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The Picture For AFC Playoffs – 11/23

Other than moving the race for the AFC playoffs one more week down the road, the activities of week No. 12 did not clear the smoke that hangs over the last four slots in the post-season bracket.

It’s still New England and Denver leading the way and then another eight teams sporting winning records and dreams they could be playing in January.

That group on top could have included the Chiefs with the Patriots and Broncos, but they failed to win game No. 8, falling last Thursday night to Oakland.

Cincinnati sits just a half-step ahead of the rest of the field at 7-3-1, and then it’s the Chiefs and at least four other teams at 7-3, all with at least three losses in the AFC. That group could grow to six teams with a Baltimore win against New Orleans in the regularly scheduled Monday night game.

The Chiefs ended up losing more in position for the playoffs than any team during the week. But it was not a step back as much as it was the familiar to step forward. That leaves them trying to fight through five tough weeks and at least five other teams. …Read More!

Stats & Snap Judgments – Oakland

Here are the snaps played in the rain and credited by the NFL to the Chiefs in Thursday night’s game against the Raiders, on offense, defense and in the kicking game. Names in bold are those that played 100 percent of their unit’s snaps:

Offense (66)

  • Backs – Alex Smith 66, Jamaal Charles 60, De’Anthony Thomas 33, Anthony Sherman 12, Knile Davis 5, Charcandrick West 1.
  • Receivers – Travis Kelce 62, Dwayne Bowe 61, Frankie Hammond 56, Albert Wilson 17, Junior Hemingway 16, Phillip Supernaw 4, Anthony Fasano 2.
  • Line – Eric Fisher, Zach Fulton, Ryan Harris, Rodney Hudson & Mike McGlynn, each with 66; Jeff Linkenbach 1.

…Read More!

Chiefs Make Roster Change At Wide Receiver

The Chiefs announced Friday that they signed wide receiver Jason Avant to the 53-man active roster.

To make room for Avant, wide receiver A.J. Jenkins was placed on the injured-reserve list due to a shoulder injury he suffered last week in practice.

The 6-0, 210-pound Avant is a veteran of nine NFL seasons, including eight years with Philadelphia. In seven of those seasons he played for Eagles head coach Andy Reid. He began the 2014 season with the Carolina Panthers, catching 21 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown catch. Avant was released on Tuesday.

In 127 NFL games (52 starts) Avant caught 318 passes for 3,847 yards (12.1-yard per catch average) with 13 touchdown receptions. He entered the NFL as a fourth-round choice (#109) of the Eagles in the 2006 NFL Draft. Avant played at the University of Michigan, where he finished third in Wolverines history with 169 catches for 2,247 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Jenkins wrapped up his season with missing the last two games after suffering a shoulder injury in practice. He caught nine passes for 92 yards in the Chiefs offense.

Chiefs-Raiders Highlights New Oakland Quarterback

Another chapter in one of the most historic rivalries in the history of pro football goes down Thursday night when the Chiefs visit the Raiders in Oakland.

Kickoff is set for 7:25 pm. CST at the Oakland Coliseum with television coverage on the NFL Network and in Kansas City on Channel 41.

It will be the 111th time the Dallas Texans-Kansas City Chiefs have faced the Oakland-Los Angeles-Oakland Raiders. Some 40 years ago when the American Football League was rolling through its final days, the Chiefs and Raiders rivalry reached its apex, as one or the other played in three of the first four Super Bowls against the NFL.

That’s all prehistoric times in pro football, especially in today’s world of 144-character rants and immediate analysis and reaction from the Internet and social media. These teams have not played each other in a game that mattered in the month of November or December in many years. Actually, the last critical game was just a few hours into the 21st Century when the Raiders under head coach Jon Gruden showed up for the first game of the 2000s and the last game of the 1999 season. A Chiefs victory in Gunther Cunningham’s first year as head coach would have sent his team to the playoffs but Oakland won in overtime.

Since then, the Raiders have struggled to play with any sort of respectability. The Chiefs have often done the same. Thursday they arrive for the first of two outings this season with the Chiefs at 7-3 and the Raiders at 0-10. Oakland is the only team in the league that has not won a game in this 2014 season and their last victory was 367 days ago.

It’s an interesting situation for the Chiefs. The Thursday night game brought a short preparation week for Andy Reid, his staff and players. They had Monday and Tuesday to think and act Raiders and then left on Wednesday for the Bay Area. That’s about half their normal amount of prep time for a game. …Read More!

4 Keys To Winning For the Chiefs Against The Raiders

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Four

Volume #3 of keeping Alex Smith’s uniform without a blemish from the Raiders defense

With the exception of the game in Buffalo when Smith was sacked six times by the Bills defense, the protection for the Chiefs quarterback has improved each week, with no sacks allowed last week against Seattle. The Seahawks have a far more formidable defense than the Raiders, who have just 10 sacks in 338 passing plays through the first 10 games. What’s helped is the success of the running game; that’s taken some of the focus off the pass protection issues the team has carried through the season.

…Read More!

Tale of the Tape: Chiefs vs. Raiders

There are 11 categories in our weekly Tale of the Tape comparison, and generally the Chiefs have posted a majority in their favor each game, somewhere around six or seven areas of the competition.

But Thursday night’s Tale of the Tape falls decidedly in favor of the Chiefs. That would have been expected given the seven-game difference in the loss column between the teams. It’s a decided difference, as in our estimation the Chiefs have an edge in 10 of 11 areas, missing only at wide receiver.

That’s on paper; it will be fun to see it play out on that suspect field in Oakland: …Read More!

Chiefs Low On Receivers – Injury Report November 19

The Chiefs will step on the field again Thursday without a full complement of wide receivers; the club declared Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins out of the prime-time game against Oakland.

Avery and Jenkins missed last Sunday’s game against Settle. Avery practiced this week, but apparently has not improved enough in the eyes of the team’s medical staff to be able to play a full game. He’s coming back from a sports hernia injury/surgery. Jenkins did not practice after suffering a shoulder injury in practice last week.

Also declared out of Thursday night’s game is cornerback Chris Owens as he continues to work at getting back from a knee injury he suffered on October 5th.

Chiefs

OUT – Wide receiver Donnie Avery (sports hernia), wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (shoulder), cornerback Chris Owens (knee).

QUESTIONABLE – Tight end Anthony Fasano (knee), cornerback Jamell Fleming (hamstring).

PROBABLE – Right guard Zach Fulton (ankle), cornerback Phillip Gaines (ankle/quadriceps), outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee), tight end Travis Kelce (ribs/shoulder), left guard Mike McGlynn (knee), right cornerback Sean Smith (groin).

Raiders

OUT – Tight end David Ausberry (foot), cornerback T.J. Carrie (ankle), safety Jonathan Dowling (back), left cornerback Carlos Rogers (knee).

QUESTIONABLE – G Gabe Jackson (knee).

PROBABLE — Linebacker Miles Burris (hip), quarterback Derek Carr (quadriceps),

Expected starters in bold.

Why Everybody Is Trapped Into Talking Trap Game

It’s one of the favorite terms of the short week for the Chiefs:

Trap game.

As in – will the 7-3 Chiefs fall into the trap of taking the 0-10 Raiders lightly in Thursday night’s game in Oakland?

It’s a silly premise, especially in today’s National Football League. Every time a big underdog pulls a surprise victory does not mean it was a trap game. Every time a heavy-favorite stumbles and ends up on the wrong side of the score does not define the term trap game.

From this man’s well-worn football seat, a trap game requires as part of the equation a team that’s actually accomplished something. That would eliminate the Chiefs from the equation right off the bat.

Yes, the Chiefs went 11-5 last year and made the playoffs. And, they’ve comeback this season after an ugly 0-2 start and are now 7-3 with a share of first place in the AFC West. That’s impressive and makes for plenty of hope in the Chiefs nation.

But they haven’t accomplished anything that should make them think they are superior to their other brethren in the league. They’ve accomplished nothing of significance. They have no recent championships, whether the titles are from a division, conference or league.

For the 2014 Chiefs to overlook an opponent would be an act of stupidity that does not fit the profile of this team. They win football games with smart play and limited self-inflicted blunders. It’s not going to happen, not even with a game against Denver looming just ahead on the schedule. …Read More!

Shields Advances In 2015 Hall of Fame Process

Will Shields advanced yet another step Tuesday in the process for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as he joined the semi-finalist group of 26 names that will be considered for induction early next year.

Hall of Fame voters will cut that number down to 15 before the final voting takes place on Saturday, January 31, the day before the Super Bowl in Arizona.

It would be an upset if Shields did not make the final 15. He’s been there in the previous three years. In voting for the class of 2012 and 2013 he was eliminated in a cut from 15 to 10. In voting this past February for the class of 2014, he was eliminated in the vote from 10 to 5.

The only other semi-finalist with ties to the Chiefs is kicker Morten Andersen. Here’s the complete list of men still under consideration for Canton’s Class of 2015: …Read More!

Chiefs/Raiders Practice-Injury Report – November 18

Although wide receiver Donnie Avery participated in practice on Tuesday afternoon, head coach Andy Reid indicated it was unlikely Avery would be ready to play on Thursday night against Oakland.

Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins and cornerback Chris Owens did not practice. Earlier in the day, Reid said Owens would practice, but the participation report indicated otherwise.

Out in Oakland, quarterback Derek Carr was a limited practice participant for the second consecutive practice because of a strained quadriceps.

Here are the details for each team:

Chiefs

DID NOT PARTICIPATE – Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (shoulder), cornerback Chris Owens (knee).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION – Wide receiver Donnie Avery (sports hernia), tight end Anthony Fasano (knee), outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee).

FULL PARTICIPATION – Cornerback Jamell Fleming (hamstring), right guard Zach Fulton (ankle), cornerback Phillip Gaines (ankle/quadriceps), tight end Travis Kelce (ribs/shoulder), left guard Mike McGlynn (knee), right cornerback Sean Smith (groin).

Raiders

DID NOT PARTICIPATE – Tight end David Ausberry (foot), cornerback T.J. Carrie (ankle), safety Jonathan Dowling (back), left cornerback Carlos Rogers (knee).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION – Linebacker Miles Burris (hip), quarterback Derek Carr (quadriceps), left guard Gabe Jackson (knee).

Expected starters in bold.

Sometimes Versatility Makes For A Tough Road In NFL

This is a story about Chiefs defensive end Allen Bailey.

But first, it’s a story former long-time Chiefs guard Dave Szott.

In the 1990 NFL Draft, the Chiefs selected Szott out of Penn State University in the seventh round, pick #180. He would spend the next 11 seasons with the Chiefs, appearing in 143 games, starting 135 games at left guard, next to fellow ’90 draft-class member Tim Grunhard.

Szott seriously outplayed his draft position; seventh round choices don’t spend 11 seasons in the league, with more than 100 starts. Did the Chiefs and the rest of the NFL poorly evaluate Szott coming out of Penn State? No, they really never got the chance to accurately assess him. Szott never had a home with the Nittany Lions – he played on the offensive line and defensive line for head coach Joe Paterno. He was such a good athlete – impressive upper-body strength and remarkably quick feet – that when the Penn State staff needed to plug a hole, they would usually shift Szott to the other side of the football.

It wasn’t until he landed with the Chiefs that he became strictly an offensive lineman, strictly a guard and a pretty darn good one.

Back to Allen Bailey, a third-round choice by the Chiefs in the 2011 NFL Draft. It has taken almost eight years for Bailey to find a home on the football field. In four seasons playing college ball for the University of Miami Hurricanes he was constantly moved on the roster, from defensive end, to defensive tackle, even some spring ball at tight end. Then, there were three more years of being a jack of all trades on the Chiefs defensive line, where he played defensive end on both the left and right side, and defensive tackle in sub-defenses at both the right and left side.

This was a player without a home, but with playing time. The old saying “Jack of all trades, master of none” might as well have been written about him. …Read More!

Alex’s Not Running; Snap Judgments From Seattle

One of the aspects of Alex Smith’s game last season that was so important to the Chiefs offense was his running ability.

It wasn’t just his talent to step away from pass-rush pressure and stay out of the grasp of defenders. It was how Smith could take off and gain important yardage for the Chiefs offense, turning potential disaster into big plays. He set a franchise record for rushing yardage by a quarterback and he finished sixth among starting NFL quarterbacks with 431 rushing yards.

Every season is different for every NFL team and while the Chiefs have returned to contender status after opening in a 0-2 hole, they have not done it the same manner that produced last year’s 11-5 season. That’s especially true of Smith. Despite sometimes shaky pass protection, Smith is not taking off on the run like he did last year. Whether he’s been asked to pull back, or it’s just how circumstances have fallen together over 10 games, he’s run 25 fewer times for 131 fewer yards through 10 games than he did last season.

Overall, he’s run 33 times for 186 yards. That still has him No. 6 among running quarterbacks in the NFL this year, behind Russell Wilson (571 yards), Colin Kaepernick (322), Cam Newton (293), Ryan Tannehill (261) and Blake Bortles (204).

In the Chiefs last three games, Smith has run just six times for 24 yards. Against Seattle, he had two runs for minus-1 yard. Three games ago against the New York Jets, he did not have a single run. …Read More!

Chiefs-Raiders Practice/Injury Report – November 17

The Thursday night game moves up all the rules and regulations on teams reporting on injuries, so that Monday essentially becomes a Wednesday for a regular Sunday game.

That’s why both the Chiefs and Raiders released practice/injury info on Monday afternoon. Here’s what they reported to the league office:

Chiefs

DID NOT PARTICIPATE – Wide receiver Donnie Avery (sports hernia), wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (shoulder), cornerback Chris Owens (knee).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION – Tight end Anthony Fasano (knee), outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee), left guard Mike McGlynn (knee).

FULL PARTICIPATION – Cornerback Jamell Fleming (hamstring), right guard Zach Fulton (ankle), cornerback Phillip Gaines (ankle/quadriceps), tight end Travis Kelce (ribs/shoulder), right cornerback Sean Smith (groin).

Raiders

DID NOT PARTICIPATE – Tight end David Ausberry (foot), cornerback T.J. Carrie (ankle), safety Jonathan Dowling (back), left cornerback Carlos Rogers (knee).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION – Quarterback Derek Carr (quadriceps), left guard Gabe Jackson (knee).

Expected starters in bold.

Chiefs Extend Win Streak With Victory Over Seattle


From Arrowhead Stadium

Keyed by a strong defensive effort in the second half, the Chiefs have now won five straight as they beat the visiting Seattle Seahawks on a cold Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.

Although they were pounded by the sturdy legs of running back Marshawn Lynch, the Chiefs defense bent but did not break, stopping the Seahawks on three different fourth down plays in the fourth quarter.

Their victory along with the 22-7 upset of Denver by St. Louis has the Chiefs 7-3 and tied with the Broncos for first place in the AFC West with six games to play.

Here’s our coverage from Sunday and remember it grows hourly into the wee hours of Monday morning. Enjoy:

Here’s our coverage of the Chiefs and Seahawks:

Chiefs Face Another Big Test With Visit From Seahawks

They once shared space in the AFC West, spending 25 seasons bumping up against each other twice a year.

NFL realignment broke up that relationship back in 2002 and over the last 13 NFL seasons, the Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks have seen each other infrequently, just three times and only once at Arrowhead Stadium. When they meet on Sunday they will get reacquainted in a big way. Kickoff is just after 12 noon with television coverage on the FOX network.

Both clubs are 6-3 and in the middle of the fight for one of the spots in the conference playoffs brackets. With tough schedules ahead for both teams in the next six weeks, they need the help of a victory against a team from the other conference, even if it doesn’t help so much in the tie-breakers

“One of the things you learn in this league is that all that tie-breaker stuff is absolutely useless on Sunday when you are working to win a game,” said defensive end Kevin Vickerson. “We can’t look beyond anything but kickoff. If you win, that stuff takes care of itself.”

The Chiefs have now won four consecutive games to inject themselves into the AFC’s post-season picture. The Seahawks are the defending Super Bowl champions but they’ve already lost as many games as they did in 19 games last year. They’ve now won three in a row and need to keep pace with division leading Arizona, just like the Chiefs must stay on the heels of AFC West leader Denver. …Read More!

4 KEYS TO VICTORY FOR CHIEFS VS. SEAHAWKS

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Four

Extra emphasis on ball security against Seahawks

Years ago, Marty Schottenheimer invoked special instructions during the preparation week for two meetings each year against the Seahawks. He called it the “Seattle Rule” created because of the Hawks ability to take the ball away. In practice, offensive players were required to hand the ball to officials working the workouts. That was then, but even now Seattle has a dynamic defense that likes to take the ball away from opponents. They have 12 takeaways and a dozen sacks this season and those are not league leading numbers of any kind. They are tied for 20th in turnovers caused and are No. 28 in sacks per pass plays faced. But with the likes of cornerback Richard Sherman and safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas they are capable of much more. The Chiefs are among the league leaders with just 8 giveaways; this is not a game where they should break that profile. …Read More!

So You Want To Build a Super Bowl Team?

Seahawks owner Paul Allen, head coach Pete Carroll and G.M. John Schneider with the Lombardi Trophy

History sits there waiting for us to use it as a resource; there are lessons to be learned from the success and failure of those who came before.

Consider the task of building a Super Bowl championship team. There have been 48 trophies awarded since the first game was played after the 1966 AFL and NFL seasons. Of the league’s 32 teams, 19 have won at least one Super title, with a dozen franchises picking up multiple Lombardi Trophies.

Change is constant in the NFL, so the lessons of building a championship team from the 1970s do not always translate to the football business of today. One thing that factors into every championship equation is having enough players that are schooled, motivated and physically gifted. The changes come in how those players are acquired from one era to another.

Led by general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll, the Seattle Seahawks finished the 2013 season with a 16-3 overall record and a convincing 43-8 victory over Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII. They bring the 2014 version of the Seahawks to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, just a year removed from their championship squad.

“This is year five right now,” Carroll said of his tenure in charge of the Seahawks. “I think how you develop a championship mentality that gives you an opportunity to play on late in the season and see how far you can take it every year . . . we’re focused on what’s up and what’s right here right now. That’s the way we’ve done it.”

…Read More!

Chiefs Roster Structure Compared To Seahawks

The Chiefs and Seahawks operate with a shared outlook at their big-picture plans for obtaining players. It’s a product of each team’s general manager getting his first real instructions on building a team under legendary NFL G.M. Ron Wolf. Over 40 years in pro football, Wolf worked in various personnel department roles for the Raiders, Eagles, Jets, Buccaneers and Packers. It was in Green Bay where he retired in 2001.

Essentially, Wolf’s approach that he passed down to Chiefs G.M. John Dorsey and Seahawks G.M. John Schneider was to leave no stone unturned. Draft choices were valuable, but only if they were used wisely. Free agency was not something to be afraid of, but was also not something to embrace. The personnel department needed to work closely with the coaching staff, but not cede authority on making decisions. Scouts find talent, coaches develop the talent found.

Here’s a tale of the tape of sorts on how the current rosters for both teams were built: …Read More!

Tale of The Tape – Chiefs vs. Seahawks

The Chiefs and Seahawks bring identical 6-3 record into Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday for the first game between these teams in four seasons. Both teams made the playoffs last year, with Seattle going home with the Lombardi Trophy while the Chiefs finished up in the first round of the tournament blowing a 28-point lead in 28 minutes.

It’s now a different time and place in the NFL and what happened last year does not necessarily translate into what happens in 2014. Here’s how we see these teams matching up, position-by-position going into Sunday’s game. It comes down to this – there’s little difference between these teams on paper. We’ll see how they play off the paper and on the field come Sunday.

Here’s a look at the tale of the tape: …Read More!

Bill Leavy’s On the Way; Nobody Is Happy About That

It will be Bill Leavy and his crew that will handle the officiating duties for Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and Seahawks at Arrowhead Stadium.

Safe to say that neither team has many good memories of Leavy and his group. Certainly the Seahawks do not. Although it’s now nearly a decade ago, it was Levy that was the lead official in Super Bowl XL between Seattle and Pittsburgh that saw a number of calls go against the Seahawks. Two of those mistakes were acknowledged by Leavy himself, one was publicly pointed out by the league office.

Now the Chiefs concerns with Levy and crew are not nearly as important, but they are very recent. They go back to the final game of the 2013 season with the Chiefs and Chargers playing in San Diego. Remember, this was the game where the Chargers needed a victory to make the playoffs. If they lost, Pittsburgh would have been the final team in the post-season AFC tournament.

It was Leavy and his crew that missed an illegal formation penalty on San Diego when the Chargers had seven men on one side of the snapper during Ryan Succop’s missed 41-yard field goal attempt with eight seconds to play. Under a rule enacted last season, the defense could have no more than six men on either side of the snapper. Succop should have had another chance at a FG, this time from 36 yards. …Read More!

Next Opponent – The Seattle Seahawks

Game – No. 10.

Opponent – The Seattle Seahawks.

2014 record – The Bills are 6-3 on the season and they’ve won three in a row, after losing back-to-back games in October. They started the season 1-1, and then were 3-3 before their current win streak. They’ve beaten Green Bay by 20 points (in the opener), Denver by 6, Washington by 10, Carolina by 4, Oakland by 6 and last week, the New York Giants by 21 points. The lost on the road in San Diego by 9 points, fell to Dallas by 7 points in Settle and dropped one in St. Louis by 2 points to the Rams. They are 2-2 on the road this year and they are 2-1 against the AFC West.

Seattle is plus-49 in point differential (240 scored, 191 given up), plus-3 in turnover ratio (9 giveaways, 12 takeaways) and minus-5 in sack ratio (18 allowed, 15 on defense.) Overall in offensive yards they rank #10 in the league, #1 in the running game and #31 in passing yardage. In yards allowed on defense they are #3 overall, #4 against the run and #18 versus the pass.

Buffalo is the league leader in rushing yards per game (170.9) and average yards per carry (5.5). They are #6 in converting on fourth down (3 of 5) and #7 in points per game (26.7.) They are among the NFL’s bottom ranked teams in punt coverage at #32 (14.7 yards per), #29 in punting (36.4-yard net average) and #28 in sacks per pass plays (13 in 328 pass plays.) …Read More!

Seahawks Can Run, And Run, And Run

Last Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks had the most productive NFL rushing performance in the last two years when they rang up 350 yards on the ground against the New York Giants.

That’s the running game that will visit Kansas City on Sunday when the Chiefs and Seahawks face off at Arrowhead Stadium.

After nine games, Seattle leads the NFL in rushing offense, averaging 170 yards per game. The Chiefs are the No. 20 run defender, allowing an average of 115.6 yards each week.

Seattle ripped through the Giants defense that is now ranked No. 32 in the league after the game.

“The Beast” Marshawn Lynch was the hammer that beat on New York, scoring four touchdowns and pushing the ball in the second half on 16, 17 and 22-yard runs.

In the last 30 NFL seasons, the Seahawks performance was the seventh best running day for a team. The Chiefs were involved in two of the other six big running days. In December 2012, the Chiefs ran for 352 yards against Indianapolis in a game they lost 20-13 in that disastrous 2-14 season. Jamaal Charles ran for 226 yards that day, while the forgettable Peyton Hillis ran for 101 yards.

Defensively, the Chiefs were dented in December 2009 by Cleveland for 351 yards in a 41-34 loss. Jerome Harrison set a Browns franchise record that day with 286 rushing yards. …Read More!

Chiefs Staying Away From Zebras/Yellow Hankies

They sport one of the best records in the AFC after nine games, but the Chiefs have not been a dynamic contender. They do not have an offensive play that gained more than 48 yards. They do not have a lot of big plays on defense either, with one touchdown but only eight takeaways or not even an average of one per game.

No, the Chiefs are not a highlight-making club. They have built their season on efficient if not spectacular play on both offense and defense. They have made minimal mistakes. Andy Reid’s Chiefs are not beating themselves.

There is no greater evidence of their efficiency than penalties. The Chiefs have the fewest penalties against them than any team in the league in the 2014 season. There have been 49 penalties called, and 42 infractions walked off. That’s an average of 4.6 flags and 37.4 yards per game.

This year’s average for NFL teams is 62.4 penalties for 525.6 yards. To provide a bigger picture, the most penalized team in the league is Pittsburgh with 83 penalties walked off and New England has given up 699 yards in penalties.

A team’s penalty level does not translate to a successful season. Last year, the Seattle Seahawks led the NFL in penalties with 128 and won the Super Bowl. However, for a team like the Chiefs that has a slim margin of error, it’s vital that they do not give their opponent yardage or take away some of their own gains with penalties.

The team’s tendency away from forcing the yellow hanky to the ground is testimony to the Chiefs coaching staff’s stubbornness of working the fundamentals in practice. Whether offense, defense or special teams, there are portions of practice each day where the Chiefs go over the basics they handled on the first day of training camp. …Read More!

Sherman Gets Special Teams Player of Week Honor

From the Truman Sports Complex

Fullback Anthony Sherman was named the AFC special teams player of the week on Wednesday for his performance in the kicking game in last Sunday’s victory over Buffalo.

Sherman was part of the special teams play of the game against the Bills when he and wide receiver Albert Wilson forced a fumble by punt returner Leodis McKelvin. It was Sherman that recovered the ball and two plays later, the Chiefs scored what proved to be the winning points on a touchdown run by quarterback Alex Smith.

On the season, Sherman has eight tackles in the kicking game, leading the Chiefs.

Who Gets To Play? / Snap Judgments – Buffalo

How can a player perform if he can’t get on the field?

Plays or “snaps” in live action can be one of the most revealing statistics available in football for establishing just where a player stands on his team’s personnel evaluation list.

When asked publicly, coaches will frequently say that a specific player remains in good standing or is healthy enough to play, then a look at the post-game snap counts indicates something else. Yes, there are a finite number of plays in each game with 45-plus players all trying to capture a moment in competition.

From game-to-game, differences in snaps can be misleading, due to injuries or strategic reasons involving that week’s opponent. But as the weeks and games string together, the trends begin to reveal that something is up.

It always revealing when the discussion is about rookies and other inexperienced players. Take outside linebacker Dee Ford. Maybe it’s just coincidence, maybe it’s something more, but from the San Francisco game, where he had that embarrassing moment when he ran away from a tackle of 49ers running back Frank Gore, Ford has just 18 snaps on defense. That’s 18 defensive plays in four games, with 16 coming in the fourth quarter of the blowout victory over St. Louis. …Read More!

Chiefs Have Busy Day With Roster Shuffle

Cyrus Gray and Demetrius Harris are down and out. Phillip Supernaw is in, Charcandrick West is up and Adam Schiltz has returned.

Those were the actors that were part of a busy personnel Tuesday for the Chiefs. Here are the details:

  • Gray – The running back/special teams stalwart goes to the injured-reserve list due to a knee injury (torn ACL) that he suffered last Sunday in Buffalo.
  • Harris – The first-year tight end broke his right foot during pre-game warmups in Buffalo and did not play in the game. He’s also headed to the injured-reserve list.
  • Supernaw – He was signed off the Baltimore practice squad, where he spent most of the season with the exception of four games on the active roster (see more below).
  • West – A 5-10, 205-pound undrafted rookie out of Abilene Christian University, West has spent the first 10 weeks of the season on the Chiefs practice squad. In the 2014 pre-season, he carried the ball six times for 31 yards.
  • Schiltz – He was claimed at the start of training camp off the waiver wire after his release by Tennessee. Schiltz was released on August 24th, signed to the Chiefs practice squad on September 9th, released on September 16 and now signed again.

In Honor Of Those That Serve & Protect

There are a lot of made up holidays on the calendar each year. The most important comes on November 11 – Veterans Day.

Honoring those that have allowed us to enjoy the greatest country on earth demands more than a single 24 hours – there should be daily acknowledgement of those that protect the opportunities and freedoms we enjoy in the land of the free and the home of the Chiefs brave.

On a sunny and cold November 11, this moment popped up in my e-mail, sent by a friend who challenged and wagered with me to not shed a tear. I lost.

Happy Veteran’s Day.

http://www.packers.com/media-center/videos/Marine_surprises_wife_with_return_at_Lambeau_Field/98111f49-472f-4904-a1dd-0b19e29e9ea0

Chiefs Sign Ravens Practice Squad Tight End

With tight end Demetrius Harris down with a broken foot and a roster spot coming open with the knee injury suffered by running back Cyrus Gray, the Chiefs signed tight end Phillip Supernaw off the Baltimore Ravens practice squad.

The 6-5, 252-pound Supernaw has spent time over the last three NFL seasons with Houston and Baltimore. This season with the Ravens, he’s been a game-day active player three times, appearing in 2 offensive plays and 34 special teams snaps. Against Pittsburgh on November 2, he caught one pass for minus-2 yards.

Supernaw came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent signed by the Texans in the spring of 2012. The Nashville, native spent all of the 2012-13 seasons on the Houston practice squad, although he was activated for the Texans ’13 season finale, where he saw action on three offensive plays and 11 special teams snaps. He was released in May and signed with Baltimore, where he’s bounced back and forth between the practice squad and active roster.

At Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas, Supernaw was a four-year starter, appearing in 40 games and catching 64 catches, 710 yards and 10 touchdown catches.

Gray is expected to be moved to the injured-reserve list on Tuesday after suffering a torn ACL in his knee during Sunday’s victory over Buffalo.

Gray Headed For Injured-Reserve

From the Truman Sports Complex

There were no moves on the active roster Monday with the Chiefs, but at least one will come down sometime in the next 24 hours.

Running back and special teams contributor Cyrus Gray tore the ACL in his left knee in the third quarter of Sunday’s game in Buffalo. Gray is more than likely headed for surgery and that will end his chances of returning to play this season.

The injury report Monday was not any different than it was after Sunday’s 17-13 victory in Buffalo. Gray and tight end Demetrius Harris were the most seriously injured players; Gray with the knee and Harris suffered a broken right foot.

Head coach Andy Reid also mentioned running back Jamaal Charles (shoulder) and tight end Anthony Fasano (knee).

Reid also said that an ankle injury suffered last week limited cornerback Philip Gaines to just a handful of special teams snaps against the Bills.

The Chiefs did make a move on the practice squad, re-signing guard Jarrod Pughsley. To make room for him they released offensive tackle Curtis Feigt.

Chiefs Fourth Quarter Touchdowns Beat Buffalo, 17-13

In a combination of tough defensive play, strong special teams and an opportunistic offense to push their winning streak to four games with a 17-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

A pair of fourth quarter touchdowns gave the Chiefs a come-from behind victory and leave them at 6-3 on the season and rising in the AFC picture for the playoffs. One was set up by a special teams play, where they forced a fumble, recovered and knocked in what proved to be the winning points with an eight-yard read-option touchdown run by quarterback Alex Smith.

There’s so much to talk about in the aftermath of this victory as the Chiefs have now won six of their last seven games. They are headed back to Arrowhead Stadium next Sunday to host the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Here’s our coverage of the Chiefs and Bills encounter in Buffalo:

AFC Post-Season Picture – November 9

Right now the Chiefs are tied for the third best record in the AFC at this point in the season.

Only New England (one a bye this week) and Denver, winners over Oakland, sport better marks than the Chiefs 6-3 season.

They are joined at that mark by Indianapolis and Cleveland, with Baltimore and Pittsburgh also sporting six victories.

Andy Reid’s team has important AFC victories already in the vault against New England, Buffalo, Miami and San Diego.

Here is the AFC breakdown:

Record

Team AFC Div

Next

Then

Then

Then

7-2

New England 5-2 2-1

@IND

DET

@GB

@SD

7-2

Denver 5-1 3-0

@STL

MIA

@KC

BUF

6-3

Chiefs 5-2 1-1

SEA

@OAK

DEN

@AZ

6-3

Indianapolis 5-2 3-0

NE

JAX

WAS

@CLV

6-3

Cleveland 4-3 2-2

HOU

@ATL

@BUF

IND

6-4

Baltimore 3-4 2-3

BYE

@ NO

SD

@MIA

6-4

Pittsburgh 5-3 2-2

@TEN

BYE

NO

@CIN

5-3-1

Cincinnati 4-3 2-1

@NO

@HOU

@TB

PIT

5-4

Buffalo 2-4 2-1

@MIA

NYJ

CLV

@DEN

5-4

Miami 4-2 1-1

BUF

@DEN

@NYJ

BAL

5-4

San Diego 4-3 1-2

OAK

STL

@BAL

NE

Chiefs Fourth Quarter Touchdowns Beat Buffalo, 17-13

In a combination of tough defensive play, strong special teams and an opportunistic offense to push their winning streak to four games with a 17-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

A pair of fourth quarter touchdowns gave the Chiefs a come-from behind victory and leave them at 6-3 on the season and rising in the AFC picture for the playoffs. One was set up by a special teams play, where they forced a fumble, recovered and knocked in what proved to be the winning points with an eight-yard read-option touchdown run by quarterback Alex Smith.

There’s so much to talk about in the aftermath of this victory as the Chiefs have now won six of their last seven games. They are headed back to Arrowhead Stadium next Sunday to host the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Here’s our coverage of the Chiefs and Bills encounter in Buffalo:

A Pair of 5-3 Teams Fight For Momentum In Buffalo

The Chiefs and Bills have played many important games over the last 50 seasons, but it’s safe to say it’s been many years since one of their meetings has carried significance for both teams.

That won’t be the case Sunday afternoon when they play at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. Both teams are 5-3, both teams are playing good football and both teams need to establish credentials for the race to the AFC playoffs.

Kick off comes just after 12 noon, with television coverage by CBS.

It’s far too early for extensive discussion the 2014 post-season. However, in this game it’s a factor that cannot be ignored. Both of these teams are not only in the chase for the playoffs at mid-season, and both are not division leaders. Ahead of the Chiefs in the AFC West is Denver, with New England pacing the Bills in the AFC East. These teams will fight for wildcard spots in the tournament, and there are quite a few other clubs in the mix for those two spots.

This is the 46 game between these original brothers of the American Football League. The Chiefs and Bills played at the end of the 1966 season for the chance to appear in the first Super Bowl. K.C. won that game in Buffalo’s War Memorial Stadium. There were plenty of other impactful encounters between the teams. It was especially true in the 1990s when they played two games in the playoffs and several regular-season contests that drew attention across the league. …Read More!

Against Buffalo, Offensive Line Faces Biggest Test Yet

They are not of the stature where they’ve earned their own nickname; no Fearsome Foursome nor Steel Curtain here. A team needs victories galore to get that type of notoriety, and it certainly more success is needed than the Buffalo Bills have enjoyed in the last five years.

But the defensive line on the field against the Chiefs on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium is one of the most talented in the league. Some teams have two stout defensive linemen. Few have three, like Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus. Even Buffalo’s fourth, defensive end Jerry Hughes can play at a high level.

There is no question that the front four has been the engine that’s allowed to Bills to rank among the league’s best defenses so far this season. Buffalo is ranked No. 8 in the league in fewest yards allowed and fewest rushing yards given up. They are No. 13 in passing yards allowed. In the most important statistic, they are No. 6 in fewest points allowed.

It’s the strongest part of the Bills roster, and it will go against one of the weakest parts of the Chiefs roster. The man that stands behind those blockers thinks is teammates are up to the task.

“The thing that really jumps out is the pride they have as a group, the pride they have going out there and playing and setting the tone for us,” said Alex Smith. “They really take that on; they take it on every single week. They’re detailed, they’re tough and it’s a good, good group. And like I said, I think they do set the tone for us.”

That tone will have to be rough and tough against the Bills front four: …Read More!

Officials Preview: Rookie Referee Brad Allen

The Chiefs will have another rookie referee handling their game Sunday in Buffalo.

First-year official Brad Allen’s crew will handle things on the floor of Ralph Wilson Stadium. It’s the group’s ninth assignment of the year to date.

A native of Lumberton, North Carolina, Allen was a late addition to the list of NFL officials for the 2014 season and came into the fold in the spring as an umpire. But when Mike Carey made a late retirement to work for CBS-TV, Allen was promoted to a referee’s position.

Allen is the first rookie NFL official that debuted as referee in 62 years. The 44-year old grew up in southeastern North Carolina and attended Pembroke State University. Allen worked his way up through the college ranks, eventually landing in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

…Read More!

Chiefs Activate Linebacker Joe Mays

Just before they headed off for Buffalo and Sunday’s game against the Bills, the Chiefs made a roster move. They activated linebacker Joe Mays from the injured-reserve list and he’ll be available to play his first regular-season game in a Chiefs uniform.

Mays was placed on injured reserve/designated for return in the first week of the regular season. That was due to a wrist injury he suffered in an August 17th pre-season game against Carolina. Mays tore a ligament in his right wrist that required surgery to repair. He returned to the practice field last week working with the scout team.

Just how he fits into the defensive scheme at this point of the season remains to be seen, but he should be able to contribute immediately on special teams.

To create a spot for Mays on the 53-man active roster, the Chiefs released linebacker Jerry Franklin, who had already been declared out of Sunday’s game because of a hamstring injury.

4 Keys To Victory For Chiefs Against Bills

Β Β Β Β Β Β 

Four

Make sure the defense continues to limit big plays

Offensively, the Bills have been inconsistent as personnel issues and injuries have led to changes at quarterback, running back and shuffling of receivers. Thus, they rank in the bottom half of the league in offensive yards, both rushing and passing, and points. But Buffalo is one of the league’s top offenses when it comes to big pass plays, with 30 completions for 20 yards or more. That total includes completions of 61, 80 and 84 yards. That comes from weapons like Sammy Watkins and C.J. Spiller (currently on the injured-reserve list.) The Chiefs defense has allowed only 20 passing plays of 20 yards or more and none of those went for more than 48 yards. It’s the biggest reason the Chiefs pass defense is ranked No. 1 in the league, allowing less than 200 yards per game. With a strong pass rush, better production from the safety position and more zone coverage schemes, the Chiefs have kept opposing receivers in front of them in the secondary. It’s the biggest area of improvement for the 2014 defense.

…Read More!

Time Off For Poe Should Pay Off For Chiefs Defense

From the Truman Sports Complex

Most 24-year old players in the National Football League are trying to get on the field of competition as often as possible

Dontari Poe is pretty typical of that group. The 24-year old Chiefs nose tackle does not believe he should ever watch a single defensive snap from the sidelines. Last season there were a handful of situations where he refused to be a spectator, begged off the rest offered by the coaches and got back into the game.

That’s why Poe was the only interior lineman in the NFL that played over 1,000 defensive snaps during the 2013 season.

By the end of last season it was apparent Poe was not performing at the same pace he was in the first eight games. After the 2013 bye week, he was credited with 13 hits/hurries of the quarterback with no sacks. In the first nine games, leading into the Chiefs week off, he had 25 sacks/hits/hurries on the passer.

Poe insisted he was not worn out, but Andy Reid and Bob Sutton decided they were not going to put their big man into the same situation in 2014. The plan was to get Poe off the field more often, to give him a chance to be fresher in the fourth quarter of games and the season. …Read More!

Tale Of The Tape – Chiefs vs. Bills

The Chiefs and Bills bring matching 5-3 records into their game on Sunday in Buffalo. When the teams are broken down position-by-position, there’s not a lot of margin between the teams. Buffalo has better wide receivers and a stout defensive line. The Chiefs have better running backs, tight ends and linebackers. Breaking down the other categories for comparison and these clubs are close.

Here’s how we see the tale of the tape: …Read More!

Why London Game Is A Waste For The Chiefs

The Chiefs already know that on November 1, 2015 they will be “hosting” the Detroit Lions at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

This must be big news in the NFL because it was announced almost a year ahead of time, something the league seldom does. So obviously this game is important, right?

It is important, but not for the b.s. reasons that will be regurgitated by the Chiefs and the league for the next year, that started with the announcement of the London game on Thursday. There will be plenty of talk about advancing the game overseas and helping burnish the brand of the Chiefs in the United Kingdom, Europe and beyond.

There’s only one reason this game is important and it has nothing to do with global benefits. It’s important because it counts in the standings. This is not a pre-season game, an extra exhibition game. There are only 16 chances in a regular season schedule for NFL teams to establish their credentials and position for a championship. That makes each game an important part of the process, and none more so than the eight times they get to play at home, in front of their fans. …Read More!

Chiefs Headed For London in 2015

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs are giving up a home game next season so they can play in London’s Wembley Stadium and face the Detroit Lions on November 1, 2015.

“It is an honor for Kansas City to represent the NFL on an international stage,” Chiefs President Mark Donovan said. “We are excited for the opportunity this creates for our fans, our city and the global growth of the Chiefs brand.”

It’s one of three games the league announced on Thursday for play in England next season.

Along with the Chiefs hosting the Lions, the Miami Dolphins will host the New York Jets and Jacksonville will play Buffalo. …Read More!

Next Opponent – The Buffalo Bills

Late owner & founder Ralph Wilson (L) and new owner Terry Pegula (R)

Game – No. 9.

Opponent – The Buffalo Bills.

2014 record – The Bills are 5-3 on the season and they are coming off their bye week. They’ve won three of their last four games, after starting the season with 2-0 record with victories over Chicago in overtime by three points and 19 points over Miami. They also had victories by 3 points over Detroit, 1-point over Minnesota and 20 points in their last game over the New York Jets. They lost by 12 points to San Diego, 6 points to Houston and 15 points to New England.

They are plus-13 in point differential (178 scored, 165 given up), plus-7 in turnover ratio (11 giveaways, 18 takeaways) and plus-5 in sack ratio (23 allowed, 28 on defense.) Overall in offensive yards they rank #24 in the league, #23 in the running game and #20 in passing yardage. In yards allowed on defense they are #8 overall, #8 against the run and #13 versus the pass.

Buffalo is among the league leaders in sacks with 28 (#2), interceptions with 18 (#3t), fewest points allowed with 165 (#5) and third-down defense, holding opponents to a 36.2 conversion percentage (#5). They are among the NFL’s bottom ranked teams in pass protection at #28 (23 sacks in 301 passing plays) and No. 31 in first downs (135). …Read More!

Chiefs Practice/Injury Report – November 5

From the Truman Sports Complex

There were no surprises for the Chiefs as they got back to work on Wednesday and began preparations for a Sunday game in Buffalo against the Bills.

Three players did not take part in the Chiefs afternoon practice due to injury: cornerback Jamell Fleming, linebacker Jerry Franklin and outside linebacker Josh Martin. All three players are suffering from injured hamstrings.

Coming off its bye week, Buffalo had all of its players practicing on Wednesday.

Here are the practice reports for both teams from Wednesday:

Chiefs

DID NOT PRACTICE – Cornerback Jamell Fleming (hamstring), linebacker Jerry Franklin (hamstring), outside linebacker Josh Martin (hamstring/knee).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION – Wide receiver Donnie Avery (sports hernia), outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee), cornerback Chris Owens (knee).

FULL PARTICIPATION – Safety Eric Berry (ankle), cornerback Phillip Gaines (ankle/quadriceps), running back Cyrus Gray (hand), wide receiver Junior Hemingway (hamstring), tight end Travis Kelce (ribs).

Bills

LIMITED PARTICIPATION – Cornerback Ron Brooks (groin), wide receiver Marcus Easley (knee), wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (hamstring), running back Fred Jackson (groin), wide receiver Sammy Watkins (groin).

FULL PARTICIPATION – Wide receiver Robert Woods (back).

Expected starters in bold type.

Chiefs Sign Fullback To Contract Extension

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs announced Wednesday that they’ve have agreed to terms on a contract extension with fullback Anthony Sherman.

Details were not announced by the club, but the contract adds three years to Sherman’s deal with a potential payout of $7 million if he reaches personal and team incentives. He was in the final season of a four-year deal he signed with Arizona in July 2011. The Chiefs acquired Sherman in an off-season trade before the 2013 season. The Cardinals received former Chiefs cornerback and returner Javier Arenas.

“It’s good to know that somebody wants you to be part of the team,” Sherman said before Wednesday’s practice. “I just try to contribute where I can.”

Sherman is an old-school version of the fullback position, where he’s asked to do handle the run game, passing game and blocking assignments. In the west coast offensive scheme that head coach Andy Reid runs, the fullback always plays a role in the passing game as a receiver. …Read More!

Free Agency’s Tale of the Tape At Mid-Season

Now that the Chiefs are halfway through their schedule, it’s a good time to take a look at some of the decisions made over the last nine months in free agency.

Just how have the players that were signed as free agents fit in with the Chiefs? How have those free agent players that the Chiefs did not sign performed with their new teams. Each player leaving does not always lead to a player arriving at the same position. But it’s a good starting point to the comings and goings of the roster.

Here are key players from 2013 that departed and what they’ve been able to accomplish in their new homes at the mid-season point. That’s followed by the free agents the Chiefs signed for the 2014 season and how they have stepped into the K.C. offense, defense and special teams.

The third grouping is our evaluation of the free agents comings and goings and how they’ve helped/hurt the team so far in 2013, with grades of plus, minus or even.

…Read More!

Chiefs at 5-3 & Snap Judgments From Jets Victory

So the Chiefs started 0-2 and have won five of six games since, to post a 5-3 record at their mid-season mark.

What comes next will be interesting? The Chiefs will likely need another 5-3 in the last eight regular season games to earn a spot in the AFC playoffs come January.

Right now, there are five teams sporting better records this week than the Chiefs: New England is 7-2, Denver is 6-2, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis are 6-3 and Cincinnati is 5-2-1.

There are six slots in the AFC bracket. Battling for the No. 6 position are the Chiefs, Buffalo and Miami, all at 5-3. They already have a tie-breaker edge over the Dolphins thanks to a victory in head-to-head competition back in September.

It’s early, but it makes Sunday’s trip to Buffalo very important to the Chiefs. Certainly, it’s too early to be pondering ramifications for the playoffs at this point. It’s just important for Andy Reid’s team to keep winning.

Over 55 years of play, the Chiefs have been 5-3 in 15 seasons. Only six of those seasons found them in the post-season tournament. In those six seasons, they played seven games in the playoffs and posted a 1-6 record: …Read More!

Chiefs Win Third Straight With Victory Over New York

From Arrowhead Stadium

The momentum the Chiefs built against San Diego and St. Louis kept rolling on Sunday with the Chiefs 24-10 victory over the New York Jets.

Offense, defense and special teams all had their hand in moving the Chiefs record to 5-3 on the season, a remarkable turnaround from their 0-2 opening to the season. That’s three straight winning performances and victories in five of the team’s last six games.

With Denver getting smacked on Sunday by New England, the Chiefs sit just one game behind the Broncos in the AFC West, and half the season remains to be played.

Here’s our coverage of the Chiefs and Jets:

There Will Be A Familiar Look for Chiefs Against Jets

It’s hard to imagine teams sporting 4-3 and 1-7 records having many similarities even in an NFL that’s dedicated to parity among its 32 clubs.

When the Chiefs and New York Jets hit the field Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium they will seem like twin brothers, in a football sense. Although four games separate the teams in the loss column, they are nearly identical in how they approach the game through their coaching staffs. Evidence will be available starting at 12 noon with television coverage by CBS.

The Chiefs and Jets run the same offensive scheme; they are branches from the west-coast offensive tree of the late Bill Walsh. They also operate out of the same defensive scheme; the aggressive package that came out of the Baltimore Ravens in the early 2000s.

“It is a unique situation where two teams play both the same offense and the same defense and it should be a heck of a football game,” Andy Reid said on Friday.

Offensively, Reid remains the Chiefs play-caller on game day. The Jets play caller is Marty Mornhinweg, who spent 10 seasons working on Reid’s coaching staff with the Philadelphia Eagles (2003-12). Before that, they spent time working together in Green Bay with the Packers and on the college level at the University of Missouri and at the University of Texas-El Paso. Reid and Mornhinweg are both from the Mike Holmgren arm of the west-coast offense. …Read More!

4 Keys To Victory For Chiefs vs. Jets

Β Β Β Β 

Four

Inject wide receivers back into a functioning role with the Chiefs offense

At this point the dearth of production from wide receivers has not disabled the Chiefs offense and does not preclude beating an opponent like the New York Jets. It’s unlikely New York head coach Rex Ryan and his defensive staff burned the midnight oil in the last week worrying about handling Dwayne Bowe and the rest of the K.C. wide receivers. They are coming into the game worried about the Chiefs running attack and the short passing game out of the west coast offensive playbook. It presents an opportunity to get the wide receivers back into the flow of the offense, whether short or long. The Jets pass rush is unlikely to allow Alex Smith to spend much time in the pocket looking down field, but that doesn’t mean the intermediate areas can’t be exploited and provide as the Chiefs hope, yards after the catch.

…Read More!

Officiating Preview: Referee Tony Corrente & Crew

It’s a chance for a home game on Sunday for head linesman George Hayward as part of the crew working with referee Tony Corrente.

A native of St. Joseph and a graduate of Missouri Western State University, Hayward joined the NFL in 1991 and is working his 24th season wearing the striped shirt in the NFL.

At mid-season, Hayward and the rest of Corrente’s crew are the fifth most-active group in the league when it comes to throwing the flag – averaging 18.3 penalties called per game. The visiting team has won four of the seven games this group has handled, including Washington’s victory last weekend over the Cowboys in Dallas.

In the last five games that Corrente has worked involving the Chiefs, they have a 3-2 record, losing the most recent game at Arrowhead Stadium last December when Indianapolis came to town. …Read More!

Chiefs Wide Receivers Are Missing In Action

The Chiefs are 4-3 and one of the hottest teams in the NFL over the last month.

They’ve come back from a 0-2 start by going 4-1 in the last few weeks, and it has taken improved performances from offense, defense and special teams to make that happen. Every position group has made significant contributions.

Well . . . every position save one: wide receiver.

Seven games into the season and not a single Chiefs wide receiver has broken the plain of the end zone. That’s 57 catches among six wide receivers with no touchdown receptions. There are 103 wide receivers that have caught a touchdown pass this season in the NFL. That leaves all the Chiefs wideouts tied at No. 104 in the scoring column, without a six-pointer.

The Chiefs have gotten on the winning road in recent weeks, but there’s no escaping the fact they are doing it with little coming from an important offensive position. When one specific area of a team is not producing on the field, it forces increased contributions from other parts of the offense/defense to maintain a team’s momentum. That’s been done by many teams over the years, including the Chiefs in 2014. However, it squeezes the margin of error for any club, making consistent performances harder to expect and predict.

“It’s strange that things have happened that way for us,” said offensive coordinator Doug Pederson. “I think a part of it is our ability to run the football, particularly in the second half (of games) which we did this past weekend. We had success there. The other thing is, if you do throw it short you expect your guys to break tackles and make longer runs. We just have to continue to use the formula that’s been working for us and continue to grow off of that.” …Read More!

Chiefs Promote Sorensen To Active Roster

The Chiefs made what for them is an unusual Saturday roster move, as they promoted rookie safety Daniel Sorensen from the team’s practice squad.

The move indicates Sorensen will be active for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets. Unless some sort of injury has popped up in the last 24 hours, or safety Eric Berry has suffered another setback trying to return from his high ankle sprain, Sorensen’s promotion is likely tied to the absence of cornerbacks Jamell Fleming and Chris Owens from special teams. Both players have been ruled out of Sunday’s game, as has outside linebacker Josh Martin, the club’s best special teams performer.

Sorensen played in the opener against Tennessee, but was then released and added to the practice squad. The 6-2, 208-pound Sorensen went undrafted this past spring coming out of Brigham Young University.

To make room for Sorensen, the Chiefs released defensive end Damion Square. After being claimed on waivers from Philadelphia in the week before the opener, Square has been on the 53-man active roster for seven games, but was declared a game-day inactive player each week.

Tale of the Tape – Chiefs vs. Jets

One team has lost three games, the other seven. Those numbers alone show us who has the edge in the tale of the tape between the Chiefs and New York Jets on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

A position by position look at the two teams lays out the big edge the Chiefs carry into the game. There are only two or three areas of the teams where New York carries an edge when compared to the Chiefs. The rest of the comparisons show a big edge for the Chiefs and indicates on paper what should be a fairly easy victory for Andy Reid’s team: …Read More!

Next Opponent – The New York Jets

Game – No. 8.

Opponent – The New York Jets.

2014 record – The Jets are 1-7, and losers of seven straight. They won the season opener by 5 points over Oakland. Since then, they have lost by 7 points to Green Bay, 8 points to Chicago, 7 points to Detroit, 31 points at San Diego, 14 points to Denver, 2 points to New England and 20 points last Sunday to Buffalo. They are 1-4 playing at home and 0-3 on the road.

They are minus-84 in point differential (144 scored, 228 given up), minus-15 in turnover ratio (18 giveaways, 3 takeaways) and plus-2 in sack ratio (22 allowed, 26 on defense.) Overall in offensive yards they rank #28 in the league, #4 in the running game and #32 in passing yardage. In yards allowed on defense they are #6 overall, #5 against the run and #14 versus the pass.

Franchise began – The younger of the two NFL franchises in New York, the Jets began life in 1960 as the New York Titans, one of the eight original teams in Lamar Hunt’s American Football League. The franchise struggled its first three seasons under the ownership of under-funded broadcaster Harry Wismer. Eventually, the team convinced Wismer to sell and the franchise was purchased by New York entertainment impresario Sonny Werblin. The injection of Werblin’s cash and business savvy stabilized the franchise and they went on as the New York Jets, eventually moving into the newly built Shea Stadium and signing University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath to at that point unheard of $430,000. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice/Injury Report – October 30

Here are the injury/practice reports that the Chiefs and Jets filed on Thursday afternoon:

Chiefs

DID NOT PRACTICE – Wide receiver Donnie Avery (sports hernia), cornerback Jamell Fleming (hamstring), linebacker Josh Martin (hamstring.)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION – Safety Eric Berry (ankle), cornerback Chris Owens (knee.)

FULL PARTICIPATION – Running back Jamaal Charles (back), tight end Anthony Fasano (shoulder), cornerback Phillip Gaines (quadriceps), running back Cyrus Gray (hand), wide receiver Junior Hemingway (hamstring), tight end Travis Kelce (ribs), left guard Mike McGlynn (foot), quarterback Alex Smith (shoulder), cornerback Sean Smith (groin.)

Jets

DID NOT PRACTICE –Cornerback Darrin Walls (calf.)

FULL PARTICIPATION – Left guard Oday Aboushi (shoulder), cornerback Phillip Adams (groin), outside linebacker Antwan Barnes (knee), tight end Jeff Chamberlain (shoulder), right guard Willie Colon (knee), outside linebacker Demario Davis (finger), wide receiver Eric Decker (hamstring), middle linebacker David Harris (shoulder), running back Chris Johnson (ankle), wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (illness), center Nick Mangold (shoulder), linebacker Trevor Reilly (knee), wide receiver Greg Salas (wrist/ankle), quarterback Geno Smith (shoulder.)

Knile Davis Picks Up AFC Special Teams Player Honors


From the Truman Sports Complex

Knile Davis was honored Wednesday with the AFC special teams player of the week award after his 99-yard touchdown return in last Sunday’s victory over St. Louis.

It was the second touchdown return of his short NFL career, joining the 108-yard scoring run he posted against Denver last year.

Not bad for a player the Chiefs did not consider a kick returner when he joined the team from the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft out of the University of Arkansas. Head coach Andy Reid admitted that in pre-draft evaluations in the spring of 2013, Davis was not considered a returner, and it was something he did not do for the Razorbacks or in high school. Consideration for the duties did not come until special teams coordinator Dave Toub got a look at the running back during OTAs in that first spring with the team.

“I think with kick returns it’s important that you see it and you hit it,” said Reid. “You’re not dancing in the hole; you see daylight and hit that daylight and hit hard and aggressive and he does that. He’s blessed with great speed along with size; he’s a powerful young man.” …Read More!

One Team’s Trash, Becomes Treasure For The Chiefs

Injuries force (left to right) Josh Mauga, Mike McGlynn, Ryan Harris and Jamell Floyd into scrapbook starters

There are several qualities that make for a good NFL team. Talented players are a must. Top shelf coaching is equally important. Often overlooked is a factor vital to the process of building a winning team. It’s the ability of a franchise to acquire raw and/or specifically talented players while creating a coaching atmosphere that stresses development of those young players.

This factor can be summarized as turning one team’s trash into another team’s treasure. In this case it’s the treasure of the 2014 Kansas City Chiefs.

Consider this: in Sunday’s victory over the St. Louis Rams, the Chiefs had four starters that were not with the franchise during the off-season program, OTAs or mini-camp. One of those four players saw but a sliver of pre-season playing time wearing a red Chiefs jersey. Another wasn’t part of the roster until after the regular-season opener.

In a season that began with so much turmoil caused by major injuries, the Chiefs are now 4-3, and sitting on the edge of contention for another berth in the AFC playoffs. A big reason they overcame a poor start (0-2) and injuries were the contributions from the trash they’ve cleaned up and polished so they now sparkle.

Right tackle Ryan Harris, inside linebacker Josh Mauga, left guard Mike McGlynn and cornerback Jamell Fleming all arrived as late additions to the roster, signed because of injuries at their positions. …Read More!

Secondary & Snap Judgments/Post-St. Louis

The Chiefs are seven games into the 2014 season. They are 4-3 and alive in the fight for a spot in the AFC tournament field for January.

But so far they are more than alive when it comes to pass defense. The Chiefs go into their mid-season mark game against the New York Jets as the No. 1 ranked defense in the league against the pass.

They are allowing an average of 195.7 passing yards per game. That’s 15 fewer passing yards per game than the No. 2 ranked pass defense: the New England Patriots at 210.9 yards.

With the injuries that dominated the defense at the start of the 2014 season, the problem area seemed to fall directly on the secondary. There was a new starter at left cornerback in Marcus Cooper and a new starter at free safety with Husain Abdullah. When strong safety Eric Berry went down with an ankle injury in the second game, Ron Parker stepped into the scene and has remained there; he may have been the best defensive back on the field in Sunday’s victory over St. Louis.

Chris Owens came in and earned the nickel/slot coverage role. When Cooper struggled, the Chiefs moved Jamell Fleming into the starting lineup, joined by rookie Phillip Gaines who stepped in for an injured Owens.

There have been a lot of moving parts just at the back of the defense, but they’ve pulled together fairly quickly, faster that even the perpetually positive Andy Reid could have imagined. …Read More!

The Worlds of Reid & Vick Intersect Once Again


From the Truman Sports Complex

“I love Andy Reid for the man that he is. As far as the football game, football is football. I just want to go out there and do what’s best for the team and hopefully try to get a win.” New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick.

On Monday, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan decided Michael Vick would be his starting quarterback this Sunday when the Chiefs host the boys from the Meadowlands at Arrowhead Stadium.

Vick will replace Geno Smith; the second-year quarterback has struggled in the spot this season for the 1-7 Jets. The 34-year old Vick was signed in March as an unrestricted free agent after spending five seasons with the Eagles (2009-13.)

The man who put him back into the NFL with then Eagles-now Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. Philadelphia signed Vick once he finished serving a federal prison term after pleading guilty to running an unlawful interstate dogfighting business. The Atlanta Falcons released him, and once his NFL suspension ended, Vick joined Red and the Eagles in 2009. He eventually started 42 games for Philadelphia. …Read More!

Alex Smith Has A Sprained Right Shoulder

From the Truman Sports Complex

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told the media early Monday afternoon that quarterback Alex Smith suffered a sprained right shoulder in Sunday’s victory over St. Louis.

“It happened in the game and he was able to go through the game and everything worked out OK,” Reid said. “It’s a bit sore today, but it should be fine.

“It’s tender today, but he’s upbeat about it. But we are doing all the precautionary things in looking at it.”

Reid indicated the sprain came late in the first half, on one of the back-to-back sacks where Smith was taken down by St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn. On both of those sacks, his right shoulder was the first thing that hit the turf, but the second one appeared most violent when his body hit the ground under Quinn.

“It’s more of a bruise than anything,” said Reid. “He’ll need some time to get the soreness out of there.”

The rest of Reid’s injury report on Monday included:

  • Cornerback Jamell Fleming hamstring strain.
  • Outside linebacker Josh Martin hamstring strain.
  • Cornerback Chris Owens “is making progress with his knee strain” but Reid said he wouldn’t be able to practice today.
  • Wide receiver Donnie Avery is “making progress” coming back from his sports hernia injury and surgery.
  • Safety Eric Berry will continue to work on his sprained ankle.

REPORT CARD: Highest Grades Of The Season For K.C.

From Arrowhead Stadium

PASSING OFFENSE:Β  A – It was a very good performance for the Chiefs offense throwing against the St. Louis defense. Quarterback Alex Smith was on fire, completing 85.7 percent of his passes and averaging 8.1 yards on his 28 passing attempts. Smith had no interceptions, was sacked twice and he did a good job of distributing the ball, connecting with eight different receivers.

RUSHING OFFENSE:Β B – The Chiefs did not have great individual productivity in the run game against St. Louis. The only thing that came close was a 36-yard touchdown run in the second half by Jamaal Charles that was part of a 73-yard game on 13 carries for the man that’s their offensive engine. That was the team’s longest scoring run of the season and the longest run of any kind for Charles in 2014.

PASS DEFENSE: A – The Chiefs defense took advantage of inexperienced Rams quarterback Austin Davis, along with an injury situation on the offensive line that did not allow for continuity in pass protection. In the first St. Louis possession, Davis hit a 43-yard gain to wide receiver Kenny Britt. After that play, Davis was 14 of 23 for only 117 yards. The K.C. defense gave him no room to breathe.

RUSH DEFENSE: B – The way the game unfolded, St. Louis did not have many opportunities in the second half to keep working on its running game. The young backs trio of Zac Stacy, Benny Cunningham and Tre Mason showed promise and hit a couple of nice runs, but overall the Kansas City defense stifled the Rams runners.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A – Until Sunday, the kicking game struggled to make a contribution for the 2014 Chiefs. They expected big plays on a weekly basis because that was something they did last year. But the trickle-down effect from the team’s early injury situation this year shuffled the cards for the special teams and they are only now producing consistent effort in the kicking game. Against the Rams, the Chiefs produced a kickoff return touchdown from Knile Davis and rookie kicker Cairo Santos produced a 53-yard field goal.

COACHING: A – Week-by-week, the profile of this team is being established by the play-calling and actions of head coach Andy Reid and his coaching staff. The offense has shown success when Reid splits the opportunities 50-50 between run and pass. Defensively, the Chiefs are transitioning away from all press man-to-man coverage to more off-coverage and zones. It’s helped limit the big plays against them. This team started 0-2 and was hampered by injuries. They’ve now gone 4-1 in the last five games as injury replacements have been blended into the effort.

Strong 2nd-Half Lifts Chiefs to 34-7 Victory Over Rams

Here’s our coverage of Sunday’s Chiefs victory over St. Louis:

Chiefs Host Rams With Chance To Gain Momentum

The demanding six-game opening to the Chiefs 2014 schedule is now behind them. They went 3-3 record, after an ugly 0-2 start.

On Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, stage two of the schedule begins with a visit from the St. Louis Rams. Kickoff comes just a few moments after 12 noon. FOX provides the television coverage.

This next stage of the season covers five games and at this time four appear very winnable for the Chiefs. The opponents will be St. Louis (2-4), the New York Jets (1-6), Buffalo (4-3), Seattle (3-3) and Oakland (0-6). The recent stumbles of the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks may make Andy Reid’s team a favorite to win all the games.

It’s a five-week stretch that will set up the last part of the season and determine whether the Chiefs make a run to a spot in the playoffs or suffer through a non-descript season where January will be spent at home and not on the field.

Other than its .500 record, the ups and downs of the first six games have helped burnish the character of the 2014 Chiefs. There’s a resilient nature visible from Andy Reid’s team. They had a chance to win five of their first games but lost by seven at Denver and five points at San Francisco in moments where they were unable to execute like a winning team. That was not the case with the 23-20 victory over San Diego last Sunday.

“We were a couple plays away from being 4-1,” said quarterback Alex Smith. “We understood that we didn’t make the plays (to win). ” …Read More!

Officials Preview: Chiefs Get Another Triplette Visit

It’s unusual for an NFL team to see the same officiating crew twice in a season, and it seldom works out that a team sees the same group of zebras twice in five weeks.

But that’s the case with the Chiefs as they host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium along with the officiating crew of referee Jeff Triplette.

This same group worked the Chiefs game against Miami on September 21st, where they walked off four penalties against the Chiefs, and 10 in all. That’s been a pretty good example of what Triplette’s crew has done all season. They average 12.1 penalties per game and 15.5 flags thrown each week. Those numbers rank them among the least active crews walking off penalty yardage in the league. They rank in the bottom third of total penalties.

This crew is no stranger to controversy, as Triplette and pals frequently come out on the wrong side of decisions. In 2014, they worked the Seattle at Washington game where three Percy Harvin touchdowns were nullified by penalty flags. …Read More!

4 Keys To Victory For Chiefs Against Rams

Β Β Β Β Β 

Four

Continue to build momentum

The Chiefs are hitting a spot in their schedule where they can build momentum to carry them into the second half of the season. That includes winning games that they should win, and Sunday’s game against the Rams is one of those moments. They are at home, playing a team with a record off less than .500 and they are producing winning football on offense and defense. To date, they have not held a winning record this season, but a victory over St. Louis would leave them 4-3 with upcoming games against the Jets and Bills. There’s been a lot of notice given to the Chiefs 3-3 record over the tough starting stretch of their schedule. That’s all well and good, as long as it’s a foundation to more. The next floor on their post-season dreams must be built starting against the Rams.

…Read More!

The Frequently Forgotten Governor’s Cup

Chiefs celebrating Governor’s Cup victory in 2002 regular season at Arrowhead.

Rivalry trophies have been part of college football for more than a century.

There’s the Old Oaken Bucket (Indiana against Purdue), the Little Brown Jug (Michigan vs. Minnesota), Paul Bunyan’s Axe (Minnesota vs. Wisconsin), the Apple Cup (Washington vs. Washington State) and dozens of other pieces of gridiron hardware that are handed out each year.

In pro football, the closest example of a rivalry trophy is the Governor’s Cup, to honor the winner of games between Missouri’s pro football teams, the Kansas City Chiefs and first the St. Louis Cardinals, now the St. Louis Rams.

The Guv Cup began in 1968, growing from the fertile football mind of Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt and with the interest of Cardinals owner Billy Bidwill. Hunt loved the pomp and ceremony that came from the world of college football, extras like marching bands, cheerleaders, pom-pom girls and special trophies. Hunt was forever trying to add college elements and ideas to the pro game. The frequently cheap Bidwill saw the trophy and games against the Chiefs as a way to possibly sell a ticket or two and increase revenue.

To say the Governor’s Cup became a coveted piece of hardware for the Show-Me State professional football teams would be a stretch. It never really caught on, certainly not with the players and coaches of the Chiefs, and it was no better across the state along the Mississippi River, whether the team was the Cardinals or ultimately the St. Louis Rams.

The best evidence of that disinterest came with the fact that Cup was frequently misplaced. The morning after the August pre-season game, it would land somewhere in the winning team’s facility, usually in a spot where everybody would remember its place a year later.

Except, sometimes they didn’t remember, or they just completely forgot about the trophy. …Read More!

Tale of the Tape – Chiefs vs. Rams

In the last three seasons the Chiefs and Rams have produced victories and defeats in almost matching numbers:

  • Kansas City – 16-23, .410 winning percentage.
  • St. Louis – 16-21-1, .434 winning percentage.

The Chiefs have an extra game in the equation because of their appearance in the first round of the 2013 AFC playoffs. It’s been nine years since the Rams were in the post-season tournament.

Still, there is a real difference between the clubs as they get ready to face off on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs have been trending up, while the Rams have been headed in the other direction, especially this season with its 2-4 record. Injuries have caused problems for St. Louis, but nobody with the Chiefs is providing any sympathy given the problems they’ve had with injuries.

Even with the Rams recent victory over Seattle fresh in everyone’s mind, there’s no doubt that on paper, the Chiefs have the edge in talent for this meeting. The key for Andy Reid and his team is to make sure what’s on paper comes alive on the field.

Here’s the tale of the tape in 11 key positions and areas between the teams: …Read More!

Next Opponent – St. Louis Rams

Game – No. 7.

Opponent – theΒ St. Louis Rams.

2014 record – the Rams are 2-4, winners of their last game, beating Seattle 28-26 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis last Sunday. They lost the season opener to Minnesota, 34-6. But they’ve scored 2-point victories over Tampa Bay and Seattle. Along with losing to the Vikings, the Rams have fallen to Dallas by 3 points, Philadelphia by 6 points and San Francisco by 14 points.

They are minus-47 in point differential (129 scored, 176 given up), minus-3 in turnover ratio (10 giveaways, 7 takeaways) and minus-12 in sack ratio (16 allowed, 4 on defense.) Overall in offensive yards they rank #13 in the league, #18 in the running game and #11 in passing yardage. In yards allowed on defense they are #23 overall, #28 against the run and #14 against the pass. …Read More!

Finally, Relief At Quarterback For Chiefs Defense

Super Bowl winner Peyton Manning one week, multiple Super Bowl champion Tom Brady pops up a few weeks later. It’s Super Bowl starter Colin Kaepernick and Philip Rivers in consecutive games. The Chiefs have opened the season against some of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League and beaten two of them – Brady and Rivers.

The quarterback cycle for the Chiefs defense turns in a different direction starting Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium when they host the St. Louis Rams.

Coming up first is second-year, non-drafted Rams starter Austin Davis (left), followed by the Jets struggling second year starter Geno Smith. There’s a trip to Buffalo to face the Bills and journeyman Kyle Orton. Seattle visits Arrowhead with Russell Wilson leading the Seahawks before the Chiefs head to Oakland and face the Raiders with their rookie starter Derek Carr.

Last year, the Chiefs started their season winning nine consecutive games with most of those coming against inexperienced and marginal quarterbacks. When they faced quarterbacks like Manning, Rivers and Andrew Luck in six of the season’s last eight games, they were 2-6 and done after losing a first-round game in the playoffs. …Read More!

Chiefs Lose Practice Squad Linebacker To Tampa Bay

From the Truman Sports Complex

Linebacker Orie Lemon stay the Chiefs practice squad lasted less than a week, as he signed on Wednesday to a spot on the 53-man roster with Tampa Bay.

It’s the second practice squad linebacker to leave for a spot on the active roster of another NFL team. Nico Johnson moved on last week to the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Chiefs announced they signed linebacker Darin Drakeford to fill the practice squad spot previously held by Lemon. The 6-1, 240-pound product of the University of Maryland, Drakeford signed with the Chiefs last year as an undrafted rookie free agent, spending the 2013 pre-season with the club and registering six total tackles and a forced fumble. He was released in the final roster cut before the 2013 opener and signed to the Chiefs practice squad where he spent four games.

Since then he’s spent time with the New York Giants, Indianapolis and Atlanta.

Jamaal’s Career Built On His Toughness

I’ve written these words many times over the last seven NFL seasons; spoken them quite often as well. I feel compelled to repeat:

Pound-for-pound Jamaal Charles is the toughest football player I’ve seen play.

Tough is a word with many branches off its trunk, involving physical, emotional and mental qualities all rolled into the definition.

Charles has all of that . . . and more. The swirl around him over the last few days – did he suffer a concussion in San Diego or not? – was caused by Charles himself. It was probably not the smartest move to talk publicly about having flashes of light in his vision, or that he did not want to take concussion tests because he wasn’t going to leave the game.

It had nothing to do with setting the franchise record for career rushing yards. It had everything to do with how Charles views his place with this team – he is the man, the engine, the star, the motivator, the leader by what he says and does especially how he plays with a level of toughness that exceeds that of ordinary players. When he gets knocked down, Charles gets back up, sometimes bouncing up like nothing happened. More than once he took a rib-rattling shot from a tackler, got immediately to his feet and patted the defensive player on his head before heading back to the offensive huddle. …Read More!

Chiefs Do The Practice Squad Shuffle Again

Churning the 10-man practice squad is something the Chiefs do on a weekly basis. This week, the attention fell on the big boys on the line of scrimmage, as they released a defensive tackle and signed a guard.

Gone is Jerel Worthy, a defensive tackle out of Michigan State University who spent six weeks with the Chiefs since signing on September 9th.

Filling the open spot on the practice squad is guard Jarrod Pughsley, a 6-4Β½, 308-pound blocker from the University of Akron. Pughsley played in 35 games over four seasons with the Zips, where he joined the program as a walk-on out of Lima High School in Lima, Ohio. He made starts at both left and right tackle, and left guard over his college career.

Pughsley went undrafted back in May and signed with Dallas on May 12. Two weeks later, he was waived injured by the Cowboys and then moved to the injured-reserve list with a torn biceps muscle. He was waived on July 24 after reaching an injury settlement with Dallas.

He becomes the 21st player that’s been part of the Chiefs practice squad this season.

Alex Smith & Snap Judgments – San Diego

It’s hard to boil down a quarterback’s performance in a game down to a single play.

But in the Chiefs 23-20 victory over San Diego on Sunday, there was one play that epitomized all the things about Alex Smith that head coach Andy Reid loves.

There were 95 seconds left in the game and the Chiefs faced a second-and-15 play at their 27-yard line. It was a pressure situation for Reid and his offense. There was enough time to at the least move the ball into range to kick a field goal. On the other hand, the score was still tied – a conservative move would have been to kill the reset of the clock and play for overtime.

Smith took the shotgun snap and scanned the field. Pressure came at him from his right side, forcing him out of the pocket and running to his left. As he neared the sideline and with more pass rushers honing in on his position, Smith found wide receiver Dwayne Bowe open in the middle of the field.

First down Kansas City, as they were now at their 46-yard line. Four plays later, Cairo Santos kicked the 48-yard field goal that provided the winning points for the Chiefs.

But it was that Smith play that showcased what he brings to the offense. …Read More!

Statement Made With 23-20 Victory Over Bolts

With two weeks to prepare the Chiefs did something on Sunday in San Diego that does not happen often – they won.

When rookie kicker Cairo Santos made a 48-yard field goal with 21 seconds to play giving the Chiefs a 23-20 victory, Kansas City’s favorite football team had its first victory in seven years in San Diego and only their third in this century.

It was a performance where all three parts of the Chiefs game made big contributions. The offense did not give the ball away and kept the San Diego offense on the sidelines. The defense gave the Chargers very few opportunities when they did stay on the field and the special teams provided three field goals from Santos, including that game winner.

Now 3-3 on the season, the Chiefs have two straight home games coming up against St. Louis and then the New York Jets.

Here’s our coverage:

Jamaal Charles & The Chiefs Record Book

On Sunday, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles became the leading rusher in franchise history, passing Priest Holmes during Sunday’s game against the Chargers in San Diego.

Charles now has 6,113 yards, or 43 yards more than Holmes put up during his seven years with the Chiefs (2001-07).

Here is the chronological order of the passing of the rushing torch from the early days of the franchise to Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium:

Abner Haynes – when he left the Chiefs after the 1964 season, Haynes had run for 3,814 yards on 794 carries in 70 games. His hold on the record stood for a dozen years.

Ed Podolak – on December 12, 1976 in a 39-14 victory over Cleveland, Podolak ran for 137 yards on 29 carries with three touchdown runs. That gave Podolak 3,815 career yards and he finished the season with 3,901 yards on 1,024 carries in 91 games. He played in the 1977 season as well and the Iowa native finished his nine Chiefs seasons with 104 games played 1,157 carries and 4,451 yards. His hold on the record lasted for 15 seasons.

Christian Okoye – when the Chiefs faced the Seattle Seahawks on September 13, 1992, Okoye ran 63 yards on 18 carries and became the franchise’s leading rusher with 4,152 yards. He finished his career with 79 games, 1,246 carries and 4,897 yards. He held the record for eight years.

Priest Holmes – joining the team in 2001 as a free agent signee from Baltimore, Holmes in 49 games passed Okoye’s mark. It came down during a September 26, 2004 game against Houston when he ran 32 times for 134 yards. By the time his running days with the Chiefs were done, Holmes had 6,070 yards on 1,321 carries in 65 games.

A decade later, Charles claimed the record.

CHIEFS MOST RUSHING YARDS, CAREER

#

Running back

Years

G

Carries

Yards

Rush TDs

1.

Jamaal Charles

2008-14

85

1,107

6,113

31

2.

Priest Holmes

2001-07

65

1,321

6,070

76

3.

Larry Johnson

2003-09

75

1,375

6,015

55

4.

Christian Okoye

1987-92

79

1,246

4,897

40

5.

Ed Podolak

1969-77

104

1,157

4,451

34

Chiefs Better Be Tough To Win In San Diego

Asked what he liked about his team as it reached its bye week after five games, Andy Reid pointed to one trait displayed by his players.

“They’ve got a certain toughness about them, which I like,” Reid said of his 2-3 club. “That’s a tough thing to coach, that toughness thing. Until you are in the fight of playing the game, you don’t exactly know that part of it and you have to experience that.

“I would tell you that there is some grit to this team and some of the fundamentals and techniques we’ve got to get corrected, but that grit . . . we can take care of the other stuff but that a tough thing to coach and they’ve showed that they’ve got a little of that.”

The Chiefs are going to need a lot of that if they expect to win on Sunday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego against the Chargers. Kickoff is 3:05 p.m. with television coverage by CBS.

Led by quarterback Philip Rivers, the Chargers are 5-1 and in first place in the AFC West. They’ve won five straight since losing the season opener by just one-point at Arizona.

There’s a lot left in the 2014 season, but losing to San Diego, the Chiefs would be three games behind the division leader with 10 games to play. That’s a tough hole for any team, including a tough one, to exit.

Toughness in football is a quality that seemingly easy to define, but that is just for those that want to use the physical to make the definition. There’s a lot more than being bigger and stronger. It’s also about being strong mentality, not being knocked off the path to victory because the game is played on the road. …Read More!

4 Keys To Victory For Chiefs Against Chargers

Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β 

Four

Keep a handle on Chargers tight end Antonio Gates in the red zone

The 34-year old Gates is in his 12th season and remains a factor in the San Diego passing game. He’s been very successful against the Chiefs over the first 11 seasons; the K.C. defense has been his favorite end-zone target, with 14 touchdown catches. In those scoring plays against the Chiefs, 10 came in San Diego victories. This season, Gates has 24 catches and 25 percent of those went for touchdowns (6). With the exception of a 21-yard scoring play, his TD plays have all come inside the opponent’s 20-yard line – from the 12, 8, 8, 8 and one-yard lines. With both Eric Berry and Chris Owens out of the game, the Chiefs depth in the secondary is going to be severely tested. Backup safeties Kurt Coleman, Kelcie McCray and Jamell Fleming are going to be very important in this game to provide help for starters Husain Abdullah and Ron Parker. Keeping Gates out of the end zone would significantly improve the Chiefs chances for a victory.

…Read More!

Officials Preview: Referee Bill Vinovich & Crew

The San Diego Chargers will find the officiating crew in Sunday’s game against the Chiefs quite familiar.

Referee Bill Vinovich led the group of zebras that worked the Chargers regular-season opener against Arizona. That’s the only game San Diego has lost this season. In that game, the officials walked off six penalties for 47 yards against the Chargers. It’s not unusual for an NFL crew to see a team twice during a full season, but two games in seven weeks does not happen very often.

In six games this season, Vinovich and his crew have averaged 12.5 penalties walked off for 93.7 yards. Those numbers leave them near the top of the league’s list of least busy or least intrusive officiating groups. In those half-dozen games, the home teams are 5-1; the only visiting club that won with Vinovich and crew was Green Bay last week when the Packers beat the Dolphins in south Florida.

The last Chiefs game that Vinovich worked came in October 2013 when he handled the Chiefs 26-17 victory over the Titans in Nashville. Over his career, he’s worked five Chiefs games, and K.C. is 3-2 in those outings. …Read More!

Jamaal Reaches For Rushing Record In San Diego

The 32 career rushing leaders for each NFL team.

Ohio and Pennsylvania used to be the area of the country where an abundance of quarterbacks were developed. Florida always seemed to provide the wide receivers. The upper Midwest was home for linebackers and big linemen.

And Texas is where football has grown its running backs. That will be evident on Sunday, but not in the Lone Star State, but at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. That’s where Texas born and bred Jamaal Charles will take the field against the Chargers needing 53 yards to become the Chiefs career leader in rushing yards. He enters the game against the Chargers with 6,108 yards and he’s looking to pass another Texas-bred running back. Priest Holmes currently holds the franchise rushing yardage record with 6,070 yards in his 65 games wearing red and gold.

Going into this weekend’s schedule of games, there are 12 running backs from Texas among the top 100 career rushers in league history. No other state has more. Here’s the Lone Star State backs in that top 100 rushers.

There are a lot of goals Charles carries for his NFL career, starting with winning a Super Bowl and working down to a few individual honors. That includes moving past his fellow Longhorn for career rushing honors with the Chiefs.

“I think it’s cool,” Charles said on Friday after finishing up the practice week in preparation for the Chargers. “We went to the same school in college; we’re from the same state so I think that’s pretty cool more than anything. But at the end of the day, I just want to continue to make history.” …Read More!

Texas Runners In the Top 100 Career Rushers

Among the top 100 rushers in NFL history, 12 were born and bred in the state of Texas, including the two most productive backs in Chiefs history: Priest Holmes and Jamaal Charles. Here’s how the dozen backs rank in the top 100:

Rank

Back Hometown

Years

Carries

Yards

5

LaDainian Tomlinson Rosebud

2001-11

3,174

13,684

7

Eric Dickerson Sealy

1983-93

2,996

13,259

14

Thurman Thomas Sugar Land

1988-2000

2,877

12,074

28

Adrian Peterson Palestine

2007-14

2,054

10,190

33

Earl Campbell Tyler

1978-85

2,187

9,407

43

Priest Holmes San Antonio

1997-2007

1,780

8,172

59

Rodney Hampton Houston

1990-97

1,824

6,897

68

Lawrence McCutcheon Plainview

1972-81

1,521

6,578

81

Jamaal Charles Port Arthur

2008-14

1,085

6,018

82

Cedric Benson Midland

2005-12

1,600

6,017

95

Greg Pruitt Houston

1973-84

1,196

5,672

98

Delvin Williams Houston

1974-81

1,312

5,598

Franchise Rushing Yardage Leaders – Career

Here are the rushing yardage leaders for the 32 NFL franchises as of this weekend’s games. There are five franchise leaders in career rushing yards active this season: Houston’s Arian Foster, Frank Gore of San Francisco, Steven Jackson (leader of St. Louis) now playing with Atlanta, Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson and DeAngelo Williams of Carolina.

AFC

Team Leading Rusher

Seasons

Games

Carries

Yards

Baltimore Jamal Lewis

2000-06

91

1,822

7,801

Buffalo Thurman Thomas*

1988-99

173

2,849

11,938

Cincinnati Corey Dillon

1997-2003

107

1,865

8,061

Cleveland Jim Brown*

1957-65

118

2,359

12,312

Denver Terrell Davis

1995-2001

78

1,655

7,607

Houston Arian Foster

2009-14

64

1,237

5,576

Indianapolis Edgerrin James

1999-2005

96

2,188

9,226

Jacksonville Fred Taylor

1998-2008

140

2,428

11,271

Chiefs Priest Holmes

2001-07

65

1,321

6,070

Jamaal Charles

2008-14

84

1,085

6,018

Miami Larry Csonka*

1968-74, 79

106

1,506

6,737

New England Sam Cunningham

1973-82

107

1,385

5,453

New York Jets Curtis Martin*

1998-2005

123

2,560

10,302

Oakland Marcus Allen*

1982-92

145

2,090

8,545

Pittsburgh Franco Harris*

1972-83

165

2,881

11,950

San Diego LaDainian Tomlinson

2001-09

141

2,880

12,490

Tennessee Eddie George

1996-2003

128

2,733

10,009

NFC

Team Leading Rusher

Seasons

Games

Carries

Yards

Arizona Ottis Anderson

1979-86

99

1,858

7,999

Atlanta Gerald Riggs

1982-1988

91

1,587

6,631

Carolina DeAngelo Williams

2006-14

113

1,395

6,733

Chicago Walter Payton*

1976-87

190

3,838

16,726

Dallas Emmitt Smith*

1990-2002

201

4,052

17,162

Detroit Barry Sanders*

1989-98

153

3,062

15,269

Green Bay Ahman Green

2000-06, 09

104

1,851

8,322

Minnesota Adrian Peterson

2007-14

104

2,054

10,190

New Orleans Deuce McAllister

2001-08

97

1,429

6,096

New York Giants Tiki Barber

1997-2006

154

2,217

10,449

Philadelphia Wilbert Montgomery

1977-84

100

1,465

6,538

San Francisco Frank Gore

2005-14

138

2,280

10,370

Seattle Shaun Alexander

2000-07

119

2,176

9,429

St. Louis Steven Jackson

2004-12

131

2,396

10,138

Tampa Bay James Wilder

1981-89

113

1,575

5,957

Washington John Riggins*

1976-85

114

1,988

7,472

Active backs are in bold type. *- member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Chiefs Practice Report / No Eric Berry – October 17

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs began their final practice of preparation week for the Chargers without safety Eric Berry.

After practicing on Wednesday, Berry did not participate Thursday and late Friday morning he was not on the field during the period where the media was allowed to watch practice.

Berry has been trying to return from the high ankle sprain that he suffered on September 14 in the first half of the Chiefs game in Denver. He’s missed the last three games and appears to be on his way to missing a fourth.

Also not on the field was cornerback Chris Owens; he did not practice all week because of the knee injury he suffered in the San Francisco game.

But, running back Cyrus Gray was part of practice for the first time this week, wearing a cast to protect his fractured left hand. His status for Sunday remains up in the air.

Official injury reports for both the Chiefs and Chargers will come late Friday afternoon.

Next Opponent – San Diego Chargers

Quarterback Philip Rivers and the rest of the Chargers will be wearing their baby blues on Sunday vs. Chiefs

Game – No. 6.

Opponent – theΒ San Diego Chargers.

2014 record – the Bolts are 5-1, riding a five-game winning streak. They lost the season opener to Arizona, 18-17. Since then, they’ve beaten Seattle by nine points, Buffalo by 12 points, Jacksonville by 19 points, the New York Jets by 31 points and last Sunday, they topped the Raiders in Oakland 31-28. They are plus-73 in point differential (164 scored, 91 given up), plus-7 in turnover ratio (2 giveaways, 9 takeaways) and plus-3 (9 allowed, 12 on defense.)

Franchise began – in 1960 as an original member of the American Football League and named the Los Angeles Chargers. The original owner was Barron Hilton, son of Conrad Hilton who began the Hilton Hotel chain that continues today. Barron Hilton branched out into many other businesses during his days as an active businessman. That included joining Lamar Hunt as a member of the so-called Foolish Club of original AFL owners. He’s the last surviving member of that founding group. Hilton moved the Chargers to San Diego in 1961 where they’ve been since. He sold his controlling interest in the Chargers for $10 million in 1966 to Los Angeles businessman Gene Klein, who also owned the Seattle SuperSonics team in the NBA. Hilton will turn 87 later this month and reportedly still holds a small sliver of ownership in the Chargers. And, he’s also the grandfather of Paris Hilton, who is famous for something but heaven knows what. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Report – October 16

Not so good news for the Chiefs as they continued preparations on Thursday when safety Eric Berry did not participate in the team’s afternoon practice.

Berry continues to try to overcome the sprained ankle he suffered in the first half of the September 14th game in Denver. He was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice but the Chiefs reported he did not practice on Thursday.

San Diego added center Rich Ohrnberger to the injury report with a back problem. He did not practice on Thursday.

Here are the participation/injury reports for both teams from Thursday:

Chiefs

DID NOT PRACTICE – Wide receiver Donnie Avery (groin), safety Eric Berry (ankle), running back Cyrus Gray (hand), cornerback Chris Owens (knee).

FULL PARTICIPATION – Cornerback Phillip Gaines (concussion), cornerback Sean Smith (groin).

Chargers

DID NOT PRACTICE – Linebacker Jerry Attaochu (hamstring), running back Donald Brown (concussion), cornerback Brandon Flowers (groin), running back Ryan Mathews (knee), center Rich Ohrnberger (back), linebacker Manti Te’o (foot).

LIMITED PARTICIPATION – Cornerback Jason Verrett (shoulder),.

FULL PARTICIPATION – Right tackle D.J. Fluker (ankle), linebacker Cordarro Law (ankle), wide receiver Eddie Royal (elbow), linebacker Reggie Walker (ankle), cornerback Shareece Wright (knee).

It’s No Longer The Chiefs Town

A torch was passed early Wednesday evening at the Truman Sports Complex.

Actually, it wasn’t so much passed as it was taken by the remarkable Kansas City Royals.

For the better part of the last 25 years, it was the Chiefs that controlled the sporting interest in Kansas City and environs. But that came to an end the moment that reliever Greg Holland got the final Baltimore batter to groundout to end Game No. 4 of the American League Championship Series. The Royals are now on their way to the World Series, having won eight straight post-season games.

After 29 years, they will compete for the championship of their game, facing either the San Francisco Giants or possibly the St. Louis Cardinals.

This weekend the Chiefs will travel to San Diego in an attempt to even their record at 3-3 for the NFL season. Football fans in K.C. have been waiting 45 seasons now for their team to play for a Super Bowl.

So you see in many ways the Royals are mere babes in the waiting department. They did carry a heavy burden going 29 years without even a game in the post-season. Since Len Dawson and the Chiefs won Super Bowl IV, they have made the playoffs in 13 seasons, but got within a game of playing for the title only once, and that was now 21 years ago. …Read More!

Tale of the Tape: Chiefs vs. Chargers

The Chiefs come back from their bye week and they face a real task – playing the AFC West leader in the San Diego Chargers on the road. The Bolts are 5-1 on the season, a half-game ahead of the Broncos and those two teams will meet next Thursday night in Denver. Before that game, the Chargers must take advantage of their strengths and handle the Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego’s lovely Mission Valley.

Break down the matchup between these two teams and the Chargers have a big edge. Here’s the tale of the tape: …Read More!

Chiefs Add Tight End To Practice Squad

The Chiefs released a tight end from the practice squad last week and came back and added another one on Monday.

Brandon Barden was signed to the 10th spot on the developmental roster. A 6-5, 245-pound Georgia native has been on the street since he was released by Jacksonville on the final pre-season cutdown back at the end of August.

Barden came into the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent with Tennessee in 2012. He was released after training camp that year, signed to the practice squad and was elevated to the 53-man active roster for the final three games of that season. He was released in 2013 and signed by the Jaguars.

He began his college career at Virginia Tech University, but transferred to Vanderbilt University after one semester. At Vandy, Barden caught 107 passes for 1,234 yards over his career.

Chiefs Return To Work; Berry Ready To Practice

The Chiefs returned to other team’s facility on Monday after enjoying the last seven days in a bye-week vacation gift from head coach Andy Reid.

“What I do is the players get a week off and coaches get a few days off and they were able to go back and do some self-scout work without any distractions where they have to worry about meetings,” Reid said Monday during a conference call with the media. “With the players, I thought it could kind of rejuvenate guys and get them back healthy.”

With a 2-3 record, coming off a loss to San Francisco and facing a game this Sunday against the Chargers in San Diego, might it have been more useful to have the players together and on the practice field for at least the one or two sessions that were allowed last week?

“Listen, I’ve done it this way for a long time and it’s been fairly successful,” said Reid, in his 16th season as an NFL head coach. “I think it’s good to step away whether you’re doing well or not doing well. Coming off a win or a loss I think sometimes it’s good to get away and get recharged.” …Read More!

. . . Suggestions & Comments On bobgretz.com

The Chiefs bye week provided your intrepid internet maven the first days of this year where the pace of life was not so frantic. The slower merry-go-round provided time for contemplation of many things, including this website. The support so many of you have shown since bobgretz.com began in 2008 has been powerful. So much has happened over the last seven years, especially with Kansas City’s football team, the league it plays in and the fans so interested in the red and gold.

At this point, I wanted to provide a venue for suggestions, questions and comments involving the site. Please, take the time to let me know what you like and what you don’t like. Or, items and post you’d like to see more/less of on certain subjects. Are there missing elements you’d like to see return to the site? Ideas of your own that may work? There are no restrictions on the subject.

Let me know by either leaving your thoughts in the comments on this post, or more privately by sending your message to info@bobgretz.com. I’ll answer all comments and questions, some collectively and others privately.

Thank you.

Defense At Bye – Consistency Grows Despite Injuries

Last year when they started the season with a nine-game winning streak, all the attention was on the Chiefs defense. Bob Sutton’s group was impressive and the foundation in Andy Reid’s club building that quick start that pushed them to the playoffs.

This season after five games, the K.C. defense has not been as productive as last year’s unit and the defense deserves its share of the blame for the team’s 2-3 record at the bye week.

Still, the defense has been the most consistent part of the Chiefs on-field efforts through five games. The offense has been all over the place and the special teams have not been consistent producers and have made a number of key mistakes.

The defense has been consistent even though they’ve been forced to play without key starting players at all three levels, especially the unit’s emotional and tackling leader in linebacker Derrick Johnson. Sutton’s side of the ball has performed from average to good all season: …Read More!

Offense At Bye Week – Struggling For Consistency

The first five games of the Chiefs season have been interesting to watch, especially trying to figure out what the team’s offense is going to do each week. Just where Andy Reid takes that side of the football over the last 11 games on the 2014 schedule will paint the picture of whether the Chiefs are a contender or a pretender.

After five games the Chiefs offense does not yet have a consistent personality. Like most NFL teams these days, Reid and his offensive staff construct a game plan each week based on the opponent. There’s no old school thinking where they tell the opponent “this is what we do when we have the ball, stop us and then we’ll adjust.” The working premise of opponent-driven game plan is the offense telling the defense “we think this is what you like to do, so we will develop our plan to make you do something you are not comfortable in doing.” It’s an obvious advantage to any offense if they have a running game and a passing attack that are both effective and productive. It’s imperative in the opponent-drive game plan.

So far this season, the Chiefs offensive inconsistency can’t totally be blamed on the game-plan approach. It has more to do with other factors. It’s come from the injuries that shuffled the offensive line at the start of the season. Another factor is the emergence of several playmaking threats that are new weapons for Reid and his offensive staff. They’ve also played an early schedule with three road games, and three of the five opponents have top 10 NFL defenses.

Whatever the reasons, in five games the Chiefs offense has been all over the road: …Read More!

Conversations With The Chiefs Assistant Coaches

As the Chiefs roll into their bye week, the assistant coaches were made available to the media on Tuesday, along with the three coordinators. Normally, only the coordinators speak to the media, and that happens once a week.

But several times during the year, the assistant coaches are made available in mass. At least they are on teams that trust their coaches to handle a few questions. Here are some of the best comments from Tuesday’s session.

Quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy (pictured right with Alex Smith) on distributing the targets in the Chiefs offense, and making sure playmakers like Jamaal Charles and Travis Kelce get more chance to have the ball in their hands: “The challenge for us as coaches is to try and make sure that we are in different personnel groupings and different formations, yet we don’t keep it too complicated for the players to where they don’t know where to line up and they don’t know what route to run and we don’t know what progression to go to. You see from Week 1 against Tennessee to where we are now, we are doing a lot more stuff. The guys are becoming more comfortable and understanding where we’re putting them and then they’re making plays.”

Running back coach Eric Bieniemy on Jamaal Charles on the cusp of setting the Chiefs record for most career rushing yards: “When you’re a player, you never really gain a full appreciation for anything while you’re playing. As you grow older and you get more mature, more than anything you get a joy out of your kids learning what you did. And I think more so than anything, he’ll appreciate it later on in life. His girls will appreciate it and I’m sure his family, they obviously appreciate it right now. But Jamaal has bigger goals. Obviously he wants to win the Super Bowl; he wants to accomplish other goals in life.”

…Read More!

Snap Judgments From San Francisco Game

Here are the snaps credited by the NFL to the Chiefs against the 49ers on offense, defense and in the kicking game. Names in bold are those that played 100 percent of their unit’s snaps:

Offense (50)

  • Backs – Alex Smith 50, Jamaal Charles 39, Knile Davis 29, Anthony Sherman 14, Knile Davis 7, De’Anthony Thomas 6, Cyrus Gray 3.
  • Receivers – Anthony Fasano 47, Dwayne Bowe 43, A.J. Jenkins 33, Travis Kelce 29, Junior Hemingway 13, Frankie Hammond 9, Demetrius Harris 7.
  • Line – Zach Fulton 50, Mike McGlynn 50, Rodney Hudson 50, Eric Fisher 50, Ryan Harris 50.

…Read More!

Chiefs Will Get Week Off To Lick Their Wounds

From the Truman Sports Complex

Andy Reid gave his team the entire week off so they can lick their wounds from a 2-3 start, especially the 22-17 loss to San Francisco.

They do not have to report back to work until next Monday, although injured players are expected to keep up their schedule with the training room.

“It’s important that we step back here and as coaches evaluate what we’re doing, look in the mirror first at what we’re doing and making sure we’re putting the players in the best position to make plays,” said Reid. “It’s important that the players are getting a little time off here and that they use it wisely and rest up. We’ve got a couple nicks and bruises and we need to make sure we get those cleaned up, so when they come back (next) Monday they are ready to go.”

Reid also gave his team the entire week off last season, but the 2013 Chiefs were 9-0 at their bye week.

Their 2-3 start this year is obviously quite a bit different, but Reid felt the need to break up the routine with the entire week off. By rule, teams can ask the players to practice twice during the week, but they must have four consecutive days off over next weekend.

Despite the losing record, quarterback Alex Smith says his team is headed in the right direction. …Read More!

Chiefs Ready For A Physical Game In San Francisco

Chiefs defense takes down Niners running back Frank Gore four years ago

A few days before the Chiefs headed off to northern California for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, Andy Reid was a bit uncomfortable as he took questions from the media horde.

Specifically, the subject was the improvement of the Chiefs offense from a brutal loss to Tennessee in the opener, to a two-game winning streak. Did Reid expect running back Knile Davis to have such a large role in the run game? Were pre-season plans for the passing game expected to feature young tight end Travis Kelce? Has the passing game exceeded expectations?

“I feel like these are end of the season questions; I’m having a hard time with it because we have so much room here to get better and we are right in the grinder of it,” Reid said. “We’re nowhere near where we need to be.”

That continued development of offense, defense and special teams will need to show Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara when they face the Niners in game No. 5 of the season.

Kickoff is 3:25 p.m. CDT with television coverage on CBS.

There’s no question the Chiefs level of performance and production has improved over the last month. They’ve begun to show a personality, looking more and more like a hard-nosed team that wants to play physical and complementary football on both sides of the ball.

In the last three weeks, a rhythm has developed with this team, one that’s close to what they showed last year. The eye is on the immediate target in front of them. They’ve dug themselves out of a two-game hole and gotten their record back to the .500 mark. Other than a growing confidence from their dismantling of the Patriots, the last two games means little when playing the 49ers. …Read More!

Mauga Knows What Chiefs Face Vs. Kaepernick

Josh Mauga was a starting linebacker at the University of Nevada in 2007 when starting quarterback Nick Graziano went down with an ankle injury and a tall, lanky freshman named Colin Kaepernick took over the Wolf Pack offense.

“Nobody really knew anything about this kid that came into the game,” Mauga said. “Colin was a freshman, it was early in the season and nobody heard much from him. His first start was against Boise State and we ended up going four overtimes in that game and he was running around all over the place.

“That was the day he blew up.”

Boise beat Nevada 69-67 in four overtimes, with Kaepernick throwing three touchdown passes and scoring on two running plays. He passed for 243 yards and ran for another 177 yards.

Kaepernick stayed in the offensive huddle at Nevada for four years, through the 2010 season, before heading off to the NFL as a second-round selection of the San Francisco 49ers.

Since then, Kaepernick has not been an anonymous player. He is no longer the unknown that came out of the shadows in Reno and ultimately left the Wolf Pack program after throwing for over 10,000 yards and running for more than 4,000 yards. He threw 82 touchdown passes and ran for 59 scores.

Mauga left Nevada in 2009 for the NFL and he’ll see Kaepernick again on Sunday when the Chiefs face the 49ers in Santa Clara, California. …Read More!

4 Keys To Winning For Chiefs Against Niners

Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β 

Four

Stay balanced on offensive play calling

Andy Reid was talking about how important havng a balanced offense was for his team. He then went on to say that he’s always felt he’s been balanced at about 60 percent pass and 40 percent run. Not sure what type of math they may have taught back at Brigham Young in the day, but for this team at this time, Reid needs to have real balance, 50-50. It’s vital to the offense because it keeps the defense guessing, provides help for an offensive line that’s improved, but is still shaky in pass protection. So far this season, the offense has run 268 plays, with 127 runs and 141 passes. That’s a balance of 52.6 percent pass and 47.4 percent run. It’s imperative Reid stays as close to those numbers as possible. …Read More!

The Decision – Smith vs Kaepernick – 2 Years Later

No one has ever accused Jim Harbaugh of being afraid to make a decision, especially one that may have odds that are long for success.

In November 2012, Harbaugh walked out to the end of the NFL diving board and decided to jump.

Alex Smith was the quarterback that the then new San Francisco head coach molded into a consistent performer in the 2011 season. It was easily the best season of Smith’s career, and he continued to perform well through the first half of the 2012 season. As a new NFL head coach, it was a gift that made Harbaugh’s transition so much easier.

On November 11, 2012, in a game against St. Louis at Candlestick Park, Smith suffered a concussion. Second-year backup Colin Kaepernick walked into the Niners huddle and never left. Even when Smith was cleared to play weeks later, Harbaugh decided to stick with his young and physically gifted quarterback.

Behind Kaepernick, the 49ers made it to the Super Bowl where they lost to Baltimore. Last season, they made it back to the NFC Championship Game before losing to Seattle.

Sunday, Kaepernick will make his 28th regular-season start when he plays against the Chiefs for the first time. And, Smith will play against the Niners for the first time in his 10-year career. He moved to Kansas City in 2013 through a trade that sent a pair of second-round draft choices to San Francisco. …Read More!

Officials Preview: Walt Coleman Crew For KC vs. SF

Long-time referee Walt Coleman will work Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and 49ers

There was a lot of chatter around the NFL this week concerning officiating.

A short version is that the guys in the striped shirts are not happy with their bosses at the league office in New York. They are concerned with inconsistencies in grading on-field decisions.

One of their points of contention involves the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah after his end zone slide and moment of prayer in the Monday night victory over New England.

Abdullah was flagged, and the next morning the NFL was quick to announce that the game officials should not have pulled the yellow hankie. That penalty, along with one in a September 21 game between Washington and Philadelphia caused the consternation. On an interception thrown by Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, Redskins defender Chris Baker hit the passer after the pick by his teammate. He was penalized on the play, but league officials said the next day that Baker’s hit was legal under the rules.

The union said both calls were graded correct even after NFL executives announced that they were incorrect. “Consistency in penalty enforcement is extremely important to the players, coaches and fans,” said Jim Quirk, the executive director of the NFL Referees Association. “Uncertainty as to what the league wants called is not a road you want to go down.” …Read More!

Fisher Pushing Performance North, Not South

Eric Fisher (left) and Joe Staley (right): Central Michigan tackles

There hasn’t been much doubt in the minds of those in charge of football at Arrowhead Stadium that Eric Fisher would at some point show why he was the NFL’s first draft choice in 2013 out of Central Michigan University.

In this case, any doubts that may have developed over his first season and a quarter of his second were trumped by patience. With the background and knowledge that the process of becoming a left tackle in pro football is seldom a quick and easy road, being patient was a requirement for the start of Fisher’s career.

In the Chiefs two-game winning streak, Fisher turned in the two best performances of his career. His blocking in the run game against New England was a huge factor in the more than 200 yards Andy Reid’s offense racked up with Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis and Alex Smith. While Fisher gave up a sack of Smith against the Patriots, he’s coming off two games where his overall pass protection was significantly improved compared to the first two games of the season.

Notoriously hard on himself when evaluating his performance, even Fisher has felt and seen the improvement.

“Everything is really slowing down,” Fisher said this week as the Chiefs prepared to face the San Francisco 49ers. “I feel like I’ve made progress every game and it’s all improving. By no way I’m saying there isn’t room for improvement. I’ve got to get better.” …Read More!

Next Opponent – San Francisco 49ers

Game – No. 5.

Opponent – San Francisco 49ers.

2014 record – the Niners are 2-2 on the season, with an 11-point victory over Dallas in the opener and a 26-21 decision against Philadelphia last Sunday. In between those games, San Francisco lost by eight points to Chicago at home and by nine points in Atlanta. They are minus-1 in point differential (88 scored, 89 given up), plus-4 in the turnover ratio (five giveaways, nine takeaways) and minus-5 in sack differential (10 allowed, 5 on defense.)

Franchise began – in 1946 as an original member of the All-America Football Conference, a rival league to the established NFL. The 49ers were 39-15-2 in the 1946-49 seasons and they were one of three AAFC teams that were merged into the NFL for the 1950 season (Cleveland and Baltimore were the other teams.)

Ownership – Edward DeBartolo Sr. purchased the franchise in 1977 from the estate of brothers Tony and Victor Morbito, the last original owners from the team’s birth 30 years before. The team was controlled at the time of sale by their widows, Jane and Josephine Morbito. DeBartolo put his son Edward DeBartolo Jr., in charge of the operation under the parent company DeBartolo Corporation, located in Youngstown, Ohio. It was Eddie Jr. that hired Bill Walsh as the team’s head coach in 1979 and that led to a remarkable decade of success and multiple championships. Legal entanglements, including his guilty plea to a felony cost DeBartolo control of the franchise in 2000, as he team was taken over by his sister Denise DeBartolo York. She brought her husband John into the organization and now their son Jed is the team president. …Read More!

Tale of the Tape – Chiefs vs. 49ers

The Chiefs and 49ers faceoff on Sunday in the San Francisco Bay Area’s new Levi’s Stadium with matching 2-2 records and plenty of positions and areas of their teams are equal as well. Breaking down the two teams in 11 areas leaves little separating the clubs. That should make for an interesting and potentially entertaining game in week No. 5 of the 2014 season.

Here is the head-to-head, position-by-position, tale of the tape for the Chiefs and Niners: …Read More!

Snap Judgments/New England

Here are the snaps credited by the NFL to the Chiefs on offense, defense and in the kicking game from playing the Patriots. Names in bold are those that played 100 percent of their unit’s snaps:

Offense (67)

  • Backs – Alex Smith 67, Jamaal Charles 36, Knile Davis 29, Anthony Sherman 26, Joe McKnight 15, Cyrus Gray 3, Dontari Poe 1.
  • Receivers – Anthony Fasano 60, Dwayne Bowe 53, Donnie Avery 40, Travis Kelce 35, Junior Hemingway 28, A.J. Jenkins 11, Demetrius Harris 10, Frankie Hammond 4.
  • Line – Zach Fulton 67, Mike McGlynn 67, Rodney Hudson 67, Eric Fisher 67, Ryan Harris 67. …Read More!

Charles Earns AFC Honors

Running back Jamaal Charles was named the AFC offensive player of the week on Wednesday due to his performance in Monday night’s victory over New England at Arrowhead Stadium.

In the 41-14 outcome, Charles scored three touchdowns and produced 108 offensive yards on 18 carries and three catches. He scored on a two-yard run and caught scoring passes of five and eight yards.

All this came with Charles less than 100 percent because of a sprained ankle that kept him out of the Miami game the previous Sunday. He suffered the injury in the first half of the game in Denver on September 14.

It’s the third offensive player of the week honors that Charles earned over his seven-season career. He was also the AFC special teams player of the week in a 2009 victory over Pittsburgh.

Chiefs-Patriots Drew Big TV Viewership Monday Night

The Chiefs 41-14 victory over New England was a big hit with television viewers and allowed ESPN win the ratings battle among all networks in households, viewers and all key male and adult groups. The game broadcast ranked as the top telecast of the night across the television landscape, averaging an 8.8 household rating, representing 10,219,000 households and 14,426,000 viewers according to Nielsen.

Game viewership peaked between 8:30-8:45 p.m. with a 10.2 rating and more than 17 million viewers around the country.

In Kansas City, the game delivered a 13.9 rating on ESPN and a 29.8 on KMBC-Channel 9, for a combined 43.7 rating in the market. In Boston the game drew a combined 30.1 rating.

The top 10 metered markets (in addition to the markets of the competing teams) included: Providence (20.8), San Diego (17.3), Las Vegas (15.1), Denver (13.5), Sacramento (13.2), Seattle (13.1), Indianapolis (12.4), New Orleans (12.3), West Palm Beach (12.2), and Phoenix (12.1).

Abdullah Should Not Have Been Penalized

The NFL public relations machinery has been broken in recent times but the folks in New York responded quickly to the 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty called Monday night against Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah.

After returning an interception 39 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, Abdullah slid on both knees in the end zone and then knelt and bent over in prayer. Abdullah is a Muslim faith, who follows the rules of his religion including spend several months each day kneeling on his prayer rug.

That’s what he did at the end of his slide and the game officials hit him with the 15-yard penalty. The flag ended up causing no problems for the Chiefs, but the league was quick to establish that the whole incident was not correct.

The league statement read: “Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct following his fourth quarter touchdown. Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (d) states ‘players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground.’ Β However, the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play.”

Fans & Chiefs Look To Make Monday Night Noise

Whether the crowd at Arrowhead Stadium can make enough noise to take back from Seattle Seahawks fans the designation as the loudest sporting venue in the country will be decided by a guy holding a decibel meter.

Whether the Chiefs can make their own Monday night noise and push themselves back into the conversation among AFC contenders will depend not on machinery, but how they perform against and handle the visiting New England Patriots.

Kickoff is 7:15 p.m. with television coverage on ESPN and in Kansas City, KMBC-Channel 9.

The Chiefs are 1-2. The Patriots are 2-1. Both teams have been disappointments to their fans for underachieving in the season’s first three weeks. Both clubs have been hampered by injuries. Each team has offensive line problems. The Chiefs and Patriots are going to rely on their defenses at this point in the season.

Andy Reid’s team needs to carry a 2-2 record into Tuesday morning, and leave the Patriots with a similar 2-2 record. A K.C. victory would turn what began as a disastrous first quarter into a month of momentum for going forward with trips ahead to San Francisco and San Diego.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” said quarterback Alex Smith. “They are all big opportunities and certainly this one is. I think momentum can be a big, big thing in this game and I feel like we’ve got a little bit going and would love to keep it going.” …Read More!

Andy & Bill Bring Victories Into Monday Night


372

That’s how many victories Andy Reid and Bill Belichick will bring to Arrowhead Stadium for Monday night football when the Chiefs host the Patriots.

No game currently on the 2014 NFL schedule will bring together coaches with as many winning regular season and post-season efforts as the meeting between Reid and Belichick.

Career head coaching records:

  • Belichick – 220-115-0, a .657 winning percentage in 20 seasons.
  • Reid – 152-110-1, a .580 winning percentage in 15 seasons.

They currently rank No. 1 (Belichick) and No. 4 (Reid) in most victories among active NFL head coaches. In league history Belichick ranks No. 5 and Reid is No. 21.

In fact, this game will feature the most victories between two head coaches for any game ever played at Arrowhead Stadium. It tops the 370 victories that Don Shula and Marty Schottenheimer carried into the October 13, 1991 game between the Dolphins and Chiefs. That was a blowout victory for Schottenheimer, as the Chiefs won 42-7. …Read More!

Officials Preview – John Parry & Crew

One of the NFL’s higher ranked officiating crews will work Monday night handling the Chiefs and Patriots in Monday night football at Arrowhead Stadium.

Referee John Parry is in his 15th season as an NFL official and eighth season as a referee. The Patriots know him well – he was the referee for Super XLVI in Indianapolis when the New York Giants beat New England. That’s Parry on the right, holding out a hand to help out a defeated Tom Brady at the Super Bowl.

A financial advisor in suburban Akron, Ohio, Parry and his crew have averaged 15 penalties walked off for 143 yards in three games this season, including the NFL’s regular-season opener in Seattle between the Seahawks and Packers. They also worked the Arizona at New York Giants game and last week handled San Diego’s visit to Buffalo. That ranks them in the top third of flag throwers in the league.

This crew has leaned on the defense, walking off 27 of their 45 penalties against the defenders. That includes 18 coverage penalties, including eight illegal contact calls, more than any other crew. On the offensive side, they have walked off 14 penalties with half that total offensive holding.

The Chiefs are 2-3 in the last five games where Parry has been the referee; the most recent was the Monday night game last season in Denver, when they had fewer penalties than the Broncos but still lost.

…Read More!

4 Keys To Winning For the Chiefs Vs. Patriots

Β 

Four

Handle Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones

Here’s a number to consider when discussing New England’s third-year defender and 2012 first-round selection in the NFL Draft: 85.75 inches. That’s the wingspan of Chandler Jones and it’s a problem the Chiefs must deal with in Monday night’s game. The 6-5, 260-pound Jones has arms that are 35Β½ inches long; thus he can spread those wings more than seven-feet wide. That makes him a threat to knock down any pass on his side of the field, plus he’s a load to handle in pass protection. This year in three games Jones has 14 total tackles, two sacks and two passes knocked down. Against Minnesota, he blocked a field goal, picked up the ball and scored on a 58-yard return. Figure Bill Belichick and his defensive staff will find the weakest point of the Chiefs offensive line and attack there with Jones.

…Read More!

Jackson County Bridge Will Wear Len Dawson’s Name

On Friday morning the state of Missouri honored Chiefs and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson by attaching his name to a bridge near Arrowhead Stadium.

Missouri General Assembly Bill No. 1866 designated the bridge on East Stadium Drive over Interstate 435 as the Len Dawson Bridge in ceremonies at the stadium.

“I’m excited and I’m also humbled to be the recipient (of this honor) in this very special way,” Dawson said. “A kid from Alliance, Ohio . . . I think we had a bridge there, I’m not too sure, but it wasn’t named after anybody.”

Dawson spent 18 years in Alliance, a small town just east of Canton. Then it was off to four years in West Lafayette, Indiana at Purdue University, three years in Pittsburgh after the Steelers selected him in the first round of the 1957 NFL Draft, and then two seasons in Cleveland when he was traded to the Browns before he landed in Dallas for a year with the Texans. In 1963 Dawson joined the rest of Lamar Hunt’s franchise and moved to Kansas City. It’s been his home for the last 52 years.

“I want to thank Lamar Hunt for bringing the franchise from Dallas to Kansas City,” Dawson said. “Kansas City is home and I wouldn’t want to think about being home in any other place but Kansas City.”

The honor comes as part of the Missouri Department of Transportation’s highway designation program that honors certain individuals, events, places or organizations on Missouri’s state highway system.

Tale of the Tape: Chiefs vs. Patriots

On the surface there would not seem to be much to compare between the Chiefs and their next opponent, the New England Patriots. It’s been 10 years since the Pats won a Super Bowl championship; it’s been 45 seasons since the Chiefs earned their only Super Bowl trophy. Over the last decade, New England averaged 12.4 victories per season; the Chiefs averaged half that in the same time period.

But as the teams get ready to face each other this coming Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium they are far closer than many would assume given recent history. Other than the all-important habit of winning that the Patriots have in buckets, there are not a lot of current differences between the teams.

Here is the head-to-head, position-by-position tale of the tape for the Chiefs and Patriots: …Read More!

Keeping The Stars Out of the Eyes of Young Defenders

That’s a Tamba Hali sack and strip of Tom Brady in a 2011 game at Foxboro

Tom Brady has been on the NFL’s radar screen for 15 seasons now. With three Super Bowl victories, two other appearances in the league’s final game, his boyish grin and Hollywood lifestyle, Brady has become one of the iconic figures in the game.

Many of the Chiefs defenders attempting to stop Brady on Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium were not even teenagers yet when Brady won his first championship ring in the 2001 season with the Patriots victory over St. Louis in New Orleans.

Nose tackle Dontari Poe and cornerback Marcus Cooper were 11 years old. Outside linebacker Justin Houston and defensive end Allen Bailey were 12. Running back/receiver De’Anthony Thomas will not be on the field against Brady, but he was just eight years old when Brady first held the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Playing against Brady tends to tighten the emotion strings on young defensive players. It can become a psychological jumble playing against a superstar they watched as a kid, knowing from film study and the defensive coaches that Brady always finds the defensive mistakes and weaknesses. They want to play perfectly because it’s a national stage of Monday night. They feel like they must be perfect given Brady’s experience and skills. But not even the coaches expect their players to go through a 60-minute game doing everything perfectly for the defense.

It’s a combination of emotions that can test the resolve of any young player. …Read More!

McKnight Goes Down With Ruptured Achilles

From the Truman Sports Complex

In a stunning announcement Friday morning, the Chiefs reported that running back Joe McKnight suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in practice Thursday. He will definitely not play Monday night against New England and he’s headed for surgery, ending his 2014 season.

After his performance against Miami last week where he caught two touchdown passes and had a very nice kickoff return, losing McKnight is a huge blow to the Chiefs depth and takes away a potential weapon from the offense and special teams.

“It’s unfortunate because he did have a tremendous game on Sunday,” said offensive coordinator Doug Pederson. “It tugs at your heart a little bit because he battled through injury here and injury in New York (Jets) and sitting out of football and knowing just how hard he worked, the time and effort he put in going all the way back to the OTAs. He was a guy that brought energy to that room and brought another skill-set to use. I just want to get him healthy and get back as soon as possible.”

No prognosis was given by head trainer Rick Burkholder when he announced the injury to the media Friday.

“He’s in the evaluation process right now and we are trying to determine when he’ll have the surgery and who will do the surgery,” said Burkholder. “It will be up to Coach Reid and John Dorsey to decide his status on the roster.”

McKnight had 132 all-purpose yards on 10 touches last Sunday against Miami. He had one rushing play for three yards, caught six passes for 64 yards and two touchdown catches and he returned three kickoffs for 65 yards.

Next Opponent: New England Patriots

The two-man Mt. Rushmore of the Patriots: Bill Belichick and Tom Brady

Game – No. 4.

Opponent – New England Patriots.

2014 record – they are 2-1, after losing their opener to Miami 33-20, and then posting back-to-back victories over Minnesota 30-7 and Oakland 16-9. They have allowed 49 points, while scoring 66. After three games they are ranked No. 26 in offensive yards with an average of 301.3 yards per game. Despite having quarterback Tom Brady, the Pats are No. 27 in passing yards per game at 196.3 yards. Defensively the Patriots are No. 3 in fewest defensive yards allowed, giving up an average of 272.7 yards. They are plus-6 in the turnover ratio and even in the sack ratio.

Franchise began – in 1960 when the Boston Patriots were one of eight charter members of Lamar Hunt’s American Football League. They became the New England Patriots in 1971 when they moved into their new stadium in Foxboro, MA. That building changed names several times, but the Patriots played there until Gillette Stadium was built and opened in Foxboro for the 2002 season.

Ownership – The Kraft family owns 100 percent of the team. Robert Kraft, the family’s 73-year old patriarch holds 30 percent ownership. His four sons (Jonathan, Dan, Josh and David) equally share the other 70 percent. Kraft bought the Patriots in 1994 from St. Louis businessman James Orthwein for $175 million. Orthwein, a great-grandson of Anheuser-Busch found Adolphus Busch of brewery fame bought the franchise from New York businessman Victor Kiam in 1992. Kiam bought the team for $83 million in 1988 from the founding Sullivan family. It was Billy Sullivan who paid $25,000 in 1960 for a franchise in the AFL. Over the years, Sullivan had many partners and several times became 100 percent owner in the team. But Sullivan did not come from money, and eventually operating a team in a dilapidated stadium in Foxboro limited his income opportunities. Billy Sullivan died in 1988, forcing his heirs to sell the club because of the inheritance tax situation.

Quiz 1 – Patriots founder Billy Sullivan played a major part in Lamar Hunt’s life. What was his role? Sullivan made the presentation speech for Hunt when the Chiefs founder was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

General Manager – ?, the Patriots do not have a person listed as holding that title. The duties of the G.M. are split among several persons, with the most public being director of player personnel Nick Caserio. This 14th season with the Patriots, with 12 coming in the personnel department and two as an assistant coach. There is no question who holds the football power in the organization – read on. …Read More!

Snap Judgments/Miami: TEs Changing Chiefs Offense

As an offensive play-caller there’s one thing Andy Reid craves each Sunday – options. Give an offensive mind like the Chiefs head coach a toolbox full of different implements and there’s no predicting what he can build when his team has the football.

The game within the game that’s played out in every game on Sunday is where the offensive and defensive coaching staffs try to decipher what the other guys have shown in previous games, and then create a game plan to leave the other guys guessing.

Over the last two weeks, Reid and his offensive coordinator Doug Pederson have not put together cookie-cutter game plans. They have taken their basic offensive scheme and continue to make subtle changes. That comes with the motion and shifting of players when the offense comes out of the huddle and there are the personnel packages created to run the plays.

On Sunday in Miami, the offensive game plan included a heavy dose of the Chiefs running a three tight end alignment. But this wasn’t the standard short yardage/goal line three tight ends. Due to the skills of Anthony Fasano, Travis Kelce and Demetrius Harris, the Chiefs can put formations on the field that don’t provide any clue of what’s about to happen.

“They give you some flexibility because they’re all good receivers,” Reid said Monday. “We put that in for OTAs and then we ran it a little bit last week (against Denver) where we threw the ball. We thought we could get a decent match up there with them in the run game.”

The Chiefs had 11 snaps on offense with all three tight ends on the field. It always started with all three lined up to the outside of right tackle Ryan Harris, usually with Fasano, Harris and Kelce in that order. In effect, it gave the Chiefs five blockers on the right side of the center. On several of those plays, Kelce went in motion from right to left. …Read More!

4 Keys To A Chiefs Victory Against Miami/Recap

Β 

Four

Keep pass rusher Cameron Wake out of the pocket

Over the last four seasons, Wake is one of the most prolific sackers in the league, pulling down the passer 53.5 times in 79 games since joining the Dolphins in 2009 out of the Canadian Football League. Left tackle Eric Fisher will see a lot of No. 91 and the Chiefs second-year blocker must show that he’s up to the task. Fisher’s performance against Denver last week was an improvement but then going up is just about the only direction he could have traveled. Alex Smith does not need to get swallowed up in the wake of Cameron. Fisher and left guard Mike McGlynn need to be a damn against the pass rush on that back side.

OUTCOME: the Chiefs pass protection was not good, but they were able to handle Wake well enough that he did not have one of the Dolphins five quarterback takedowns. Overall, the pass protection was not up to standards, but it wasn’t Wake in the pocket. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Three

Confuse Ryan Tannehill

Sunday’s game will be NFL start No. 35 for Tannehill, and Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton made a good point this week: Tannehill has a limited history at the position. At Texas A&M University he was a wide receiver/quarterback and started 19 games under center. He’s been a full-time QB for just five years; he’s still learning on the job. Tannehill is talented and he can make plays to help his team win. He can also make plays that kill the Dolphins chances of success. He’s a mobile quarterback and can escape the pass rush, but as he’s running the ball is exposed to the defense. Plus, when he throws on the move, the chances of interception increase.

OUTCOME: hard to say that Tannehill’s troubles came because he was confused, but the numbers say that might have been the case. He didn’t complete 50 percent of his passes and he averaged just 4.8 yards per attempt. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Two

Take the ball away

It’s hard to believe that in two games the Chiefs defense has not registered a turnover – no interceptions and zero fumbles recovered. In fact, Tennessee and Denver only fumbled the ball one time in those games and the Titans recovered the ball, so the Chiefs are not even causing fumbles. They are one of three teams left in the league that does not have a takeaway (Pittsburgh and New York Giants are the other two.) It’s darn near impossible for the Chiefs to win more games than they lose if they don’t take the ball away. The confusing part is that on the practice field and in the meeting rooms, takeaways are constantly stressed to the players and even the least intelligent player understands how big an interception or fumble recovery is to his team’s chances of winning.

OUTCOME: it’s now even harder to believe the Chiefs are without a turnover after three games. In this game they had opportunities, as Tamba Hali caused a fumble on his sack of Tannehill that Miami recovered. Cornerbacks Chris Owen and Sean Smith both had possible interceptions in their hands and couldn’t make the play. FAILED

One

Match the intensity of the second game performance, not the first game

The Chiefs appeared more intense, better prepared and committed in their Game No. 2 loss to Denver than anything they showed in Game No. 1 when losing to Tennessee. The results were the same, but the type of performance they had against Tennessee gives the Chiefs little opportunity to win. If they play as they did against Denver, the Chiefs will have a chance to win any game they play this season. Right now, they need to win one game and it needs to be this one. Ahead on the schedule are New England, San Francisco and San Diego. Miss gaining a “W” this week and this team is looking 0-6 right in the eye.

OUTCOME: they definitely got this done. The Dolphins kind of meandered through the game, only getting excited when they scored 12 points in three minutes while producing just 19 offensive yards. The Chiefs were business-like in their approach, but showed some emotion in getting their first victory of the season. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Chiefs Earn A South Beach Victory Over The Dolphins

The odds are nearly impossible for an NFL team to reach the playoffs after starting the season 0-3. The numbers since 1990 show only 2 percent improve enough to make the tournament.

Andy Reid and his Chiefs will not have to worry about those numbers, as they picked up the season’s first victory, bouncing the Miami Dolphins 34-15 in a Sunday afternoon meeting at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Without running back Jamaal Charles, inactive because of his sprained ankle, Davis became the offensive engine, running 32 times for 132 yards. Quarterback Alex Smith threw three touchdown passes, including a pair to running back Joe McKnight. The defense didn’t get a takeaway, but the pass rush pressure on Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill produced four sacks.

Now 1-2, the Chiefs host the New England Patriots next Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium.

Here’s the coverage of Sunday’s victory:

Time For ’14 Chiefs To Show Just Who They Are

Two weeks ago, the Chiefs bad overall performance led to loss No. 1. A week ago they had a much better day of production and still they were slapped with loss No. 2.

It’s the third week of the 2014 season and reading the tea leaves on this year’s edition of the Hunt Family franchise remains nothing but guess work. There are obvious reasons for the team’s inconsistency against Tennessee and Denver. They started the season with seven new starters (including the kicker) and after two games they now have a dozen different starters from last year’s team that made the AFC playoffs.

On this Sunday, the Chiefs are in south Florida to face the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens. It’s a 3:25 p.m. start with television coverage on CBS.

“Certainly it’s not where we hoped to be two weeks ago,” said quarterback Alex Smith. “It’s a long season and you never know what can happen and I think that’s the reason the mentality is win this week and put some things together. You never know what can happen; there are so many things out of your control that you can’t worry about.

“The one thing we can control is how we prepare and go out and play the Dolphins and let’s just focus on that.” …Read More!

Week #3 Notes: Cradle of Kickers – St. Augustine, FL?

Some 300 miles from Miami, traveling up Interstate-95 along the east coast of Florida is St. Augustine.

Known as the oldest continuously inhabited village in the continental United States, St. Augustine saw European explorers as early as Ponce de Leon in 1513 and what became a permanent settlement was set up in 1565. There’s 600 years of history there that went down on the Atlantic Ocean and in the many rivers that crisscross the city.

But it’s doubtful anyone has ever called St. Augie the cradle of kickers. But of the 32 men booting the ball in the NFL, two are from St. Augustine and they’ll be together on the field Sunday afternoon when the Chiefs and Dolphins face off back down I-95 in Miami Gardens.

Caleb Sturgis will be kicking for the Dolphins. He’s in his second season with the team out of the University of Florida and St. Augustine High School. Cairo Santos will be booting the ball for the Chiefs. He will be in his third NFL game after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane University with his high school days coming at St. Joseph Academy in St. Augustine.

Of the 30 other kickers this week around the league there are two that kicked at the same high school – Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, California: Nick Folk of the New York Jets and Kai Forbath of the Washington Redskins. Sturgis and Santos are two of six kickers that have come out of Florida, from St. Augustine in the north, to Ft. Lauderdale in the south. There are also six Texas raised kickers in the league. No other state or area had more than two kickers.

Sturgis and Santos have never kicked against each other in a game – St. Augie and St. Joe were in different leagues and classifications, so they never went head-to-head. But they have spent many hours kicking together in St. Augustine during springs and summers when they came back for visits. …Read More!

Tamba Hali vs. Branden Albert – One More Time

Through his nine seasons in the NFL, Tamba Hali has been taking notes, a lot of notes. Before each game in preparation, and after each game in analyzing the action, Hali records what he saw on tape and then what he saw in live action from the guy trying to block him.

But in week three of this, his ninth season, Hali didn’t have any notes to use in his preparation to face the left tackle of the Miami Dolphins, a fellow by the name of Branden Albert.

“It’s all right here,” Hali said Friday, taping his head to indicate his scouting report was filed away on his mental hard drive. “We both know each other’s strengths and weaknesses that’s for sure.”

Hali actually has more information about Albert than any opponent he’s faced since arriving in 2006. That’s what comes from six years of going against each other constantly in practices and training camp. They probably had a thousand or more snaps between the 2008 season when Albert arrived as a first-round draft choice, through the 2013 season that proved to be the last for Albert in red and gold. In March he signed a five-year $47 million contract with the Dolphins as an unrestricted free agent.

Has Albert been sharing what he knows about the Chiefs defensive scheme? …Read More!

Officials Look: Triplette Crew For Chiefs-Dolphins

The Chiefs are without a victory in the young 2014 NFL season, but one part of their troubles has not been penalties.

So far, they’ve seen 10 flags walked off against them for 87 yards. That’s No. 6 in the league for fewest penalties and No. 7 for fewest penalty yards. Overall, in the Chiefs first two games there have been 33 penalties and 268 yards walked off against both teams.

This week, the Chiefs will get referee Jeff Triplette (right) and his veteran crew when they face the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Triplette is in his 19th season as an NFL official, joining the league in 1996 as a field judge and promoted to referee in 1999.

Off the field, he’s the CEO and President of ArbiterSports, a business he founded that’s developed hardware and software that allows sporting organizations to educate, assign and pay officials for any athletic event. Triplette has also worked in risk management consulting and worked 32 years for Duke Energy Corporation in North Carolina. He’s a retired Colonel with over 32 years of service in the U.S. Army National Guard and Reserve. He was awarded the Bronze Star while serving in the first Persian Gulf War.

Triplette and his crew worked the Jacksonville at Philadelphia game in the opening weekend, and they had St. Louis at Tampa Bay last Sunday. Home teams are 1-1 on the season with Triplette as the referee. His crew has walked off a total of 22 penalties for 200 yards. That ranks them near the top of the list of NFL crews that have thrown the fewest flags. …Read More!

4 Keys To A Chiefs Victory Against The Dolphins

Β  Β 

Four

Keep pass rusher Cameron Wake out of the pocket

Over the last four seasons, Wake is one of the most prolific sackers in the league, pulling down the passer 53.5 times in 79 games since joining the Dolphins in 2009 out of the Canadian Football League. Left tackle Eric Fisher will see a lot of No. 91 and the Chiefs second-year blocker must show that he’s up to the task. Fisher’s performance against Denver last week was an improvement but then going up is just about the only direction he could have traveled. Alex Smith does not need to get swallowed up in the wake of Cameron. Fisher and left guard Mike McGlynn need to be a damn against the pass rush on that back side.

…Read More!

The NFL’s New Rules On Drugs, PEDs

On the same day that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke publicly about questions of handling players involved in domestic and child abuse cases, the league and players union released details on new rules and regulations that have recently been agreed to between the parties involving drugs of abuse and performance enhancing substances.

There are wide-ranging changes to programs on substances of abuse and PEDs, including revised disciplinary standards for DUIs and marijuana and the use of third-party arbitration process for appeals of positive tests. It also sets up the start of testing for human growth hormone (HGH) within the next few weeks.

These are the important changes made in the policy: …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Report – September 19

From the Truman Sports Complex

Jamaal Charles was working, De’Anthony Thomas was not as the Chiefs wrapped up preparations for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

The practice report was identical to what went down during Thursday’s workout when Charles was a limited participant. Thomas along with safety Eric Berry were not on the field.

It remains hard to believe that Charles will be able to play on Sunday with his high ankle sprain. Should he play against the Dolphins, remarkable might not be a strong enough word to describe his comeback. Generally that injury is a four to six-week recovery period.

Thomas continues to be sidelined with the hamstring injury suffered on September 3 during practice. On Wednesday, the rookie from the University of Oregon spoke with excitement about getting his first chance to play in a regular-season game. He was listed as a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice but now it’s obvious that he had some sort of setback in trying to return to the field.

Berry will likely be listed as out or doubtful for Sunday against the Dolphins; he hasn’t practiced all week due to the sprained ankle suffered in Denver.

Takeaways Disappear From Chiefs Defense

Bob Sutton described the situation with the Chiefs defense right now in two words:

“It’s sad,” the defensive coordinator said Thursday

Sutton was not speaking of the entire performance and effort of the defense in the first two games of the 2014 season. What’s sad in his view is the big fat zero that sits next to one of the most important statistics for any defense: takeaways. They’ve been shut out so far, one of three NFL teams that do not have an interception or fumble recovered in the season’s first two weeks (Pittsburgh and the New York Giants are the others.)

“We talk to our players all the time about how you just have to stay the course and just keep going and those things happen,” Sutton said. “I’m not sure why and when they happen but you’ve got to keep flying to the ball and when your opportunity comes, you want to be there whether the ball is tipped, or the ball is on the ground.”

In the season’s first two games, the Titans and Broncos have fumbled just one time. The defense didn’t even cause that one, as it was on a Tennessee kickoff return in the opener. The hit that knocked the ball out came from an offensive guy: fullback Anthony Sherman. …Read More!

Next Opponent: Miami Dolphins

Game – No. 3.

Opponent – Miami Dolphins, lead by quarterback Ryan Tannehill (above).

2014 record – 1-1, with a 33-20 home victory over New England and a 29-10 loss to the Bills in Buffalo.

Franchise began – 1966, as the first of two expansion teams in the 10-year history of the American Football League. The partnership of Minneapolis lawyer Joseph Robbie and entertainer Danny Thomas paid $7.5 million for the franchise. They began play at the Orange Bowl in the 1966 season after selecting 31 players in an expansion draft, along with 31 selections in the 1966 AFL Draft. From the Chiefs in the expansion draft, the Dolphins grabbed DT Al Dotson, DE Mel Branch, WR Frank Jackson and LB Ron Caveness. Robbie died in January 1990 with no succession planned worked out. That led his family to sell 15 percent of the team to Miami businessman Wayne Huizenga two months later. In 1994, Huizenga purchased the remaining 85 percent, along with Joe Robbie Stadium.

Ownership – New York real estate magnate Stephen M. Ross bought 50 percent of the Dolphins in 2008, becoming a partner with Wayne Huizenga and then buying another 45 percent of the team in 2009. Ross now owns 95 percent of the Dolphins, Sun Life Stadium and real estate around the stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Ross is the chairman and founder of Related Companies, an international real estate and development firm that owns over $15 billion of real estate devoted to offices, apartments and condos, event centers and retail. Ross’ company built and developed the Time Warner Center in New York and is creating the largest development in United States history, the Hudson Yards project that is scheduled to be completed in 2024. Ross has a business degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from Wayne State University. He lives in New York City and Palm Beach, Florida. There are six celebrities listed as Ross’ partners: sisters Serena and Venus Williams, Black Eyes Peas singer Fergie, singer Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio and singer-actor Marc Anthony.

…Read More!

Tale of the Tape – Chiefs vs. Dolphins

There’s a lot on the line for both the Chiefs and Dolphins in the third game on the 2014 NFL schedule.

Kansas City needs a victory after losing two by a combined score of 50-27. Miami wants to contend in what could be a competitive AFC East, especially after the Fins season opener beat down of the Patriots. They gave some of that back with a 19-point loss to Buffalo last Sunday. They need to protect their home field if they want to have any chance in the division.

As it shakes out, the Chiefs have a very slight advantage over the Dolphins when the teams are matched position-by-position. The Chiefs have a slight offensive edge thanks to Alex Smith, Knile Davis and the tight ends. Miami has the better groups on the line of scrimmage, something that hasn’t been said about south Florida’s team very often in recent seasons.

If both teams play like they did in the season’s first week, the Dolphins will cruise to an easy victory. If both clubs play like they did last week, the Chiefs have a serious chance to win one on the road.

Here is the head-to-head, position-by-position tale of the tape: …Read More!

Chiefs Alumni: Two-Game Production Report

The Chiefs will see a familiar face this Sunday when they travel to south Florida to face the Miami Dolphins.

Former first-round draft choice (2008) Branden Albert is the starting left tackle in the Dolphins offense, protecting the blind side of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Albert signed back in the spring in the first hours of free agency with Miami.

He’s one of 14 Chiefs draft choices that are on active rosters elsewhere in the league and nine of that group are starters: Albert, right guard Jon Asamoah and defensive lineman Tyson Jackson with Atlanta, cornerbacks Brandon Carr (Dallas) and Brandon Flowers (San Diego), defensive end Jared Allen (Chicago), safeties Bernard Pollard (Tennessee) and Kendrick Lewis (Houston) and defensive tackle Jerrell Powe (Houston).

Here are the Chiefs alumni that were in the league through the end of the pre-season: …Read More!

8 Former Chiefs Players, Coaches On Early Hall List

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its Modern Era list of players and coaches that will have a chance to be part of the Hall’s Class of 2015.

There are 113 names on the list and eight have a connection to the Chiefs either as player or coach:

  • Kicker Morten Andersen (2002-03).
  • Quarterback Rich Gannon (1995-.).
  • Running back Priest Holmes (2001-07).
  • Cornerback Ty Law (2006-07).
  • Cornerback Albert Lewis (1983-93).
  • Head coach Marty Schottenheimer (1989-98).
  • Guard Will Shields (1993-2006).
  • Head coach Dick Vermeil (2001-05).

Also early candidates with Chiefs ties are former KC assistant coaches Bill Cowher (1989-91) and Tony Dungy (1989-91).

Vermeil’s Greatest Show on Turf team with the Rams that won the Super Bowl after the 1999 season has four key players who are eligible for the first time: quarterback Kurt Warner, tackle Orlando Pace and wide receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce.

The late Chargers-Dolphins-Patriots linebacker Junior Seau is also a first-year nominee.

Here are the 113 potential Hall of Famers. The selection committee will cut that group to 25 in voting that will conclude on January 31 at the Super Bowl in Arizona: …Read More!

Chiefs Make Practice Squad Moves

Last week the Chiefs were the most active team in the NFL on Tuesday’s personnel wire, ultimately making moves involving 15 players coming and going from the active roster and the practice squad.

A week later, they were busy only on the practice squad, and that’s a good sign right now for the injury-riddled Chiefs. It’s an early indication that right now running back Jamaal Charles and safety Eric Berry will not miss significant time with their ankle injuries.

The Chiefs released tight end Adam Schiltz and cornerback Robert Steeples. Both were signed last week in the flurry of roster moves.

Returning to the practice squad is fullback Jordan Campbell. He was with the Chiefs in training camp and the pre-season and spent the first week of regular season on the practice squad.

The other spot was taken by tight end Justin Jones. The 22-year old is 6-7, 274 pounds and out of East Carolina University. He spent training camp time with the New England Patriots but was released there on August 25.

At ECU, the Conyers, Georgia native played in 32 games over three seasons, starting nine times and catching 52 passes for 598 yards and 21 touchdown receptions. He was declared ineligible for the 2013 season by the school. When he was not drafted, he signed with the Patriots.

Snap Judgments/Denver: Living With A Rookie Kicker

Back in the 1980s the Chiefs had a punter named Jim Arnold. He was a Southern boy out of Georgia and he was as down home a character as one could find in an NFL locker room.

Arnold was a pretty good punter for three seasons (1983-85) with the Chiefs and had a 12-year career in the NFL. To last a dozen seasons as a punter/kicker in the league, a leg man must learn to deal with the stress of performance, the highs and the lows of putting foot to ball and the expectations of coaches, teammates and the fans.

“There are three gremlins you can’t let into your head,” Arnold used to say. “You can’t have fear, doubt and worry sitting on your shoulder. It’s no way to kick. You can’t let them in your head.”

Two games into his NFL career Cairo Santos battles Arnold’s gremlins. Fear, doubt and worry have landed on the narrow shoulder pads of the Chiefs rookie kicker. Just check out the agonizing picture with this post, taken in Denver after he missed the second of his two field goal attempts. That’s a young man grabbing his helmet’s facemask as if he’s trying to hold onto his confidence.

Two games, four field goal attempts, two made, a 50 percent success rate and major concern about whether Santos is up to the task.

“Sometimes you get into a funk as a kicker and you’ve got to work your way out of it,” Andy Reid said of his rookie foot. “He hasn’t missed many field goals in his time, so this is a new experience for him. …Read More!

Zebra Report: Crew Fumbles Its Way Through Game

Sunday was not the best of games for Gene Steratore’s officiating crew that worked the Chiefs game on Sunday against Denver.

The best example of their troubles came in the second quarter, when Chiefs running back Knile Davis caught a pass on the sideline, attempted to turn and run with a Broncos defender tackling him and the ball left his hands and rolled out of bounds.

On the field, the first call was a catch and fumble out of bounds. But then, the crew changed its mind and called it an incomplete pass. That’s when Andy Reid threw the red challenge flag and the play went for replay review.

Once Steratore came out from under the hood, the call was changed back to a catch and fumble out of bounds.

There was another replay review that went the Chiefs way, and that came with less than two minutes to play. Alex Smith dropped back to throw the ball and was hit from behind by Denver defensive end DeMarcus Ware. The ball did not leave Smith’s hand and fall to the turf. Instead, Smith’s arm was going forward and the ball went forward, where there was a scramble for the ball and the officials ruled that Denver recovered.

But that was overturned by replay review that ruled that Smith was in the act of throwing the ball, so it was an incompletion.

“I know I had the sack,” said Ware. “I thought the rule that was put in this year was for that. You just have to take it with a grain of salt. The refs are the refs. They’re going to call what they want to call.”

Reid went one-for-two on his replay challenges, losing the review on a pass from Peyton Manning to Emmanuel Sanders that was ruled a catch on the field. The replay seemed to show it was a catch and fumble. But the decision backed up the on-field call and with 2:37 to play in the first half, Reid was out of challenges.

Denver struggled with penalties all day, with 11 flags walked off for 71 yards. That included eight penalties on the Denver defense. The Chiefs ended up with four first downs thanks to those defensive calls.

Here’s the hanky report for the Chiefs against Denver:

#

Team

Player

Penalty

Yards

1.

Offense

R. Harris

Holding

Minus-10

2.

Offense

A.Smith

Illegal forward pass

`Minus-5

3.

Kickoff

*

Offsides

Minus-5

4.

Defense

T. Hali

Offsides

Minus-5

5.

Offense

Z. Fulton

Holding

Minus-10

6.

Offense

Z. Fulton

Holding

Minus-10

7.

Defense

J. Howard

Personal foul

Offsetting

8.

Defense

M. Cooper

Pass interference

Minus-17

Offense-4, Defense-3, Special teams-1. *-Player not named.

Another Chance For β€˜14 Chiefs To Show What They Are

Consider the affair that will go down Sunday afternoon at Denver’s Sports Authority Field as the Chiefs 2014 Season Opener II.

Most coaches are never quite sure what they will see in any season’s first game. But once that’s over, the staff usually has a handle of what their team is capable of doing on the field.

Andy Reid and his staff take the Chiefs on the field for an AFC West game against the Broncos not any more certain of what they’ll see than they were a week ago against Tennessee. Blame that on the team’s poor performance against the Titans in all three phases of the game and the departure of three starters for the rest of the season due to injury.

That makes this 109th meeting between the Chiefs and Broncos another opener for Reid and his team. What they will show remains quite unpredictable. Kickoff is 3:25 p.m. CDT with television coverage on CBS.

Derrick Johnson, Mike DeVito and Jeff Allen are gone, all victims of injuries and surgeries that came off the 26-10 loss to Tennessee a week ago. That’s 14 percent of the starting lineup eliminated in a single game. And still, they must play the Broncos.

“You’ve got scheme and you’ve got players that can play,” said Reid. “We still have a lot of good football players on this team. You’ve got a personnel department that’s looking at different options and we’ve still got a lot of games left. That allows for optimism there.” …Read More!

Notes: What Would Sanders Have Brought KC Offense?

Imagine how the Chiefs offense might be different if Emmanuel Sanders was wearing red and gold?

The small and speedy catcher was a free agent in the off-season and seemed on the verge of signing with the Chiefs. In fact, in early March he was in Kansas City, waiting for a deal to be completed between himself and the club.

By the end of that weekend, he was in Denver signing with the Broncos. The Chiefs say Sanders and his agent reneged on a verbal agreement, but without a signature it was he said, she said.

“It was close,” Sanders told the Denver media this week. “We still had a lot of stuff that we had to deal with in terms of incentives. I think we had the foundation of the contract ready but I wasn’t happy with the incentives.”

Sanders got what he wanted from the Broncos and he’s never looked back. Who would, when Peyton Manning is the guy throwing the ball?

“There wasn’t anything in stone, and they (Chiefs) tried to make it seem that way, but I’m way past that,” Sanders said. “I just feel like I was a better fit here in Denver. They throw the football. In college (SMU), I played under a guy by the name of June Jones, who runs the run-and-shoot offense. I like to catch the ball. In college, we threw the ball on third-and-1, on fourth-and-1. I feel like that’s the mold that Denver has up here and I’m enjoying it.” …Read More!

4 Keys To Winning For Chiefs vs. Broncos

1

Raise the level of performance across the board in all phases

The Chiefs failure in game No. 1 was in all phases – the offense couldn’t produce, the defense was vulnerable to run and pass and the kicking game was nothing special. There’s nowhere to go but up for all parts of their performance, and to have any shot of pulling the biggest upset of the NFL’s second week of games, the 13-point underdog Chiefs can’t slack in any single area. The Broncos are not an unbeatable group; just ask Seattle. In the second half of their opener, the Colts came blasting back on Denver, much as Indy did against the Chiefs in the playoffs. They have some holes in their roster, but the Chiefs have more, especially now with losing Derrick Johnson, Mike DeVito and Jeff Allen. Even if those three starters were on the field, the entire 46-man active roster would have to play at a much higher level. If not, they have no chance and they will start the season 0-2.

…Read More!

2014 NFL Roster Numbers

It’s just about impossible with 32 rosters in the NFL to put together a completely accurate picture of all 53 players with each team. That’s 1,696 players, with about 50 of those names in flux every week of the season.

But the league sat down and put together some numbers on the average height, weight, age and experience for the 32 rosters and their players.

When it comes to height and weight there is not a lot of difference from the tallest and heaviest to the shortest and lightest. There are more differences between teams in age, NFL experience and players 30 years and older.

The Chiefs average 6-feet, 1Β½ inches, making them tied for 23rd among the tallest teams. They average 243.89 pounds, making them one of the league’s lightest squads, ranked at No. 28. The average age of the roster was 25.72 and that tied them at the 11th youngest team in the league. They averaged 3.75 seasons of play in the league, tied for No. 9 in least experienced. They were tied for eighth in rookies and first-year players with 12 and they were No. 17 with the most players that are 30 or older with eight players.

Here are the No. 1 and No. 32 teams in each category.

  • Height: tallest – Arizona, 6-feet, 2 ΒΌ inches; shortest – Cleveland, 6-feet, 1 ΒΌ inches.
  • Weight: heaviest – Indianapolis, 252.26 pounds; lightest – Seattle, 242.26 pounds.
  • Age: oldest – Chicago, 27.08 years; youngest – St. Louis, 25.15 years.
  • Experience: most – Chicago, 4.94 seasons; least – St. Louis 3.26 seasons.
  • Rookies/1st-Year: most – Cleveland, 14; least – Tennessee, 6.
  • Players 30 or older: most – Chicago 16; least – St. Louis 3. …Read More!

Injuries Have Already Changed Chiefs Season

On Wednesday, Derrick Johnson had surgery on his right Achilles tendon.

On Thursday, Mike DeVito underwent the same surgery.

Friday brought surgery on the right biceps of Jeff Allen.

Welcome to life in the NFL, where a carefully constructed roster can be left in tatters in the matter of one afternoon thanks to ruptured tendons and torn muscles.

Left – Derrick Johnson rests after surgery on his ruptured Achilles tendon.

It’s an important reminder that football is not a contact sport. Basketball is a contact sport. The game of football is a collision sport. Bodies crash into each other on every single play. Sometimes the effect of those collisions can be seen immediately as the doctors and trainers run onto the field. Other times it’s the cumulative result of hit after hit and the body responds by breaking down, screaming anatomically that it’s had too much.

Lost playing time caused by injuries happens to every player and every team in every season. The 12-month physical training and conditioning programs can only mitigate the damage. Success or failure of any NFL team comes down to the luck of timing. Check any Super Bowl champion and they’ll have a roster that spent very little time out of the action due to injuries.

So far the 2014 Chiefs have not had the luck of timing. One game into the season and their position in the division and conference has been undermined by injuries. And, there are 15 games to be played.

Already, the Chiefs can count 47 lost games to injuries among the team’s starting 22: …Read More!

Officials Preview: Chiefs vs. Broncos

Last week the Chiefs saw an NFL rookie in Ronald Torbert leading the officiating crew onto the field for the season opener against Tennessee. Torbert was handling his first regular-season game as a referee.

This week the Chiefs see a seasoned pro in Gene Steratore and his crew for the game against the Broncos in Denver.

Steratore is in his 12th season as an NFL official and he’s been a referee since 2006. He has not worked a Chiefs game since November 2012 when he led the crew for the game against Cincinnati at Arrowhead Stadium.

Last week, the Steratore crew worked the Cincinnati at Baltimore game, where the road team was able to win. Overall, there were seven penalties walked off in the game for 74 yards. That was the fewest flags and penalty yards in any of the opening weekend games. The group threw eight flags, with one penalty declined, and it was four on the offense, three on defense and once in the kicking game. They showed no obvious tendencies but they flagged offensive holding twice and called unnecessary roughness twice. There was only one penalty involving pass coverage and that was a defensive pass interference against Cincinnati.

In the first weekend of the regular season, home teams won 10 of the 16 games. In seven of those games the team with the fewest penalties walked off against them won. The most penalized team was St. Louis, hit with 13 flags for 121 yards by Ed Hochuli’s crew. The least penalized team was Tampa Bay in its loss to Carolina. The Buccaneers had three penalties for 15 yards. …Read More!

Next Opponent – Denver Broncos


Game – No. 2.

Opponent – Denver Broncos.

Franchise began – in 1960 as one of the original teams in the American Football League established by Lamar Hunt. The founder of the Denver franchise was the Howsam family with father Lee and brothers Bob and Earl. With Bob Howsam in charge, they got the franchise off the ground for the initial AFL season.

Ownership – Patrick Bowlen and family. The Bowlens bought the team in 1984 from Edgar Kaiser for approximately $70 million. Kaiser and his family’s business empire that was founded by his grandfather were facing financial difficulties at the time, so he sold the team that he bought in 1981 for $33 million. Joining Pat Bowlen in ownership were his brothers John and Bill and sister Marybeth. On July 23rd of this year, the 70-year old Bowlen gave up control of the franchise because of the memory issues he was dealing with as a result of Alzheimer’s disease.

General Manager – John Elway is following up his Hall of Fame playing career with a very successful stint as the man in charge of the football operations with the Broncos, or the fancy title of executive vice-president/general manager. Elway was named to the job on January 5, 2011 by the team’s managing owner Patrick Bowlen. In Elway’s three full seasons as G.M., the Broncos have a record of 38-17, a .691 winning percentage with three straight AFC West division titles and a trip last February to the Super Bowl. As a starting quarterback with the Broncos from 1983-98, Elway posted a winning percentage of .645 (162-89-1.) …Read More!

D-Bowe Hoping to Bring Energy To Chiefs Offense

From the Truman Sports Complex

“Where have you guys been?” Dwayne Bowe asked Thursday as the media horde surrounded him in the Chiefs locker room before practice.

The obvious reply was “where has D-Bowe been?” This week is the first time Bowe has surfaced with his team in three weeks. A quadriceps contusion kept him off the field for the last two weeks of the pre-season and then last week he missed the regular-season opener serving his one-game NFL suspension.

Bowe was happy to be back on the Chiefs radar screen.

“It feels awesome, I’m feeling good, feeling great; happy to be back to help my team,” Bowe said. “Just do what Dwayne Bowe does, bringing high energy and just play my game to the best of my abilities.” …Read More!

Tale of the Tape: Chiefs vs. Broncos

The difference between the 2013 AFC champion Broncos and the Chiefs was two games and 100 percentage points. Denver finished 15-4 (.750) including their run to losing in the Super Bowl to Seattle. The Chiefs finished 11-6 (.647) after losing in the first round of the AFC playoffs to Indianapolis.

As the 2014 season begins, the difference between the two teams has only grown – that was visible based on their performances in the opening week of the season. Denver won 31-24 over the Colts; the Chiefs were soundly beaten 26-10 by Tennessee. Match the teams up across the board and the Chiefs appear to have no chance at winning on Sunday. Position-by-position the Broncos have a clear edge in all but two or three areas. On a normal day in the NFL, that’s not enough to win.

Here’s how these teams match up from offense, defense, special teams and coaching: …Read More!

β€˜Big Vick’ Can Make Big Contribution To Chiefs Defense

The Chiefs defense against the run got punched in the mouth last Sunday by Tennessee – 162 rushing yards given up on 38 run plays, or 4.3 yards per carry. The Titans running backs had 32 of those carries for 148 yards, or 4.6 yards per carry.

So this week the Chiefs decided to bring in a tough guy that can punch back.

Nine-year veteran Kevin Vickerson has a reputation for playing hard against the run and doing it with an aggressive personality.

Translation: “Big Vick” doesn’t like to get punched in the mouth by offensive linemen. In fact, he doesn’t like the big guys across the line of scrimmage that are blocking him, or in his mind holding him.

Vickerson signed with the Chiefs on Tuesday and was on the practice field Wednesday as preparations began for Sunday’s game in Denver against the Broncos.

“Football is one on one,” Vickerson said. “Football is simple and you can’t overthink it. The game is the game, just go out and play fast and physical.” …Read More!

Snap Judgments: Will Fans Keep Lining Up for Chiefs?

When a loss comes down the way the Chiefs lost to the Titans it’s hard to round up just one father for the defeat. There were many responsible for getting smacked around and losing by 16 points in the season opener.

In 90 percent of the games played in the NFL, winning and losing comes down to one element – talent. With few exceptions, the team that has the best players wins the most games. Sometimes a less talented team can pull an upset, but a team with talent that’s properly prepared and educated will win nine out of 10 times.

Given that the Chiefs won 11 games last year, went to the playoffs and had 10 players honored with a trip to the Pro Bowl, they seemed to be the most talented team on the field at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. Tennessee was coming off a 7-9 season, had a new head coach and staff and the Titans only 2013 Pro Bowler (cornerback Alterraun Verner) was gone in free agency.

But take Dwayne Bowe, Donald Stephenson, Marcus Cooper and De’Anthony Thomas off the field, and the Chiefs talent level dropped. Extract Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito from the action, and diminish the role of Jamaal Charles almost to the point of irrelevance and viola – the team with the most talent won this game – Tennessee.

The outcome of the opener figures to begin a weekly referendum on the talent level of the roster built by general manager John Dorsey and head coach Andy Reid. Any examination of the players that are in-house must focus on those added through the NFL Draft. The last three administrations that ran the building all focused on using that avenue to build a team, or at least they said that was their plan. …Read More!

Andy Confirms – D.J. & DeVito Out For the Season


From the Truman Sports Complex

It was confirmation of what everyone knew Sunday evening when they filed out of Arrowhead Stadium after the Chiefs 26-10 loss in the season opener to Tennessee.

Head coach Andy Reid told the media Monday afternoon that inside linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive end Mike DeVito will undergo surgery on ruptured Achilles tendons in their right legs. Their season is over.

“Our heart goes out to them because we know the hard work that both of them put into preparing for the season,” said Reid. “But we have some good, young players that are going to do a good job and step in, because that’s what is expected of them.”

There is no way for the Chiefs to replace Johnson, the most tenured player on the roster in his 10th season with the franchise. The 2005 first-round draft choice has not only been the defense’s leading tackler for years, but he’s the leader of that unit and stays on the field no matter the game situation. …Read More!

Season Opens With Question Marks For Chiefs

A year ago as the Chiefs prepared for the regular-season opener against Jacksonville, new head coach Andy Reid was asked what he expected to see from his team. Given it was the first game of the Reid Era, the coach said he wasn’t sure how the game would play out.

The second season of the Reid Era kicks off Sunday when the Tennessee Titans visit Arrowhead Stadium for a noon kickoff. Television coverage is on CBS.

So what does Reid expect to see this time?

“I know I’ll see great effort,” Reid said. “This crew here, they play hard and they are tough kids.”

But that try-hard stuff does not fill out the entire picture of the 2014 Chiefs. As many question marks as the Chiefs carried into the Jacksonville game last year, there are as many, maybe more for this year’s opener. …Read More!

It Only Matters Where You Finish; More Chiefs Notes

One of the best things that football and almost all athletic endeavors teach us is that it really doesn’t matter where you start; it is how you finish.

In the last 35 years around the Chiefs there has been no better example of that than Brian Waters. He started as a street-free agent, signed off the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys. Waters was a tight end then, but the Chiefs decided he had the skills to become an offensive lineman, a center in fact. They sent him NFL Europe so he could learn the snapping position by playing and not just practicing.

This week, Waters officially announced his retirement as a player. The 2014 season begins this weekend and Waters has been on the sidelines since getting hurt last year after playing seven games with Dallas. …Read More!

Different Faces In The Spotlight Against Tennessee

The spotlight always falls on players like Jamaal Charles and Tamba Hali. They are uniform numbers with career resumes that football fans know.

But as the Chiefs open the regular season on Sunday against Tennessee at Arrowhead Stadium there are a handful of other faces that will be wearing red that will feel some of the heat from attention spotlight. They are not as well-known as Alex Smith and Eric Berry, but for this Sunday they are very important actors in the drama of the 2014.

They are Jeff Allen, Donnie Avery and Anthony Fasano on offense, and Mike DeVito and Josh Mauga on defense. A lot of what happens on Sunday against the Titans will run through those five. …Read More!

NFL Officials: Rookie Ref Leads Crew For KC-TEN

Kicker Cairo Santos will not be the only rookie on the field Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium in a pressure position.

Meet Ronald Torbert (right), the lead dog on the NFL officiating crew for the game between Chiefs and Titans. In just his fifth season working in the NFL as an official, this will be Torbert’s first regular-season game as a referee.

He was promoted coming into the season from his previous post as a side judge. Two veteran referees retired after the 2014 season, and Torbert was named to replace one of them.

Good or bad for the Chiefs and Titans? That’s impossible to predict but this crew’s work in the pre-season provides an indication – they like to throw the yellow hankies.

Boy, do they like to throw the penalty flags:

  • Philadelphia @ Chicago – 23 penalties walked off for 192 yards.
  • Tennessee @ New Orleans – 32 penalties for 293 yards.
  • Jacksonville @ Detroit – 27 penalties for 232 yards.
  • Denver @ Dallas – 16 penalties for 120 yards. …Read More!

4 Keys To Victory For Chiefs vs. Tennessee

4

Keep hands off the Titans receivers

Should the NFL has its zebras calling the game as closely as happened during the pre-season will be shown in this first weekend of action. The Chiefs need to approach their season opener against the Titans with the idea that when in coverage, the officials are going to be watching them like a hawk scans a country meadow. Tennessee has weapons among their receivers. There’s a crafty 10-year veteran Nate Washington, along with speedy youngsters Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter. As a rookie last year, Hunter only had 18 catches but he averaged 19.7 yards a reception. The Chiefs defense cannot afford to give them penalty yards and first downs. …Read More!

Tale Of The Tape: Chiefs vs. Titans

The Chiefs and Titans will face each other Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

It’s a matchup of teams trying to roll down the NFL path of rebuilding, and the Chiefs have a head start on Tennessee, their first cousin from the earliest moments of their football lives in the American Football League.

The Titans were 7-9 last season, a one-game improvement from the 2012 schedule. That wasn’t enough to save Mike Munchak’s job as head coach. As his replacement, Tennessee hired Ken Whisenhunt, but the general manager and personnel staff did not change.

The Chiefs began the week as a 3Β½-point favorite. Breaking down the teams position-by-position and that edge is visible, although the differences between the teams are not overwhelming.

Here’s how we see the tale of the tape, Chiefs vs. Titans: …Read More!

First Opponent – Tennessee Titans

Game – No. 1.

Opponent – Tennessee Titans, once the Houston Oilers.

Ownership – The children of late owner/founder Kenneth “Bud” Adams, Jr. control the franchise. When Adams passed away on October 21, 2013, ownership of the Titans was held by his three children: daughters Susie Adams Smith and Amy Adams Hunt and the estate of his late son Kenneth Adams III. Each child owns one-third of the team. Running the club since Bud Adams’ death has been his son-in-law Thomas Smith. Grandson Kenneth Adams IV is also involved in the Titans front office. At some point, the franchise will need to hire a president or chairman of the board-type to run the ship.

Franchise began – It was Bud Adams that joined Lamar Hunt in the summer of 1959 to announce the formation of the American Football League. After Hunt’s Dallas Texans franchise, Adams’ team was second in the league. He dubbed them the Oilers. The cost of joining the AFL was $25,000. According to estimates by Forbes magazine, the Titans are currently worth just a bit more than $1 billion.

Overall franchise record – 413-434-6 in 54 years of regular and post-season games, a .488 winning percentage.

Chiefs record in season openers – 28-26, with the most recent victory coming last season with a 28-2 decision in Jacksonville. …Read More!

Rookie Kickers Have Spotty Record In NFL

So just how much of a gamble have John Dorsey and Andy Reid taken going with a rookie kicker in Cairo Santos instead of veteran Ryan Succop for the 2014 season?

Recent history tells us that true rookie kickers have produced seasons that put them among the best in the league. They have also stumbled in seasons that ranked them among the NFL’s least productive kickers.

One of the major questions with the 2014 Chiefs will be just where Santos falls in that spectrum.

Special teams coordinator Dave Toub understands that handling a rookie kicker is a different animal from a veteran foot.

“You’re going to manage him a little bit differently,” Toub said. “You kind of got to get his feet wet and get him going and hopefully you have a couple short field goals first and then you go. It doesn’t always work out that way but you hope that that’s the case. It’s definitely in mind, for sure.”

There have been 22 true rookie kickers in the league since the 2000 season. Their success rate was 79.9 percent.

The Chiefs need better than that; in today’s NFL, 80 percent is a mediocre average. Last year only eight of 32 kickers had a season average of less than 80 percent. The league average for field goal kickers was 86.5 percent. There were 11 kickers that finished with a 90 percent or greater success rate. …Read More!

Chiefs Practice Report – September 3

From the Truman Sports Complex

The Chiefs began their week of preparation for the Tennessee Titans with all but one player taking part in Wednesday afternoon’s practice.

Only backup center Eric Kush was out of the on-field work as he continues to deal with a shoulder injury. Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins was part of practice after missing Monday’s workout due to the concussion he suffered last Thursday in the team’s final pre-season game. Jenkins has been cleared for participation.

Also taking part in practice was the newest member of the Chiefs, safety Kurt Coleman who was signed Tuesday. He’s wearing No. 27 and will likely get plenty of opportunities to contribute on special teams where he’s been very productive since entering the league five years ago with Philadelphia.

During the media window at practice it appeared that all the starting lineup alterations the Chiefs showed Monday are still in place for Sunday’s regular-season opener: Mike McGlynn at left guard, Jeff Allen at right tackle, Frankie Hammond at the No. 2 wide receiver spot, Josh Mauga working at middle linebacker and Marcus Cooper and Sean Smith as the opening cornerbacks.

The first official league injury/participation report will be issued late Wednesday afternoon.

Also, running back Joe McKnight is now wearing No. 22; he’d been sporting No. 30 through the pre-season.

NFL Quarterbacks 2014

Here are the first week quarterbacks on the roster of 32 NFL teams. On active rosters, practice squads and on various lists there are 98 quarterbacks employed in some fashion for the opening weekend.

St. Louis has five quarterbacks tied up with their claim off waivers of Case Keenum from Houston. There are two teams with four quarterbacks, the Chiefs and Philadelphia. There are two teams with only two quarterbacks, New York Giants and New Orleans.

Overall, 29 of the starters were drafted, including 17 in the first round and seven with the first pick. Of the 98 quarterbacks, 78 were selected in the NFL Draft. Among the other 20 are three starters: Shaun Hill in St. Louis, Brian Hoyer in Cleveland and Tony Romo in Dallas.

Here are all 98 quarterbacks:

…Read More!

Chiefs Add Safety To 53-Man Roster

The Chiefs have signed veteran safety Kurt Coleman and sent middle linebacker Joe Mays to the injured-reserve list.

After 3 p.m. on Tuesday, NFL teams can move one player currently on their active roster to the injured-reserve list/designated for return. That’s what they did with Mays, who suffered a torn tendon in his wrist in a game on August 17 against Carolina. He underwent surgery two weeks ago. The prognosis was something in the range of six to eight weeks rehab.

As for Coleman, head coach Andy Reid is very familiar with him; he was selected by Reid in Philadelphia during the seventh-round (pick #244) of the 2010 NFL Draft. The 5-11, 200-pound Ohio State University product played four seasons with the Eagles and was the starter at free safety for Reid in 2011-12.

Overall, Coleman has played in 59 games with 29 starts. He was credited with 207 defensive tackles, seven interceptions and two forced fumbles. He was signed as an unrestricted free agent by Minnesota for the 2014 season, but was released late last week in the Vikings move to a 53-man roster.

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 β€˜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.Β ”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.Β  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 – 5-10ΒΌ; 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.

Β 

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)Β 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.

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