tuesday and Wednesday.

This will impress me: if there are 10 Chiefs selected for the Pro Bowl and all 10 cannot play because they are preparing for a Super Bowl.

If you are a Chiefs fan, the number of Pro Bowl players you want to see is zero. …Read More!

Make It 10 Chiefs As Alex Smith Heads To Pro Bowl

The Chiefs contingent in Sunday’s NFL Pro Bowl in Honolulu grew by one on Tuesday with the addition of quarterback Alex Smith to the talent pool.

Smith was picked as a replacement for New England quarterback Tom Brady, who joined Super Bowl QBs Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson as selected, but not participating.

That makes 10 Chiefs taking part in the league’s all-star game. Joining Smith from the K.C. offense are RB Jamaal Charles and LT Branden Albert, along with returner Dexter McCluster. Then, there are the half-dozen Chiefs defenders – NT Dontari Poe, LBs Tamba Hali, Justin Houston and Derrick Johnson, CB Brandon Flowers and SS Eric Berry.

No other team has as many players participating in the Pro Bowl as the Chiefs, and in franchise history the only time they had more than 10 players named came in the first two years of the combined AFL-NFL all-star game in 1970 and 1971. In those two seasons, the Chiefs had 11 Pro Bowlers each year, including 7 future Hall of Famers in 1971.

D.J. Makes It 9 Chiefs In Pro Bowl

The devastating knee injury suffered by San Francisco linebacker NaVorro Bowman in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game has punched Derrick Johnson’s ticket to the Pro Bowl.

The Chiefs inside backer was selected Monday to replace Bowman who suffered two torn ligaments in his left knee. Johnson was the first alternate at inside linebacker for this year’s Pro Bowl team.

It’s the third straight Pro Bowl for Johnson. With him in Hawaii for this Sunday’s game will be 5 defensive mates NT Dontari Poe, OLB Tamba Hali, OLB Justin Houston, CB Brandon Flowers and SS Eric Berry. Also making the game are offensive all-stars LT Branden Albert, RB Jamaal Charles, along with punt returner Dexter McCluster.

98 Underclassmen Eligible For 2014 NFL Draft

The list could still top 100 names, but the NFL on Monday announced that 98 players have been granted eligibility for the NFL Draft set for May. That’s a record amount of underclassmen entering the pool of draftable talent.

Non-seniors on the college level can petition for a spot in the draft pool if they’ve been out of high school for three years. Thus, redshirt sophomores and juniors can elect to declare for the NFL Draft. The deadline for applying was last Wednesday.

Last year, 73 players were granted eligibility, setting a new league record at that time. It took just one year for the 2014 draft class to shatter that standard.  

The players granted special eligibility for the NFL Draft: …Read More!

It’s An Old AFC West Super Bowl For Game XLVIII

When the NFL reconvenes in the cold and possible snow of New Jersey on Groundhog’s Day, the game will have a distinct feel of the old AFC West.

It will be the Denver Broncos against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, February 2 from MetLife Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

The Broncos earned their seventh trip to the Super Bowl by beating New England 26-16 in the AFC Championship Game.

The Seahawks will be in the NFL championship game for the second time as they handled San Francisco 23-17 in the NFC Championship Game.

For 25 seasons (1977-2001) Denver and Seattle shared residence in the AFC West with the Chiefs, Oakland and San Diego. The Seahawks arrived in the league as an expansion team in 1976, playing that season in the NFC West before moving to the AFC West the next season. The Broncos are one of the original eight members of the American Football League, as they began play in 1960.

That version of the AFC West was blown up after the 2001 season, when the league realigned with the addition of expansion teams in Cleveland and Houston. Starting with the 2002 season, the Seahawks moved to the NFC West. …Read More!

What to Look For On Championship Sunday

CLOSE GAMES: The NFC Championship Game has featured close games in each of the last six seasons, with three games going to overtime. Those six games were decided by seven points or fewer, the longest such streak in conference championship game history.

The past six NFC Championship Games to finish within seven points or fewer:

SEASON

TEAMS WINNER

FINAL SCORE

2007

N.Y. Giants at Green Bay N.Y. Giants

23-20 OT

2008

Philadelphia at Arizona Arizona

32-25

2009

Minnesota at New Orleans New Orleans

31-28 OT

2010

Green Bay at Chicago Green Bay

21-14

2011

N.Y. Giants at San Francisco N.Y. Giants

20-17 OT

2012

San Francisco at Atlanta San Francisco

28-24

2013

San Francisco at Seattle ???

???

– NFL –

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Answer Bob/Volume Last – January 17

The final batch from Ask Bob. You guys kept me working. Thanks and enjoy.

cychief24 says: Great questions from my Gretz.com brothers! Almost leaves no stone unturned. Bob, prayers to you and Anita. I have a personal business question for you. How is BobGretz.com doing? I know we all want/need you to succeed. Is there anything we as members can do to help this site be more profitable besides recruiting others? When we click on ads does that help? Can those sponsors tell if we purchased from them off your link? I appreciate being able to use PayPal.

I heard the Alex Smith interview on WHB on my iPhone app. Loved everything I heard! He mentioned how the offense and defense needs to be as consistent as the special teams were all year. I think the offense took a while to learn and get going. The defense sank because of the injuries to Hali and Houston. So my question is: do we need a change at DB coaching? Kendrick Lewis continually looks to the sideline on EVERY play wondering what he should do. Does he ever study game film? I love Emmitt Thomas but he looked disconnected at the last few games on the sideline from my seat both at Arrowhead and at Indy.
From your grades is Albert a cap-eater good enough to sign compared to Stephenson starting?

Bob says: cy thanks for your support and prayers. I’ve got to be honest with you and everyone else that has found this site and supported it: right now bobgretz.com hangs by a thread. I’m not ready to talk about it currently because the last two months have been a roller coaster fighting with that bastard cancer and what it’s done and is doing to the woman I love. Let me just say that coming up in the future, hopefully near future, I will be in touch with a wonderful group of subscribers and let you know the whole story and what the future may hold. I love doing what I do; I don’t want to stop, but at some point we all have to grow up and get a real job, if any of those exist out there anymore. Right now, there are more important matters that demand my time. Stay tuned.

As for Alex Smith – I’m sold on this guy because of what’s in his past. He was bruised and battered both physically and emotionally with the 49ers. Even when he had the chance and grabbed the starting job, they were trying to replace him. I’ll take a quarterback like that any season of the decade. I think he’s also willing to make his feelings known not only in the locker room, but to the coaching staff and the front office. There’s so much respect for him and what he’s been through and the fact it did not destroy him. I’ve talked quite a bit in these segments about the defense, but I’ll add a couple things: 1.) Lewis may have been looking to the sideline to get calls for the defense because he’s one of the guys on the field that relays the defensive call from the coaches. He studies a lot of game film, believe me and all that preparation can help a player, but it can’t make up for a lack of speed and that’s caught up with Lewis. 2.) I did not pay attention to Emmitt Thomas on the sidelines and his demeanor, so I wouldn’t want to speculate. But at his age, maybe Emmitt has had enough. 3.) Tell me how the Chiefs are going to replace Albert and I’ll tell you whether they should sign him, franchise him again, or let him walk. It’s a huge position, one of the three or four premier positions in the NFL – quarterback, left tackle, pass rusher and cornerback. If a team wants to win, it better have those spots filled with talented players and if they have won, they should make sure they keep him.

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Answer Bob/Volume #5 – January 16

Coming down the home stretch here. A couple more after this one and then I’ll catch up to some of the comments to the questions and answers. Enjoy!

Michael D says: Bob, Happy New Year and all my best wishes to you, Anita, and your family. Apology: being old and bitter I must bring some pessimism to the party with my questions. What the he11 do the football gods have against KC and the Chiefs winning a game in the playoffs? Did they have to remove impact-player after impact-player until the team could not even breathe let alone function as a playoff-caliber football team against Indy? Was Alex Smith supposed to throw the ball to himself and score? Does anyone on the planet believe that Gray was going to put on his Jamal Charles superhero outfit and lead the team to a 4th-Q win? When will people drop the “next man up” mentality and realize it’s not valid when you are so far down the depth chart that you are asking asterisks to play? With the exception of the playoff game, it was the same secondary before the bye as after the bye; how did the pass rush mask such a porous, slow, untalented, uncoachable group of players in the first half of the season? Did the scheme change? Did the mentality change? Was there a lack of adaptability? Was there too much ego or maybe not enough of one? Do Bob Sutton and Dunta Robinson have a job with KC next year?

In golf I can handle the Pond Gods that are insatiable and sometimes a player must stand there and feed the Gods one ball at a time over and over until they are satisfied and allow him or her to continue on with their golfing life. What must the Chiefs as an organization and us fans as a kingdom do to appease the Football Gods so they will just leave us in peace? Thanks for the therapy! GO CHIEFS: The 2014 edition.

Bob says: Michael, at a time when I really needed it, reading your questions put a smile on my face. Thanks so much. It wasn’t like I was reveling in your agony, just enjoying your passion. You touched on one thing that really hit home with me and something that I’ve been carrying around for the last few months, this “next man up” mentality. That’s so easy to say and use that line with the players, with the fans, with the media, but when I get an opportunity to talk with Andy Reid, my question is this: what does the coaching staff do to make sure the next man up is prepared to step in? We hear all the time from players that the starters get the bulk of the practice snaps; that would be expected. So how the heck, are these next ups supposed to be ready to play? By their status, most have already proven they aren’t as talented as the starter, or they are a younger, developmental player that does not have a wealth of experience to rely on. I want to know what the coaches are doing to give the next man a fighting chance when it’s his firsts fight.

By the way, I’m quite familiar with the Pond Gods on the links; I’ve left a sleeve or 10 swimming with the fishes. To continue the analogy, the Chiefs and their fans are like Kevin Costner’s character in the movie Tin Cup. They just keep banging away like Roy McAvoy, believing at some point the ball will stay on the green and not roll back into the water.

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Jamaal Named Pro Bowl Captain

The NFL announced on Thursday that Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles was one of four captains selected for the Pro Bowl game, set for January 26th in Honolulu.

Joining Charles as the four active player captains will be QB Drew Brees, DE Robert Quinn and DE J.J. Watt. Charles will be paired with Watt in the new format for this year’s all-star game, while Brees and Quinn will work together. All the playing captains will work with alumni team captains Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders who will draft the competing teams from one pool of players, no matter their team or conference.

That first-ever Pro Bowl Draft is set for January 21-22 in Hawaii and will be broadcast on the NFL Network both nights starting at 7 p.m. CST. All 88 Pro Bowl players are expected to be in attendance for the live shows.

The 2014 Pro Bowl goes off at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu on Sunday, January 26th.

Dorsey Named NFL Executive of the Year

On Thursday, first-year Chiefs general manager John Dorsey was named the NFL’s Executive of the Year for 2013 by the Pro Football Writers Association.

The PFWA award is noted as the league’s top prize for front office types in pro football. In his first season after coming over from the Green Bay Packers, Dorsey put together a roster that led the Chiefs from a 2-14 record to 11-5 and a spot in the AFC playoffs. Dorsey was hired a year ago after spending 28 of the previous 29 years as an employee of the Packers. He began first as a linebacker, spending 6 seasons on the field with the Pack (1984-89).

Dorsey was hired as a scout in 1991, was promoted to director of college scouting in 1997, spent the 1999 season in Seattle as director of pro personnel, returned to Green Bay in 2000 as the director of college scouting until 2012 when he was named director of football operations.

The NFL Executive of the Year Award was started in 1993 and the only previous Chiefs executive to be honored was Scott Pioli after the 2010 season.

This year’s 11-5 mark is the best record in the first year of any general manager in the history of the Hunt Family franchise.

Here’s how the other 5 Chiefs general managers began their tenures:

General Manager

1st Season

Record

Don Rossi

1960

8-6

Jack Steadman

1961

6-8

Jim Schaaf

1976

5-9

Carl Peterson

1989

8-7-1

Scott Pioli

2009

4-12

John Dorsey

2013

11-5

Answer Bob/Volume 4 – January 15

Here are more answers and questions. You guys are wearing me out!

Kenny says: How much longer will Jamaal Charles need to play and what would he need to do in order to be considered for the Hall of Fame?

Bob says: Interesting question Kenny and tough to reply because the evidence is not final. At this point, Charles would have no chance to get his ticket punched for Canton. Consider former Denver running back Terrell Davis, who finished his 78-game career with 7,607 rushing yards, 8,887 offensive yards and 65 touchdowns, along with a pair of Super Bowl rings with the Broncos (1997-98). Davis couldn’t make the final round for this year’s class of candidates for the Hall and he’s been a Hall of Fame semi-finalist for the last 8 years but hasn’t been able to get to the final 15 candidates.

Charles has played 80 games with the Chiefs, posting 5,823 rushing yards, 7,798 offensive yards and 43 offensive touchdowns. He does not have a victory in the playoffs, let alone two Super Bowl rings. To have a shot, Charles needs to reach 10,000 rushing yards, even going as high as 12,000 yards. At his current average of 72.8 rush yards per game, he’ll need 58 more games to reach 10,000 yards; that’s almost four full seasons. To reach 12,000 yards, he’ll have to play 85 more games or 5 full seasons and part of another. Only 3 of 13 running backs in NFL history have hit the 12,000-yard mark and not earned Hall of Fame induction. …Read More!

Underclassmen Deadline To Enter NFL Draft Is Here

Wednesday is the deadline for eligible college players to announce their intention to enter the 2014 NFL Draft.

The official list of early entrants won’t be out until later in the week, but based on news reports and players announcing their intentions, this year’s group could be of record size and close to 100 players.

We’ll have the complete list later in the week when it’s released by the NFL and the players are approved to join the draft pool. But here are a few of the top talents that have publicly declared their intention of moving on to pro football: …Read More!

Answer Bob/Volume 3 – January 14

The questions kept coming, here are more answers. Enjoy!

j.t. collins says: Bob, wish the best for Anita & you in 2014. Now for my 2cents & this will cause a response from our Chiefs family – I think Derrick Johnson had a bad year (by his standards) & it showed in his Pro Bowl snub. Also, I see others question Sutton’s 2nd-half adjustments (or lack of it) as I do. I was hoping some other team would hire him away … darn. Is it us fans (lack of knowledge) or do you share our pain? Go ahead, I can take it, people laugh at my 10-6 forecast … fire away. Thanks Bob.

Bob says: J.T. your thoughts are appreciated. I agree with you that Derrick Johnson did not have a good year based on his standards. I wouldn’t call it a bad year, just not what D.J. has produced in the past. I think it’s the obvious turn of his career and it’s only to be expected; he’s played a lot of football in the last four seasons, made a lot of tackles, taken a lot of contact. He’s 31 and has played 9 full seasons – that’s a long time for a linebacker. Do not write off Bob Sutton and make him a scapegoat; he’s a very good coach, who can handle the job. The fall of the Chiefs defense was more a matter of performance and execution than Sutton. He doesn’t get absolved of blame, mind you, but there are bigger problems, and the largest of those is the talent level. They have Dontari Poe, Justin Houston and Eric Berry playing at the height of their abilities, and even Poe and Berry have to play better. Everyone else is either trending downward or is a replaceable part. Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, Brandon Flowers are not getting any younger, faster, or stronger; they can still contribute and even excel, but the clock is ticking. …Read More!

Answer Bob/Volume 2 – January 13

Here comes chapter two for your questions and my answers. Enjoy!

aPauled says: Awesome year again Bob! My questions: 1) Does the defense have a vocal leader? This group just seems disjointed with no one pulling it together. 2) What’s your assessment of Marcus Cooper? The guy looked good for a while then never seemed to recover from Peyton Manning targeting him. 3) Which guy on the current roster is best poised for a breakout year in 2014?

Bob says: Thanks aPauled for your comments. 1.) If the defense has a vocal leader, it appears to be either OLB Tamba Hali or SS Eric Berry. But the unit doesn’t appear to have a real “vocal” leader like a Ray Lewis was in Baltimore. I think any time a unit performs as poorly as the Chiefs defense did in the second half of the season they are going to look disjointed. It’s something the coaches need to assess and the players need to assess as well. Bill Walsh said about 20 years ago that he knew his 49ers team was capable of winning a championship when the players started to play for each other, rather than the coaches or owner. The Chiefs have not reached that point yet; it’s another step in the process of growing from pretender to contender. 2.) I think overall Cooper was the second best cornerback on the team, behind only Brandon Flowers. What he provided the Chiefs was remarkable given his late arrival and rookie status in the league. I agree – once he got torched by Manning, he lost some confidence. I think that’s where he showed his lack of background at cornerback. He’ll get over that. As long as he gets into the off-season program, I think there’s a chance he’ll start in 2014. 3.) A breakout player for 2014 – that’s a tough one because I’m not sure there’s a player on the current roster that would qualify. I may regret this guess – but I’ll say wide receiver A.J. Jenkins. He showed more in limited time with the Chiefs than he ever did in San Francisco. He needs someone to flip the switch on his motor. If Reid and receivers coach David Culley can get Jenkins to prove that being a great player is important to him, he could help the offense a lot and produce nice numbers in ’14. …Read More!

Chiefs Lead the Way On 2013 Writers All-NFL Team

The Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) all-NFL team was announced Monday and the Chiefs placed 3 players on the first team, more than any other team in the league.

Running back Jamaal Charles, strong safety Eric Berry and punt returner Dexter McCluster were voted to the first-team by PFWA members voting from around the country. – on the 2013 all-NFL team, chosen in voting conducted by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).

Nine teams – Arizona, Carolina, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Seattle and Tampa Bay – each had two players on the all-NFL team. In all, 16 clubs are represented among the 27 players honored.

The PFWA also announced the all-AFC and all-NFC teams. The Chiefs led all AFC teams with seven all-AFC selections, with left tackle Branden Albert, nose tackle Dontari Poe, outside linebacker Justin Houston and kick returner Quintin Demps joining Charles, Berry and McCluster. The Seahawks led all NFC clubs with four all-NFC selections.

Here are the honored players: …Read More!

There’s No Cinderella In The NFL’s Final 4

Peyton Manning waves to Broncos fans after Denver’s victory over San Diego on Sunday

Hopefully somebody has called and cancelled the giant pumpkin that turns into a horse-drawn carriage.

There will be no Cinderella in the final stages of the 2013 NFL season. That was established over the weekend as invitations were earned for the league’s final four spots in the conference championship games. All tickets were punched for the favorites based on their regular season performances.

In the AFC the teams with the best regular season records will faceoff when the New England Patriots (12-4) visit the Denver Broncos (13-3) on Sunday for a 2 p.m. CST kickoff with TV coverage from CBS.

Over in the NFC two of the three best records in the conference will play this coming Sunday when San Francisco (12-4) travels up the coast to play Seattle (13-3) in a 5:30 p.m. CST kickoff on FOX. …Read More!

Answer Bob/Volume 1 – January 12

As I expected, you guys produced dozens of great questions and comments for the first edition of Ask Bob for 2014. There were so many questions that the answers will come in several posts over the next few days. Again, thanks so much.

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R W says: Bob, glad to see this forum return again. My question: Who needs to go following the meltdown vs Colts in the playoffs? Don’t limit it to coaches; include players and front-office personnel. Plus, who do the Chiefs target for their #1 acquisition in free agency or the draft? Also, if the RB at Auburn is sitting there, do they take him in the 1st round?

Bob says: R W, it would be a major surprise if anybody hit the highway out of Arrowhead solely because they were identified as a scapegoat for the team blowing a 28-point, second-half lead against the Colts. The trip to the post-season was unexpected and came after such a disastrous 2012 that there’s obvious football sacrifice, like Greg Robinson was in 2003 when they lost to the Colts. But there’s no silver lining for the Chiefs after getting the big lead and giving it up this year. There were problems at every level in that second half, from the head coach, staff and players. We can throw in the front office as well because they were the ones that put together the roster. What happened in that second half in Indy should not have surprised anyone; it’s exactly how the Chiefs played in the second half of the season. The two worst players on the field for the Chiefs were DBs Kendrick Lewis and Dunta Robinson. But anyone that watched the defense this year knows Lewis and Robinson were liabilities all season.

Priority spots for additions in this off-season would have to be wide receiver, interior offensive line, tight end, defensive backs and defensive ends. I think they will attack the majority of those deficiencies in the draft and the middle-level free agents. With hopes of signing Branden Albert and working out extensions for Alex Smith and Justin Houston, the Chiefs aren’t going to have a lot of money to throw around in free agency. As for Tre Mason, the gifted running back at Auburn, he announced last week he’ll go into the upcoming NFL Draft. It would be the biggest shock of the 2014 selection meeting if the Chiefs went for Mason or another running back in the first round. There are too many other positions of need and talented personnel people will always find good running backs in the middle rounds.

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Chiefs Sign 5 More Players To Reserve/Future Deals

The tally now stands at 20 players that the Chiefs have signed to reserve/future contracts for the 2014 season.

Five more of the signees became public on Saturday when they popped up on the NFL’s daily transaction report. In fact, the players signed by the Chiefs were the only names on Saturday’s personnel update.

The newest 5 players are: …Read More!

New Additions To Chiefs Roster

The Chiefs have added a pair of players to their roster this week through the reserve/future signings – running back Joe McKnight and linebacker-fullback Jordan Campbell.

McKnight brings NFL experience to the team, as he played in 39 games for the New York Jets over 3 seasons. Campbell was in training camp last year with the Cincinnati Bengals.

These additions now give the Chiefs 15 reserve/future contracts. Here’s info on the newest guys. …Read More!

Shields, Morten Are Fame Finalists For Canton

The 17 finalists for possible induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014 were announced on Thursday.

The group includes two players with ties to the Chiefs: 12-time Pro Bowl guard Will Shields and the NFL’s all-time leading scorer kicker Morten Andersen.

Shields was selected by the Chiefs out of Nebraska in the third round of the 1993 NFL Draft and played through the 2006 season. Andersen began his NFL career in 1982 with New Orleans and spent two seasons kicking for the Chiefs (2002-03).

It’s the third straight year that Shields has been up for discussion by the Hall of Fame Selection Committee that will meet on February 1st in New York, the day before the Super Bowl. For Andersen, it’s his first opportunity to be a finalist.

The Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will be announced on that Saturday evening during an NFL honors show on FOX.

Here are the 17 finalists: …Read More!

Chiefs 2014 Contract Priorities: Alex, Albert, Houston

For the teams that lost in the wildcard round of the NFL playoffs last weekend, the time for mourning is over. The work for 2014 has already begun.

Reserve/future free agents have been signed or largely retained by the Chiefs from their practice squad. Decisions are currently being discussed on the players on the roster without a contract for 2014. They are also being made on players signed through next season and beyond. The salary cap managers have already massaged the numbers and have drawn the road map for John Dorsey and Andy Reid when it comes to the 2014 roster.

Taking a look at the Chiefs roster and it does not take long to establish some priorities that need to get done:

  1. Sign quarterback Alex Smith to a new contract or an extension. His current contract expires after the 2014 season.
  2. Keep left tackle Branden Albert, whether that’s a new contract, or slapping him with another year under the franchise player designation.
  3. Re-negotiate and extend the contract of outside linebacker Justin Houston. His deal runs through the 2014 season.

That’s going to take a lot of Hunt Family resources to pull off the signing of all three players. They all play at the premier positions in the league: quarterback, QB protector and pass rusher. Teams that have talented players at those three spots do everything they can to keep them. Those that don’t have talent at any of those positions are constantly searching for a quarterback, blind-side blocker and sack artist. …Read More!

Surviving A Wildcard Blizzard With The Hoosiers.


Downtown Indianapolis, Monday morning.

On the Trail of Football Tears

It was Monday morning, and after two hours of driving west on Interstate 70, I was a few miles past the Indianapolis Airport. Normally, it would be a 20-minute drive to reach the airport from downtown.

There was nothing normal about this day, or those that came before. Like others with Kansas and Missouri license plates, a serious snow storm and a blast of Artic air delayed my return to Kansas City from the AFC wildcard round game that finished up around 8 o’clock Saturday evening. I had already extended my hotel stay one night, and spent all day Sunday working and watching the snow pile up in Indy, a total of 12 inches downtown, more north of the city.

I inched along the highway, slipping and sliding, grateful that there was hardly anybody else out there. Less than a mile from an exit, I pondered pulling off and reconsidering my decision to head home. Another hotel room night sounded a lot better than the previous two hours.

But there was a tractor trailer jackknifed on the off ramp, so I pushed on. As I looked down at the cluster of gas stations, mini-markets and truck stops, there were three cars sitting in the parking lot of a Wendy’s. They were the only cars there. Each had one of those Chiefs flags flying on the car and one car had its trunk open. There were three or four people sitting in folding chairs and there appeared to be a small grill between them.

Trapped on the Trail of Football Tears, these Chiefs fans went back to what they know best – party. The temperature was hovering at zero degrees, the wind-chill factor pushed the feel-like even lower, but three guys in big red jackets and wearing winter hats were tailgating. Although I never got close enough to see for sure, the tailgaters had to be men – women are too smart to something ridiculous like tailgating on a Monday morning in a deserted Wendy’s parking lot in the middle of Indiana.

It was an early highlight of what would be a 14-hour drive that in good weather would take 7 hours. Bored to death, trapped with news talk and sports talk radio, I started taking notes. Stay warm and join me on the parking lot that was I-70 as I and many others tried to get back home from post-season disappointment. …Read More!

Chiefs Injury Update – January 7

The season ended Saturday night in Indianapolis, but there were five Chiefs players that saw their season completed before the final seconds by injury.

Here’s an update on where they stand at this point via the Chiefs:

Concussions victims RB Jamaal Charles, WR Donnie Avery and CB Brandon Flowers are improving and working to complete the NFL’s concussion protocol testing

OLB Justin Houston suffered a sprained PCL in his left knee and a bone bruise and his condition was showing improvement in rehab.

RB Knile Davis suffered a knee sprain and a fractured fibula in his left leg. It’s reported he is making progress in his rehab work.

A new injury popped up after the game as WR Dwayne Bowe suffered a sprained foot. Rehab reportedly is going well.

While the season is done for Avery, Davis and Bowe, Charles, Flowers and Houston have the Pro Bowl to get ready for, if they can.

Upon Further Reflection – Indianapolis


From Indianapolis, Indiana

From the view out the window of my hotel room downtown Indy looks like it’s in a giant snow globe that’s being shaken up over and over again.

A massive snowstorm has stranded quite a few folks from the Kansas City area for an extra day – maybe two – in central Indiana. It’s been snowing here for almost a full day; it started hours after the Colts beat the Chiefs 45-44 in a first-round game in the AFC playoffs.

It’s a good situation to pause and reflect on a few things football related.

Like: did I really watch the Chiefs blow a 28-point lead in the second half, or did I just dream that?

I was there; I watched it. I’ve watched hundreds of NFL games over the last 37 years and I’ve watched dozens of games over almost four decades where the Chiefs found a way to lose. Heck, they invented new ways to lose. I thought in that time, I had seen everything

Wrong, wrong, I was very wrong. It’s almost impossible to believe a team can score 44 points in the playoffs and lose. That just doesn’t make sense.

Spent part of the day watching the snow fall and researching the NFL-AFL playoffs, and no team in the history of either league has ever scored 44 points and lost a post-season game. Plus, in all of the playoff games, from wildcards to Super Bowls, only 27 teams scored more than 44 points. All won their games.

It’s just impossible to fathom a performance so outstanding in one half, and so utterly awful in another. …Read More!

Andy Talks About The Loss To Indy & Season

An NFL head coach that’s survived the rigors of the profession to coach 15 seasons is going to have tasted disappointment more than once or twice.

That’s especially true when a coach and his team leave the playoffs without getting a chance to hold the Lombardi Trophy that goes to the Super Bowl winner.

Like so much else during the 2013 season, Andy Reid has been there before.

“We shoot for Super Bowls,” Reid said on Sunday, less than 24 hours after the Chiefs were knocked out of the playoffs due to their 45-44 loss to Indianapolis.” We’re not shooting to be a good football team, we’re shooting to be a great football team . . . we didn’t end it the way we wanted it to end.

“It’s final; it hits you just like you get hit upside the head with a bat. It hits you hard and it should hit you hard. You’ve worked very hard and put a lot of hours into getting to this point and then for it to be that sudden, for the way that the game played out, I don’t think as players and coaches we feel that it was acceptable. When you have a lead like that, you have to finish it and take care of business there.” …Read More!

Chiefs Blow Big Lead & Get Blown Out Of Playoffs


From Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

It’s hard to believe it actually happened, but any Chiefs fan that watched Saturday’s AFC wildcard round game against the Indianapolis Colts will never forget what they saw.

Andy Reid’s team played a strong first half, built a 21-point lead that they pushed to 28 points early in the third quarter. From there, the Colts came back under the direction of QB Andrew Luck and finished up with a 45-44 victory in one of the greatest comeback victories in NFL history.

The afternoon against the Colts had many ups and downs, twists and turns, but in the end, the outcome continued the franchise’s post-season losing streak to 20 years. Here’s our coverage:

Chiefs History Won’t Be On the Field Against Colts


From Indianapolis, Indiana

7,292 – that’s how many days it’s been since the Kansas City Chiefs won a game in the NFL playoffs.

The last post-season victory was on January 16, 1994 at the Astrodome in Houston where they beat the Oilers.

Today, the Chiefs try again almost 20 full years later as they face the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:35 p.m. with television coverage on NBC.

The most recent visits by the Hunt Family franchise to the pro football tournament have not lasted long. The ugliness goes all the way back to Christmas Day 1971, when they lost one of the NFL’s classic post-season games in double-overtime to Miami, 27-24.

Including that game, the Chiefs are 3-12 in the playoffs.

Other than the team on the field is wearing the same colors, what does that terrible record have to do with Saturday’s game against the Colts? As far as the 2013 Chiefs are concerned, it doesn’t mean squat.

“We heard this week it’s been a long time,” said CB Sean Smith of the last victory in the post-season. “I don’t think that means anything for us. Those were different people. It’s nothing.” …Read More!

Keys To Victory For Chiefs vs. Colts In Wildcard Game

4

Win turnover battle

There’s no question what the key statistic was in Indianapolis’ victory at Arrowhead Stadium two weeks ago – turnover ratio. The Colts finished plus-4 a team’s chance of winning a game when they are minus-4 in turnovers is about 3 percent. The Chiefs do not have the type of offense and offensive talent to be able to make up for something as severe as falling behind in the battle of takeaways and giveaways. In that game, the Chiefs put the ball on the ground 5 times, losing two and Alex Smith threw a pair of interceptions. That will not work in the playoffs. The flipside is this – the Chiefs must take the ball away, something they did not do in the first game between the teams. It was the only game this year where the K.C. defense or special teams did not have a takeaway. …Read More!

Walt Anderson Leads Officiating Crew For KC vs. Indy

From Indianapolis, Indiana

Veteran NFL referee Walt Anderson will be the lead official on Saturday for the Chiefs meeting with the Colts in the wildcard round of the AFC playoffs at Lucas Oil Stadium.

As the NFL reaches the playoffs, the officiating assignments reportedly go to the men that posted the best performance during the regular season. Along with Anderson, the other referees are Bill Vinovich (New Orleans-Philadelphia), Jeff Triplette (San Diego-Cincinnati) and Ed Hochuli (San Francisco-Green Bay).

Anderson is a retired dentist out of the Houston area, has spent 18 years as an NFL zebra, the last 11 seasons as a referee. He’s also the officiating coordinator for the Big 12 Conference. Earlier this season, he worked the Chiefs game in Philadelphia, where they won the Andy Reid homecoming. Anderson’s crew walked off 15 penalties that night for 110 yards.

Overall, the seven on-field officials working the Chiefs-Colts have 108 years of NFL officiating experience, or an average of more than 15 years.

The other members of Anderson’s team for this game are: …Read More!

Charles, Berry Earn All-Pro Status

They are sometimes mixed up, these designations of Pro Bowler and All-Pro. While every player loves to earn a trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, it’s the All-Pro designation that means something more.

Running back Jamaal Charles and strong safety Eric Berry were named to the Associated Press first-team All-Pro squad. The designation comes on a vote of 50 media members from around the country that cover pro football on a daily basis.

Nose tackle Dontari Poe, outside linebacker Tamba Hali and returner Dexter McCluster were named to the second team.

It’s the second time Charles has earned first-team designation – he did so in 2010. Berry has not earned All-Pro honors until this season. Same for Poe and McCluster. Hali was named to the second-team defense in 2011.

With 5 players among the first two teams the Chiefs tied Cleveland and San Francisco for the most All-Pro players. Denver and Carolina had four players each. Among the league’s 32 teams, 28 had a member on the first or second teams. Mission were Atlanta, Chicago, Jacksonville and Washington. …Read More!

Fisher Out, Hali Questionable For Indy

From Indianapolis, Indiana

The groin injury that RT Eric Fisher suffered in Tuesday’s Chiefs practice will keep him out of Saturday’s game against the Colts in the AFC wildcard round.

Fisher was declared out Friday afternoon, after the Chiefs went through a final walkthrough practice at their facility before flying into Indy.

OLB Tamba Hali has not practiced in two weeks, but he was listed as questionable with his swollen knee. Whether Hali plays will likely depend on how much swelling shows up Saturday morning and early afternoon.

“It’s been up, it’s been down,” head coach Andy Reid said of the fluid on Hali’s knee. We just need to be sure to get it out of there. We’re just being a little bit cautious with him. We’ll just see how it goes.”

For Indianapolis, DT Fili Moala did not practice all week because of a knee injury. He’s listed as questionable.

Here are the injury reports for each team filed Friday with the NFL: …Read More!

Chiefs Offense Needs Tight End Catches Vs. Indy

Anthony Fasano’s knee doesn’t hurt anymore, his ankle no longer throbs and his headaches have dissipated.

The Chiefs tight end feels good physically for the first time in ages or at least since September, and that’s a great sign for Andy Reid’s offense going into Saturday’s AFC wildcard-round game against Indianapolis.

“It’s the playoffs; I feel great,” Fasano said with a smile on Thursday, as the Chiefs wrapped up their final full practice before facing the Colts.

Knee and ankle injuries, along with a concussion limited Fasano to 9 games in the 2013 regular season, leaving him with only enough playing time to catch 23 passes for 200 yards, with 3 touchdown catches. Those numbers left him with his least productive performance over the last six seasons with Miami and this year with the Chiefs.

“It’s good to get Fasano healthy and back in there,” Reid said on Thursday. “He’s healthy now and feels good.” …Read More!

Tale Of The Tape: Special Teams

2013 NFL Playoffs

AFC Wildcard Round

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts

 

 

 

Chiefs

NFL Rank

 

NFL Rank

Colts

78.6%

28

Field Goal %

18

87.5%

28

21

Field Goals Attempted

3

40

22

26

Field Goals Made

3

35

47

9

Touchbacks

13t

41

29.9

1

Kickoff return/coverage

27

25.2

11.8

6

Punt return/coverage

31

13.7

24.4

22

Kickoff coverage/return

14

23.5

6.5

4

Punt coverage/return

14

9.9

4

*

Kick/Punt Return TDs

*

0

0

*

Return TDs allowed

*

1

46.0

11t

Gross punt average

11t

46.0

40.2

11

Net punt average

25

38.5

1

18t

Punts had blocked

18t

1

35

1t

Punts Inside 20

12t

27

26.3

2

Starting field position

21

21.5

21.6

13

Opponents starting position

18

22.1

…Read More!

Chiefs-Colts Still Not A Sellout in Indy

There are still 3,000 tickets available for Saturday’s AFC wildcard round game between the Chiefs and Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The NFL granted another extension on the sellout deadline to lift the local TV blackout. Those remaining tickets need to be sold by 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon to allow coverage on NBC within 75 miles of Indianapolis.

Ticket prices range from $56 to $155, with a median ticket price at $146, one of the lowest averages in the league.

The general manager of the Indy NBC’s television affiliate told the Indianapolis Star that the station would consider buying tickets if it made financial sense.

Chiefs-Colts Injury/Practice Report – January 2

Chiefs

Did not practice – RT Eric Fisher (groin), OLB Tamba Hali (knee).

Full participation – LT Branden Albert (knee), WR Dwayne Bowe (concussion), OLB Justin Houston (elbow), C Eric Kush (ankle), CB Ron Parker (finger/ankle).

Colts

Did not practice – DT Fili Moala (knee).

Full participation – S Sergio Brown (groin), CB Darius Butler (quadriceps), CB Vontae Davis (groin), DT Ricky Jean Francois (foot), NT Aubrayo Franklin (knee), WR Darius Heyward-Bey (hamstring), OLB Robert Mathis (non-injury related), G Mike McGlynn (elbow), DE Cory Redding (shoulder), CB Greg Toler (groin), LB Bjoern Warner (ankle).

Dex Wins AFC Special Team Prize For December

Punt returner Dexter McCluster was named the AFC’s special teams player of the month for December on Wednesday by the league office.

The honor comes a week after McCluster was named to the Pro Bowl roster as a returner for the first time in his 4-year NFL career.

In December, McCluster had 12 returns for 232 yards and a touchdown. His big performance came against Washington, where on a sloppy field and in the snow, he returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown and had 7 returns for a total of 177 yards. It was one of the days that allowed him to establish new franchise records for punt returns (58) and punt return yardage (686) in a single season.

McCluster joined OLB Justin Houston, who was named the AFC defensive player of the month for September. He’s the first Chiefs returner to win the honor since Dante Hall in September 2003.

Over the last six seasons, McCluster becomes only the third Chiefs player to the monthly honor, joining Houston and QB Matt Cassel, who was the AFC offensive player of the month in November 2010. Since the designation was started by the league, Chiefs players have won it 21 times, topped by RB Priest Holmes, RB Larry Johnson, DE Neil Smith, OLB Derrick Thomas and returner Tamarick Vanover.

Chiefs Practice Report – January 2

From the Truman Sports Complex

On Thursday, the practice situation remained the same for the Chiefs as they went through their final full practice in preparation for Saturday’s AFC wildcard round game against Indianapolis.

RT Eric Fisher was on the practice field, but was not participating in the work. Fisher suffered a groin injury near the end of Tuesday’s practice and has not worked since. It would appear very unlikely that he’ll play on Saturday.

OLB Tamba Hali was not taking part in Thursday’s practice and was not on the field during the open-media portion of the workout. Hali has been battling swelling in his knee since December 22 when the Chiefs and Colts played at Arrowhead Stadium.

Everyone else appeared to be taking part in the work on Thursday and was able to go in Indianapolis.

Colts Fans Slow To Sellout Saturday’s Game

As of Wednesday afternoon at 1 o’clock CST, the Colts reported they still had 5,500 tickets available for Saturday’s wildcard-round game against the Chiefs set for Lucas Oil Stadium.

The NFL gave the Colts an extra day to reach the sellout level and allow the game to be broadcast on NBC in the Indianapolis area. Supposedly, the team has until 3:30 p.m. on Thursday to sell those seats and lift the TV blackout.

From Tuesday to Wednesday morning, approximately 500 tickets were sold for the game. The Colts have 103 straight sellouts and 137 of the last 138 games.

Available tickets are priced between $56 and $155 and can be purchased at any time online at www.ticketmaster.com. The Colts charge-by-phone line is 800-745-3000, and normally available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST.

The Colts aren’t the only team having trouble selling seats. Both Green Bay and Cincinnati hosting Sunday games have tickets available as of the close of holiday business on Wednesday. The Bengals have 8,000 seats remaining, while the Packers are still trying to sell 7,500 seats. Both teams are expected to ask for a one-day extension of the blackout deadline.

Time For Big-Play Production From DBowe


From the Truman Sports Complex

Doug Pederson’s words were easy to understand.

“Your game changer type players have got to show up and make those plays,” the Chiefs offensive coordinator said when talking about how his side of the ball must attack Indianapolis on Saturday in the AFC playoffs. “You just go cut it loose and you have to stay aggressive.”

Nowhere in Pederson’s call for “game changer” players did he include the name Dwayne Bowe. But without a doubt, he had Bowe in mind when talking about what the Chiefs offense will need against Indianapolis.

“You don’t want to single anybody out,” Pederson said. “He’s going to continue to get his plays; we’re going to continue to throw him the ball and find ways to get him open. He is part of it and he has to make his number of plays when it’s time.”

Bowe has not accumulated a lot of game changer type plays in the 2012 season. His totals of 57 catches for 673 yards and 2 touchdown receptions combined to create the least productive seasons in his career. Big plays have been non-existent in Bowe’s game this season – only 9 of those 57 catches went for 20 yards or more and just one went for 30 or more yards. His longest catch is 34 yards, the shortest long catch of any season of his career. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Report/Update – January 1

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs got bad news on Wednesday with a groin injury that has sidelined starting RT Eric Fisher.

Near the end of Tuesday’s first practice of the preparation week for this Saturday’s AFC wildcard game against Indianapolis, Fisher suffered a pulled groin and was forced to leave the field. He did not practice in Wednesday’s session.

Fisher has battled shoulder problems throughout the season, but this is his first known groin injury. A clearer picture of his availability to play on Saturday will come on Thursday and whether he can return to physical activity.

Also watching Wednesday’s work was OLB Tamba Hali with his swollen knee. His status remains questionable for the game against the Colts.

Here are the injury/practice reports for both teams from the first day of 2014:

Chiefs

Did not practice – RT Eric Fisher (groin), OLB Tamba Hali (knee).

Full participation – LT Branden Albert (knee), WR Dwayne Bowe (concussion), OLB Justin Houston (elbow), C Eric Kush (ankle), CB Ron Parker (finger/ankle).

Colts

Did not practice – NT Aubrayo Franklin (knee), DT Fili Moala (knee).

Limited participation – WR Darius Heyward-Bey (hamstring).

Full participation – S Sergio Brown (groin), CB Darius Butler (quadriceps), CB Vontae Davis (groin), DT Ricky Jean Francois (foot), OLB Robert Mathis (non-injury related), G Mike McGlynn (elbow), DE Cory Redding (shoulder), CB Greg Toler (groin), LB Bjoern Warner (ankle).

Post-Season Veterans Educating Tournament Virgins


From the Truman Sports Complex

The stakes are higher, the games are played at a faster pace, the emotions and passions run hotter, and the joy of victory is unmatched in the game, while the despair of defeat is almost unimaginable.

It’s time for the NFL playoffs and while the field stays at 100 yards long and touchdowns are still worth 6 points plus the PAT, these games are different than the 16 already in the books. The second season is when reputations are made, wallets are fattened and championships are won.

For those that have never been there, it’s a hard concept to explain. In fact, it may be impossible and a waste of time to try.

But those Chiefs that have been part of the NFL tournament are more than willing to share their experiences with the neophytes, if they ask. Otherwise, there are no roiling locker room speeches planned from the 29 that have been there to the 24 that have never played in January.

“All you can really tell someone that hasn’t been there is every play matters,” said CB Brandon Flowers, a veteran of one post-season appearance, that with the 2010 Chiefs. “Every drive is crucial. You’ve got to be ready to play.” …Read More!

Fresh Starters Are Feeling Good After Weekend Off


From the Truman Sports Complex

Monday morning dawned without much trouble for the 20 Chiefs starters that did not open the game in San Diego. Tuesday morning, those first stringers that watched the overtime game against the Chargers were feeling really good.

They all were giving thanks to Andy Reid and the head coach creating what amounted to a bye week for his key performers before the start of the AFC playoffs.

The Chiefs – all of them – were back on the field Tuesday, starting preparation for Saturday’s game against the Colts.

Reid was asked if he saw any tangible results from the time off he gave his starters.

“You can’t tell right now, just with a walkthrough,” said Reid. “They walked well.”

And maybe they walked without a limp from getting beaten up on Sunday. …Read More!

Chiefs Sign Highsmith to Reserve/Future Contract

This is the time of year when NFL teams can begin to sign players for the 2014 season. It’s called a reserve/future contract and essentially it makes the player part of the organization, although he’s not part of the team until the new league starts in March.

The Chiefs have signed their first reserve/future player: OLB Alonzo Highsmith, Jr.

At 6-1, 233 pounds, Highsmith is the oldest son of former University of Miami and NFL running back Alonzo Highsmith. Dad is now a scout with the Green Bay Packers and obviously has a relationship with Chiefs G.M. John Dorsey.

At Arkansas, Highsmith played all 13 games in the 2011 season, finishing with 80 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, an interception and a forced fumble. His 2012 season with the Razorbacks was cut short by a torn foot ligament that required surgery.

Highsmith was not selected in the 2013 NFL Draft, but signed with the Miami Dolphins as a free agent. He was released in late August.

Chiefs Make Roster Move at Linebacker

From the Truman Sports Complex

ILB James-Michael Johnson was placed on the injured-reserve list on Tuesday by the Chiefs because of the ankle injury he suffered last Sunday in San Diego.

To take his place, the team signed 30-year old linebacker Robert James.

The 5-11, 224-pound James was selected in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons where he played through the 2012 season. James was released on the final cuts before the start of the 2013 regular season and was claimed on waivers by Baltimore. He played in the regular season opener against the Broncos, but was then released.

James has played in 19 NFL games over 4 seasons with 11 total tackles.

He will wear No. 59.

Chiefs Practice Report – December 31

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Saturday wildcard game against the Colts in the first round of the AFC playoffs has moved up the Chiefs schedule for the week and on Tuesday afternoon they had their first practice in preparation of their trip to Indianapolis.

Andy Reid said that OLB Tamba Hali (knee) and ILB James-Michael Johnson (ankle) were the only players that would not be practicing.

Back on the field after missing last week’s work will be WR Dwayne Bowe (concussion). He’s been approved for practice work, but not cleared to play in Saturday’s game.

We’ll update the injury/practice reports of both teams late on Tuesday afternoon.

Upon Further Reflection – San Diego

Already the Chiefs have left the 2013 regular season behind them. The second season has begun.

“It’s a start of a new season; that’s how the playoffs work,” Andy Reid said Monday. “It’s another phase of the season. You’ve worked very hard as a team to get into this position and now it’s important that you exhaust yourself to make sure you’re right.

“Its single elimination and you have to make sure you prepare the right way.”

Nearly half of Reid’s roster has never seen the NFL playoffs and another dozen or so players have played one game, but did not enjoy a winning performance.

The roster already knows this is a different environment based on how Reid handled the personnel in San Diego on Sunday. On the plane flight home, he spent time talking to his team about how the playoffs are different.

“I’ll talk to them a little bit more on Tuesday, but I think they’ve got a pretty good understanding,” Reid said.

What will the post-season virgins notice most about the action on the field?

“Everything is a little faster,” said Reid. “That’s just how it goes. Every step you take in a playoff game for whatever reason is a little bit faster. Both teams know that it’s single elimination and that’s why the games are that way.” …Read More!

More Of What Andy Said

From the Truman Sports Complex

Head coach Andy Reid had a few things to say on Monday about what happened in San Diego on Sunday, and looking down the road to facing Indianapolis this coming Saturday.

Here are some important and interesting tidbits:

On the Chiefs entrance this week into the AFC playoffs: “It’s another phase of the season, and you have worked very hard as a team to get into this position and now it’s important that you exhaust yourself to make sure that you’re right. It’s single-elimination and you have to make sure you prepare the right way.”

The difference between his team going 9-0 to start the season, and finishing 2-5: “You know, on the offensive side, we probably didn’t have enough big plays and on the defensive side, we gave up too many big plays; if you had to pinpoint one thing in general that would be it.” …Read More!

Andy Talks About Injuries

From the Truman Sports Complex

Andy Reid had his usual Monday lunchtime meeting with the media horde and discussed the situation with injuries as the Chiefs begin preparation for their wildcard round game in the playoffs against Indianapolis. Here’s what Reid had to say about his injured players:

WR Dwayne Bowe – “. . . is making progress on the concussion side of things and will probably work tomorrow.” Bowe was undergoing testing Monday that would allow him to return to the practice field.

OLB Tamba Hali – “The inflammation in his knee has gone down, and we will just see how it goes tomorrow,” Reid said.

ILB James-Michael Johnson – suffered an ankle sprain in San Diego. “It’s pretty tender today, and we will see how he does,” said Reid. “It’s a day-to-day thing.”

CB Sean Smith – left Sunday’s game with a knee injury. “Sean’s OK; he felt better today,” said Reid. “He has had that before and he feels OK.”

RT Eric Fisher – also left the game against the Chargers when he stung the shoulder injury he’s deal with all season. “Fish is OK,” said Reid.

LT Branden Albert (knee) and OLB Justin Houston (elbow) are both full-go for practice that starts on Tuesday for Saturday’s wildcard round game against the Colts.

NFL Admits Mistake Made On FG No-Call

The NFL didn’t even wait 24 hours to admit the officiating crew of referee Bill Leavy had missed an important call on Ryan Succop’s field goal attempt late in regulation time.

Here’s what the league’s statement said:

“On the play, San Diego lined up with seven men on one side of the snapper. This should have been penalized as an illegal formation by the defense.”

“The rule (Rule 9, Section 1, Article 3) was adopted this year as a player safety measure. The penalty for illegal formation by the defense is a loss of five yards. This rule is not subject to instant replay review. Had the penalty been assessed, it would have resulted in a fourth-and-7 from the San Diego 18 with 0:04 remaining, enabling the Chiefs to attempt a 36-yard field goal.”

There has been no word yet from the league office on their thoughts about the forward progress call on the Chargers fake punt in overtime. On the play, the ball clearly came out of the grasp of San Diego’s Eric Weddle while the pile of players was still in movement. Chiefs RB Cyrus Gray ended up with the ball and ran to the end zone.

But Leavy ruled the runner’s forward progress had been stopped. It’s a non-reviewable play.

Chiefs Head To Playoffs After Losing In Overt.ime

Andy Reid rested his starters on Sunday, but the Chiefs put up quite a fight against the Chargers first teamers before losing 27-24 in overtime at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

The victory punched the Chargers ticket for the playoffs, giving the AFC West 3 teams in the tournament. On Saturday, the Chiefs will play the Colts in Indianapolis, while the Chargers will go to Cincinnati to play the Bengals.

There was plenty to discuss and knowledge to gain after this one. Here is our coverage:

There’s Plenty For the Chiefs To Play For in San Diego

One of the stranger weeks of the 2013 NFL season for the Chiefs will come to an end Sunday afternoon in San Diego’s always lovely Mission Valley.

It’s the Chiefs against the Chargers in a game that has very different meanings to both teams, none more than the Lightning Bolts who have a chance with a victory to punch their ticket to the AFC playoffs.

Andy Reid’s team already has its seat on the post-season train, as they’ll take the field next weekend. Nothing that happens at Qualcomm Stadium or any other building in the league will change the fact the Chiefs are the AFC’s No. 5 seed. They simply wait to see if they will face Indianapolis (likely), Cincinnati (possible) or New England (unlikely).

Kickoff for the Chiefs-Chargers is 3:25 p.m. CST with television coverage on CBS with Marv Albert and Rich Gannon.

Some want to call today’s game a meaningless outing for the Chiefs, much like a pre-season game. But that’s not the case for a number of reasons. Any time a football team straps on the shoulder pads and buckles up a chin strap there’s something to be gained when the outcome counts. In the Chiefs case, there are several goals. …Read More!

NFL Almanac – December 28

Players declared out of Sunday’s games

Minnesota – RB Adrian Peterson (foot).

Players added to the active roster

Green Bay – activated RB Randall Cobb from the injured-reserve list/designated for return.

New England – promoted SS Kanorris Davis and CB Justin Green from the practice squad.

Contracts

Chicago – signed FB Tony Fiametta to a 2-year contract extension.

Officiating Assignment For Game No. 16 – Bill Leavy

It’s been a tough year for veteran NFL referee Bill Leavy, who will work Sunday game between the Chiefs and Chargers.

Leavy and his crew had two big blunders early in the season that led to them being downgraded by the league’s zebra evaluators.

The initial problem came in the season’s first week, when this crew worked the Green Bay-San Francisco game.

After flagging Packers LB Clay Matthews for a late hit on 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, Leavy also penalized 49ers OT Joe Staley for unsportsmanlike conduct. The penalties offset, but because it was a dead-ball foul, the down should have counted, meaning it should have been 4th-and-2 at the Packers’ 6-yard line. Instead, the 49ers got the chance to replay third down and Kaepernick connected with WR Anquan Boldin on a touchdown pass. The next day, the NFL said Staley should hot have been flagged. 

Two weeks later, Leavy’s crew stumbled again in a game between Cleveland and Minnesota. They penalized Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier 15 yards for throwing the red challenge flag on a play that cannot be reviewed by replay. …Read More!

4 Keys To Victory For the Chiefs Vs. Chargers

4

Keep a lid on Danny Woodhead

He’s just 5-8, weighs 200 pounds and comes out of the major football powerhouse Chadron State University in Nebraska. On paper Danny Woodhead would not appear to have much of future in professional football. On the field he’s a force that needs to be contained if a team expects to beat San Diego. In the first game between these teams back in November, Woodhead had 207 all-purpose yards on just 15 touches and he scored a touchdown rushing and a touchdown receiving. In that game, he averaged 27.4 yards on 5 kickoff returns with a long return of 37 yards; those numbers were among the best against the Chiefs this season. On the year, Woodhead has 1,236 all-purpose yards with 8 touchdowns. Slow the little guy down, and it helps contain two parts of the Chargers attack. …Read More!

Chiefs Defense Must Improve Tackling To Win

It’s one of the basics of the game – players run with the football; players try to tackle the guy running with the football.

A team that can’t move the ball forward can’t win. A team that can’t tackle the other guys when they move the ball can’t win.

Just ask the Chiefs about the second part of that equation. In what was their worst overall performance of the 2013 season, they were slapped last Sunday by Indianapolis 23-7 in a game that wasn’t even as close as that 16-point difference.

There was more than one reason for the ugliness – there were 17 reasons in fact. That’s how many tackles the Chiefs missed on defense against the Colts.

That’s right 17 freakin’ tackles . . . how unusual was that performance? In the four previous games combined the Chiefs defense missed 16 tackles. In the first 14 games, they averaged 5.7 missed tackles per game. Before last Sunday, the worst tackling performance was 12 missed against Buffalo. The best was against Washington, where they missed 1 tackle. The first time they played San Diego, the Chiefs missed 3 tackles.

They need to bounce back with that type of performance again in San Diego, no matter who is lining up with the Chiefs defense against the Chargers in game No. 16.

Did last week’s tackling disaster have a common thread, or was each one an individual story? …Read More!

2014 Pro Bowl Selections

2014 NFL ALL-STARS, SUNDAY, JANUARY 26, 2014, ALOHA STADIUM, HONOLULU, HAWAII

Offense (42)

QUARTERBACKS (6)    TIGHT ENDS (4)
Tom Brady, New England    Jordan Cameron, Cleveland
Drew Brees, New Orleans    Vernon Davis, San Francisco
Peyton Manning, Denver    Jimmy Graham, New Orleans
Cam Newton, Carolina    Julius Thomas, Denver
Philip Rivers, San Diego      
Russell Wilson, Seattle    TACKLES (6)
      Branden Albert, Kansas City
WIDE RECEIVERS (8)    Jason Peters, Philadelphia
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh    Tyron Smith, Dallas
Dez Bryant, Dallas    Joe Staley, San Francisco
Josh Gordon, Cleveland    Joe Thomas, Cleveland
A.J. Green, Cincinnati    Trent Williams, Washington
Andre Johnson, Houston      
Calvin Johnson, Detroit    GUARDS (6)
Brandon Marshall, Chicago    Jahri Evans, New Orleans
Demaryius Thomas, Denver    Ben Grubbs, New Orleans
      Mike Iupati, San Francisco
RUNNING BACKS (6)    Logan Mankins, New England
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City    Louis Vasquez, Denver
Matt Forté, Chicago    Marshal Yanda, Baltimore
Frank Gore, San Francisco      
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle    CENTERS (4)
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia    Ryan Kalil, Carolina
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota    Alex Mack, Cleveland
      Mike Pouncey, Miami
FULLBACK (2)    Max Unger, Seattle
Marcel Reece, Oakland      
Mike Tolbert, Carolina      

Defense (36)

 ENDS (6)    INSIDE/MIDDLE LINEBACKERS (4)
Greg Hardy, Carolina    NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco
Cameron Jordan, New Orleans    Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati
Robert Quinn, St. Louis    Luke Kuechly, Carolina
Cameron Wake, Miami    Patrick Willis, San Francisco
J.J. Watt, Houston      
Mario Williams, Buffalo    CORNERBACKS (8)
      Brandon Flowers, Kansas City
INTERIOR LINEMEN (6)    Brent Grimes, Miami
Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay    Joe Haden, Cleveland
Haloti Ngata, Baltimore    Patrick Peterson, Arizona
Dontari Poe, Kansas City    Darrelle Revis, Tampa Bay
Justin Smith, San Francisco    Richard Sherman, Seattle
Ndamukong Suh, Detroit    Aqib Talib, New England
Kyle Williams, Buffalo    Alterraun Verner, Tennessee
        
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS (6)    FREE SAFETIES (3)
John Abraham, Arizona    Jairus Byrd, Buffalo
Ahmad Brooks, San Francisco    Earl Thomas, Seattle
Tamba Hali, Kansas City    Eric Weddle, San Diego
Justin Houston, Kansas City      
Robert Mathis, Indianapolis    STRONG SAFETIES (3)
Terrell Suggs, Baltimore    Eric Berry, Kanas City
      Kam Chancellor, Seattle
      Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh

Specialists (8)

PUNTERS (2)    PUNT RETURN SPECIALISTS (2)
Brandon Fields, Miami    Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh
Johnny Hekker, St. Louis    Dexter McCluster, Kansas City
        
PLACEKICKERS (2)    SPECIAL TEAMERS (2)
Matt Prater, Denver    Justin Bethel, Arizona
Justin Tucker, Baltimore    Matthew Slater, New England

8 Chiefs Will Make Trip To Pro Bowl

The performance of individual Chiefs in an 11-4 season was recognized by their peers as eight players were named to the Pro Bowl roster for the all-star game in Hawaii at the end of January.

Some of those honored were obvious selections; others came as a surprise. Here are the members of the Hawaii 8:

  • Offense – LT Branden Albert, RB Jamaal Charles.
  • Defense – SS Eric Berry, CB Brandon Flowers, OLB Tamba Hali, OLB Justin Houston, NT Dontari Poe.
  • Special teams – Returner Dexter McCluster.

It’s the fourth largest Pro Bowl class in Chiefs history, topped only by 1970 and 1971 (11 each year) and 2003 (9).

Only the San Francisco 49ers were able to match the 8 players total of the Chiefs. Seattle had 6 selections, while Carolina, Cleveland, Denver and New Orleans each had 5 Pro Bowlers.

No other team in the league put 5 members of their defense into the game like the Chiefs have with these selections. San Francisco has 4 defenders.

Here’s the complete list of NFL All-Stars.

Among the eight, Berry, Charles and Hali have been honored for a third time. Houston is getting his second slot in the game. Albert, Flowers, McCluster and Poe are first-timers.

Berry, Charles, Hali and Houston are repeaters from last season and being honored this year does not come as a surprise for any of them. Poe and McCluster were two players going into the voting that appeared to have the best chance to make their first all-star game.

The surprises were Albert and Flowers. After missing the last 3 games, Albert appears to be on track to play Sunday in San Diego. He started strong, but his play tailed off a bit at mid-season and then came his knee injury. Hampered by injuries, Flowers has struggled at times this season. But there is some justice in his selection, given the fact he had better years earlier in his career but was not given an invitation.

Not earning another trip to the all-star game were ILB Derrick Johnson and P Dustin Colquitt.

The game is set for Sunday, January 26th in Hawaii and on Wednesday, January 22nd the alumni team captains Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice will hold a draft to select their teams from among the 85 players named.

Chiefs-Chargers Injury Report For Game No. 16

Chiefs

OUT – WR Dwayne Bowe (concussion), OLB Tamba Hali (knee).

PROBABLE – LT Branden Albert (knee), RT Eric Fisher (shoulder), OLB Justin Houston (elbow), LB James-Michael Johnson (shoulder), CB Ron Parker (ankle/shoulder), OT Donald Stephenson (knee), K Ryan Succop (groin).

Chargers

QUESTIONABLE – WR Eddie Royal (toe).

PROBABLE – OT Jeromey Clary (hand), LB Thomas Keiser (elbow), DT Sean Lissemore (shoulder), RB Ryan Mathews (ankle), CB Shareece Wright (foot).

Chiefs Practice Report – December 27

Tamba Hali and Dwayne Bowe both did not practice on Friday as the Chiefs wrapped up their preparation week for Sunday’s game in San Diego. Both were declared out of the meeting with the Chargers.

Hali has a swollen knee and did not practice all week. “He is making progress, so that’s a good thing,” head coach Andy Reid said.

Bowe is dealing with a concussion that just showed itself on Thursday. It came after he took an illegal hit to the back of the neck in last Sunday’s game from Indianapolis S LaRon Landry.

“He went through practice on Tuesday, was off on Wednesday and came back (Thursday) and didn’t feel right,” Reid said of Bowe. “Rick (Burkholder) checked him out and we had our docs check him out and he has a concussion. He’ll go through the protocol and we’ll see how he does. …Read More!

Chiefs Await Pro Bowl Honors on Friday

If the Chiefs got six players into last season’s Pro Bowl with a 2-14 record, how many can they get into the all-star game with an 11-4 mark and one game to play?

They’ll find out Friday evening when the NFL Network broadcasts the announcement of the Pro Bowlers from around the league. The show begins at 8 p.m. and likely it will be a long evening before all the names are announced.

Since the 1970 merger, the most Chiefs to be ticketed for the Pro Bowl were 11 in 1970 and the same number in 1971. Those were teams coming off a Super Bowl IV victory that ended the 1969 season. In 2003, the Chiefs had 9 players selected and there were 7 Chiefs picked in 1995.

Here are the six players that made the game last year, and this man’s opinion on whether they’ll get a return visit:

SS Eric Berry – should have no problem earning his third Pro Bowl in four seasons based on his play and numbers: 73 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 interceptions that he returned for touchdowns both times, 1 forced fumble, two recovered fumbles. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Report – December 26

From the Truman Sports Complex

Somewhere between Tuesday’s Chiefs practice and their work session on Thursday, WR Dwayne Bowe came up with a concussion.

Bowe and OLB Tamba Hali were the only players that did not take part in the Chiefs afternoon practice.

More than likely, Bowe is experiencing the after-effects of the hit he took on his neck in last Sunday’s game against Indianapolis. On the play, Colts S LaRon Landry was penalized 15 yards for an illegal hit on Bowe. Given the status of the season finale in San Diego, it seems unlikely that Bowe will play against the Chargers if he’s dealing with a foggy head.

Hali is dealing with a swollen knee that will likely keep him off the field as well on Sunday.

Everyone else on the roster was a full participant in practice.

Here are the injury/practice reports for both teams on Thursday: …Read More!

Branden Albert Says He’s Ready To Play

From the Truman Sports Complex

After missing the past 3 games due to a hyper-extension of his left knee, Chiefs starting LT Branden Albert thinks it’s time to play.

And, it doesn’t matter whether the game in San Diego this Sunday means anything for the Chiefs possibilities in the playoffs.

“I’m ready; I’m preparing like I’m playing,” Albert said Thursday before practice. “That’s the goal, to help this team win. If it’s this week, next week or whenever, that’s my goal.”

Albert suffered the injury on December 1st against Denver at Arrowhead Stadium. He missed two weeks of practice, returning to full participation last week in preparation for the game against Indianapolis. Still, he was inactive on game day.

“For the last few weeks I’ve been practicing and preparing like I’m going to play,” Albert said. “We’ll see how things go.”

And Reid has not provided any indication of his plans for using his personnel against the Chargers. All he’s been willing to say is there will be some “mixing and matching” meaning just about anybody could play to start the game and then get mixed out by a backup player.

Chiefs-Chargers injury report – December 25

The Chiefs had Christmas Day off; they practiced on Tuesday instead of Wednesday.

The San Diego Chargers practiced on Christmas Day after getting their normal Tuesday off-time.

Both teams released injury/practice reports from Tuesday with the Chiefs and Wednesday with the Chargers:

Chiefs

Did not practice – OLB Tamba Hali (knee).

Full participation – LT Branden Albert (knee), RT Eric Fisher (shoulder), OLB Justin Houston (elbow), LB James-Michael Johnson (shoulder), CB Ron Parker (ankle/shoulder), OT Donald Stephenson (knee), K Ryan Succop (groin).

Chargers

Did not practice – RB Ryan Mathews (ankle), WR Eddie Royal (toe), CB Shareece Wright (foot).

Limited participation – OT Jeromey Clary (hand).

Full participation – LB Thomas Keiser (elbow), DT Sean Lissemore (shoulder).

Post-Season Experience Lacking On Chiefs Roster

Frank Zombo won a Super Bowl ring with Green Bay; Alex Smith scored a TD in the playoffs against New Orleans

One of the strengths that Andy Reid has relied on during his first season leading the Hunt family franchise is best described in this fashion:

“Been there; done that.”

After 14 seasons as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Reid came into the Chiefs operation without a lot of start-up time needed. He had to learn the strengths and weaknesses of a roster of unfamiliar players, but his experience allowed that transition to go smoothly. The Chiefs 9-0 start was helped immeasurably by Reid’s ability to come into the job running, rather than crawling.

What will test Reid’s resume will be taking a team into the second season – the playoffs – that is dominated by players that have either never been in an NFL post-season game, or if they have, they’ve been there infrequently and did not experience success.

On the current Chiefs roster almost half of the players hold football passports that have not been stamped with a visit to the playoffs. It’s 25 of 53 players or 47.2 percent of the roster has no idea what the post-season experience is all about.

Among the 28 players that have played NFL football in January/February, only 10 have the experience of winning in the playoffs. That’s 10 of 53 players or 19 percent.

And, the ultimate NFL success has been enjoyed by just one player on the current roster – backup OLB Frank Zombo is the only player with a Super Bowl ring. That’s 1 of 53, or 2 percent of the team. …Read More!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

As we enjoy this most wonderful holiday it’s an appropriate time to say happy holidays to the bobgretz.com family. Best wishes to you and yours and here’s hope the coming year brings health and happiness.

The last six months have been intense around our house. But with only a few exceptions, everyone is here to celebrate Christmas with us. That’s children, grandchildren and the straw that stirs the drink in this family, Anita.

There were times over the last months I wasn’t sure she would be with us for the holidays. They’ve shot her full of radiation, pumped her full of caustic drugs that destroyed her energy and operated on her brain just two weeks ago to remove a rapidly growing tumor.

Today she sits with grandchildren, laughing and telling stories – the best possible medicine for her. She has a smile on her face and worries more about everyone else than herself. I’ve learned again that I’m married to one tough Missouri farm girl. She is an inspiration.

The future? We live by the Marty Schottenheimer credo of one play at a time, or in this case, one day at a time. It’s still quite early in this game, probably just finishing the first quarter. We are trailing, but the momentum seems to be turning our way.

Your thoughts and prayers have been appreciated more than you will ever know. Take care of yourself and those around you, enjoy the holidays and Happy New Year.

Smith Ready For Whatever Reid Decides

Andy Reid said Tuesday that he has not yet made firm plans on playing time for his roster on Sunday in a meaningless regular-season finale against San Diego.

But Reid’s history indicates starting quarterback Alex Smith is likely to see no playing time, or an extremely shortened afternoon against the Chargers.

“I’m here to play,” Smith said before the Chiefs practiced on Tuesday. “So, I’m getting ready for it . . . just prepare to play and we’ll see what happens on day.”

As one of the few players on the Chiefs roster that’s started a game in the post-season, Smith knows there are many factor to consider in deciding whether to sit starters and make the game that has little consequence for the Chiefs must like a pre-season affair.

I think the general thing is if you play, the argument is yeah, you’re staying in rhythm, you’re keeping your timing, all that type of stuff,” said Smith. “The speed of the game, you’re staying used to it. Certainly the negative would be an injury. Not playing, certainly the benefit there is that you’re getting healthy and fresh. The argument against would be you’re missing out on some game experience and maybe some rhythm and momentum heading into playoffs.

“I’ve never been in this position before and luckily, I’m not the one making that decision.” …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Update – December 24

From the Truman Sports Complex

The weekly schedule for the Chiefs was changed up for Christmas, as Andy Reid moved Wednesday’s practice to Tuesday. The players will then have Christmas Day off and then return to work on Thursday.

The head coach said he still isn’t sure how he will use his personnel in Sunday’s game against San Diego. More than likely, Reid isn’t ready to announce anything.

“I’m going to have them practice just like we’re going to play the San Diego Chargers, but at the same time I’m going to work some guys in,” said Reid. “I’ll figure out by the end of the week exactly how I’m going to work it, but they are all going to practice. Every position is going to do their thing.

“Then we’ll just kind of break it up and you know, mix and match.”

Going into Tuesday’s practice, everyone but OLB Tamba Hali was scheduled to participate. Hali is dealing with a sore knee. His availability for Sunday’s game will likely be determined by Thursday when they return to the building.

Chiefs Are Busy On Practice Squad Moves

From the Truman Sports Complex

Three players gone, three new faces for the Chiefs on their practice squad with moves they announced on Tuesday.

Off the developmental list are WR Fred Williams, FB Toben Opurum and TE Jake Byrne. Williams was released, Opurum was signed to the active roster of the Houston Texans and Byrne was poached by San Diego and signed to the active roster.

Added to the practice squad were RB Eric Kettani, WR Jerrell Jackson and LB/DE Ridge Wilson.

Kettani (6-1, 233) has spent time with both New England and Washington. He played his college ball at the Naval Academy where he ran for 2,091 yards and 15 touchdowns over his career.

Jackson (6-0, 192) played at Mizzou and has spent time with Houston, Jacksonville and Chicago. With the Tigers he caught 113 passes for 1,434 yards and 6 TDs.

Wilson (6-4, 256) was with the Chiefs in the off-season and through training camp, before being released on the final cutdown. He’s out of the University of West Alabama and is a native of Louisville, Kentucky.

Upon Further Reflection – Indianapolis

We reflect in the hours after the Chiefs worst performance of the 2013 season on the art of leadership.

Generally our impression of what goes on in a locker room is formed by boilerplate scripts from movies and television shows. Too often we are left with caricatures of leaders, men that make passionate speeches about going out and “Winning One For the Gipper!” and beseeching teammates to follow them into the weekly fight.

Me thinks you would be quite surprised by what really happens behind those closed doors. Having had the chance to go beyond the “Do Not Enter” sign a few times over 30-plus years I was constantly amazed at how the business of leadership was carried out in an atmosphere of raging testosterone.

Every locker room in the NFL has players that believe they are leaders, but their teammates wouldn’t follow them to the bathroom. Every locker room has guys that never raise their voice, yet they would have dozens of players willing to back them up in a dark alley in the worst neighborhood in town. …Read More!

More Of What Andy Had To Say

From the Truman Sports Complex

A few more of the subjects that Andy Reid spoke about on Monday afternoon when he met with the media horde:

Injury update from Sunday’s game: ” Tamba Hali has some swelling in his knee. We’ll have to get it out of there before he can go. He should be OK down the road here. Ron Parker sprained his ankle. But, other than that we came out pretty much injury free.”

More on the loss Sunday to Indianapolis and how the Chiefs handled themselves: “They got us yesterday. They were the better team all the way around. I thought they coached better, I thought they played better. That happens in this league, I get it. It’s important that we figure out how we can coach better and how we can play better. Whether we play them or somebody else, we need to make sure we do that.”

On Jamaal Charles only getting a half-dozen touches in the Chiefs offense in the second half of Sunday’s game: “Obviously 25 didn’t touch the ball much the second half and that’s my responsibility to make sure that within the realm of things, the 28 plays that we had in that second half, that we give him more of a shot there than the six touches that he had.” …Read More!

Chargers Poach Chiefs Practice Squad Tight End

All is fair in love and war and competition between NFL teams.

The San Diego Chargers wrote another chapter in that story on Monday when they signed TE Jake Byrne off the Chiefs practice squad.

Of course, the Chargers host the Chiefs this coming Sunday in the regular-season finale and they had an opening on the roster for a tight end. That came after San Diego placed TE John Phillips on the injured-reserve list.

Byrne was added to the Chiefs practice squad last week and the Wisconsin product went through all the preparation for the Indianapolis game.

The Chiefs also made two other moves on Monday involving their practice squad. They released WR Fred Williams and signed former Mizzou wide receiver Jerrell Jackson.

Out of Houston, the 6-0, 192-pound Jackson was not drafted in 2012 and was signed by the Houston Texans. He did not make the team’s roster and eventually was signed by Jacksonville where he was on the practice squad late last year. Jackson was activated for the Jaguars final regular season game. He went to training camp this past summer with Chicago.

This Week’s Final Scenarios For the Playoffs

AFC

CLINCHED: Denver, New England, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, the Chiefs.

STILL ALIVE: Miami, Baltimore, San Diego, Pittsburgh.

  • DENVER BRONCOS (@ Oakland)

Denver clinches home-field advantage with win or tie, or New England loss or tie.

  • NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (Buffalo)

New England clinches a first-round bye with win or tie, or a Cincinnati loss or tie and an Indianapolis loss or tie

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with a win and a Denver loss. …Read More!

Andy Has Decisions To Make

From the Truman Sports Complex

More than once in his head coaching career, Andy Reid faced similar situations.

His team is in the field for the AFC playoffs and they are locked at the No. 5 seed. There remains one game to play on the regular-season schedule, but it has no effect on the Chiefs positioning in the post-season bracket. Sunday’s game against the Chargers in San Diego is meaningless when it comes to improving or hurting the Chiefs position.

That provides Reid with the chance to rest some of his players, allowing them to get healthier for the post-season.

There are plenty of players that could use a week off, or at least a diminished role in Sunday’s game against San Diego. Players like running back Jamaal Charles, outside linebacker Tamba Hali, inside linebacker Derrick Johnson, cornerback Brandon Flowers and safety Eric Berry are just a few of those that would benefit from less action.

The day after the Chiefs disappointing 23-7 loss to Indianapolis, Reid said he wasn’t quite sure just what direction he would take for the upcoming game. He wanted more time to evaluate the situation and speak with his coaching staff before making a decision. …Read More!

Season’s Worst Performance Sinks Chiefs

From Arrowhead Stadium

The Chiefs thought they had gotten beyond the point where they would have a performance like the one they staged on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

But in game No. 15 of the regular season, the Chiefs were simply awful in losing 23-7 to the visiting Colts. On a cold, winter’s day, it was the team that plays their home games inside that was feeling pretty good as the wind-chill of 11 degrees didn’t bother them at all.

Offense, defense, special teams were all bad for the Chiefs. Here’s our coverage:

It’s First Chapter In Possible KC-Indy Doubleheader

The first goal has been reached by both the Chiefs and the Colts – they are in the field for the 2013 AFC playoffs.

With two games to go, these teams face each other on Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium in a game that could be the first of bookend meetings between the clubs.

Kickoff is just after 12 noon, with television coverage on CBS.

There are too many games left to play that can affect the seeding in the AFC bracket for the post-season. The 11-3 Chiefs are in, but they still have an outside chance to finish first in the AFC West where they are tied with Denver. They need two victories and they need the Broncos to lose one of their remaining two games to win the division. Ultimately, Andy Reid’s team will be either the first or second seed (division champs) or the fifth seed (best wildcard team record).

Indianapolis is 9-5 and the Colts have already clinched the AFC South title. Right now they still have a chance to be lined up anywhere from the No. 1 seed to the No. 4 seed.

If the playoffs brackets were set on records going into this weekend, the Colts would be the No. 4 seed and the Chiefs No. 5, and the teams would meet again in Indianapolis for a wildcard round game. …Read More!

This Weekend’s Primer For The Playoffs

The Chiefs are in, so is their opponent, the Indianapolis Colts. In all, only four of 12 spots in the NFL post-season brackets are spoken for at this point and just about every game on this Sunday has implications for the tournament.

For Andy Reid’s team they need a victory over Indianapolis and a Denver loss in Houston to take over first place in the AFC West and the entire AFC with one week to play. The Colts are the only team in the league that’s already clinched their division title, but they are playing for seeding in the AFC, as they could rank anywhere from No. 1 through No. 4.

Playing their way into the post-season with a victory on Sunday/Monday are New Orleans, Carolina, New England and San Francisco. All four of those teams can also get their ticket punched with other teams losing.

AFC

Denver: Peyton’s place can clinch the division and a first-round bye by beating Houston and the Chiefs lose to Indy.

New England: a victory over the Ravens gives the Patriots another AFC West title. They can also clinch a first-round bye with their victory and loses by Cincinnati and Indianapolis. …Read More!

Officials Crew For Indy Game – Referee Tony Corrente

For George Hayward, his road trip this week as a head linesman with an NFL officiating crew does not require an airplane.

A 23-year veteran of the league’s officiating staff, Hayward lives in St. Joseph where he grew up and where he graduated from Missouri Western State University. He is the most veteran member of referee Tony Corrente’s crew that will handle Sunday’s game between the Colts and Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

Hayward is tied at No. 5 among league officials in seniority; he was hired in 1991 after working in the Big 8 Conference for several years and before that in the M.I.A.A. He graduated in 1974 from Missouri Western where he was a linebacker on the school’s first football team.

Off the field he’s part of the management team at Lake Road Warehouse Company, located southwest of downtown St. Joe along the Missouri River. They provide industrial solvents, chemicals and fuels in 55 gallon barrels.

Here’s the rest of the crew that Hayward works with: …Read More!

Jamaal Charles – A Package Of Speed & Toughness

Geoff Schwartz is still amazed by what he’s seen over 14 games this year in his role as teammate and blocker for Jamaal Charles.

“I really had not seen a lot of his runs from previous years,” Schwartz said this week in the Chiefs locker room. “I was playing in the NFC and we didn’t see teams like the Chiefs very often, not even on tape. All the highlights I would see he was always running away from somebody.

“Now I get here and I see him all the time, every play, it’s just crazy what a physically tough running back Jamaal is. He doesn’t care where he has to run the ball, whether it’s outside or between the tackles. He takes the ball and runs with speed and power. He will run over guys if they get in his way.

“It’s really been a revelation to see him show all the talents he has.” …Read More!

4 Keys To Victory For The Chiefs Against Indy

4

With Dexter back, hit on punt returns for field position

With Dexter McCluster out of last Sunday’s game, there was not excitement on punt returns for the Chiefs. Of course, they only had one chance in the game to return a punt, and that was handled by Chad Hall. McCluster is one of the NFL’s leading punt returners with an 11.7-yard average and a pair of touchdown returns. Indianapolis has allowed returns on an average of 14.3 yards per attempt and they gave up a 98-yard touchdown return to Tavon Austin of St. Louis in early November. In a field-position game, the Chiefs need the help McCluster can provide in tilting the field. …Read More!

Chiefs-Colts Injury Reports For Sunday’s Game

Chiefs

Questionable – LT Branden Albert (knee), OLB Justin Houston (elbow).

Probable – TE Anthony Fasano (concussion), RT Eric Fisher (shoulder), ILB James-Michael Johnson (shoulder), ILB Nico Johnson (ankle), WR Dexter McCluster (ankle), TE Sean McGrath (knee), CB Ron Parker (shoulder).

Colts

Doubtful – S Sergio Brown (groin), DT Montori Hughes (knee), DT Ricky Jean Francois (foot), OT Jeff Linkenbach (quadriceps), G Joe Reitz (concussion).

Questionable – LB Daniel Adongo (hamstring), WR Ty Hilton (shoulder), G Hugh Thornton (neck), CB Gregory Toler (groin).

Probable –WR LaVon Brazil (foot), RB Donald Brown (neck), DT Aubrayo Franklin (non-injury), RB Stanley Havili (knee), OLB Robert Mathis (non-injury related), C Samson Satele (elbow).

Chiefs Practice Report – December 20

From the Truman Sports Complex

All 61 available bodies took part in Friday’s final practice of the week in preparation for Sunday’s game against Indianapolis at Arrowhead Stadium.

And, they all practiced inside, out of the cold and windy conditions of late Friday morning at their facility. It was the third consecutive day that Andy Reid had his team working inside, not outside in weather conditions that figure to be closer to what they’ll face Sunday afternoon.

“The field out there is frozen and it didn’t thaw with the warmer weather,” Reid said of the team’s outdoor fields. “I’m really not big on that either way. I spent a few years up in Green Bay and heck if it got below 50 degrees we were inside.

“I didn’t it a little different at Philly. We won some games, so I don’t worry too much about all of that.”

The National Weather Service forecast for Sunday: A chance of light snow before noon; mostly cloudy, with a high near 26 degrees. Northwest wind at 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

All this will come after Saturday night snow could bring as much as five to nine inches of snow to the Kansas City area.

In Friday’s practice, WR Dexter McCluster (ankle infection) did everything on offense and special teams. LT Branden Albert (knee) did not do all the work with the No. 1 offense, as Donald Stephenson stayed in that spot. OLB Justin Houston practiced all week as did Albert.

“It’ll be a stretch for them to make it,” said Reid. “Both practiced this whole week and we’ll just see.”

Everybody else on the Chiefs injury report practiced and did everything they were scheduled to do.

Both the Chiefs and Colts will release their official injury reports late Friday afternoon.

Practice Makes Perfect For Chiefs Defensive Scores

For the Chiefs defense their practices start on Wednesday and Thursday with two drills built on the same idea.

On Wednesday, each member of the starting 11 on defense takes their stance in the standard 3-4-4 alignment. An assistant coach holds a football, points to one side of the field or the other and calls out a snap count. On “hut, hut” all 11 defenders come flying out of their stances and sprint towards the corner of the end zone where the coach directed them.

The next day, the defense lines up again. But this time the assistant coach throws the ball high into the secondary for a simulated interception. The defenders all react once the ball is caught by one of their defensive mates and sprint towards the same corner of the end zone.

Since the end of July and the start of training camp the Chiefs defense has started their on-field work this way every day, day-after-day, week-after-week, and at this point in the season, month-after-month.

If one wonders how the Chiefs are so successful in scoring defensive touchdowns this season, it starts with that first drill of every practice. On Wednesday, it’s pursuit of the ball. On Thursday, it’s not just intercepting the pass, but changing field position with a nice return or the scoreboard with a touchdown.

“Those are two critical fundamentals because it doesn’t matter what defense we play, it doesn’t matter which group is on the field, we need to be good at those two things,” said defensive coordinator Bob Sutton. “We have to run to the ball; that’s fundamental to defense. And when you get an opportunity you have to score. It’s a big part of the game.” …Read More!

Dex Is Back and Ready To Roll

From the Truman Sports Complex

It’s one thing for an NFL player to be sidelines by a broken bone, torn ligament or even a concussion.

But it’s quite another when playing time is missed because of an infection.

That’s what Dexter McCluster had to deal with last weekend when he stayed home in Kansas City while the Chiefs went to Oakland and beat up on the Raiders.

All because a cut on his ankle that he suffered the week before in Washington became infected.

“I just thought ‘Wow, something that small!’ a cut that I get every day in this sport,” McCluster said. “I took it very seriously. I wanted to make sure it didn’t move and it didn’t spread, that it didn’t infect my whole body. They did a great job going in and finding what it was and giving me the right things to move forward.” …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Update/Roster Move – December 19

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs continued their churning of the bottom of the active roster on Thursday by announcing the re-signing of DT Jerrell Powe and releasing WR Chad Hall.

Those two players went in opposite directions last week, when Hall was signed and Powe was released. That Hall is on the street again is a pretty good indication that WR-returner Dexter McCluster will be available to return punts on Sunday against Indianapolis.

All 9 players on the Chiefs injury report took part in at least some portion of practice on Thursday. Special teams coordinator Dave Toub confirmed that it appears McCluster is a go for the Colts and defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said OLB Justin Houston (elbow) has worked with the first unit and has practiced hard and appears ready to play.

Here are the practice reports for both teams on Thursday: …Read More!

Offense Finally Comes Together For Chiefs

Football fans and media are impatient sorts, prone to instant analysis and reaction.

There are more than a few NFL head coaches that are just as impatient. Andy Reid is not one of them, or at least he doesn’t show any antsy traits beyond the door of his office. Over the last month, Reid’s patience with his offense has been rewarded.

Over the first half of the season the unit led by the head coach/play caller, offensive coordinator Doug Pederson and starting quarterback Alex Smith had major problems with consistency and productivity.

Example: in games No. 7 through 10, the Chiefs scored just 80 total points, thanks to only six offensive touchdowns in those four games. Against defenses from Houston, Cleveland, Buffalo and Denver, Reid’s offense averaged 185.3 passing yards per game and allowed 13 sacks of Smith.

“We’d be good at times, but we couldn’t keep it going,” said Smith of the offense’s play over the first-half of the season. “Lately, we’ve been able to string together strong possessions. It’s kind of fallen together.” …Read More!

This Week’s Foe – Indianapolis Colts


Colts starting quarterback Andrew Luck

Game No. 15.

OpponentIndianapolis Colts.    

2013 record – 9-5, clinched AFC South division title. They own victories over Oakland, San Francisco, Jacksonville, Seattle and Denver with two victories each against Houston and Tennessee. They dropped games to Miami, San Diego, St. Louis, Arizona and Cincinnati. They are 4-3 on the road this season.

Franchise began – In 1953 when a group of Baltimore businessmen led by Carroll Rosenbloom were granted an NFL franchise and took over the players and what few assets remained of the defunct Dallas Texans franchise that folded during the 1952 season. In July 1972, Rosenbloom traded the Colts franchise to Chicago businessman Robert Irsay, who had just purchased the Los Angeles Rams for $19 million. In the middle of the night on March 28, 1984, the Colts left Baltimore and moved to Indianapolis after talks for a new football stadium in Maryland broke down. Robert Irsay died in 1997 and the team was taken over by his youngest son Jimmy Irsay who retains control of the team.

Overall franchise record592-441-7 a .573 winning percentage over 61 seasons in Baltimore and Indianapolis. This is the Colts 30th season in Indianapolis, where they have a 252-240 record, a .512 winning percentage. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Report/Update – December 18

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs had all 61 players dressed and taking part in the early portion of practice on Wednesday as Andy Reid worked his team inside on the artificial turf.

Reid expected some of those injured players to be limited participants, but in the open window for the media during position drills, everyone was involved in the work in some fashion. Here’s what was expected:

– WR Dexter McCluster was a limited participant because of an infection in an ankle that showed itself last week. Reid said McCluster’s ankle is still sore and that his practice time would be judged period-to-period during the session as he tests the ankle.

– RT Eric Fisher was on the field after having to leave last Sunday’s game against Oakland with a shoulder injury. Fisher has dinged the shoulder several times this season but he said in the locker room before practice that he was ready to practice and play this week. …Read More!

Charles Earns Player of Week Honors

From the Truman Sports Complex

For the first time this season a member of the Chiefs offense has been judged the past weekend’s best performer in the AFC. The league office announced Wednesday that RB Jamaal Charles was the conference’s offensive player of the week.

Charles scored 5 touchdowns last Sunday against Oakland in a 56-31 Chiefs victory. He became one of 16 players to score 5 times or more in a game over NFL history and he’s the first running back to catch four TD passes in a single game.

After 14 games, Charles is the league’s No. 4 rusher with 1,181 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. He’s ranked at No. 33 in the league as a receiver with 655 yards on 65 catches and 7 touchdown catches. No running back has more receiving yardage this season than Charles.

He’s the first offensive player with the Chiefs since QB Brady Quinn had the honors in Week No. 13 last year. In the last seven seasons (2007-13), the Chiefs have won just four offensive player of the week honors.

Charles becomes the fifth Chiefs player in 2013 to earn player of the week honors: Week #1-OLB Justin Houston, Week #3-Houston, Week #4-Returner Dexter McCluster, Week #6 OLB Tamba Hali, Week #8-Kicker Ryan Succop, Week #14-Hali, week #15-Charles.

Chiefs Do Roster Shuffle on Wednesday

From the Truman Sports Complex

It was a busy Tuesday and Wednesday for the Chiefs as players were signed, released and moved to various points in the NFL personnel universe.

On the active roster:

  • TE Dominique Jones was placed on the non-football illness list.
  • TE Richard Gordon was signed to be the team’s 3rd tight end.

On the practice squad:

  • WR Jheranie Boyd was released.
  • TE Demetrius Harris went to the practice squad/injured-reserve list.
  • TE Jake Byrne and WR Fred Williams were signed.

The move that will most immediately show itself is the addition of Gordon to the tight end mix. He’s 6-4, 265 pounds and has 27 games of NFL experience, all of those with Oakland in 2011-12. He has three catches for 11 yards and a touchdown. This season he’s spent time with the Raiders and Pittsburgh. Gordon came into the league as a 6th-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft by Oakland out of the University of Miami. …Read More!

MVP For Jamaal Charles? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Anyone that does not believe Jamaal Charles deserves consideration as the National Football League’s most valuable player in 2013 has not seen him and the Chiefs play this season. It’s that, or they don’t know a damn thing about football.

Anyone that thinks Charles is going to win the honor as the league’s most valuable is in for a disappointment.

Charles is deserving of the MVP, but he’s not going to be able to get past the presence of Peyton Manning.

“I’m not in the race,” Charles told Peter King on his mmqb.si.com website. “That’s not for me to decide if I deserve something like that.”

There’s also little chance that Charles will be able to get past the idea that many media and fans carry that the MVP can only be a quarterback. It’s the glamour position, the triggerman, the guy in the spotlight. In the previous 25 seasons there have been 27 players that won the MVP award (it was shared in 1997 and 2003). Only eight of those players were running backs. The other 19 were quarterbacks. …Read More!

Chiefs Send New TE To Reserve-NFI List

The Chiefs star-crossed position in this 2013 NFL season is tight end.

With starter Anthony Fasano ready to return from his concussion, the Chiefs moved Dominique Jones off the active roster on Tuesday.

Jones was moved to the reserve/non-football illness list. No details on the nature of his problem. He played Sunday against Oakland, appearing in 18 plays on offense.

That leaves an open position on the active roster.

The Chiefs also released recently signed WR Jheranie Boyd from the practice squad.

Upon Further Reflection – Oakland

Worst-to-second – it doesn’t have quite the ring of worst-to-first, but what the heck, anything is better than being considered the laughingstock of the National Football League.

Those 2-14 Chiefs are gone, finally buried by the 2013 edition with its 11-3 record with two games to play and holder of an invitation to the AFC playoffs. It’s one of the great turnaround stories in NFL history.

There are as many reasons for the rise of the Chiefs as there were reasons for the fall of the Hunt Family franchise. New administrators, new coaches, a new outlook and a sprinkling of new players are making big contributions.

Those people and their approach created change in the franchise and that was visible in Oakland on Sunday. An important element of the team’s recent DNA has been altered – the Chiefs had to become a tougher team. …Read More!

What Andy Had To Say On Monday

The Chiefs are 11-3, tied for first place in the AFC West, owners of a ticket to the playoffs and Andy Reid is still grinding.

Part of his weekly chores is meeting on Monday with the media horde where he touches on all sorts of Chiefs related subjects. After beating the Oakland Raiders 56-31, plenty of questions were tossed at Reid.

And he tossed back some answers:

On his team’s focus in winning back-to-back road games: “We’re human beings and in this business the natural tendency for us humans is to let yourself go; they didn’t do that. They kept their drive up and they followed the process all week and came out and put together a pretty good game.”

Whether the Chiefs will hold things back this Sunday against Indianapolis because they are likely to face the Colts again in the playoffs: “We’re far enough along in the year and you have enough in the playbook that you can draw from and still have tools to use. I don’t think there’s any reason to do that (back off). Plus, the season is still alive. I mean you want to go in and give it your best shot. I’ll probably tell you the same thing that I told you when we played Denver, you give it the best shot your first time and then you come back two weeks later and give it your best shot then. That’s how we’ll approach it.” …Read More!

Andy Updates Chiefs Injuries

The Chiefs injury report for Monday was lengthy, but in the view of head coach Andy Reid, there’s a chance most of the seven players he named would be able to practice on Wednesday.

“If we would have practiced today, we would have most of them back and ready to go,” Reid said.

Here’s a look at those hobbled at the start of the week:

- RT Eric Fisher re-injured the shoulder that bothered him earlier this season and missed most of the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game. “He’s actually doing a little bit better today,” Reid said of Fisher.

– LT Branden Albert did not play against Oakland missing his second game because of the hyperextended left knee that he suffered on December 1st. Reid said Albert was “doing better.”

– TE Anthony Fasano did not play against Oakland on Sunday, missing his second game because of the concussion he suffered on December 1st. Fasano was cleared for light practice last week.

– WR Dexter McCluster did not play Sunday because of an infection in the area of his right ankle/foot. McCluster suffered a cut in the Washington game and the wound became infected. “He’s making progress,” Reid said of McCluster. “We’ll see how he does here in the next couple of days as we get closer to Wednesday’s practice, but he is moving around better.”

– OLB Justin Houston missed his third game because of the dislocated right elbow that he suffered on November 24th. Houston returned to practice last week and Reid said that he too was “doing better.”

– CB Brandon Flowers left Sunday’s game against Oakland in the first half with a groin injury. But Flowers returned in the second half and was back on the field in the Chiefs defense without a major problem.

– ILB James-Michael Johnson suffered a slight AC joint sprain in Sunday’s game. “He’s doing OK, a little bit sore, but OK,” Reid said of Johnson.

– TE Demetrius Harris on the practice squad suffered a sprained ankle I n practice last week. Reid said it was a high ankle sprain.

Chiefs Knock On Post-Season Door in Trip To Oakland

The Chiefs and Raiders will continue their long-time rivalry Sunday afternoon on the east side of San Francisco Bay with very different agendas.

Kickoff is just after 3 p.m. at the O.co Coliseum and television coverage is from CBS.

For Andy Reid and his 10-3 Chiefs, victory would assure them a seat at the table for the AFC post-season banquet. For Dennis Allen and the 4-9 Raiders, heaven knows what they’ll play for as they chase out another lost season. Pride and paycheck are the only carrots dangling in front of the silver and black.

The Chiefs could also gain entrance via the backdoor with a loss by either Miami or Baltimore. They Chiefs will know about the Dolphins, because they have a noon start at home against New England on Sunday.

Should that early outcome be good news for the Chiefs, it won’t matter to Reid, as he said this week:

Q: The possibility exists that you can clench a playoff spot before kickoff. Will that change your game plan?

REID: “No.”

Q: You’re going to play to win?

REID: “Yeah that’s what we’re going to do.” …Read More!

4 Keys To Victory For The Chiefs in Oakland

4

Keep giving Knile Davis/Cyrus Gray some of Jamaal Charles’ carries

What’s important this Sunday is the game against the Raiders, not potential post-season games down the road in three more weeks. But there’s no question that Andy Reid and his staff need to be a bit judicious in their personnel use in coming weeks. It doesn’t appear they will get a bye week to start the playoffs, so they’ll have to play in the first weekend and they’ll have to do it on the road. In the last several games, the offensive play time of rookie RB Knile Davis has increased and he’s been productive. Cyrus Gray got some touches as well. Last week Davis-Gray had 15 touches, while Jamaal Charles had 21. That type of ratio needs to continue to keep Charles fresher for the month of January. …Read More!

Chiefs Leave Dex At Home For Raiders Game

WR-returner Dexter McCluster has been ruled out of Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and Raiders in Oakland.

The Chiefs are concerned about the infected foot/ankle that turned up this week with McCluster. Test results came back late Friday and indicated the infection was not related to MRSA, the bug that has been talked about so much in the NFL and caused problems earlier this year in Tampa Bay with the Buccaneers.

But leaning towards the overall health of their No. 3 wide receiver and top punt returner, McCluster was not scheduled to be on the team’s charter flight to the Bay Area on Saturday afternoon.

WR Chad Hall was re-signed on Friday for just this possibility, as he has experience returning punts in the NFL. Hall will likely fill that role against the Raiders.

NFL Officials Assignment – Clete Blakeman

For the second time this season the Chiefs will play with the officiating crew led by Clete Blakeman on the field.

That last time it happened was against Cleveland in October. The Chiefs won the game and Blakeman’s crew walked off just 5 penalties for 31 yards against the Hunt Family franchise.

Overall, the home team is 9-3 this season with Blakeman as the referee. The Chiefs are 2-1 in games where he and his crew worked.

But this year, Blakeman and his crew have had their problems:

- Remember when Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wandered onto the edge of the field and slowed down the kickoff return by Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones. Tomlin was fined $100,000 by the league, but Blakeman and his crew did not penalize the Pittsburgh coach. …Read More!

Quarterback Play Explains AFC West Success

Over the last 10 seasons (including 2013), the Oakland Raiders have posted the worst record in the AFC West.

The second worst team in the division in that time was the Chiefs. The best teams in the AFC West were San Diego and Denver, and they were the only two AFC West teams to post records in the last 10 years that finished above .500:

  1. San Diego     98-60.
  2. Denver         91-67.
  3. Chiefs         65-92.
  4. Oakland     49-108.

In a league that spends so much attention and capital on the quarterback position, the on-field results in the AFC West are glaringly tied to the position. Here’s just one example – these are the total number of quarterbacks that started a game for the division teams since 2004, including this season:

  1. San Diego    3
  2. Denver        6
  3. Chiefs        9
  4. Oakland    16

Notice anything about those two sets of numbers? The more stability at the quarterback position, the better the chance a team has at stringing together successful seasons. When a franchise keeps changing its quarterback, the team’s record suffers that creates a vicious circle that leads to changing head coaches, to changing quarterbacks, to changing coaches . . .

The effects of position stability/instability will be on display Sunday in Oakland with the Chiefs and Raiders renewing their long rivalry. …Read More!

NFL injury reports for Chiefs vs. Raiders on Sunday

Chiefs

OUT – OT Branden Albert (knee), TE Anthony Fasano (concussion), OLB Justin Houston (elbow).

QUESTIONABLE – WR Dexter McCluster (ankle).

PROBABLE – CB Marcus Cooper (back), C Rodney Hudson (elbow), TE Sean McGrath (knee), CB Ron Parker (shoulder), FB Anthony Sherman (knee/ankle).

Raiders

OUT – RB Darren McFadden (ankle), RB Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee).

DOUBTFUL – S Tyvon Branch (ankle), DT Vance Walker (concussion).

QUESTIONABLE – WR Denarius Moore (shoulder).

PROBABLE – OL Khalif Barnes (knee/ankle), G Mike Brisiel (ankle/knee), DE Jason Hunter (foot/finger), RB Rashad Jennings (concussion), TE Nick Kasa (concussion), LB Sio Moore (neck), OT Tony Pashos (foot).

Chiefs Practice Report – December 13

The Chiefs went through their final practice of Raiders Week #2 on Friday and were without both LT Branden Albert and WR Dexter McCluster.

Already declared out of Sunday’s game in Oakland are Albert (knee), TE Anthony Fasano (concussion) and OLB Justin Houston (elbow).

McCluster has an infected ankle/foot and apparently had to have the site drained this week. Here is part of the explanation that was provided by head trainer Rick Burkholder: “We got him an MRI and x-ray which showed he had no structural damage in his ankle. He did have a very small cut on the outside of his ankle that he had gotten in the Washington game, so we went into our protocol when somebody has an infection and we drew blood, did a swab on the infection site and we got him on antibiotics. …Read More!

Chiefs Re-Sign Hall, Dump Powe

With WR-Returner Dexter McCluster missing a second practice because of an ankle injury, the Chiefs made a roster move Friday morning. They re-signed WR Chad Hall, who has been with them for 8 games this season. The 5-8, 187-pound Hall has some experiencing returning punts on the NFL level, with 10 returns for an average of 10.7 yards along with 6 kickoff returns for an 18-yard average.

All those returns came in the 2010 and 2011 seasons when he was playing for Andy Reid with the Eagles. Hall joined the Chiefs on September 1, part of the waiver-wire claims; he’d just been released by San Francisco. He was released on November 13, re-signed the first time on November 22, but then released on December 7th.

In 8 games Hall has caught one pass for 9 yards.

To make room for Hall, the Chiefs waived DT Jerrell Powe who they signed last week. Powe dressed for the game in Washington last Sunday, but did not play.

Chiefs Practice Report/Update – December 12

The Chiefs added WR and punt returner Dexter McCluster to their injury report on Thursday. McCluster did not work in the team’s practice sessions because of an ankle injury.

He joined LT Branden Albert on the sidelines as the Chiefs put in practice No. 2 in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Raiders in Oakland.

Albert is still rehabbing the left knee injury that he suffered in the second Denver game.

There were no other changes in practice participation from Wednesday for the Chiefs or Raiders: …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Report/Update – December 11

Andy Reid said Wednesday that if the Chiefs get into the playoffs before their kickoff in the 3 o’clock hour on Sunday, he will not deviate from the game plan set this week for playing the Raiders in Oakland.

“Yeah, that’s what we’re going to do (play to win),” Reid told the media horde.

The Chiefs got to work in their first practice of the week in preparation for visiting the Bay Area. LT Branden Albert is still out with that hyperextended left knee; he did not practice on Wednesday.

TE Anthony Fasano did some work in the session, as he tries to bounce back from a concussion. “He’s working a little bit with the scout team and kind of get back in the swing and see how he feels,” said Reid “That’s kind of the fourth phase of the five phases that guys go through (when recovering from a concussion.”

OLB Justin Houston was set to work in position drills as he continues to try to bounce back from a dislocation of his right elbow.

Here are the practice/injury reports for both teams on Wednesday: …Read More!

Tamba Gets AFC Defensive Honor, Again

On Wednesday, OLB Tamba Hali was named the AFC’s defensive player of the week for his performance in the team’s 45-10 victory over Washington.

Hali had two sacks, three tackles for loss and team leading six tackles. He now has 11 sacks on the season.

It was the second player of the week honors for Hali; he also won for the week No. 6 game against Oakland at Arrowhead Stadium. That makes 4 such defensive player of the week honors, with Hali’s two and two by OLB Justin Houston.

Many Happy Returns For the Chiefs

Football coaches love it when they find touchdowns in places other than their offensive stats.

They thank the football gods when the guys on defense take interceptions and fumble recoveries to the end zone. They’ll light candles in a place of worship when the kicking game produces touchdowns, whether off returns or blocked kicks or punts.

Right now, Andy Reid is a very happy head coach – the 2013 Chiefs have scored 10 touchdowns on defense and special teams. With 40 touchdowns on the season, that’s 25 percent of the red and gold’s end zone visits coming from a phase of the game that’s not offense. No other team in the league has that high of percentage of non-offensive TDs. The No. 2 team is St. Louis with 32 total touchdowns and 6 on defense and special teams, or 19 percent.

Punt returner Dexter McCluster has two touchdowns, as does outside linebacker Tamba Hali. Knile Davis and Quintin Demps each have a kick-return score. Defensive backs Husain Abdullah, Eric Berry, Marcus Cooper and Sean Smith have scored on interception returns. That’s 10 in all and there are a dozen teams in the league that do not have at least 10 rushing touchdowns on the season from their offense. The Chiefs have as many return TDs as the New York Jets have touchdown passes.

No other team in the league has more than 6 miscellaneous touchdowns as the league likes to call them. Chicago, Dallas and St. Louis have 6 scores off some type of return. Cincinnati, Denver and Washington have 5 touchdowns in that manner. The only team without a return TD is New Orleans, with all 40 of the Saints touchdowns coming from the offense.

“Every point is important because you never know what touchdown or field goal is going to be the points that win the game,” said ILB Derrick Johnson. “I always feel like if we can score on defense, then we should win the game. ” …Read More!

Chiefs Need Victory Over Raiders To Make Playoffs

There’s seldom any extra reason needed to get the Chiefs fired up to play the Raiders, and vice-a-versa.

But the Chiefs will have more motivation on Sunday in Oakland because a victory would assure them a spot in the AFC playoffs.

The Chiefs are one of three teams that can make the tournament field this weekend by winning, joining Denver, Indianapolis and Seattle.

Andy Reid’s team gets in with a victory, but they can back in if either Miami or Baltimore suffers a loss. The Dolphins host New England and Baltimore goes to Detroit for Monday night football.

The other teams that are in with a victory are New England and New Orleans. The Patriots win the AFC East with a victory over the Dolphins, and they clinch a post-season spot if Baltimore loses.

The Saints earn an invitation with a victory over the Rams in St. Louis.

All three teams – Chiefs, Patriots and Saints – can also get in with losses suffered by other teams.

Upon Further Reflection – Washington

After getting a look at the tape, the Chiefs performance against the Redskins was their best effort as a team this season.

Andy Reid didn’t use those words but he made it plain he not only enjoyed the victory, but liked how it came together.

“I thought all three phases functioned well and that’s probably the first time this year that’s really taken place to that extreme,” Reid said. “That’s a good thing.”

It’s a really good thing if the Chiefs can replicate that type of performance against Oakland this weekend, Indianapolis before Christmas and in San Diego after all the presents are open.

December has been the ugly month on the calendar for the Chiefs over the last decade. It’s generally the time when teams successful in the post-season begin to string together victories.

Only two of 20 Super Bowl participants in the last 10 NFL championship games had a losing record in December. Seven years ago, Indianapolis went 2-3 in December. Last year’s champion Baltimore Ravens was 1-4 in month No. 12.

Still, those 20 teams were 57-27, a .679 winning percentage.

Here are the numbers: …Read More!

Andy Hits Victory No. 150

Quietly, and that’s just the way the Chiefs head coach wanted, Andy Reid became only the 21st head coach in NFL history to compile 150 victories in the regular and post-season with the victory over Washington 45-10.

Reid has a career record of 150-105-1 over his 15 seasons as an NFL head coach. The match is pretty obvious – he’s averaged 10 victories a season. The Chiefs got No. 10 for the 2013 season against the Redskins.

“That’s not some place that I go with the number of wins,” Reid said on Monday. “I haven’t sat down and . . . 150, I didn’t even know we were at the number.

“Let’s get the next one; we’re on that.”

Here’s where Reid stands among the coaching elite in NFL history. Coaches in red picked up some of those career victories with the Chiefs: …Read More!

Chiefs Exit Washington Victory Without New Injuries

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs enjoyed their 45-10 victory over Washington on Sunday at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.

And, they enjoyed that 35-point decision on Monday at their facility in Kansas City, Missouri.

Andy Reid reported no new injuries for the Chiefs from their winning performance and after 13 games, that’s the type of news that puts smiles on coach’s faces.

“Really nothing to mention from this last game as far as injuries go,” said Reid. “There are the 3 injuries from last week.”

That is injured starters LT Branden Albert, TE Anthony Fasano and OLB Justin Houston. All missed Sunday’s victory against Washington. Reid called all three “day-to-day” situations at this point.

Albert is still working to get back from his hyperextended knee, Fasano is trying to get approved to play under the NFL concussion protocols and Houston continues to work on his dislocated elbow.

Chiefs Return To Winning By Blowing Out Redskins

After 3 trying weeks of putting up with fewer points than their opponent, the Chiefs went to FedEx Field in suburban Washington, D.C. and blasted the struggling Redskins 45-10.

It was an afternoon of snow, sleet and even some rain, but Andy Reid’s team did not let that bother them. They never trailed, scoring 17 points in the first quarter and putting up 31 unanswered points to start the game. By half-time the Redskins of head coach Mike Shanahan and quarterback Robert Griffin III were just looking forward to the end of the game.

With the victory, the Chiefs needed help to assure their spot in the AFC playoffs. But both Baltimore and Miami won. The Chiefs are 10-3, the Ravens and Dolphins are both 7-6. There are 3 games to play. A victory over Oakland this coming Sunday punches their ticket for the playoffs. So would a loss by either Baltimore or Miami.

Here’s our coverage of a victory that gave the Chiefs a 4-0 record against the NFC East this season:

Chiefs Face Redskins Looking To End Losing Streak

In the northeast suburbs of the District of Columbia the Chiefs will try to stop the bleeding that’s come from a 3-game losing streak.

They face the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. It’s a game that should lead to the Chiefs 10th victory of the season. They are 9-3; the Redskins are 3-9 and if it’s true that a team is what their record shows, then Andy Reid’s club should cruise.

Kickoff is just after 12 noon with television coverage on CBS.

The Redskins are not the Denver Broncos, who handed the Chiefs two of those three defeats in the last month. Washington QB Robert Griffin III is a bright young player at the position, but he’s not Peyton Manning. Skins OLB Brian Orakpo is a talented pass rusher, but he’s not Von Miller.

But then the Chiefs are not the same team that started the season with 9 straight victories and five weeks ago was in control of the AFC and AFC West. The offense has improved, yet the defense has taken three steps backward, giving up 27, 41 and 35 points after not allowing anything more than 17 points in the first nine outings.

There are four games to play and if the Chiefs get some help on Sunday, they will have their ticket to the playoffs punched for January.

That’s if they can beat the Redskins. …Read More!

4 Keys To Winning For Chiefs Against Redskins

         4

Contain the Redskins running game

Washington is averaging 150.4 yards per game, the most productive running game in the NFL. RBs Alfred Morris and Roy Helu, along with QB Robert Griffin III, they average 5 yards every time they run the ball. They like to run, but they do it out of several different types of offenses. The Redskins use the very familiar Denver offensive scheme from Mike Shanahan’s tenure with the Broncos. They run some read-option, they like to use Griffin and his legs right off the snap, and the quarterback isn’t shy about taking off when he feels the pressure. If they can run the ball, the Redskins can control the tenor of this game; that’s why the Chiefs, who are giving up an average of 117.3 rushing yards per game, must be very good on first down. That’s when Washington likes to run. Last Sunday against the New York Giants, the Skins ran on 15 of 25 first down plays. If Griffin faces a lot of 2nd-and-8 plays that’s very good news for the Chiefs defense. …Read More!

Chiefs Add Tight End; Release Wide Receiver

The Chiefs charter flight out of KCI on Saturday afternoon included another tight end on the roster as they promoted Dominique Jones from the practice squad.

Jones is 6-3, 270 pounds and has 10 games of NFL playing experience with Indianapolis in 2012-13. He has 3 catches for 42 yards. Jones was signed to the Chiefs practice squad on October 30th.

His promotion was due to the status of starting TE Anthony Fasano who has not been cleared to return to the field after suffering a concussion in last Sunday’s game. He’s already been declared out of the game against the Redskins.

To make room for Jones, the Chiefs released WR Chad Hall.

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