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Regular-Season Start Pushes Chiefs & Alex To A Deal


From the Truman Sports Complex

When two parties are haggling over money generally there has to be a deadline for any type of agreement to be reached.

That was certainly the case with the Chiefs and Alex Smith. While all the talks and negotiations that went down in the spring and summer were important to a successful deal, it was an unspoken deadline of the start of the regular season that accelerate completion of a four-year extension for the team’s starting quarterback.

“Personally, I just think with securing this type of player on your roster, it gives you stability,” said general manager John Dorsey. “It’s time to move on, it’s time to focus for the game of football and get ready for the Tennessee Titans and that’s all you can ask for.

“It’s important that it got done for Alex. It’s important that it got done for the franchise. It’s a good thing, a positive step moving forward.” …Read More!

NFL Roster Moves – August 30/31

Here are the personnel moves that have gone down in the league on Saturday and Sunday, including waiver claims and signings after the active roster cut to 53 players.

Chiefs

  • Claimed DE Damion Square off waivers from Philadelphia.
  • Released S Jonathon Amaya, S Malcolm Bronson, FB Jordan Campbell, TE Richard Gordon, DT Dominique Hamilton, WR Mark Harrison, G Ricky Henry, LB Alonzo Highsmith, ILB Nico Johnson, DT Kyle Love, CB Justin Rogers, DE Kona Schwenke, K Ryan Succop, LB Devan Walker, OT J’Marcus Webb, RB Charcandrick West, WR Fred Williams.
  • Placed QB Tyler Bray, CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, WR Kyle Williams on the injured-reserve list.
  • Placed DE Mike Catapano on the reserve/non-football injury list.
  • Placed WR Dwayne Bowe, OT Donald Stephenson on the reserve/suspended list.

…Read More!

Position-By-Position On Chiefs Roster 2.0/Defense

The defense now has 24 players on the Chiefs roster as of Sunday, along with three special teamers. Here’s how the defenders and kicking game breaks down:

Defensive Line (6)

  • Starters Dontari Poe, Allen Bailey, Mike DeVito. Backups
    – Jaye Howard, Damion Square, Vance Walker.
  • Age – Bailey/25, DeVito/30, Howard/26 in December, Poe/24, Square/25, Walker/27.
  • Contract status/salary-cap number – Bailey/last season on contract/$808,986; DeVito/2nd of 3 years/$4,900,000; Howard/2nd of 3 years/$570,000; Poe/3rd of 4 years/$3,087,274; Square/2nd of 3 years/$495,000; Walker/1st of 3 years/$1,750,000.
  • Cap total$11,611,260/9 percent of Chiefs 2014 cap.
  • Status – Right now besides putting together a new deal for outside linebacker Justin Houston, general manager John Dorsey must have Poe at the top of the to-do list for a new contract. He’s got this year and next on his rookie deal. They need to lock him up for extended years. All the money invested at linebacker makes it tough to sign big-dollar players on the D-Line. Although he’s played good football in his limited role t the Chiefs defense, DeVito’s cap number is too high and he’s unlikely to see the third-year of his deal without an adjustment.

…Read More!

Chiefs & QB Alex Smith Agree To Deal

The Chiefs have announced they reached a contract extension with starting quarterback Alex Smith.

It’s a four-year extension, with $68 million, and $45 million in guaranteed dollars.

The deal adds four years to Smith’s contract; he’s playing the 2014 season on the final year of the deal he brought with him when he was traded to the Chiefs from San Francisco in 2013. He’ll receive $7.5 million from that 49ers deal.

“It was a priority of ours to get this deal done and keep Alex in a Chiefs uniform long-term,” general manager John Dorsey said in a statement from the team. “Alex is a proven leader on and off the field. He is a special individual with a lot of ability, and we are fortunate to have him here.”

While particulars remain to be sorted out, Smith will receive $30 million guaranteed on signing the contract, with another $15 million guaranteed for injury that kicks in at the start of the 2015 league season in March.

Smith is now signed through the 2018 season and the extension averages $17 million per season. The Kansas City Star first reported the agreement.

“John and his staff along with Tom (Condon, Smith’s agent) and his group have worked hard to get this deal done; they’ve done a nice job,” head coach Andy Reid said. “Alex is a smart, talented football player that has adapted well to our offensive scheme. He also, obviously, has had a tremendous amount of success as a quarterback in this league. We as a team are very happy to have Alex as our quarterback moving forward.”

Postion-By-Position On Chiefs Roster 1.0/Offense

Here’s how the 27 players on offense came together for the initial Chiefs roster of the 2014 season:

Quarterback (3)

  • Starter Alex Smith. Backups – Chase Daniel, Aaron Murray.
  • Injured reserve (1)Tyler Bray.
  • Age – Smith/30, Daniel/28 in October, Murray/24 in November.
  • Contract status/salary-cap number – Smith/last season on contract/$8 million; Daniel/2nd of 3 years/$3.4 million; Murray/1st of 4 years/$465,606.
  • Cap total$11,865,606/9.1 percent of Chiefs 2014 cap.
  • Status – It’s probably the most stable position on the Chiefs roster in this first week of the 2014 season. With the exception of Murray, we have seen the position in action. The difference between this group and last year at this time is that Daniel had a chance to start a game and perform, as he did in the 2013 regular season finale against San Diego. That’s one more start than he previously had in his career.

…Read More!

Ask Bob – Post Cut To 53

Seems like a good time to open up the e-mail box and hear what you all think about the Chiefs one week away from the regular season opener.

You know the drill – just add your question/comment to this post. I’ll take questions until Monday night, and try to start answering immediately.

Chiefs Moves To Reach 53-Man Roster

As always the personnel decisions to reach the NFL roster limit of 53 players are dribbling out a few at a time. The deadline is 3 p.m. Central. Here are the names being reported so far, and we’ll update as we time goes on:

  1. WR Dwayne Bowe placed on the suspended list.
  2. OT Donald Stephenson placed on the suspended list.
  3. S Jonathon Amaya released.
  4. S Malcolm Bronson released.
  5. FB Jordan Campbell released.
  6. DT Dominique Hamilton released.
  7. WR Mark Harrison released.
  8. G Ricky Henry released.
  9. LB Alonzo Highsmith released.
  10. LB Nico Johnson released.
  11. DT Kyle Love released.
  12. CB Justin Rogers released.
  13. DE Kona Schwenke released.
  14. K Ryan Succop released.
  15. CB DeMarcus Van Dyke released (injured).
  16. LB Devan Walker released.
  17. OT J’Marcus Webb released.
  18. RB Charcandrick West released.
  19. WR Fred Williams released.
  20. QB Tyler Bray placed on injured-reserve list.
  21. WR Kyle Williams placed on injured-reserve list.
  22. DE Mike Catapano placed on non-football injury list.

Pre-Season Comes To An End With A Chiefs Defeat


From Lambeau Field, Green Bay

Andy Reid wasn’t in the mood to make any predictions about how his team will perform in the 2014 NFL season.

But he was of the mind that he was thrilled the pre-season was over after the Chiefs fell 34-14 to the Packers.

“I am not much on predictions,” Reid said. “We are going to work hard and take it one play at a time and crank it. We look forward to getting the season started.”

Thursday night’s performance by the Chiefs was something to quickly forget, especially the 14 penalties for 131 yards walked off. That’s the second game in August where they had 131 yards in penalties.

Here’s our coverage from Green Bay:

Players Not Available For Chiefs Tonight in Green Bay

From Lambeau Field, Green Bay

The Chiefs have said there are six players that will not play Thursday night against the Packers because of injury and illness. They are likely to be joined by another 20 of their teammates from the starting lineups that won’t participate under the plans of head coach Andy Reid.

Middle linebacker Joe Mays (wrist), left tackle Eric Fisher (illness), defensive end Mike Catapano (illness), wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (quadriceps), wide receiver Junior Hemingway (hip) and outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee) are not dressed for the game. Mays, Fisher, Bowe and Hali would not have played anyway because of their status as starters.

One man who will be dressed and available to play the Packers is recently signed offensive lineman Mike McGlynn. He will be wearing No. 67.

The Packers announced 20 players that would not dress for the game and all but two are listed as starters. On offense not dressed will be quarterback Aaron Rodgers running back Eddie Lacy, wide receivers Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, tight end Brandon Bostick, center J.C. Tretter (injured), guards T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton and tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga. On defense not part of the action tonight will be defensive ends Datone Jones and Mike Daniels, linebackers Clay Matthews, A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones and Julius Peppers, cornerbacks Tramon Williams, Sam Shields and Demetri Goodson and strong safety Morgan Burnett.

A Meaningless Night For All But a Few


From the Land of Cheese

In the NFL nothing is forgotten quicker than the final game of the pre-season. It’s a meaningless contest, played at a meaningless time as everyone looks forward to the start of the real season.

However, there will be about 45 to 50 players on the field when the Chiefs and Packers play at legendary Lambeau Field on Thursday night that will not likely forget the evening.

Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

Those guys are still fighting for their football lives. The bulk of that group already sense that their time wearing red and gold or green and gold is just about over. But Thursday night’s game is important not just for the moment of being around for the start of the 2014 regular season, but for future opportunities to play in the league.

That’s one of two reasons why most NFL coaches approach the pre-season finale with their key players on the bench or sitting at home. First and always foremost is the injury factor – there’s nothing left to prove at this point and even though the league is working hard to slow down this collision sport, stuff happens.

The second reason coaches give the bottom part of their roster all the playing time is so those 40 to 50 guys that have worked very hard will register something on tape for their efforts and future reference.

“I’m trying to give the guys an opportunity to show (what they can do),” said Andy Reid. “That’s one reason I normally hold the 1′s so I can get a pure evaluation of these young guys. Right now, we’ve got good competition on this team and so you want to try and be as right as you possibly can and give them every opportunity.

“And if they don’t make your club, at least they have some worthy plays on tape that other teams can evaluate more.” …Read More!

Jamaal Says Don’t Worry About Chiefs Offense

As the Chiefs get ready to close out the pre-season the guy that makes the first-team offense go will not play against the Packers in Green Bay on Thursday night.

So what the starters left on the field through three exhibition games is what it is – no touchdowns in 16 possessions.

However, according to the engine of the attack, that was not the real Chiefs offense.

Jamaal Charles says nobody should fret about the lack of production and efficiency in the pre-season.

“That doesn’t concern me,” Charles said. “With Coach Andy (Reid) in control of this offense and what he can do, it doesn’t worry me at all. We believe in each other and that’s all that matters. I know we can’t depend on what happened last year; that’s last year.

“This is a new season and we’ve got to get past that. Every game we play is not going to be easy like last year. We are going to have to work for every win we get and I know that.” …Read More!

Chiefs Position Analysis – Secondary

Over the next few days we’ll look at each position on the Chiefs current roster and speculate on how John Dorsey and Andy Reid will cut that number to 53 by Friday/Saturday.

Secondary

Last season – the Chiefs began the regular season with 11 defensive backs on the active roster. They ended up with 10 after claiming two players off league waivers and placing safety Sanders Commings on the injured-reserve list/designated return designation, allowing him to practice after six weeks of the season passed. Holdovers from the 2012 Chiefs were strong safety Eric Berry, cornerback Brandon Flowers and free safety Kendrick Lewis. Commings was selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. Joining the secondary in unrestricted free agency were safety Quintin Demps, cornerback Dunta Robinson and cornerback Sean Smith. Safety Husain Abdullah was added as a street free agent. Cornerbacks Marcus Cooper and Ron Parker were claimed on waivers and Bradley McDougald was an undrafted college free agent. That group of 11 were the only defensive backs that played for the Chiefs in the 2013 season; six of those players are no-longer with the team.

…Read More!

Chiefs Sign Guard That Andy Knows

On Wednesday morning the Chiefs announced the signing of veteran guard Mike McGlynn.

To make room for him, they released rookie free-agent center Ben Gottschalk.

The 6-4, 325-pound NFL journeyman spent training camp and the pre-season with the Washington Redskins. He was released on Tuesday in the team’s cut to reach the NFL roster limit of 75.

The Chiefs will be the fifth team that McGlynn has played for in his career. He entered the NFL as a fourth-round draft choice by Andy Reid with Philadelphia in 2008. He went on to become the Eagles starting center in the 2010 season.

McGlynn later played for Cincinnati (2011) and Indianapolis (2012-13) where he started the past two seasons as the Colts right guard. He was in the starting lineup for Indy’s come-from-behind victory over the Chiefs back in January in a first-round game in the AFC playoffs.

With his signing the 29-year old McGlynn becomes the oldest offensive lineman on the Chiefs roster. He’s three days older than tackle Ryan Harris.

The Ohio native played tackle at the University of Pittsburgh where he started 43 of the 47 games he played over four seasons (2004-07), with most of those starts at right tackle.

Smith Says Nothing New On Contract Front

From the Truman Sports Complex

While he wouldn’t acknowledge if talks between his agent and the Chiefs are ongoing, Alex Smith said Tuesday he’s not made a decision to shut down negotiations towards a new contract.

“I wish I had an answer for you,” Smith said after practice. “I feel like I’ve been locked into games and practicing. With camp winding down here, the preseason winding down, certainly we’ll see.

“But sorry, I’ve got no answer for you today.”

Smith says he’s not worried about whether his teammates are concerned about the situation or bothered that their offensive leader has such an unstable future. …Read More!

Chiefs Position Analysis – Linebackers

Over the next few days we’ll look at each position on the Chiefs current roster and speculate on how John Dorsey and Andy Reid will cut that number to 53 by next Friday/Saturday.


Linebacker

Last season – the Chiefs began the regular season with nine linebackers. The holdovers from the 2012 team were Tamba Hali, Justin Houston and Derrick Johnson. Through the 2013 NFL Draft came Nico Johnson, while Frank Zombo was signed as an unrestricted free agent. Akeem Jordan was signed as a street free agent; from the waiver wire came James-Michael Johnson and Dezman Moses and signed as a college free agent was Josh Martin out of Columbia University. The only other linebacker that had a spot on the active roster during the 2013 season was Robert James, who was signed for the game against Indianapolis in the playoffs when J-M Johnson went to the injured-reserve list. …Read More!

Starters Will Watch Chiefs Play Packers

Andy Reid confirmed Tuesday that his starters will not play against the Packers when the Chiefs visit Green Bay on Thursday night.

Essentially that means quarterback Alex Smith, running back Jamaal Charles and most of the starting linemen on offense will not play. Same for nose tackle Dontari Poe, linebackers Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Justin Houston on defense.

Just after last Saturday night’s game, Reid said some of his starters might play against Green Bay, but he did not confirm that on Tuesday. There’s a chance that left guard candidates Jeff Linkenbach and Ricky Henry may play, but it sounds like the rest of the starting offensive line will watch.

Reid said that Chase Daniel will start at quarterback and likely play through the first quarter. Tyler Bray and Aaron Murray will then work the final three quarters.

…Read More!

Chiefs Position Analysis – Defensive Line

Over the next few days we’ll look at each position on the Chiefs current roster and speculate on how John Dorsey and Andy Reid will cut that number to 53 by next Friday/Saturday.


Defensive line

Last season – the Chiefs began the regular season with seven defensive linemen. Holdovers from the 2012 team were nose tackle Dontari Poe, defensive end Tyson Jackson, defensive end Allen Bailey and defensive tackle Anthony Toribio. They signed as an unrestricted free agent defensive end Mike DeVito. In the 2013 NFL Draft they selected defensive end Mike Catapano and they claimed defensive end Jaye Howard on waivers before the regular-season opener. Toribio was released in November and replaced for a few weeks by defensive tackle Kyle Love. When Love was released in early December, the Chiefs re-signed defensive tackle Jerrell Powe. Overall, nine defensive linemen played for the Chiefs last year. …Read More!

Chiefs Hit 75 With 3 More Moves

The Chiefs reached the NFL roster limit of 75 on Tuesday morning, announcing the release of three players:

  • OT Ryan McKee.
  • C B Kevin Rutland.
  • CB Damond Smith.

Both McKee (knee) and Smith (abductor) have been injured but there was no designation made by the team on whether the moves involving those two players were waived/injured or waived with an injury settlement.

If waived/injured, both players would revert to the injured-reserve list if they pass unclaimed through NFL waivers.

Chiefs Practice Report – 8/25

From the Truman Sports Complex

On what felt like the hottest, most humid and sultry afternoon of the summer, the Chiefs practiced football Monday afternoon.

Andy Reid had his team scheduled for a nearly three-hour practice session in the heat of the early afternoon. But he eventually ended practice early, much to the pleasure of his players, as they worked for a bit over two hours.

After a dozen personnel moves earlier in the day, there were 78 players on the roster and 71 of them started practice. One did not finish, as wide receiver Mark Harrison was taken off the field on a cart. There was no word from the Chiefs after practice on what Harrison’s problem was, but he may have been overcome by the heat and humidity.

Returning to the practice field was safety Eric Berry, who took part in the entire practice on that sore heel of his for the first time since August 11. Also back on the field was middle linebacker Josh Mauga, who has practices with a groin strain. …Read More!

It’s the Newest Wardrobe Accessory in Chiefs Land

After Saturday night’s pre-season game, Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith met the media while wearing a shirt with the picture of another Chiefs quarterback on his chest.

Smith’s shirt had this on the front:

The shirt comes from the creative forces at something called Flat Black Cult that has created a number of shirts around the Chiefs, including one that pairs Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith.

Here’s a link to the website for Flat Black Cult and the Lenny shirt that comes in several styles and plenty of sizes for a $25 price tag.

It’s Time To Worry About Chiefs Offense – Alex Is

After Saturday night’s loss to Minnesota, Alex Smith was trying to say all the right things about the team’s offense. That’s the job of a good quarterback and leader.

But it was hard not to see the frustration on Smith’s face and feel his concern by reading between the lines of what he told the media horde.

“I just feel very comfortable with where we are at,” Smith said. “We’ve got a ton of great work in at camp and throughout the pre-season. I feel like we moved the ball well; we just needed to finish and we didn’t do it today.

“Obviously we need to get it fixed but I don’t think there’s anything to be panicked or worried about.”

Those words did not translate to Smith’s play on the field against the Vikings. He is a quarterback known for protecting the ball and no matter the situation Smith seldom throws interceptions, especially deep in the opponent’s territory.

But Smith threw two picks against Minnesota, and it wasn’t just turning the ball over, it was where the interceptions occurred. The line of scrimmage for both plays was at the Vikings 11-yard line or closer. It was in the red zone and with a starting offense that hasn’t been able to score a touchdown in three August games, these were not opportunities to waste.

The Chiefs offense got nothing from those possessions and they’ve not scored a touchdown in 16 chances with the ball. …Read More!

Reid Indicates Linebacker Could Be Out ‘Awhile’

Speaking early Sunday afternoon, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid made it sound like middle linebacker Joe Mays will not return any time soon after surgery on his wrist last week.

“I don’t think it’s a short period of time,” Reid said of Mays’ absence from the field. “I don’t know exactly how long it’s going to be. He tore one of the tendons there in his wrist, so he had surgery to repair that and that could be awhile.

“I would put it in the same category if not even a little longer than a broken bone. We’ve just got to see how that works out.”

Mays injury and surgery opens the door for second-year linebacker Nico Johns,on, who started at the position in Saturday night’s pre-season game against Minnesota. Plus, outside linebacker Frank Zombo played a few snaps inside vs. the Vikings and has been practicing there for the last 10 days or so. “We’re using Frank in both areas and we started doing that up at St. Joe,” he said.

Reid also said safety Eric Berry may test his injured heel in the short practice time this week ahead of the pre-season finale against Green Bay on Thursday. “I think he will do a little bit and try it out and see how it feels,” Reid said. “I think he feels pretty good right now, but I told you that before and it kind of came back on him. We’ve tried to rest him here an extended period of time, a little longer than we have before. We’ll just see how he comes out of it.”

The status of wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and his quadriceps strain was not mentioned, but given Bowe’s already known one-game NFL suspension for the regular-season opener, it’s unlikely he’ll see the practice field until his penalty time is served.

Players had the day off on Sunday and will report back Monday. They’ll have two practices before heading to Green Bay on Wednesday.

Chiefs Show Little Improvement In 30-12 Loss To Vikes

From Arrowhead Stadium

On a steamy Saturday night in the third week of the NFL pre-season, the Chiefs were unable to put a winning effort on the field and they fell to the Minnesota Vikings, 30-12.

This was not the type of performance that Chiefs head coach Andy Reid had in mind for his club in the most important of the games that do not count each August. Offense, defense, special teams – all three areas failed to provide a winning effort. That leaves the Chiefs 1-2 for the pre-season with only a trip to Green Bay this coming Thursday standing between them and the start of the regular season.

Here’s our coverage:

Notes: Cassel Returns To K.C. & Leaves With A Victory

From Arrowhead Stadium

Matt Cassel may have struggled to not throw interceptions and win games during his four seasons with the Chiefs. Cassel may have become the focal point of unhappy and frustrated fans. But he always handled a bad situation with class.

That continued Saturday night when he made his first football return to Kansas City as the starting quarterback for a team wearing something other than red and gold. Cassel helped lead the Minnesota Vikings to a 30-12 victory over the Chiefs.

Afterwards there was no gloating, no pounding of his chest, no revenge extracted. It was only a pre-season game, but that didn’t really matter.

“I had a great experience here,” Cassel told a horde of media types surrounding his locker in Arrowhead’s visiting locker room. “All three of my children were born here. I love Kansas City and we still have a lot of friends here. At the same time, football sometimes just doesn’t always work out the way you want there’s a multitude of reasons behind that.

“I wish I could have changed a lot of that, mainly just winning more games.”

Cassel left the Chiefs with a 19-29 record as the starting quarterback, eventually losing the starting job in the second half of the 2012 season as Brady Quinn was jumped ahead of him on the depth chart.

“I know how this goes,” said Cassel. “If you don’t win normally they make chances and they did (here). I was real happy to see that they had a lot of success. I know Alex Smith really well; he’s a heck of a quarterback, a great guy and I thought they did a remarkably good job last year to turn this thing around.”

Right now Cassel is trying to hold on to the Vikings starting job, with first-round draft choice Teddy Bridgewater breathing down his neck. Against the Chiefs, Cassel had the pinpoint accurate 53-yard pass for a touchdown to wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in the first quarter. “It was a great way to start the game, no doubt about it,” Cassel said. “We were backed up on our own three and then to be able to get going like that and hit a long play, it was great.

“I don’t know (if he solidified his hold on the starting job.) They will have to make that decision and hopefully it gets made sooner rather than later. I’m going to go out and keep competing and hopefully it all works out for the best.”

Zebras pull in the whistles and hankies

In a pre-season where the most active participants on the field were the guys in striped shirts, veteran referee Walt Coleman and his crew stayed in the football shadows. There were just five penalties walked off for a total of 77 yards. A pass interference call against Minnesota cornerback Josh Robinson accounted for 42 of those 77 yards.

The Chiefs were hit with just two penalties: a false start call against tight end Demetrius Harris and a holding call on a punt return by running back Joe McKnight.

That five flags for 77 yards is easily the fewest penalties and yards walked off against two teams in any game this pre-season.

From the Chiefs training room & personnel file

Andy Reid announced after the game that the Chiefs had not sustained any new injuries during the evening and there wasn’t much discussion on previous injuries other than neither wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (quadriceps) and safety Eric Berry (heel) dressed for the game, while running back Jamaal Charles (foot) did, but he did not play a snap.

Other players scratched because of injury were linebacker Joe Mays (wrist), offensive tackle Ryan McKee (knee), defensive end Mike DeVito (hand), wide receiver Junior Hemingway (hip) and defensive end Mike Catapano (illness). Also not dressed for participation were running back Charcandrick West, cornerback Damond Smith, inside linebacker Josh Mauga and defensive lineman Kona Schwenke.

According to press box accounting, 20 Chiefs players did not participate in the game. That group included kicker Ryan Succop, quarterbacks Chase Daniel and Aaron Murray.

Representing the Chiefs at mid-field for the opening coin flip were wide receiver Donnie Avery, running back Cyrus Gray, safety Husain Abdullah, linebacker Justin Houston and tight end Anthony Fasano.

Some numbers stuff vs. Vikings

Minnesota’s 75-yard punt return in the second half is the longest return on a kickoff or punt that they’ve allowed since Dave Toub was hired as special teams coordinator by Andy Reid last year. Until Saturday night, the longest punt return in a pre-season, regular season or post-season game since 2013 was a 22-yard return . . . the Chiefs had three sacks against Minnesota, the biggest being the sack, forced fumble and safety generated by defensive end Jaye Howard. Outside linebacker Tamba Hali and inside linebacker Derrick Johnson had the other sacks . . . Hali, Johnson and safety Malcolm Bronson led the Chiefs with four tackles each . . . cornerback Ron Parker had an interception in the first half . . . along with his sack, Johnson stopped a running play for negative yardage.

Offense Finally Produces With Bray At QB


From Arrowhead Stadium

It was an important game for Tyler Bray on Saturday night against the Minnesota Vikings. This was going to be his best opportunity to show where he might fall on the quarterback ladder for the Chiefs in the 2014 season. Is he going to stay as the No. 3 behind Alex Smith and Chase Daniel? Might he be No. 4 and falling behind rookie Aaron Murray? Could he be traded somewhere else as the rosters shrink with NFL cut-down dates coming over the next week? Could he end up being released? Might Bray be claimed by another team on the waiver wire?

On this big evening, things did not start well for Bray. In his first three possessions leading the Chiefs offense they went three plays and out, three plays and out and three plays and out. In those nine plays, Bray did not complete any of his four passes, throwing an interception and being sacked.

“Just bad throws; you really can’t pinpoint sometimes why the throws aren’t happening,” Bray said. “It could go back to footwork. Maybe I was standing up a little too tall in the pocket and not getting a throwing base.”

A fourth possession finally saw some production, as the Chiefs kept the ball for eight plays and Bray was two of four throwing the ball, but it was just for nine yards.

Finally on a fifth chance, Bray got the Chiefs offense rolling. They went 80 yards in nine plays and Bray was seven-of-seven in the drive for 76 yards and ending with a one-yard touchdown throw to rookie wide receiver Albert Wilson.

“We were running the ball great and that always helps,” Bray said. “I finally wasn’t throwing over the receivers heads; that might help too. We just started clicking. We were executing well and we were moving the ball down the field.”

By that fifth possession, the offensive line in front of Bray had changed. When he got his first opportunities after Smith left in the third quarter, Bray had the No. 1 offensive line in front of him. That went nowhere. When the backups came in, that’s when the offense clicked on that final possession.

“We’re still trying to mesh,” Bray said. “We’re moving a lot of guys around on the O-Line so they’re still trying to click. Once they do, we’re going to have a great offense.”

But will Tyler Bray be part of the equation, even if all he does is serve as the club’s scout team quarterback?

“I believe I’m going to play in this league and when that happens I don’t know, but I’m not sitting around worried about what might happen,” Bray said. “I just have to go out every day and get better.”

Here are the numbers for all four Chiefs quarterbacks after three pre-season games:

Player

Att.

Cmp.

%

Yds.

A/A

TD

INT

LG

Sacked

Rating

Tyler Bray

17

11

64.7

122

7.2

1

1

30

4-17

81.0

Chase Daniel

14

11

78.6

161

11.5

1

1

69

3-7

108.6

Aaron Murray

10

5

50.0

81

8.1

1

1

43

1-0

71.3

Alex Smith

51

31

60.8

286

5.6

0

2

21

6-43

59.8

It Was A Picky Night For Alex Smith

From Arrowhead Stadium

Alex Smith just does not throw interceptions, certainly the Alex Smith of the last four seasons (2011-14). In that time-frame he’s played in 58 games in the pre-season, regular season and post-season.

In those games he’s thrown just 21 interceptions or just under one pick every three games.

Only twice in the previous 57 games did he throw more than one interception against an opponent in a game. It’s now three times in the last 58 games as he chucked a pair of interceptions Saturday night against the Minnesota Vikings.

“That’s one of his strengths,” said head coach Andy Reid. “We’ve got to be more secure with the football.”

Interceptions are not welcome no matter the game situation, but obviously throwing a couple away in the pre-season is not any reason to panic. When an offense has struggled to score touchdowns in the manner that the Chiefs No. 1 offense has in three August games, it takes on more significance.

And, those interceptions really hurt when they come inside scoring territory.

Both of Smith’s picks were thrown inside the Vikings 11 yard line. The first was a 1st-and-goal play at the Minnesota 10-yard line. His throw into the end zone to wide receiver Frankie Hammond was picked off by cornerback Captain Munnerlyn . . . no touchdown, no field goal, no points, only disappointment.

“It was just a matter of being late,” Smith said of his throw. “He was open and I needed to see it a little sooner and cut it loose in there. I tried to fit it in there a little late.”

Smith’s second interception came on a 3rd-and-4 play at the Minnesota 11-yard line. He looked right for tight end Travis Kelce on a slant route out of the right slot. But linebacker Chad Greenway read his eyes the whole way and stepped in front of the pass, snuffing another scoring chance.

“I was really disappointed in the second one,” said Smith. “Third down, trying to make it happen, trying to move the chances there. To force an in; I didn’t see the guy until the end. It was a bad decision, but I think they are two things that are very fixable and they certainly need to be fixed.”

What needs fixed is the Chiefs offense, as the starters have had 16 possessions in three games and have not score a touchdown. With the regular-season opener just two weeks away, the offensive line in a state of flux and key contributors dealing with injuries, the pressure mounts for the No. 1 group to turn the tide.

“You would have loved to have shown a little better,” Smith said. “I just feel very comfortable with where we’re at. We’ve got a tone of great work in at camp and throughout this preseason. I feel like we moved the ball well, we just needed to finish and we didn’t do it today. Obviously we need to get it fixed, but I don’t think anything is to be panicked or worried about.”

O-Line Remains Work In Progress, Without Progress


From Arrowhead Stadium

In two weeks the Chiefs will face prime-time in the NFL when they open the regular season against the Tennessee Titans. Their offensive line at this time can accurately be called “The Not-Ready for Prime-Time Players.”

At a point where the group of blockers should be developing some consistency and continuity, the starting offensive line is struggling. With personnel changes invoked by head coach Andy Reid for Saturday night’s game against Minnesota, the No. 1 blockers contributed to another poor offensive performance in a 30-12 defeat.

The Chiefs starting offense did not score a touchdown in eight possessions. They turned the ball over twice on interceptions thrown by quarterback Alex Smith. Pass protection was spotty at best, as Smith was sacked three times and took off running on three other plays. The running game without Jamaal Charles was almost invisible, producing just 31 yards on 12 carries by the running backs, with the longest run just eight yards.

It was ugly and it all started upfront.

“Offensively it clearly wasn’t good enough,” said Reid. “Whether it was protection or blocking we’ve got to executive better.”

Friday’s announcement that right tackle Donald Stephenson will serve a four-game NFL suspension starting with the opener had Reid making changes, some that he showed in practice during the week before the game. Left guard Jeff Allen was moved to right tackle, and taking his spot at left guard were Jeff Linkenbach and Ricky Henry, who alternated from possession to possession.

New faces in new places produced old results.

“I need to get the guys who are going to play at the beginning of the season ready to go,” Reid said of why Stephenson did not play against Minnesota. “I wanted to make sure guys get in there and have a chance to work. We have a new right tackle and left guard and they needed the work so I left them in there a little longer so they could get a little bit of that.

“They’re good players and we’ll continue to work and get ourselves ready.”

Reid and his staff may think they are good players, but the new faces struggled to show that against the Vikings, especially Linkenbach and Henry inside. “There were issues,” Reid admitted. “I probably need to look at the tape before I say too much here, but obviously it wasn’t good enough. The quarterback got hit too many times. You can’t do that.”

Pass protection was spotty. With Smith in the game there were 30 passing plays called by Reid. Smith threw 24 passes, was sacked three times, ran on three other plays and was hit after releasing the ball on three plays. That’s contact on nine of the 30 passing calls. At times, Smith was running for his football life as pressure poured in, especially in the middle of the blocking unit where Linkenbach and Henry had their problems. It was also easily the worst performance in practice or games that rookie Zach Fulton has shown at right guard.

With a few exceptions, center Rodney Hudson was solid. At right tackle, Allen actually played better there than he had been playing at left guard. Much maligned left tackle Eric Fisher actually played a pretty good game, with his biggest problems coming on plays where the Vikings did some stunts against the left side of the Chiefs offensive line thanks to the lack of continuity with Fisher, Linkenbach and Henry.

“You can’t just produce the type of teamwork you need up front in just a few days of practice,” said Allen. “But the only way to do that is to play, so I’m sure every one of us learned a lot in this game.”

Reid certainly hopes so because right now, that No. 1 group features what appears to be his five best blockers.

“If they’re guys that we end up keeping then they’re guys that have that much more experience under they belts,” Reid said.

Chiefs Fail To Show Improvement In Loss To Vikings


From Arrowhead Stadium

In the NFL pre-season, coaches seek improvement from one week to the next. The games are not so much about who wins and who loses, but whether individual players and segments of the team are getting better with every game opportunity.

As the Chiefs sit two weeks away from their 2014 regular season opener there is darn little for Andy Reid and his coaching staff to identify as improved production. Certainly, there was no evidence in their 30-12 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on a sultry Saturday evening at Arrowhead Stadium.

Offense, defense and the kicking game all contributed to an ugly night for the Chiefs. They were not able to score a touchdown until there were just 25 seconds to play in the game. They turned the ball over three times and allowed five sacks. Despite providing a safety and forcing a pair of turnovers from Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel; the K.C. defense allowed three touchdowns and gave up five offensive plays of 20-plus yards. Even the special teams failed, allowing a 75-yard punt return in the second half that set up one of the Minnesota touchdowns.

“I’ve got to make sure that I put the guys in a better position to do things,” said head coach Andy Reid. “Then when given the opportunity we’ve got to make sure we execute . . . they got the best of us today.”

Most concerning to the Chiefs has to be the No. 1 offense. Yes, they played without running back Jamaal Charles, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and right tackle Donald Stephenson. But that does not explain the mistakes and problems they had throughout the game. Quarterback Alex Smith threw a pair of red zone interceptions that snuffed out touchdown opportunities.

“Tonight was disappointing because we treated it like a game-week,” said Smith. “There was more game-planning and preparation. We got down there twice and to walk away with no points because of the turnovers hurts.”

The starting offense under Smith’s direction has 16 possessions in three pre-season games and they’ve not produced a touchdown. The Chiefs had one Smith pass caught in the end zone, but that was an interception by Minnesota cornerback Captain Munnerlyn in the first quarter. On the evening, Smith posted a passer rating of 40.3 thanks to those interceptions and a paltry average of 5.8 yards per attempt.

“Throwing the ball, we just had no rhythm,” said Reid “Offensively it clearly wasn’t good enough.”

Much to the chagrin of Chiefs fans, former K.C. starter Cassel was the best quarterback on the field. He finished with a 78.6 passer rating completing 52.9 percent of his throws with an interception. But he also averaged 8.9 yards per passing attempt and did throw a touchdown pass.

The Vikings offense put up a touchdown on their first opportunity with the ball. Returning to Arrowhead for the first time since he was released in the winter of 2013, he led a five-play, 97-yard drive that was built on a pair of long completions. Cassel first connecting on a pass to running back Matt Asiata for 31 yards and then when wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson got behind Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen, he connected on a 53-yard touchdown play with a perfect throw. It was just five minutes into the game and Minnesota held the lead, 7-0. They would not surrender the advantage at any point in the night.

After Munnerlyn’s end-zone interception and his return of 14 yards, the Chiefs defense produced two points, as defensive end Jaye Howard was on Cassel in the end zone and knocked the ball out of his hands. The ball went out of the back of the end zone and the Chiefs had a deuce.

Regaining possession after the post-safety free kick from the Vikings, Smith drove the offense inside the Minnesota 11-yard line. But a third-down throw to tight end Travis Kelce was intercepted by linebacker Chad Greenway. The defense was able to hold Minnesota in check and the Chiefs offense got the ball back. That’s when the No. 1 group put together their only scoring drive of the game, holding the ball for 14 plays, while moving 77 yards in 7 minutes, 43 seconds but still they had to settle for a 21-yard field goal from rookie kicker Cairo Santos.

At this point the Chiefs trailed 7-5 and were very much in the game when cornerback Ron Parker intercepted a Cassel pass deep in Kansas City territory. But the teams finished the half trading possessions, with Minnesota grabbing three more points on a 41-yard field goal by Blair Walsh with 67 seconds left in the second quarter that set the intermission score at 10-5.

Walsh added another field goal, this one from 32 yards about 10 minutes into the third quarter, pushing Minnesota’s lead to 13-5. That’s when matters got away from the Chiefs

When Smith left the game and was replaced by Tyler Bray. The second-year quarterback’s first pass was intercepted by Vikings cornerback Shaun Prater on what appeared to be a miscommunication between Bray and wide receiver Kyle Williams.

With rookie Teddy Bridgewater making his first on field appearance of the night, it was just three plays before Minnesota had a touchdown. Bridgewater found tight end Allen Reisner open in the right side of the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown play, with Chiefs safety Jerron McMillian trailing in coverage. The PAT kick gave the Vikings a 20-5 edge.

A few moments later, they pumped up that lead to 22 points on another touchdown pass from Bridgewater to Reisner, this one for five yards. That one-play, five-yard drive was set up on a pretty 75-yard punt return by Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen. He caught the ball at the Minnesota 20-yard line and was not brought down until running back Knile Davis made a hustling rolling block that knocked him out at the Chiefs five-yard line. The Vikes scored on the next play.

That was two touchdowns for Minnesota in the span of 104 seconds, set up by a pair of errors from the Chiefs with the interception and failure to cover the punt.

The rest of the game was a mish-mash of back and forth as neither team got much going in the fourth quarter as they used all those players on the fringe of making the regular-season roster. The Chiefs offense finally produced a touchdown on a nine-play, 87-yard drive with Bray connecting on a one-yard touchdown pass with wide receiver Albert Wilson. The PAT kick from Santos set the final score at 30-12.

Time is not on the Chiefs side as they get ready for the final week of the pre-season. They have a short window to get healthy and prepare just a little for a Thursday night game in Green Bay. The next day, the roster will be slashed to 53 and the focus will turn to the Tennessee Titans.

Chiefs vs. Vikings – Game-Night Roster Update

From Arrowhead Stadium

The Chiefs will be without two former Pro Bowl participants Saturday night when they play host to Minnesota in pre-season game No. 3.

One of those is not running back Jamaal Charles. He returned to practice on Thursday with that bruised foot that he suffered moving out of the dorms at Missouri Western State University. His presence figures to be very brief, maybe a quarter or so.

Not on the field are wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and safety Eric Berry will sit out the encounter with the Vikings.

Bowe suffered a quadriceps strain last Sunday night in the game against Carolina and has not practiced since then.

Berry continues to be troubled by what head coach Andy Reid called tendinitis in his heel. There has been no prognosis on when Berry may return to the field, whether it’s practice or game action.

Along with Bowe and Berry, the Chiefs will be without wide receiver Junior Hemingway (hip), offensive tackle Ryan McKee (knee), running back Charcandrick West, cornerback Damond Smith (abductor), defensive end Mike Catapano (illness), linebacker Joe Mays (wrist), defensive end Mike DeVito (hand), ILB Josh Mauga (groin) and defensive lineman Kona Schwenke (quadriceps.)

Jeff Allen will start at right tackle rather than Donald Stephenson, with Jeff Linkenbach opening at left guard. Als0 on offense Frankie Hammond will start at wide receiver for Bowe. Defensively, in the starting lineup will be defensive end Jaye Howard, LB Nico Johnson, RCB Sean Smith and SS Daniel Sorensen.

Also active is the newest member of the team, safety Kelcie McCray. He will wear No. 46.

The Vikings will keep All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson on the sidelines for the game against the Chiefs. Also on the sideline will be nose tackle Linval Joseph (calf), tight end Chase Ford (foot), cornerback Jabari Price (shoulder), linebacker Brandon Watts (leg) and linebacker Gerald Hodges (knee).

Progress Imperative For Chiefs vs. Vikings

Matt Cassel returns to Kansas City with the Vikings for a Saturday night pre-season encounter with the Chiefs. The last time these teams met was memorable for this sideline encounter between Cassel and head coach Todd Haley.

The next to last game on the schedule has always been the most important outing of the pre-season. It’s the game where starters and regular contributors get the most time on the field and the greatest number of snaps together.

It still doesn’t matter whether the game ends in victory or defeat. But it is imperative that productivity is apparent, particularly when there hasn’t been progress in previous weeks.

That makes Saturday night’s game between the Chiefs and Vikings at Arrowhead Stadium an important evening. Kickoff is just after 7 p.m.

There are no panic buttons for NFL teams in the pre-season. At least that’s true for good organizations, the clear-headed and stable operations. Andy Reid and his coaching staff are not going to overreact to a lack of producton from their offensive and defensive starters.

In the third pre-season game they want to see improvement, they want to see consistency and they want to see results from their starters and other key personnel. …Read More!

Prepare For A Hot One Saturday Night

The Chiefs are encouraging fans attending Saturday night’s pre-season game against Minnesota to be prepared for the potential for high temperatures and humidity.

National Weather Service predictions call for temperatures at 90 degrees with 42 percent humidity for kickoff at 7 p.m.

Fans are encouraged to take precautions and understand the help that will be available at Arrowhead Stadium:

  • Stay hydrated, use sunscreen and wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • In the parking lots prior to the game, Fans First personnel will have carts with water available for fans.
  • Ticket holders will be allowed to bring one factory-sealed bottle of water into the stadium.
  • Fans may also bring an additional empty personal water bottle to refill inside the stadium. Water fountains are located behind sections 108, 111, 127, 129, 205, 220, 228, 243, 304, 309, 316, 320, 327, 332 and 344. Fans can get a cup at any Fans First Booth which can be filled at any of the water foundations.
  • Water misters will be located on the upper level by the island bars at sections 321 and 326 on the south side of the stadium and between section 301/346 and 302/303 on the north side.
  • There will be cooling stations in section 339 on the west side of the upper level and in section 316 on the east side of Arrowhead.
  • First aid stations will be located behind sections 114, 132, 241, 307, 316, 329 and 339.

Stephenson Suspension Adds To Offensive Line Woes

The gray hair on the heads of NFL head coaches and general managers can be blamed on two things: heredity and players like Donald Stephenson.

In some cases the lack of hair can be traced solely to players that do stupid things.

There’s no other way to explain why Stephenson will miss the Chiefs first four games of the regular season after he was slapped with a four-game suspension by the league on Friday.

The drug involved is unknown, but it landed Stephenson in the category of performance enhancing drugs. In a statement released by the NFL Players Association, Stephenson said he was negligent on checking with the league, union or team medical personnel before he started taking the drug. He indicated it was prescribed for therapeutic purposes, and if that was truly the case, he could have received an exemption from the league on use of the medication.

Here’s what leaves the GM and head coach with silver strands on their head: Stephenson knew the procedure. It’s something that is stressed to the players once, twice, three times in a season. The league brings it to their attention, the union does as well, and you can bet every team in the league addresses these issues once or twice a season. There is no gray area. No reason to doubt

So when the very public rules are not followed, there’s only one word to describe the situation: an act of stupidity. …Read More!

Chiefs Position Analysis – Offensive Line

Over the next few days we’ll look at each position on the Chiefs current 90-man roster and speculate on how John Dorsey and Andy Reid will cut that number to 75 by next Tuesday, and then 53 by next Friday.

Offensive line

Last season – the Chiefs began the regular season with eight blockers on the 53-man roster. Branden Albert, Jeff Allen, Jon Asamoah, Rodney Hudson and Donald Stephenson were holdovers from the 2012 team. Eric Fisher and Eric Kush were selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. Geoff Schwartz was signed as an unrestricted free agent. On the practice squad were Tommie Draheim, Rishaw Johnson and Rokevious Watkins; both Johnson and Watkins eventually reached the 53-man roster. On the injured-reserve list were Ricky Henry, Colin Kelly and Dustin Waldron. Later in the season, Chandler Burden, Jordan Miller and Matt Reynolds all spent at least one week on the practice squad. By the end of the season, 10 linemen had played in a game.

…Read More!

Chiefs Lose Stephenson On NFL’s Suspension Friday

The National Football League has taken to handing down player suspensions on Fridays.

Last week, wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was hit with his one-game suspension. This Friday it’s offensive tackle Donald Stephenson.

The NFL hit Stephenson with a four-game suspension for testing positive for a performance enhancing substance. There’s no idea of what the drug or supplement was, but through a statement that came from the NFL Players Association, Stephenson said he did not go to the league or union to receive a therapeutic use exemption for a medication he started taking.

Not only will Stephenson be out paychecks for four games, but the Chiefs will be fined as an organization since he’s the second player to be suspended.

The rules between league and union are explicit and players are given notice every year that there is no wiggle room on failed tests or use of unapproved medication and supplements.

Stephenson will miss the games against Tennessee, Denver, Miami and New England. His suspension will start next Friday, the day after the team’s final pre-season game, and extend to Tuesday September 30, the day after the Monday night game against the Patriots.

“I’m extremely sorry that I failed to check with the NFL, NFLPA, or Chiefs medical team before I took a medication that requires a therapeutic use exemption,” Stephenson said in a statement. ”The rules are strict and without at TUE, the consequence is a four game suspension . . . It is not a mistake I will ever make again.  I will train extremely hard during my time away from the team, and I will be ready to contribute to my team’s effort to win a Super Bowl as soon as I return.”

Chiefs Position Analysis – Tight Ends

Over the next few days we’ll look at each position on the Chiefs current 90-man roster and speculate on how John Dorsey and Andy Reid will cut that number to 75 by next Tuesday, and then 53 by next Friday.

Tight end

Last season – the Chiefs had three tight ends on their roster for the first-week of the schedule. Anthony Fasano was signed as an unrestricted free agent. Travis Kelce was picked in the third-round of the 2013 NFL Draft and Sean McGrath was claimed on waivers from Seattle just before the season opener. Kevin Brock was signed on September 16, about a month before Kelce was placed on injured reserve (October 12). The Chiefs had at least one, sometimes two tight ends as game-day inactive players for six consecutive games. Demetrius Harris was signed to the practice squad, while Tony Moeaki was placed on the injured-reserve list; he eventually was released on October 22. During the season, Brock, Dominique Jones and Richard Gordon were signed to the active roster. Only Gordon was still around at the end of the season and remains on the Chiefs roster.

…Read More!

Chiefs Position Analysis – Running Backs

Over the next few days we’ll look at each position on the Chiefs current 90-man roster and speculate on how John Dorsey and Andy Reid will cut that number to 75 by next Tuesday, and then 53 by next Friday.

Running backs

Last season – the Chiefs had four running backs on their first-week roster. Jamaal Charles and Cyrus Gray were holdovers from the 2012 team. They added Knile Davis through the draft and FB Anthony Sherman came over in a trade. Signed to the practice squad was FB Toben Opurum, who went on and off the developmental squad all season.

2014 Roster Spots – 3 to 5 slots with 1 slot possible on the practice squad

  • Currently on the roster (8) – Jordan Campbell (FB), Charles, Davis, Gray, Joe McKnight, Sherman (FB), De’Anthony Thomas, Charcandrick West.
  • Averages: age – 24.3 years; NFL experience – 2.9 seasons; height – 5-10¼; weight –212.3 pounds.
  • Sources: Chiefs draft choices (4) – Charles, Davis, Gray, Thomas; street free agents (2) – Campbell, McKnight; college free agents (1) – West; trade (1) – Sherman. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Report – 8/21

Speed returned to the practice field for the Chiefs on Thursday as running back Jamaal Charles and wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas were participating in the team’s last full practice of the week.

Charles had been out of action since late last week after he turned his ankle while moving out of the dorm at Missouri Western State University. He spent most of his time working with the scout team, indicating it’s unlikely that he’ll play this Saturday night against Minnesota.

Thomas woke up Wednesday morning with a sore hamstring and only took part in some early work before he was shut down for the rest of that practice. From special teams coordinator Dave Toub it sounds like there’s a chance he’ll handle at least a return or two against the Vikings.

“He practiced today, looked good and ran around well,” said Toub. “That was what we wanted to see.”

Also returning to the field for practice on Thursday were outside linebacker Josh Martin (quadriceps), defensive lineman Jermelle Cudjo (quadriceps) and cornerback Chris Owens (knee).

Middle linebacker Joe Mays was not on the field because of his wrist injury and he will undergo surgery soon. Mays suffered the injury in the first half of last Sunday night’s game against Carolina.

…Read More!

Chiefs Trade Guard For Safety

It wasn’t a deal close to last year’s pre-season trade that sent a disappointing first-round draft choice (Jon Baldwin) for another team’s disappoint first-round pick (A.J. Jenkins).

But on Thursday, the Chiefs traded a player that wasn’t going to make their team, for another player that wasn’t going to make his team.

They shipped guard Rishaw Johnson to Tampa Bay and in return received safety Kelcie McCray.

The 6-1, 205-pounds McCray played in 15 games last season with Miami (4) and Tampa Bay (11). He entered the NFL in 2012 as an undrafted free agent with the Dolphins, but spent that first year on the injured-reserve list after surgery on a broken foot. He was released early last October and the Buccaneers claimed him off the waiver wire. In 15 NFL games he has seven tackles and a fumble recovery.

He’s 25 years old and comes out of Arkansas State University where he was a three-year starter at safety for the Red Wolves. Over his career, McCray started 37 of the 49 games he played, with 220 total tackles, 10 interceptions, two forced fumbles and three recovered fumbles. He grew up in Columbus, Georgia.

Johnson began the off-season program as the starting right guard, but by the end of the team’s June mini-camp, he lost that status to rookie Zach Fulton. In training camp his slot on the depth chart fell to the third team.

 

Chiefs Position Analysis – Wide Receiver

Over the next few days we’ll look at each position on the Chiefs current 90-man roster and speculate on how John Dorsey and Andy Reid will cut that number to 75 by next Tuesday, and then 53 by next Friday.


Wide receivers

Last season – the Chiefs carried six wide receivers on their first-week roster. Dwayne Bowe, Junior Hemingway and Dexter McCluster were holdovers from the 2012 team. Donnie Avery was added as an unrestricted free agent. A.J. Jenkins came in a trade with San Francisco for receiver Jon Baldwin and Chad Hall was claimed from the waiver wire from the Niners. Undrafted rookie Frankie Hammond was signed to the practice squad and spent all 17 weeks on the developmental team. On November 13, the Chiefs claimed Kyle Williams off the waiver wire from the 49ers, while parting ways with Hall. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Report – 8/20

From the Truman Sports Complex

Andy Reid juggled his team’s schedule for Wednesday practice, moving up the two-hour, 15-minute workout two hours to escape the hottest part of the day.

It was still a hot and humid workout, as the coaching staff put the team through what would be the schedule for a Thursday practice during the regular season. The pace was quick, although not as fast as Reid wanted at times as he could be heard exhorting his players to pick up the pace.

Blitz, short yardage and goal line segments took up most of the practice, as Reid and his staff put together the most extensive game plan of the pre-season for Saturday’s meeting with Minnesota. It’s also a good chance they worked on some situational stuff for the regular-season opener against Tennessee.

“We changed up practice a bit so we could beat the hit,” said Reid. “It was good work.”

There were 11 players that did not participate, and a handful of others that left during the practice, all because of injury. Leading that group was running back Jamaal Charles with his bruised foot suffered almost a week ago as he moved out of the team’s dorm at Missouri Western State University.

“Jamaal is making progress and we’ll just see how he does here in the next several days,” said Reid. …Read More!

It’s Time For Patience With Eric Fisher

John Alt (l) and Eric Fisher

It’s far too early to construct any type of conclusion to the Eric Fisher story. That hasn’t stopped some fans and media types from pulling the chain and flushing the future of last year’s NFL’s No. 1 draft choice. Declaring Fisher one of the great draft busts in Chiefs and possibly NFL history is very premature and to bring that into focus there are two words Chiefs fans need to remember:

John Alt.

In the history of the Chiefs franchise there have been two outstanding left tackles. Jim Tyrer was the first, selected in the third round of the 1961 AFL Draft by the Texans after an All-America career at Ohio State University. Tyrer started 180 games for the Texans/Chiefs and was a full-time starter for 12 seasons. He earned AFL All-Star and Pro Bowl honors nine times. Tyrer entered the Chiefs Hall of Fame in 1977.

The other left tackle of note was Alt, a first-round selection (No. 15) in the 1984 NFL Draft out of the University of Iowa. He played 13 seasons with the Chiefs, appearing in 179 games with 149 starts. Alt made two Pro Bowls (1992-93) and was the 2002 inductee to the Chiefs Hall of Fame.

That Alt would go to the Pro Bowl and be honored as one of the team’s greatest players would have seemed laughable after his rookie season, or his second, third and fourth seasons. By the time the 1988 season was about to start, he was considered a bust outside the Chiefs facility. In four seasons, he played 44 of 64 games, starting just 16 times. Injuries kept him off the field, especially a back problem that seemed to flare up at least once a season. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Report – August 19

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs rolled through a two-hour, 30-minute practice on Tuesday, in the first of what will be close to 60 practices in the 2014 NFL season.

Andy Reid’s team remains in training camp mode, as they worked in full pads under a hot afternoon sun with not a breath of wind and high humidity.

(Note: now that the public cannot view Chiefs practices, the media is more restricted on what it’s allowed to report. That will continue through the end of the season.)

Not visible on the field during the early practice was running back Jamaal Charles, as he tries to recover from the bruised foot suffered moving out of the dorms at Missouri Western State University last week.

Also missing was wide receiver Dwayne Bowe; he came out of the game last Sunday night against Carolina with a quadriceps injury. Safety Eric Berry (heel) did not take part in practice. Middle linebacker Joe Mays (wrist) was also a non-participant.

Rounding out the injured list and off the practice field were offensive tackle Ryan McKee (knee), defensive lineman Jermelle Cudjo (quadriceps), linebacker Josh Martin (quadriceps) and wide receiver Junior Hemingway (hip). …Read More!

Penalties, Mistakes Stop Chiefs In Visit to Carolina


From Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

It ended up being an ugly night for the Chiefs in pre-season game No. 2. They lost 28-16 to the Carolina Panthers. The Chiefs chances of winning were destroyed by yellow hankies – 13 penalties walked off against them that cost them 131 yards and over 200 yards in field position.

There was certainly not the type of overall improvement that Andy Reid was looking for from his team. Now 1-1 on the pre-season, they return home to Arrowhead Stadium to face the Minnesota Vikings this coming Saturday.

Here’s our coverage from the Queen City:

Notes: Kicking Battle Continues

From Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

Ryan Succop made sure that his homecoming to North Carolina had something special for all the friends and relatives there were in Bank of America Stadium on Sunday night.

In doing so, he added another chip to his bank when it comes to keeping his job as the Chiefs kicker.

Succop nailed a 54-yard field goal in the first half. The kick tied his career-long for any game (preseason, regular season or postseason.) His previous 54-yard FG came against Minnesota on October 2, 2011 in a game played at Arrowhead Stadium. On that afternoon he made all five of his attempts.

He later added a 25-yard field goal. Rookie Cairo Santos hit his only attempt from 44 yards in the second quarter.

On kickoffs, Succop sent two kicks out of the end zone completely for touchbacks, and then hit one for a bit of hang-time to the Carolina three-yard line. Santos drilled one kick seven yards deep in the end zone, and another one he placed at the Carolina three-yard line.

Defense

The Chiefs finished the game with four sacks of Carolina quarterbacks. Cornerback Chris Owens, safety Husain Abdullah and middle linebacker Joe Mays each had one take down of the passer, with the other sack shared between outside linebacker Dee Ford and defensive end Vance Walker . . . Inside linebacker Nico Johnson finished the game as the Chiefs leading tackler with six . . . Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson knocked down a throw by Carolina quarterback Cam Newton and almost picked up an interception.

Special teams

Punter Dustin Colquitt kicked five times, for a 39-yard average, with three punts inside the 20-yard line . . . the Chiefs allowed nothing on punt returns, as Carolina had just one return for a single yard . . . on kickoff returns, wide receiver Frankie Hammond got to show his stuff as he had two returns for a 28-yard average. That does not include his 51-yard return that was wiped out by a penalty . . . Punt returner De’Anthony Thomas had two returns for 27 yards.

Rivera clamping down on outbursts

At two different points in the first half, Carolina cornerback Josh Norman displayed some behavior that eventually saw him pulled out of the action by Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. The first was when he launched himself at a sliding Alex Smith when the Chiefs quarterback was flushed out of the pocket. Norman got up and wagged his finger at Smith, in effect indicating he shouldn’t try that again. Then, Norman and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe got into a little dust up. That brought Panthers veteran linebacker Thomas Davis running across the field to confront not Bowe, but his teammate Norman.

That was enough for Rivera, who has been telling his players all through training camp that they need to be more disciplined. His post-game comments on the situation were interesting.

“There’s a point where you have to draw a line and a guy has to understand that if you do this and continue to do this, then I’m going do something,” Rivera said. “We want guys to understand that we have to maintain our composure on the field. That’s why we lost in the playoffs (to San Francisco). It started with me; I made the mistake of getting caught up in that emotion. We have to learn how to control that. We’ve got to do things the right way and we’ve got to be able to handle it. We are going to play smart football.”

Odds & Ends

According to the NFL’s official Gamebook for Sunday night’s contest there were seven Chiefs players dressed that did not play: wide receivers Deon Anthony, Fred Williams and Jerrell Jackson, offensive linemen Ben Gottschalk and J’Marcus Webb, tight end Adam Schiltz and quarterback Tyler Bray.

The Chiefs won the opening coin toss as new daddy fullback Anthony Sherman called for tails. When it came up, the Chiefs deferred until the second half. Representing the Chiefs at midfield for the toss were Sherman, long snapper Thomas Gafford, center Rodney Hudson, linebacker Joe Mays and nose tackle Dontari Poe.

Charles Injury Not Considered Serious


From Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

Ask anybody that’s done it and they’ll tell you that the process of moving can physically cause pain, whether from carrying boxes or moving any kind of furniture. Just ask Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. He was held out of the Saturday night game against Carolina because of a foot bruise he suffered while moving out of the dorms at Missouri Western State University late last week.

The Chiefs were heading out of St. Joseph after three weeks in the dorms and Charles was carrying a box to his car when he stepped off a curb and rolled his ankle. It wasn’t serious enough in his view to do anything that day, but when he reported back to the team’s facility 24 hours later, he mentioned his misstep to the trainers, who detected a bruise and some minor swelling. That’s all it took for the Chiefs to leave Charles at home as a precaution.

“It was kind of a freak thing; it was crazy,” said head coach Andy Reid. “It didn’t happen in practice. It was after practice as we were leaving. We held him out for precautionary measures.”

Of course when it’s Charles, the Chiefs are always very careful when it comes to his health, no matter how minor the situation. If the game against the Panthers had been a regular season affair, the Chiefs say Charles would have played.

“I think he’s going to be fine,” Reid said. “I left him back at home and we will go from there. But he is doing well.”

Also left at home by the Chiefs because of injuries were safety Eric Berry (heel), defensive end Mike DeVito (hand), wide receiver Albert Wilson (ankle), running back Joe McKnight (knee), defensive end Mike Catapano (illness), linebacker Josh Mauga (groin), cornerback Damond Smith (abductor), safety Sanders Commings (ankle) and defensive lineman Kona Schwenke (shoulder).

During the game came two injuries the Chiefs will hope for good news when they get back to Kansas City and get a chance for some tests. Middle linebacker Joe Mays left the game with a sprained wrist and wide receiver Junior Hemingway had a hip flexor strain

Chiefs Play Poorly In 28-16 Loss To Carolina


From Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

This was not a performance that will engender a lot of confidence in the improvement of the 2014 Chiefs.

It was Carolina 28, Chiefs 16 in Sunday night pre-season action where Andy Reid’s team sputtered and stuttered before a national television audience with mistakes, penalties and a continued lack of point production from the offense.

The killer was the 13 penalties walked off against them for 131 yards and that’s a direct link to losing any NFL contest. The turn in field position caused by the penalties was devastating to any chance the Chiefs had of winning.

“The tale of this thing was the 13 penalties we had,” said Reid. “Offensively we took big plays away from ourselves. That’s not the way you function and be a successful team in the National Football League. We’ve got to do better there.”

Only once did the Chiefs dent the end zone, and that came in the third quarter when rookie quarterback Aaron Murray threw his first pass in the NFL – it was a 43-yard touchdown toss to tight end Travis Kelce.

Essentially that’s it when it comes to highlights for the Chiefs. Everything else was lowlights, especially the 13 penalties.

“It’s ridiculous, you can’t do that,” said Reid. “Even if you are counting by fives (five-yard penalties), 13 is too many.”

The first quarter was all about the Chiefs defense. The No. 1 unit limited Carolina’s first offense to just one yard on nine plays. Cam Newton struggled to throw the ball, as the Chiefs staff used a variety of pass rushes to get after the Panthers starting quarterback who was playing for the first time since off-season ankle surgery.

Sandwiched between a pair of three plays for six-yard possessions by Carolina, the Chiefs put together a scoring drive, moving 44 yards in eight plays and overcoming an offensive holding call against right guard Zach Fulton. They settled for a 54-yard field goal from Ryan Succop, kicking in his home area for the first time in his career. The kick matched the longest FG of his career, pre-season, regular season or post-season.

The defense got after Newton again on the Panthers third possession, as safety Husain Abdullah went flying up from safety and knocked the quarterback down.

Smith then led the offense in another possession where their momentum was slowed by a penalty, this time a 10-yard offensive pass interference call against tight end Anthony Fasano. The Chiefs settled for a 44-yard field goal from rookie Cairo Santos and they held a 6-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter.

“I think every drive you can point to a penalty or a sack that caused us to fail,” said Smith. “They are a good defense. It was a great challenge for us.”

From that point, the Panthers took over the game on offense and defense, with help from the guys in the striped shirts. After just one yard on nine plays, Newton came out and led the offense to a 4-play, 66-yard drive for a touchdown. Running back Jonathan Stewart scored on a two-yard run, but the biggest play for Carolina was a 32-yard pass interference call against cornerback Ron Parker. The PAT was good and the home team had a 7-6 lead.

They added another touchdown on their next possession, as Newton hit a pair of big passes for 24 yards to rookie wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and 25 yards to wide receiver Jason Avant. On Avant’s catch, Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith was called for an illegal contact penalty that was declined by Carolina.

The Panthers wrapped up the possession with a three-yard scoring run by Stewart, who went up the middle and was untouched as he cruised into the end zone. The PAT kick gave Carolina a 14-6 lead that they carried into the half-time locker room.

The Chiefs opened the second half with the No. 2 offense and quarterback Chase Daniel moved them 73 yards on 11 plays and inside the scoring zone, before they had to settle for another field goal. This one was 25 yards by Succop, making the score 14-9.

They went up 16-14 on the Murray to Kelce touchdown throw. But Carolina came right back with 70-yard, seven-play drive, as backup quarterback Derek Anderson connected with wide receiver Brenton Bersin on a 16-yard touchdown play.

Murray recorded his first NFL interception as linebacker A.J. Klein stepped in front of pass for tight end Demetrius Harris and he returned it to the Chiefs eight-yard line. Five plays later, with the help of another defensive penalty, Carolina running back Fozzy Whitaker scored on a one-yard touchdown run, making the score 28-16 with just seconds to go in the third quarter.

That was also the final score.

“I expect us to learn from our mistakes,” said Reid. “I expect to see progress, that’s what pre-season games are for. We have to do a better job executing.”

Chiefs No. 1 Offense Remains Missing In Action


From Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

Going back to the start of the off-season program, the Chiefs offense talked about having one goal heading into the 2014 season. They were not going to start over, or remake their attack. They wanted to pick up where they left off in the last January’s game in the playoffs when they scored five touchdowns.

As the eighth month of the year heads into its final fortnight those scores against Indianapolis remain the only touchdowns the Chiefs offense has registered in the 2014 calendar year.

“We sustained some drives for long periods but you have to be able to finish those off,” said quarterback Alex Smith. “Against a team like that in the regular season, those two field goals don’t do a tone for you and can hurt you. You never know when you are going to get back down there. It was self-inflicted so many times, whether it was a penalty or a sack or something.”

In the pre-season opener against Cincinnati, the No. 1 offense had three possessions that produced only a field goal. Sunday night against Carolina, they had five possessions in the first half that produced two more field goals.

The numbers for the Smith-led group in this pre-season are not good:

  • 8 possessions.
  • 46 plays.
  • 189 yards.
  • 4.1 yards per offensive play.
  • 3 sacks allowed.
  • 1 turnover.
  • 11 first downs.
  • 4 of 11 on third down.

The running game has been very inefficient, and yes Jamaal Charles was not part of Sunday night’s game because of a bruised foot. In two games, the No. 1 offense has 15 carries for 67 yards.

What hurts the evaluation more than anything is the fact that they’ve had marginal prospects to actually score a touchdown. On eight possessions, only once have they been inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. They penetrated to the Cincinnati nine-yard line in a possession that led to a Ryan Succop field goal. They also advanced to the 20 once, but produced only another field goal, this one from rookie Cairo Santos.

Those eight possessions produced nine points.

Against Carolina, the mistakes were plentiful for the offense, but they all seemed to come from the No. 1 offensive line. Protection for Smith was shoddy, including a blown blitz pickup block from Knile Davis that allowed Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly to take the quarterback down on a third-and-nine play. On the next possession, left tackle Eric Fisher was flagged for holding and then left guard Jeff Allen couldn’t handle defensive tackle Star Lotulelei who took Smith down for a nine-yard loss.

“We have a young offensive line and they have to learn,” said Andy Reid. “We’re going to feed them the things they need to get better. We’re not hiding that part of it. We know that they are going to get better with practice.”

Smith started getting the ball out of his hands faster, but that didn’t work either, as one possession ended with two passes that produced minus-four and minus-two yards.

There’s really only one game remaining for the No. 1 offense and that’s this coming Saturday night against Minnesota at Arrowhead Stadium. It makes the coming week an important time for the Chiefs to get their offensive house in order.

“Soon I look for us to take another step,” said Smith. “I felt like we did take a step tonight you know. I’d like to take another one.”

Penalties Make Life Difficult For The Chiefs


Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin and Chiefs CB Chris Owens scuffle in one of the few cases where the Chiefs were not penalized. The flag went against Benjamin.

From Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

The NFL made it clear before the pre-season even started that they were going to be quick to throw the penalty flag, especially when it came to defenses and their coverage of receivers down the field.

After Sunday night’s game, the Chiefs say “enough.” They were hit with 15 penalties, with 13 accepted for 131 yards walked off against them.

It’s just another step in what has been a yellow hanky filled pre-season where the officials seem intent on testing their arms when throwing the flag.

“I think the officials are learning as we go too; it’s their pre-season,” said Andy Reid. “If I don’t like what I am seeing, I will try to coach them up to it. That’s how it goes. We are all in this together. We are trying to get better.”

The officials and the Chiefs need to try harder based on what was delivered Sunday evening. There was the 131 yards the Panthers received courtesy of the K.C. flags. But that doesn’t take into account the field position lost with the penalties. The Chiefs gave up 225 yards in field position during the game.

“Man, we just have to do better,” said cornerback Sean Smith, one of four players in the secondary that was flagged for a penalty. His was declined. “They came to camp and told us what they were going to do. We just have to figure it out.”

Of the 15 penalties called there were five against the offense, five against the defense and five on the special teams. The areas that stood out for penalty attention were the secondary and the offensive line, each with four flags against them.

“That’s two areas where we are young,” said Reid. “We are still going to test them, we’re going to throw the football and we are going to run the football. We have a young offensive line and they have to learn.

“In the secondary, you have to be able to cover people. They were throwing the football. You go do that and you’re getting experience as you go along here. I expect to see progress.”

Here is the penalty list for the Chiefs:

#

Squad Player Penalty Yards Outcome

1.

Offense Z. Fulton Holding Minus 10 Created 1st-and-20

2.

Offense A. Fasano Pass int. Minus 10 Wiped out 10-yard pass

3.

Defense R. Parker Pass. Int. Minus 32 Created 1st-and-Goal @ 6

4.

Kick return F. Zombo Holding Minus 7 Wiped out 40-yard return

5.

Kick return Hemingway Illegal block Declined

6.

Offense D. Stephenson False start Minus 5 Created 3rd-and-8

7.

Defense S. Smith Illegal contact Declined Carolina 25-yard gain

8.

Offense E. Fisher Holding Minus 10 Set up 1st-and-20

9.

Defense M. Cooper Pass int. Minus 19

10.

Kick return M. Bronson Holding Minus 10 Cost 22 yards in field position

11.

Defense P. Gaines Holding Minus 3 Gave Carolina 1st-and-goal

12.

Offense R. Johnson Holding Minus 10 Field position change of 61 yards

13.

Punt V. Kearney Out of bounds Minus 5 Yards added to punt return

14.

Punt Delay of Game Minus 5

15.

Defense D. Ford Offside Minus 5 Gave Panthers a 1st-and-5 play

There Was A Bright Spot Sunday Night – Travis Kelce


From Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

Now, if only Alex Smith can hook up with Travis Kelce – maybe that would jump start the Chiefs offense.

For the second week in a row, Kelce grabbed a touchdown pass. It turned out to be the Chiefs only touchdown in their 28-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers. The play was almost a copy of his touchdown against Cincinnati in the pre-season opener. This time he went for 43 yards on a pass from rookie quarterback Aaron Murray.

Kelce showed speed and power as he broke through the middle of the field and banged his way into the end zone.

“It was a great play call, perfect for the coverage,” said Murray of his first professional TD pass. “Kelce did a great job of pretty much blowing by the linebackers, and then a great job afterwards of getting in the end zone.”

There were three more catches for Kelce, who finished with four for 63 yards, more than any other Chiefs receiver. He averaged 15.8 yards per catch.

“He adds another element at the tight end position,” Smith said of Kelce. “I think we can really stretch some defenses and can do some things with the ball in his hands. It was exciting for me to see.”

Combined with his performance against the Bengals, including the 69-yard touchdown lay on a pass from Chase Daniel, Kelce is the team’s leading pre-season receiver, catching six passes for 136 yards for a healthy 22.7-yard average per catch.

“He just keeps coming with it,” said head coach Andy Reid. “Now, there’s more than just the route running. You have to be able to run block and detail all your work there. You sure have to give him credit for the effort . . . he sure has a nice skill level.”

Jamaal & Others Will Not Play In Carolina

From Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

The surprise of Jamaal Charles’ absence from the field for Saturday night’s pre-season game was the big news from the Chiefs announcement on players that will not participate against the Panthers.

Charles was left at home and did not make the trip east because of a bruised foot. He did not suffer the injury during practice at training camp in St. Joseph, but arrived at the locker room Friday and mentioned a problem. The Chiefs made the precautionary decision to shut him down for this game, although he should be ready for practice on Tuesday.

Also left at home by the Chiefs because of injuries were safety Eric Berry (heel), defensive end Mike DeVito (hand), wide receiver Albert Wilson (ankle), running back Joe McKnight (knee), defensive end Mike Catapano (illness), linebacker Josh Mauga (groin), cornerback Damond Smith (abductor), safety Sanders Commings (ankle) and defensive lineman Kona Schwenke (shoulder).

Chiefs Will Not Have Jamaal vs. Panthers

From Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte

The Chiefs will be without running back Jamaal Charles for Saturday night’s game against Carolina.

Charles turned up with a foot problem Friday as the Chiefs reported back to their facility at the Truman Sports Complex. It’s nothing major and it would not have kept him out of a game during the regular season. But the Chiefs decided to allow him a weekend of rest, and Charles did not make the trip.

Keeping An Eye On Chiefs Offense vs. Carolina


From Charlotte, North Carolina

The Chiefs go national Sunday night for pre-season game No. 2, facing the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Kickoff is 7 p.m. with the telecast by FOX.

What the rest of the country will see from the Chiefs remains a subject in question. They came out of their first game with scores from all three phases of the game. Yet, they still couldn’t salt away a victory until the final minutes of the game.

The 41-39 victory over Cincinnati was unimpressive, especially from the first-team units, and especially the Chiefs starting offense. Quarterback Alex Smith and the rest of the No. 1 lineup had eight plays, turned the ball over on a sack and fumble and failed to convert a pair of third-and-short plays that would have given them more snaps.

Smith wasn’t happy with the performance and wants to see his side of the ball step-up the quality of its play.

“Hold on to the football, that was the biggest play for me,” said Smith of his fumble that set up a Bengals touchdown. “You look at two third-and-shorts that we didn’t convert. One was on the run play and the last on the pass play. There was a miscommunication with the receivers. You just can’t have it.

“To me, two plays jumped out – the fumble; you just can’t have it, can’t have turnovers. The second one was that third-and-two in the red zone. If you convert, you have a good chance of walking away with a touchdown. Those are big downs; we know that. You have to execute those.” …Read More!

Succop Returns Home For the First Time

Ryan Succop is very familiar with Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

He knows the concession stands, where the restrooms are and can easily pinpoint the nearest exit to get back to the parking lot.

Sunday night Succop will get his first chance to visit the bowels of the stadium that is the home of the Carolina Panthers, as the Chiefs hit the building to play pre-season game No. 2.

It’s the first time in his six years in the NFL that Succop has gone “back home” to kick. He grew up in Hickory, North Carolina, about an hour north of Charlotte. His family had season tickets for the Panthers almost from the expansion team’s first season in 1995. Other kids latched on the stars of those early Carolina teams like quarterback Kerry Collins, wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad and linebacker Sam Mills.

Succop (right) and Cairo Santos (5) will continue their fight for the Chiefs kicking job.

Not Succop. His favorite member of the Panthers was kicker John Kasay, who ended up spending 15 seasons with Carolina among the 20 seasons and 301 games that he kicked in the NFL.

“We had seats down in the lower level, we had seats in the upper deck, we had seats all over the place,” Succop was remembering the other day after the end of the Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph. “John Kasay was my guy. He was a really good kicker, very consistent; just solid.

“I’m really excited about being able to kick there. I think I’ve kicked in every stadium in the league except Bank of America.” …Read More!

NFL Slaps Bowe With One-Game Suspension

The Chiefs will not have wide receiver Dwayne Bowe for their regular-season opener on September 7 when they host the Tennessee Titans. Bowe was handed a one-game suspension by the NFL on Friday.

The penalty was caused by his arrest just before midnight on Sunday, November 10, 2013 in Riverside, Missouri. He was charged with speeding (48 in a 35 mph zone) and possession of a controlled substance (marijuana.) In April, Bowe pleaded guilty to amended charges of operating defective equipment and littering, paying fines totaling $610. The plea bargain did not include Bowe pleading guilty to marijuana possession. It made the legal ramifications go away, but did not preclude the NFL from disciplining him for the incident.

That news came down Friday. The league’s labor agreement provides Bowe with five days to appeal the suspension, but indications are he will not do so. Bowe released a statement on Friday after the suspension was announced:

“I am extremely sorry that I can’t be on the field for the first game of the 2014 season because I made an error in judgment. I take responsibility for my mistake, and it will not happen again. I hope that my teammates, coaches, and Chiefs fans accept my sincere apology. I will be supporting my teammates in week one, and I cannot wait to get back on the field to help us win in week two and beyond as we work towards our goal of winning the Super Bowl.”

Bowe will be allowed to play in the final three pre-season games, and he will be able to practice over the next two weeks. But the day after the Chiefs wrap up the pre-season in Green Bay, Bowe will be forced to stay away until the day after that opening game against the Titans.

“We are disappointed in the situation and will miss him on the field, but we support the league’s decision,” said the Chiefs in a prepared statement that was three sentences long. “The club will have no further comment on the matter.”

There was no name attached to the statement.

For Bowe, it’s the second league suspension of his career. He received a four-game slap in 2009 after he tested positive for a diuretic. That’s considered part of the performance enhancing drug policy in the league; PED users have taken diuretics in an attempt to mask their use of banned steriods. At the time, Bowe said he took some of his grandmother’s diet pills in an attempt to make weight at the start of training camp.

Here is the NFL statement on the penalty: “Dwayne Bowe of the Kansas City Chiefs has been suspended without pay for the first game of the 2014 regular season for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Bowe will be eligible to return to the Chiefs active roster on Monday, September 8 following the team’s September 7 game against the Tennessee Titans. Bowe is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.”

Andy Gets Dunked For ALS

K.C. Chiefs photo

From St. Joseph, Missouri

It’s happening all over the country, even earlier this week at Missouri Western State University when Chiefs general manager John Dorsey and the team’s training staff all took the ice-water bath that has come to symbolize the fight against Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or ALS.

Thursday as the Chiefs closed the St. Joseph portion of their pre-season, Andy Reid joined the club. After practice was over, Reid stood still as quarterback Chase Daniel and running back Jamaal Charles dumped a Gatorade container of ice and water on his head.

It’s called the ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge and through social media it’s gone across the country and has involved sports figures, entertainers, politicians and every day folks. A challenge is made to the potential dunkee and they can either get wet or make a contribution to the ALS Association. Generally, they end up doing both. Reid was challenged by Sporting Kansas City CEO Rob Heineman.

Since the end of July the Ice-Bucket Challenge has helped bring over $4 million in donations to ALS Association. That’s almost four times more than the normal level of contributions in that time period. Bigger than the money is the exposure that’s been brought to the fight against ALS.

“We have never seen anything like this in the history of the disease,” said Barbara Newhouse, the President and CEO of The ALS Association. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the level of compassion, generosity and sense of humor that people are exhibiting as they take part in this impactful viral initiative.”

Kickers Duel Remains Even; Succop Has A Sore Groin

From St. Joseph, Missouri

The competition between returning kicker Ryan Succop and rookie Cairo Santos continued Saturday. But only Santos took part.

Succop was held out of practice because of what head coach Andy Reid said was “a little bit of inflammation in his groin.” He received treatment Saturday morning and did not show up on the field until the last 15 minutes of practice.

That gave Santos the chance to do all the kicking and he took advantage of the opportunity, going nine of 10 on field goal attempts from that ranged from 33 to 54 yards.

So where does the fight stand at kicker after one round game?

“It’s even right now,” said special teams coordinator Dave Toub. “Succop might’ve shown a little bit stronger leg on the kickoffs. What we were trying to do with the kickoffs was to kick high hang times and just get those guys (Bengals) to return it. We wanted to test our kickoff coverage unit. He was hitting the ball so well, and he was hitting it sweet and the thing was really taking off.”

Veteran Safety Announces His Retirement

Signed 10 days ago because of a rash of injuries at the safety position, veteran safety Steve Gregory announced Saturday that he was retiring.

Gregory put out the word through his agent David Canter, who released this statement from the safety:

“It is with tremendous respect, appreciation, and admiration for the game of football that I’ve decided to announce my retirement effective immediately.

After entering the game as an undrafted free agent, I was fortunate enough to play twice as long as the average player. This past off-season, my wife Rosanne and I were blessed to welcome a daughter, Aviana, and spending time with her has changed my life’s perspective.

It is my hope to continue in football as a coach and I look forward to what the future holds. I’m tremendously happy with my decision and being able to walk away from this great game both healthy and on my own terms. I would be remiss in announcing my retirement without thanking my great family, coaches, teammates, scouts, trainers, agent and all of the fans that have supported me along the way.

Thank you, Steve Gregory.”

Gregory played eight seasons in the league with San Diego (2006-11) and New England (2012-13). He played 27 snaps Thursday night against Cincinnati and had three tackles in the game.

Chiefs Shuffle Linebackers

From St. Joseph, Missouri

The Chiefs moved one linebacker off the roster Saturday, and added another to take his place.

Outside linebacker Dezman Moses was released. Moses has been dealing with an elbow problem and head coach Andy Reid said after Saturday morning’s practice that the linebacker had surgery. If he rolls through the waiver process without being claimed, Moses will go to the Chiefs injured-reserve list. He can also negotiate an injury settlement with the Chiefs if he wants to play for another team in the 2014 season once he’s healed.

Filling the roster spot is Devan Walker, 6-1¾, 236 pound outside linebacker that played his college football at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. Walker was on the practice field Saturday morning. He’s wearing No. 59.

Undrafted in 2013, Walker signed with San Diego after the NFL Draft. During training camp with the Chargers, he suffered a torn meniscus in a knee and was waived with an injured designation on August 7. A week later, he was waived after an injury settlement with the club.

During four seasons with the Lions in the Southland Conference, Walker played in 42 games with 34 starts, making 168 total tackles, 38 tackles for loss and 15 sacks. A native of California, he grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Chiefs Open Pre-Season with 41-39 Victory Over Cincy


From Arrowhead Stadium

The Chiefs began their 2014 pre-season schedule with an explosion of points, as offense, defense and special teams all contributed touchdowns in a 41-39 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

The game featured 80 points, 10 touchdowns and five turnovers that helped produce nearly half of those points in a game that had a host of ups and downs for both teams. The Chiefs put 41 points on the board, more than they have in a pre-season game since 1996.

In the end it made for a good start to the four-game exhibition schedule. Here’s our coverage from the Chiefs victory:

Out of Thursday’s Game Against Cincinnati

From Arrowhead Stadium

The Chiefs have ruled 10 players out of Thursday night’s pre-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

There are no surprises in the bunch, with two starters included on the no-play list: strong safety Eric Berry (heel) and defensive end Mike DeVito (hand).

The inactive players are:

Offense: wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (hamstring), wide receiver Mark Harrison (hamstring), running back Joe McKnight (knee), wide receiver Junior Hemingway (hamstring).

Defense: Berry, DeVito, safety Sanders Commings (ankle surgery), outside linebacker Dezman Moses (elbow), defensive end Mike Catapano (illness), defensive tackle Kyle Love (ankle).

Bengals Do Lengthy Deal With QB Andy Dalton


From St. Joseph, Missouri

The Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to terms with quarterback Andy Dalton on a contract extension. It’s a six-year, $96 million package with the chance for that total payout to jump even higher if Dalton and the Bengals have post-season success.

The agreement leaves one starting quarterback in the league with a first name that starts with A looking for a contract extension or new deal: the Chiefs Alex Smith.

It was the first question Smith was asked when he met with the media horde after Monday morning’s practice.

“To be honest, I had no idea they were even talking or that was happening,” said Smith. “I found out walking off the field, just to give me a heads up because I’d probably get asked it. Other than that, I’ve got nothing for you.”

The deal between the Bengals and Dalton will bring the young quarterback $18 million this year in salary and bonuses and $25 million over the first two years. Almost every penny of that is guaranteed. It’s an average of $16 million per, but would rise to $19 million per year with escalators involving Dalton’s playing time and the team’s success in the playoffs.

Dalton is in his fourth season, and this is the last year of his original rookie contract with the Bengals. The 30-year old Smith is in his 10th season of play. This year is also the last year of a contract he signed while with the 49ers. …Read More!

Chiefs Cut Two, Add One

From St. Joseph, Missouri

The Chiefs cut two players on Sunday that never reached the practice field in training camp and added a defensive lineman.

Rookie cornerback David Van Dyke was released after he finally passed the team’s physical. Van Dyke has been on the sidelines since June when he suffered a

James Baker, a rookie running back was released from the reserve/did not report list. Baker took part in all the off-season work, but did not return for training camp.

The newest face on the Chiefs roster is defensive tackle Jairus Campbell out of Bowling Green University in Ohio. At 6-4, 310 pounds, Campbell was not selected in the 2014 NFL Draft but signed on May 11th with the Baltimore Ravens. He was subsequently released. The 23-year old Ohio native played in 41 games in college, with 82 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and two sacks, along with a pair of forced fumbles.

Campbell missed most of the 2012 season with a severe Lisfranc injury that required surgery and screws implanted in his left foot.

The Chiefs were in need of bodies on the defensive line as they had only seven on the practice field on Sunday, as defensive tackles Jermelle Cudjo (hamstring) and Kyle Love (ankle) joined Mike Catapano (illness) out of action. The only available defensive tackles were Dontari Poe and Jaye Howard.

AFC West 2014 Analysis – Free Safety

A half-dozen NFL personnel sources helped us with evaluations of the personnel for AFC West teams going into the 2014 season. We are keeping score to decide the most talented team in the division (on paper). The club with the fewest points will be considered the best, as points match the ratings; example, the No. 3 spot means 3 points.

AFC WEST SCOREBOARD (thru FS) –Broncos 77, Chargers 81, Raiders 85, Chiefs 87.

Free Safety

1. Eric Weddle, San Diego

5-11, 200 pounds, born 1/4/1985, 8th NFL season, selected in the 2nd-round (#37) by the Chargers in the ’07 NFL Draft out of the University of Utah. Weddle has played 108 games in San Diego, starting 93 times. He has 18 career interceptions and three that he returned for TDs. He has six sacks, five recovered fumbles including one he ran back 86 yards for a TD. He’s been credited with 658 total tackles.

Weddle is coming off the second Pro Bowl season of his career. He has established himself as the heart of the Chargers defense and very definitely the leader of the group. Last year he did not miss a defensive snap in the 18 games played in the regular and post-seasons. That was 1,017 plays where he contributed two interceptions, one sack and 103 total tackles. Weddle was targeted 57 times by opposing passers, as they completed 40 for an average of 9.4 yards. He did not give up a touchdown pass. …Read More!

Chiefs That Should Be In Canton

As the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2014 was inducted Saturday evening in Canton, Ohio, the fans of 32 NFL franchises were discussing their favorite players that are not in the Hall.

I spent more than 15 years on the Hall of Fame selection board and I can guarantee this: every team has three or four people they believe should have bronze busts in Canton. Do the math: 32 teams x 4 deserving players/coaches/ contributors, and that’s a pool of 128 players. That group grows every year because there are at best seven spots for each class.

There’s a group of Chiefs that should receive more consideration for the Hall. Here’s this man’s opinion on those most deserving, but still on the outside:

Guard Will Shields (1993-2006) – There’s no doubt that Shields will one day have one of those gold jackets they give to members of the Hall of Fame. It’s not a question of if, but when, and that’s impossible to predict. Believe me, I spent five straight years presenting Derrick Thomas for induction, and finally in the fifth year he was voted in. To this day I have no idea what was different, but D.T. got the honor he deserved.

So will, Will Shields. The evidence is overwhelming with his 224 games, 223 starts, and the fact he never missed a game over 14 seasons. He made the Pro Bowl 12 times, was first-team All-Pro twice. He’s been a finalist for three straight years, ever since he was eligible for induction. …Read More!

Gregory Trying To Catch Up With Chiefs Defense

From St. Joseph, Missouri

On Wednesday, Steve Gregory was at home in Syracuse, New York, enjoying time with his five-week old daughter Aviana.

On Thursday he was on a plane to Kansas City.

On Friday, he was on the field for practice at Missouri Western State University. Gregory was scrambling to digest and sort through the defensive playbook he was handed by defensive coordinator Bob Sutton.

“He’s been in a lot of different systems,” Sutton said of Gregory. “The biggest transition will be his terminology. What he might’ve been used to calling apples, we call oranges, so that’s going to be his first transition. He’s probably familiar with everything that we’ve done. He’s got to work on terminology and getting his feet under him.

“I know his background and I know it’s a good one. He’ll be fine.” …Read More!

Injuries Force Chiefs To Add Veteran Safety

The injury bug that has bitten the Chiefs secondary in training camp practices forced the team back to the street to find an acceptable body to jump in at safety.

Nine-year NFL veteran Steve Gregory was signed on Thursday, after Eric Berry suffered an ankle injury and Sanders Commings underwent surgery on his ankle.

Gregory, 5-10½, 185 pounds has played in 111 games with 54 starts for San Diego and New England. He spent the last two seasons with the Patriots, appearing in 26 games with 23 starts. The New York native entered the NFL with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent out of Syracuse University in 2006.

Over his career, Gregory has 357 total tackles, three sacks, seven interceptions with a touchdown return and two forced fumbles. He played eight games against the Chiefs, picking up 33 total tackles, one sack and one interception. He was released on February 28th by the Patriots in what was largely a salary-cap cut.

To create room for Gregory the Chiefs released rookie inside linebacker Ben Johnson.

Chiefs Add Defensive Back Due To Injuries

From St. Joseph, Missouri

With four defensive backs down because of injuries, the Chiefs were forced to bring in another body in the secondary.

On Monday they signed Damond Smith, a 5-11 ¼, 184-pound cornerback that played at both Western Michigan University and the University of South Alabama.

Smith was eligible for the NFL’s 2013 Supplemental Draft, but was not selected and no team signed him last season. In fact, he’s not played a full-field game since the 2011 season when he played just four games with South Alabama, with 18 total tackles. He did spend time in the Canadian Football League on the practice squad of the B.C. Lions and he was also on the roster of the Pittsburgh Power in the Arena Football  League.

At Western Michigan he played 18 games in the 2009-10 seasons, starting six times. He had two interceptions and 55 total tackles.

The signing moved the Chiefs roster back to 90 players. They have 45 on offense (four quarterbacks, eight running backs, five tight ends, 13 wide receivers, 15 offensive linemen), 41 players on defense (10 defensive line, 13 linebackers, 18 defensive backs) and four special teams players.

Chiefs Training Camp Practice #6 – 7/26


When camp gets physical, bodies tumble like WR Fred Williams and CB Kevin Rutland

From St. Joseph, Missouri

Real football practices are when players begin to perform against each other in one-on-one and unit-by-unit situations with little in the way of restrictions.

That was the highlight of the first padded practice of the 2014 training camp for the Chiefs. Andy Reid put his team through the two-hour, 30-minute session Saturday morning at Missouri Western State University under cloudy skies and very humid conditions.

It grew more humid when offense and defense started banging against each other in the first steps towards the development and growth of the ’14 Chiefs. It was a day the players looked forward too, understanding that they can’t play successful football unless they practice football.

“It felt good out there,” said second-year linebacker Nico Johnson. “It probably won’t feel so good tonight, but it was another step for us. It was football.”

Here is some of what we observed and heard at the practice:

– Injuries & participation: the Chiefs started with 85 players working with five players off the field just as they were on Thursday and Friday – tight end Sean McGrath (retired), running back Joe McKnight (knee), guard Rokevious Watkins (back), cornerback David Van Dyke (hamstring) and safety Sanders Commings (foot).

During practice, inside linebacker Joe Mays eventually went to the sidelines due to a knee injury he brought with him to camp. Safety Eric Berry suffered a dislocated finger and wide receiver Junior Hemingway had a spasm in one of his hamstrings.

Left tackle Eric Fisher’s snaps were limited and he did not take part in the one-on-one session against the Chiefs pass rushers. …Read More!

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!

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!

Time For Another Edition Of Ask Bob

The NFL Draft is now a week old and the Chiefs rookie mini-camp is just ahead over the Memorial Day weekend. It seems an appropriate time to open up the Ask Bob mailbox.

Attach your questions, evaluations and concerns to this post in the comments. The mailbox will stay open until Tuesday at noon.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

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.

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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.

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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!

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