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Brandon Flowers was seen in a walking boot during Monday's practice, according to the Kansas City Star, and that means the Kansas City Chiefs cornerback could be recovering more slowly from a heel injury than first suspected.
The fifth-year player hasn't practiced since July 31 because of a bruised left heel.
After the injury, head coach Romeo Crennel told the Kansas City Star that he thought Flowers would only be out a couple of days. He added last Tuesday that the more time missed from his starting cornerback, the less likely he'll be ready to play the regular-season opener against Atlanta.
That's not good news for the Chiefs defense as the regular season looms considering that linebacker Tamba Hali will be suspended for one game after violating the league's substance abuse policy. The defense could potentially have more holes than Crennel would like, as safety Kendrick Lewis has also been missing practices with a shoulder injury.
The Kansas CIty Cheifs enter the 2012 season with a new coach, Romeo Crennel. A recent report from the Kansas City Star shows that the absence of Todd Haley in favor of Crennel may cause less drama and help the team going forward.
It's no secret that Cheifs GM Scott Pioli and Haley did not get along during Haley's three-year stint with the team, and when asked about it, Pioli had little to say.
"Pioli declined to discuss former coach Todd Haley or cite specific incidents from Haley's three camps with the Chiefs. But the biggest change at Chiefs camp in their previous three seasons with Pioli to this year is that they are now coached by Romeo Crennel."
All in all, it appears as if the Chiefs are ready to put the drama of the past few seasons behind them in 2012.
In the Kansas City Chiefs first game of the preseason, the team dominated the Arizona Cardinals in all aspects of the game and ended up with a 27-17 victory that wasn't as close as it sounds. The Chiefs first team offense scored at will and the points continued with the second and third units coming on.
In addition, the defense put up seven sacks and kept the Cardinals from ever getting comfortable at Arrowhead. Even though it was the second game for the Cardinals, it was still the sort of sputtering performance you'd expect from a team's first outing.
Running back Peyton Hillis believes it's a mark of a Chiefs team ready to make some noise toward the postseason in 2012.
"I think up to this point it has been pretty good," said Hillis from training camp on Thursday. "You know we came off the preseason game and I thought we kind of connected on all cylinders. Coming out with the first group, the first couple of drives and putting the ball in the end zone.
"But we have a long way to go from here, and the guys are willing to work. We have a lot of great guys on the team and I just hope that we can put it together and push through to the regular season."
When asked about whether or not he'd ever seen a preseason team performance like the Chiefs had, Hillis had an exciting answer. Yet he also realized that the preseason can't be an accurate measure for what is to come.
"Just to tell the truth, I haven't. I really haven't [seen that type of performance]," he said. "But then again, like I said, we have a lot of great talent on this team, and it's all about working together and clicking on all cylinders. If we can do that then I think we can win some ball games, but it takes a long time, it takes conditioning, it takes a lot of hard work mentally in the film room.
"We are going to do that and get our jobs done, and hopefully it will all turn out good for us."
Kansas City Chiefs rookie Devon Wylie earned the moniker "Wiggles" for a reason. At Fresno State, the 5-foot-9, 187-pound receiver had a knack for snaking his way through defenders. Early returns from the Chiefs preseason opener and training camp suggest that Wylie could be poised to cement that nickname in the NFL, giving his team a much-needed threat in the return game.
Wylie gave fans and his coaches a taste of what he can do in last week's game against the Cardinals. He was on his way to a home run punt return when an Arizona defender dragged him down by the facemask after 32 yards.
The Chiefs' official website raved about the possibilities for Wylie as well as the team's need for something special on returns:
The Chiefs have lacked that extra element for some time. McMahon inherited a unit that was 8th in the NFL last season in punt return yards, but hasn't notched a touchdown since Dexter McCluster's season-opening scamper against the Chargers in 2010. And only the Indianapolis Colts - the leagues' worst team last year - averaged worse starting field position than the Chiefs in 2011.
Wylie is behind McCluster for the team's slot receiver. His ability as a return man looks like his best route to the 53-man roster.
Dwayne Bowe has yet to officially arrive at training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs. While it doesn't bode well for the receiver's ability to make an impact early with the Chiefs offense, it does mean that other players can step into the role that he plays and enjoy the first team reps and targets from starting quarterback Matt Cassel. For Jon Baldwin, that's the role he's playing so far at St. Joseph.
"There's no doubt that with whoever being here, we've got more time with them," said Cassel. "And with Dwayne not being here or absent, maybe we spend a little more time with guys like Steve Breaston and Jon Baldwin, and Dexter McCluster. They are doing a great job and we are doing a great job with the guys that we have here."
As the Chiefs get ready to head across the state of Missouri to play the Rams, the chemistry of Cassel-to-Baldwin is likely to be on display. Baldwin had only 254 receiving yards last season, but he missed the entire preseason and a third of the regular season after a thumb injury kept him out. Now with a full offseason of OTAs and training camp plus his celebrated work ethic and focus, Baldwin is expected to make a major leap.
"There's no doubt, because also going into last year without the OTA's and all that stuff to actually get familiar with him and to establish a rapport with him, we kind of came in and jump started right away, and then unfortunately he was out with an injury for the first six games of the season," said Cassel. "This year we had a whole offseason to work together and also all of camp. I feel very comfortable with Jon. He's making a lot of progress himself."
The Kansas City Chiefs continue to practice without their top cornerback Brandon Flowers and it's becoming increasingly likely that he will miss yet another preseason game this weekend against the St. Louis Rams. Head coach Romeo Crennel spoke again today about Flowers missing further practice time.
"[Brandon] Flowers is still working to try to improve," said Crennel. "We're doing everything we can to evaluate him, look at him and help him try to get back on the field. He's working and doing everything we ask of him to try to get back, but he's just not back yet. So, when he gets better, we'll put him back out there, but it's not where it needs to be with him."
Crennel also failed to give any kind of timeline on Flowers' injury since it's impossible to tell at this point the day-to-day nature of it.
"You never know with any injury what it takes," said Crennel. "Everybody heals differently. All we can do, all I can do, is talk to my trainer who consults with the doctors and then try to find out what they know, what they think, and then they let me know. It's always when he's ready because I don't know his body.
"He knows his body better than I do. He knows whether he's hurt or not or what he's capable of. Every injury is different. I want all injuries to get back as quickly as possible. There is no way for me to know how long an injury might take."
Cornerback Brandon Flowers isn't the only Kansas City Chiefs player hurt right now. Running back Cyrus Gray has been sitting out Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp practice after a foot injury. The rookie out of Texas A&M also missed time earlier in camp with a hamstring injury.
In addition to Flowers, the defense is a tad banged up right now. Linebacker Cameron Sheffield (groin), defensive back Travis Daniels and defensive end Ethan Johnson have also been sitting out of practice for the Chiefs.
On the positive end of the injury spectrum, running back Shane Bannon (who wound up on IR last season) is back on the field in pads after missing time. Wide receiver Junior Hemingway, who has been out for a couple of weeks, "was able to start some movement stuff," coach Romeo Crennel said on Tuesday. "Even though he is not in pads, at least he is beginning to move, so that's a good sign that eventually he'll be in pads and be back out there."
The Chiefs play their second preseason game Saturday against the St. Louis Rams.
Justin Houston took a little while to get going, but when he did, he became one of the most impressive and exciting young defenders on the Kansas City Chiefs. The former Georgia defensive end/linebacker took over the starting role opposite Tamba Hali for the Chiefs and earned 5.5 sacks in the team's last 5 games. It's a streak of momentum the team hopes he continues into the 2012 regular season.
Houston already earned one sack in the team's first preseason game, and his emergence coincides with the possibility for several others to break out. If one man does his job, in other words, everyone else can do their own.
Well, he started last year," said linebackers coach Gary Gibbs from training camp on Tuesday. "I think he realizes that he needs to play better than he did last year. I think he's had a good off season. I think he's matured and I think he realizes that there are some good players that are counting on him. Again, it remains to be seen, but I think he'll step up and have a good year."
Gibbs wasn't ready to declare any sort of predictions for Houston at all, but instead just emphasized the idea that Houston is a good player in process of learning what it takes to succeed at the NFL level.
"I have no idea [about his ceiling]," said Gibbs. "I'm just hoping he does better tomorrow than he did today. He's a good young player that gained some good experience last year but he needs to build on that experience. Every day that you are out there you can see things and adjust to things, and if he does that, then I think we'll have a pretty good outside linebacker. But we are early in that process."
Houston finished the 2012 season with 56 tackles, 5.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble.
Glenn Dorsey is the official free agent to be along the defensive line. But given his paycheck next season of a scheduled $14 million-plus amount, this is also likely a contract year for Tyson Jackson on the other side of the line. The Chiefs have major decisions to make with both defensive ends and it will be an interesting to subplot to watch all season.
It's also an important year for development for both players along the line as rookie contracts expire and experience allows both players to take the leap. For Jackson, this year is a chance to take his game to the next level as the former No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft.
"I've just got to lay it on the line every play," said Jackson from training camp on the year ahead for him. "Come out there like it's the last play of my career, so I leave it all on the table and rely on my technique, and what I've been taught over the last couple of years on how to play a 3-4 defense, and how to be strong inside, and how to control those offensive lineman."
It's clear that Jackson is excited to play for Crennel as the team's new head coach. It also helps that he has a vision of Jackson and what he can be.
"It's pretty good, even though he's the head coach now he still helps out with the defensive line a whole lot," said Jackson. "It's a lot of us up front being able to hit those offensive lineman, and keep them flat on the line of scrimmage so the guys in the back can run around and make some plays."
Jackson had 55 tackles and 1 sack last season.
The Kansas City Chiefs aren't exactly the most open team to the media in the NFL. While the Miami Dolphins have opened themselves to HBO's Hard Knocks series or the New York Jets continue to allow the circus known as, well, the New York Jets, the Chiefs are a measured, controlled group from the top down. The players fall right in line with the front office and coaching staff, so it's not surprising to see Branden Albert toeing the company line.
In some recent remarks from Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph, Missouri, Albert took some time to answer quick questions from reporters.
On whether the team was better after the first preseason game:
"We did a good job. There is a lot of room for improvement. We've got a long season ahead, so we take whatever we did in the game and improve on it to keep moving on."
On whether it was a coaching emphasis for a team to perform well in game one:
"You always want to have a good performance in practice or in a game, no matter what the situation is. You always want to perform well. We did well and that game is behind us. We have a new game ahead of us and the season ahead of us."
On whether Daboll's offense is catching on:
"We do a good job everyday of learning the system. Coach Daboll is doing a good job and the coaches under him are doing a good job of teaching the system and teaching the technique. We are just working hard."
Lists, lists, lists. With the upcoming NFL regular season only weeks away from kicking off, it's that time of year for more lists than even the most die-hart football fan would ever want to read. Yet in the midst of that are some interesting gems worth your time and an intriguing one is found over at NFL.com from Dan Hanzus checking on the top candidates for Comeback Player of the Year.
Peyton Manning leads the list, but it's impossible to ignore the astounding number of Chiefs on the list. Three of the top ten reside in KC these days, and that means Eric Berry, Peyton Hillis and Jamaal Charles are all important players that the Chiefs are depending upon to return. That doesn't even include Matt Cassel or Tony Moeaki either.
Every team deals with injuries, but the ones suffered by the Chiefs last year were crippling to say the least.
Brandon Flowers continues to miss time with the Kansas City Chiefs in training camp and it's becoming increasingly likely that he will miss his second straight preseason game for the team against the St. Louis Rams coming up this weekend.
Crennel addressed Flowers' injury with opening remarks during today's walk-through at training camp, but gave more details in the follow up Q&A with the local media. Crennel said it was likely that Flowers would be out if he can't get on the field in practice.
"Well if he doesn't do anything today - which I don't think he's going to do anything today - and probably tomorrow if he doesn't do anything then you can probably rule him out," said Crennel. "Because if you don't practice it's hard to put you into the game because I think at that time we might be exposing him to more injury risk. So if you don't practice it's hard to play you."
"Any time you're not able to practice your timing, your recognition of routes; your conditioning is not what it needs to be," said Crennel. "We'd like to get him out there so those things can get into game shape because that's what we need him to be, we need him to be in game shape because when that first game comes, they don't care about any problems you might have had or anything like that, if you're on the field you're expected to produce. So we've got to get him on the field and get him sharp so that he can perform at a high level."
The Wes Welker comparisons started the moment that he was announced as the fourth round choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in this year's NFL Draft for Devon Wylie. The Fresno State player might tell you that he's heard that long before the Chiefs came calling. Either way, they're hoping that the wide receiver and returner can make good on such comparisons and impact the field at even a fraction of what Welker brings to the Patriots.
It's hard not to be dazzled by Wylie's incredible burst of speed the moment he touches the ball and that became readily apparent in the first preseason game against the Cardinals where Wylie showed enough to likely give any other competitor for a return spot a run for their money.
"Yes, definitely kind of gave me a glimpse," said Wylie of whether or not the first preseason game gave him the right perspective. "Offensively I was able to run around and my speed was good, but there's still technique and very small details that can make my game better. So, I have work to do in that regard and the punt return game. I had the chance to make a good play, and it has given me confidence."
For the last four years, the Kansas City Chiefs have enjoyed the strong tandem of Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr as the team's starting cornerbacks. The pair combined to provide a solid base of a secondary that grew in ability and experience every year and grew into one of the top pairs in the entire NFL. Carr was handsomely rewarded this offseason with a $50 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys, leaving behind a secondary to figure out how to replace him.
While Stanford Routt will earn the official title as starter as the free agent brought in from the Raiders this offseason, Jalil Brown is also going to play a major part on this unit as well. The Chiefs former fourth round choice has been earning some starting reps with Flowers out with a bruise in practice and while he says it's hard, it's a great opportunity for him.
"It started off a little slow, but we picked it up in the end," said Brown. "I think the offense got the better of the practice today, but that goes with football, one time defense is, another time offense is. You just have to be ready and come out tomorrow and do the same thing."
Flowers will remain out indefinitely and Crennel said as much today. Brown is definitely not happy that his teammate is hurting, but he is happy for the chance to gain the experience.
"I wouldn't say that I'm happy, because you want your teammates to be healthy and stay safe out there," said Brown. "It is a good opportunity to get out there. Whenever the coaches put me out there - whatever position it might be - I'm trying to help the team. As a cornerback, I'll do that. If it's any other position, I'll go out there and help the team."
Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel went 5-for-6 with a touchdown pass in Friday's preseason opener, and looks to be much more comfortable heading into the season than a year ago.
The Kansas City Chiefs had several players step up on Friday and make a great impression against the Arizona Cardinals. Steve Maneri was one of such guy. The interesting part is that the former offensive tackle turned tight end is hardly the guy that anyone expected to step up, but he did just that, catching 3 passes for 69 yards.
His team leading total was enough to raise a brow as the team is definitely in search of that third tight end after Tony Moeaki and Kevin Boss. After losing Martin Rucker for the season, Maneri might be exactly what the team was looking for.
"The fact that he played offensive tackle last year and now he is playing tight end, with that being said, he was a tight end before, so he does have some tight end experience," said head coach Romeo Crennel. "Those are three pretty good catches, I have to admit. I told him he did a nice job of making those catches because there are a lot of people who would have said that there is no way that he could have made those catches."
Crennel said it would be much harder for a standard tackle to make the move, but with Maneri's previous experience at the position, he's handling the shift well.
"I think it's tough when you do it cold turkey, but because he's been a tight end before," said Crennel, "he does have that background with him. What he had to do was lost a little weight, so during the offseason he started doing that, trying to lose weight and trying to get back to his tight end skills that he had."
The Kansas City Chiefs came through their first preseason game remarkably unscathed against the Arizona Cardinals and head coach Romeo Crennel said today that every player who was healthy before the game will be practicing after the weekend as well. The Chiefs can only hope this continues for the next few weeks, but one player the team needs to see on the field is shutdown cornerback Brandon Flowers.
"The main guy is [Brandon] Flowers and where he is, I think his heel is getting better," said Crennel at training camp on Tuesday. "But it's not where he wants it to be yet and having to do the job that he has to do. He's rehabbing and he's working at it.
"Hopefully, one day he will come out and all of a sudden, boom, he will feel great, and he will be ready to go because that's what they tell me, sometimes those bruises will hurt for a little bit and all of a sudden, they just disappear," Crennel continued. "He's working through that. He wants to be out there, but we'll see if he can go this afternoon or not."
Flowers had 59 tackles and 4 interceptions last season.
Earlier on Friday KMBC 9 News in Kansas City was reporting that Dwayne Bowe was heading to camp and that the two have come to terms to a contract. Bowe was spotted on a plane heading to Kansas City, but according to Pro Football Talk, Bowe is not heading to camp and has not signed any contract with the Chiefs.
Bowe has an offer from the Chiefs that would pay him $9.5 million this year, and Bowe will not start to lose any game checks unless he holds out past the first week of the season.
As for missing training camp, since Bowe is not under contract which means he can not be fined the $30,000 per missed day.
Thanks to the wizardry of social media, we can confirm that one Dwayne Bowe is officially in Kansas City:
Breaking news!!!! Dwayne Bowe just touched down at KCI! Spoke to him. He had no comment.— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) August 10, 2012
And, in case you're one of those folks who won't believe anything until they see it:
Bowe is the only unsigned franchise player in the entire NFL at the moment, and since he's not under contract, can't be fined for missing days of training camp (the fine is a hefty $30,000... a day). Bowe has a one-year offer for $9.5 million on the table. The Chiefs are scheduled to play Arizona on Friday night in Kansas City.
The Kansas City Chiefs kick off their official 2012 season schedule today with their first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals tonight at Arrowhead Stadium, and the feeling of actual football being played once again should come as a great relief for football fans everywhere.
Last night featured the debut of Robert Griffin III with the Redskins, the return of Peyton Manning to the NFL after missing a year and several other storylines. Tonight will be the same as the Cardinals attempt to bounce back from an opening preseason loss to the New Orleans Saints in the Hall of Fame game and the Chiefs welcome back several players from significant injury in 2011 including Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, Matt Cassel and Tony Moeaki.
Here's the info you need to catch tonight's game:
ARIZONA CARDINALS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Game Time: 7:00pm CT
Weather: 82 degrees, sunny
Radio: Sirius 106; 101 FM
TV: Not available
On Thursday, the Chiefs and the University of Kansas Hospital announced a 10-year partnership that will make the hospital the official healthcare provider of the team.
The Chiefs training facility also will be renamed "The University of Kansas Hospital Training Complex."
As the Official Healthcare Provider of the Chiefs, The University of Kansas Hospital will provide a complete team of physician specialists for the Chiefs covering virtually every aspect of healthcare. As an academic medical center, The University of Kansas Hospital and its clinical partners will work with the Chiefs to provide education and research for innovative advancement in sports-related health issues affecting athletes. In addition, the hospital will continue to manage and provide care in the First Aid Stations at Arrowhead Stadium events as it has for the past year.
At the training complex, the hospital will open a sports medicine clinic that will provide on-site care to the Chiefs players and also will be open to the public.
The Kansas City Chiefs have a lot of questions in the secondary to answer this preseason as they get set for the NFL's regular season schedule, and a major part of that has to do with the depth on the team at cornerback and safety. Kansas State's Tysyn Hartman is hoping to prove to the team that's part of the solution and earn a spot on the final roster.
He'll get a chance to show his skills starting this weekend against the Arizona Cardinals in the first preseason game. A lot of players are vying for those back-up spots, but preseason reps under the lights allow the underdog to shine.
"It's going to feel great," said Hartman from Chiefs training camp. "It's been my dream ever since I was a little boy. To come out and put a Chiefs jersey on and represent my family and my team is going to be a great feeling."
So far, Hartman said the offseason at the pro level has been a challenge, but it's something he's adjusting to.
"It's been a learning experience just trying to catch up to the older guys and play my best. I put my best out there. Coming out in this heat day in and day out, it is definitely a learning experience ... I've shown that I can learn the system and try to adapt to do things. But there are still some areas where I can improve."
Hartman had 69 tackles and 3 interceptions for the Wildcats last season.
Kendrick Lewis is saying all of the right things. Let's hope he's also telling the truth.
The Kansas City Chiefs safety is coming back to a changed unit. The Chiefs secondary looks much different than it did last season -- in both good and uncertain ways. To that end, the potential is great here for Romeo Crennel's defense to have a stellar secondary unit, but several things must come together the right way for the defensive backfield to move into such potential. Consider the following:
1. Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry is coming off of a torn ACL and subsequent rehab, and he is the x-factor for all of this. An impact defender, Berry makes the job of everyone else that much easier and his return to the unit is vital.
2. Brandon Carr left this offseason after starting every game for four seasons at cornerback for the Chiefs, and now will be doing the same for the Dallas Cowboys after signing a $50 million free agent contract. Stanford Routt of the Oakland Raiders was brought in to replace him before he was even gone on a far cheaper contract, but Routt was let go for a reason from Oakland's own depleted secondary.
3. Brandon Flowers is the mainstay, the now-veteran corner who is nursing a minor injury already in camp, and perhaps the one player besides Tamba Hali that the Chiefs can ill afford an injury to on the defensive side.
4. Lewis himself is coming back from surgery he had right after the season for a torn pectoral. He's still wearing a brace and it will be interesting to see how he returns.
Taken all together and there are concerns about replacing a longtime effective starter in Carr while dealing with returns from injury for everyone else. Flowers is the safest bet, yet even the minor injury reminded everyone just how valuable he is. However, Lewis said that the team is okay and doing what they need to do to get better.
"We're coming along good," said Lewis. "The chemistry is getting there. We've got a lot of young guys who are helping us along the way. Eric is doing good things. We lost [Brandon Flowers] to a little minor injury, but he'll be back.
"As a whole secondary, I feel like we're doing good things. We're building; we're getting better every day. We're not where we need to be, I would say, but we're getting better every day. We come out here and make it our duty to get better every day."
As for his own injury, Lewis spoke in positive terms as well, but it was media speak.
"Physically, I feel good," said Lewis. I haven't had any real serious contact. I'm going to keep the brace on until the doctors or the trainers tell me otherwise. I'm feeling good, I'm ready, I'm looking forward to this game Friday and we'll see how it goes from there."
The bottom line is that only actual game-time results will show just how healthy and ready these players are to take on the gauntlet of the 2012 schedule. The pressure will come early from a high-flying passing attack from Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons in which Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez will all challenge the pass defense.
The Kansas City Chiefs open the preseason this weekend with their first official NFL action of the 2012 campaign. What the players don't know is just how much they'll get to play. Fans watching the Chiefs versus the Arizona Cardinals this weekend will get a look at what the first team will look like, but head coach Romeo Crennel refused to say that it would be for a certain amount of time.
Typically in a preseason game, especially early on in the schedule, the starters will only play one full series or a certain number of downs. However, Crennel said that will not be the case this week. Instead he just wants them to be ready for whatever he tells them to do.
"What I told them was this: I told them to be ready to play however long I needed them," said Crennel. "I didn't know how long that might be, and I told them the only consideration would be that if there was someone who might have a little nagging injury or something like that, I may take that into consideration and not give them as much playing time.
"I want them to get ready to play. I don't want them going into the game thinking, ‘OK, I'm going to come out after the first quarter or I'm going to only play a series.' Just be ready to play and we'll see how long it is."
The NFL and its stable of experienced referees and officials are currently at an impasse when it comes to a labor agreement that works for both sides which means the prospect of playing actual NFL games without the familiar faces in black and white might become a reality.
Several opinions have already been expressed on all sides, mostly siding with the fact that players and coaches don't want replacement refs making calls in games that matter -- or for player safety as well. However, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel is not one of them. Instead he refused to bite on a question about the matter today at training camp with a simple statement that dismissed any notion of frustration with the matter.
"The refs are the refs. They call what they see, and sometimes it's right and sometimes it's not. And we live with it," said Crennel.
The Chiefs might be singing a different tune if a referee misses a call that ends up with a significant player injury as a result. For now, however, the team won't be joining the chorus of those calling for an end to the disagreement.
The Arizona Cardinals are spending a little bit of time in St. Joseph, Missouri training with the Kansas City Chiefs in a joint-practice of sorts before their match-up on Friday night against the Chiefs. This will be the Chiefs first preseason game of the season while the Cardinals are coming off the Hall of Fame game in which they played the New Orleans Saints on August 5th.
The Cardinals thought it would serve their team best to take the opportunity to stop in Kansas City and practice for a few days after playing in Canton, Ohio on Sunday night. Rather than travel all the way back to Arizona and then bus a couple of hours to their training camp, only to hop back on a plane and come back to Kansas City for the Friday night game, they decided to stay in Kansas City and practice with the Chiefs for a few days.
It's nice for the players to get to hit someone they don't recognize and to get a more game-like feel going at an opponent. One of the Cardinals players that most Chiefs fans would recognize would be Larry Fitzgerald, who along with Detroit Lions' wide receiver Calvin Johnson, are widely considered two of the best in the game at the position. After spending a day on the field with Chiefs' safety Eric Berry, Fitzgerald came away impressed. via kcchiefs.com
"I didn’t know he was that athletic," Fitzgerald said afterward. "It was the first time I’ve gotten to play against him and he’s an impressive specimen. You’ve got a free safety, strong safety, wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback – he can play any position he wants to with that athleticism."
That's a pretty good sign that the strong safety is 'athletic' enough to impress one of the games' best wide receivers at a time when some Chiefs fans might still be wondering if he's still hampered at all by the ACL injury from a year ago. This may have answered that question.
Discussing the chatter surrounding Chiefs running back Peyton Hillis on Twitter during the Chiefs joint practice with the Arizona Cardinals.
In a recent interview on NFL AM, Scott Pioli took some time out to discuss a number of subjects, including how he came to his decision on the Kansas City Chiefs new head coach -- a key decision for any general manager. Instead of looking to the open market for his replacement for Todd Haley, Pioli decided to stay in house and elevate Romeo Crennel to the head coaching role.
Crennel had a failed stint after a few years with the Cleveland Browns that might have soured his stock as an NFL head coach, but apparently the Chiefs front office had seen enough to know a second time around could be more successful.
"I think he showed a number of things," said Pioli. "I mean he was very consistent and he motivated the team to play in three really difficult games and gave u a chance to win. The players' response to his coaching and his style and also the preparation that he and the coaching staff had in those last three games and it was pretty clear he needed to be the guy."
Crennel, 66, is 26-41 as an NFL head coach, including a 2-1 record as an interim coach last year for KC.
The NFL preseason is made for experimentation. Players will line up at new spots. Guys will get looks and reps that won't correspond to the regular season. Coaches and front office personnel must get an up close look at things they cannot afford to during the actual schedule, so it's a bit ridiculous for sports media and fans to run away with assumptions based on observations in camp.
That's the message that Romeo Crennel tried to get across today as he addressed reporters on the morning after the Chiefs first depth chart of the 2012 season came out.
"I didn't even want to put a depth chart out, but they told me I had to," said Crennel. "I don't think you can read a whole lot into the depth chart because we're still evaluating and looking at players.
What the depth chart is this week; chances are it'll be different next week. You can't look at everybody at the same time, so you have to have an order that you look at them, and that's the order that it came out for this week. That's where we are and I will open it up."
Crennel took further questions on the topic, but the general idea was made clear -- that the Chiefs are looking at several guys in several positions to see what they can do. Whether it's starting Jalil Brown across from Brandon Flowers or using several guys at the return spots on special teams, the Chiefs have four weeks to figure out what they're made of before playing their first game at Atlanta.
The Kansas City Chiefs have released their initial depth chart prior to their first preseason game. The chart will likely undergo some changes before the regular season kicks off, but it is still worth taking a look.
Joel Thorman at Arrowhead Pride took a look at four of the surprises coming out of the release of the depth chart. The biggest surprise -- and a welcome one to Chiefs fans -- concerns wide receiver Jamaal Charles.
1. Jamaal Charles is on the first team. We shouldn't even have to say this but we will because Haley listed Charles as the No. 2 back during his tenure. Charles is where he deserves to be -- No. 1 on the depth chart.
2. Josh Bellamy is third on the receiver depth chart, behind Steve Breaston and Dexter McCluster. Ahead of Devon Wylie, a fourth round pick. Ahead of Zeke Markshausen, who has experience at Chiefs training camp. So he's my new pick to make it out of the undrafted free agents.
3. Kevin Boss is the No. 1 tight end with Tony Moeaki behind him. Not a major surprise, I suppose. Moeaki is returning to the team this year, Boss is the new guy, so I figured Moeaki may sit atop the depth chart. Apparently not.
4. Brady Quinn is the No. 2 quarterback; Ricky Stanzi is the No. 3 quarterback. This is still a competition and could change during the preseason. I didn't see a noticeably-better Quinn when I was at camp. This is fluid.
For the latest on the Chiefs, head over to Arrowhead Pride.
As the Kansas City Chiefs attempt to figure out their roster heading into the first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals this weekend, tight end is going to be a position focused upon with the return of Tony Moeaki and the addition of Kevin Boss. Essentially it's a brand new position in 2012, and it's going to be key for Brian Daboll's ability to move the offense forward in his first season as offensive coordinator.
Moeaki missed the entire 2011 season with a torn ACL and the subsequent rehab after an exciting rookie campaign that showed significant promise. Boss also missed time last year while with the Oakland Raiders, so both players are hoping to stay healthy throughout 2012 and be a pass-catching option for Matt Cassel. Yet fans dreaming of two-tight end sets might have to think again if health becomes an issue for either.
In the latest episode of Chop Talk, the weekly podcast covering the Kansas City Chiefs, guest Jay Binkley from 610 Sports talked about the role of the tight end on the Chiefs and offered up some great insight.
"In a lot of these sets they have been using on offense, they have a tight end come back," said Binkley. "That’s a guy like Steve Maneri, a converted offensive linemen to tight end. They back these guys up and put them in that fullback role. But if you want to see a true tight end set, Tony Moeaki is going to have to be healthy, because you’re not going to run a two tight end set and have any effect with Jake O’Connell or Steve Maneri paired with Kevin Boss. It’s going to have to be Boss with Moeaki, but if one of those guys is hurt, go ahead and scrap a two tight end set being effective."
In short, it might be expected for the Chiefs to add a third tight end if they want to maintain their ability over the long haul to use a true two-tight end set in Daboll's offense. Maneri might be able to catch a ball here or there a la Leonard Pope, but he won't force any defense to switch their coverage up at the line of scrimmage. Counting on both tight ends to stay healthy for a full season apiece is going to be a tall order for the Chiefs.
In football, it's always frustrating for a team to do too much intrasquad scrimmaging and practicing. It's not like in basketball where 5-on-5 makes your team better. Intrasquad play doubles the risk of injury with the offense and defense going against each other.
That's why the Kansas City Chiefs welcome the Arizona Cardinals to Missouri on Tuesday with open, and hopefully tackling arms. It's not going to be an actual scrimmage, since the Cardinals did just play in the Hall of Fame game on Sunday. But neither team will show any apprehension when it comes to going full speed.
"We get tired of going against the same guys every day," said defensive end Glenn Dorsey. "I've been going against Branden Albert every practice for five years and I want to go against somebody else. It's going to be fun, but it will also be a challenge for us to see where we're at. Guys will be excited for some new looks and we'll have fun with it."
Just this past week on Chop Talk, a weekly radio show that airs on Sunday nights, Jay Binkley (@3guysinagarage) of 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City joined us to talk about what he's seen so far at Chiefs training camp. One of the great points that Jay made was in regards to the players support of Romeo Crennel as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Jay had this to say regarding a conversation he had with Chiefs' safety, Kendrick Lewis.
"But I’ll be honest with you, these players love playing for Romeo Crennel. I mean, to a man, when you even bring him up… I had a chance to talk with Kendrick Lewis and I asked him, you know, what kind of leader Romeo Crennel is...
"He’s great man, he is players coach." I said what do you mean by players coach, does that mean: no discipline and all fun? He goes, "No, no, no… plenty of discipline, but a guy that we can get behind."
And that’s so true to these guys man, I mean they were chanting his name in the locker room last year, you didn’t hear anybody complaining that Todd Haley was gone, which tells me everything."
It's one thing to play for a coach and it's another thing to believe in your coach and be 'behind your coach'. This isn't a slam on Todd Haley but when it's not working, it's not working. Things weren't working for Haley in Kansas City and the tides turned towards the guy that led them to a 2-1 record down the stretch in Romeo Crennel.
If the players are truly behind the man that is now leading this franchise, and by all accounts they are, it's setup the Chiefs to have the opportunity to have a pretty special season. Great moments are built from great opportunity and the work that these players and Scott Pioli, Romeo Crennel and company have done since arriving in Kansas City has put them in the position to do something special. It seems like some momentum is building around this team and it's hard not to get caught up in it.
There were plenty more great points made on the 90-minute show and you can listen to last weeks' show in its' entirety by following this link. Chop Talk airs live on Sunday nights from 7-8:30pm CT.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals are making waves today with the plan to practice together ahead of their upcoming preseason game this weekend in a move to bring attention to both teams and allow the personnel to face some uncommon faces in practice in the hopes to help develop skills differently. Both teams are excited about the PR chances in St. Joseph, Missouri.
"Training camp is about us continuing our development and evaluating our players," Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel said. "We are very excited to be hosting another NFL team in St. Joseph. This will give us another opportunity to further evaluate our team under a different set of circumstances before we get into our preseason schedule."
The Cardinals have been on a bit of a whirlwind with the recent Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio last weekend as well, but the Cardinals head coach seemed to be unphased by it all.
"There are many benefits to this arrangement and we appreciate Coach Crennel and the Chiefs working to make this happen," Ken Whisenhunt said. "Logistically, it makes a lot of sense since we play Sunday night in Canton and then Friday night at Kansas City, but I've always found there's also great value in getting work against another team in a setting like this. We're looking forward to it."
The teams will feature the public practice at 7:15pm CT
Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Bowe is planning to show up at some point before the regular season.
Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe is the last unsigned franchise player. In theory, he can stay away until the Tuesday after Week 10.
But he most likely won't.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Bowe plans to show before the regular season begins.
There is nothing for Bowe to gain by staying home while the Chiefs practice. The deadline for franchise tagged players to sign a long-term extension has already passed, so Bowe cannot receive a new contract prior to the season.
As Florio notes, Bowe will earn $558,000 per game check -- so it's unlikely that his holdout will last into the regular season, when he'd cost himself money.
For the latest on the Chiefs, head over to Arrowhead Pride.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals will hold a joint practice at Missouri Western State University on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 3:15 p.m. The practice will take place on the grass practice fields on the north side of the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex. The Chiefs and Cardinals will participate in multiple practice drills together. The Chiefs will hold a team autograph session following practice.
Admission is $5 per person with children three and under admitted free. Tickets are on sale now at www.gogriffons.com or by calling 816-271-4481. Any remaining tickets will be sold on site the day of the event. There will be a $5 parking fee. Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance.
Though many practices are free, it's somewhat rare that teams conduct a joint practice, so it's a pretty good opportunity to see a rather unique practice. And hey, $5 to watch some football and then head over to an autograph session afterward is a pretty good deal.
The Chiefs will play host to the Cardinals on Friday, August 10, in the preseason opener for the Chiefs -- and the second game of the preseason for the Cards.
For the latest on the Kansas City Chiefs, head over to Arrowhead Pride and join the discussion.
The terrible news came across the wire early on Monday that the oldest son of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, Garrett Reid, had passed away, and colleagues around the NFL are offering their sympathy and condolences to Reid in his time of grief and loss. Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel started his daily remarks at training camp with a reflection on the news.
"Even though today is a good day and the sun is shining, sometimes life throws people curve balls, so what happened with Andy [Reid] and his family - just want him to know that our thoughts and prayers are with him as he goes through this difficult time," said Crennel from training camp on Monday. "Andy is a very good man. He's a good man. It's unfortunate that this has happened, but it's part of life. He will move on just like the rest of us have to move on. He'll have to do it in his time to make it happen."
Garrett was found dead in a Lehigh University dorm room, but the cause of death is still unknown.
Now that the NFL Hall of Fame weekend has come and gone, the first official game is in the books for the preseason which means that fans of the Kansas City Chiefs can take comfort in knowing that it's only a few days until they see their own team in action. Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles, Matt Cassel and Tony Moeaki are back and healthy and should play at least a few downs before giving way to the reserves this weekend, and that's reason enough to watch the Chiefs kick off their season.
As the preseason approaches, here's a quick rundown on the Chiefs and their upcoming opponents.
The Kansas City Chiefs were down for the count in the AFC West last season due to a myriad of injuries that simply took too much of a toll on a roster that wasn't deep enough to handle the losses. Then again, few, if any, teams could handle season-ending injuries to Eric Berry, Tony Moeaki and Jamaal Charles. Thus the Chiefs are certainly looking forward to having all three impact players back again in 2012.
The good news is that it looks as if it's all systems go for each and every player. As the Chiefs prepare for their first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals, the "ACL crew" is getting good news.
Crennel said Charles, Moeaki and Berry would practice against Cardinals tomorrow and play in game vs. Arizona Friday night— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) August 6, 2012
The Chiefs offense was abysmal without both Charles and Moeaki in 2011, and then Matt Cassel went down for half the season as well. Now the Chiefs will be a much better team on both sides of the ball, and it will be interesting to see how things play out in their first official game back.
One of the newer faces on the Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff is special teams coach Tom McMahon, who came over this offseason after three seasons with the St. Louis Rams. It's clear after OTAs and a first week of training camp that players are hopeful the change is a good thing for the team.
"We are excited about him," said cornerback Javier Arenas. "He's a great guy and knows exactly what he is doing. I know what everyone is doing on the team as far as returning, the front line guys and the up guys on punt team. I know everything that is going on, so I can see the field better. He is helping me understand that."
Earlier this offseason, head coach Romeo Crennel praised his work ethic and said he was glad to add him.
"I am pleased to add Tom to our staff," said Head Coach Romeo Crennel. "He is a diligent worker and passionate coach. It is a great addition for us."
Now it's a matter of moving forward as a unit and to begin to make a significant impact on the outcome of the game through special teams play. While the Chiefs have decent return averages, the Chiefs didn't have a single return for a touchdown in 2011 and only had one the year before.
"It is frustrating to know that the average is good, but that is not something we aim for," said Arenas. "We aim for exceeding all expectations on special teams. The goal is to score as many times as we can. We have to do everything we can to do everything right, and that starts here in training camp. We are doing all of the little nicks and picks to get everything put together so it can all lay out smoothly."
Every year, there seems to be at least one veteran released from each NFL team that catches the fan base and even beat writers off guard. This year, discussion around the Kansas City Chiefs has a couple of names floating as possible contenders to lose their roster spots to younger guys for a team that might be wiling to move on. Ryan Lilja is often included in that conversation, but it seems as if the Chiefs are finding a way to keep him on the roster after all.
It's certainly not a foregone conclusion that Lilja is even a possible player to be cut, but the Chiefs guard said himself that he had a poor 2011 season and that he needed to turn things around for this year. The team also drafted Jeff Allen in the second round so it's clear that there's some competition at that spot. In short, one plus one could equal an easy two here.
However, the team is still young and a bit thin behind the starting front line, especially in the middle. The Chiefs are clearly moving on from Casey Wiegmann in the middle which moves Rodney Hudson to the starting center position. In doing so, the Chiefs lose the main reserve they had at all interior line positions from a year ago. Allen is green as a newly drafted rookie, so without Lilja, the team is perilously inexperienced all around.
The Chiefs have also recently had Lilja working a few reps at center in training camp which gives the team a bit more flexibility along the line in case of injury. The team is clearly rolling the dice with Hudson up front and names like Cam Holland and Rob Bruggeman behind him. If Lilja can adequately play the position and make the calls in Brian Daboll's new offense, that's a good move for both team and player.
If the Chiefs aren't finished with their roster construction and decide to pick up a veteran center, then perhaps this is all a moot point. After all, Wiegmann is still officially available if the Chiefs wanted to bring him back -- or if he didn't want to retire. Jeff Faine is also available if the Chiefs wanted to add a notable veteran. Until then, Lilja is likely the best option for both the team and player's future.
Matt Cassel certainly has his share of supporters and detractors both as starting quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs. It's easy to look at his 2010 Pro Bowl season and believe that he's the man capable of leading the Chiefs to the playoffs. It's also possible to look at other subpar seasons and wonder whether the team isn't doing enough at the game's most important position. However, it's clear Cassel is now healthy and winning over his teammates.
New right tackle Eric Winston was recently asked about the man he's protecting after the first week of training camp and Winston said he likes what he sees so far.
"He has been impressive," said Winston. "The biggest thing to me is how many times he has probably had to switch playbooks over the last three years. I think a lot of that stuff can get jumbled in your head, I know it would for me. I was in a spot for six years, but when I came here some of the terminology means different things and you can get jumbled.
"For him it seems like he has been in this playbook for years. He's working out audibles and he seems to be making fewer mistakes. That is the most impressive thing."
Winston was in Houston to watch another quarterback with uncertain grades become one of the better passers in the NFL in Matt Schaub.
"To play the quarterback position is such a difficult position from the mental and physical stand point," said Winston. "When you have those things combined on a practice field against a great defense, and to see him executing the way he is, making the throws and making the catches, even making the run audible to different runs that are better, it has been impressive watching him work."
The greatest free agent prize for the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason came courtesy of an unexpected release from the Houston Texans in right tackle Eric Winston. For a team whose biggest weakness was the right tackle position, the signing was a gift from the football gods. Romeo Crennel, the team's new head coach, recently spoke out about how the signing actually went down.
"In the NFL, you've got the waiver wire," said Crennel. "We try to be transparent, and he came across the waiver wire. We said, ‘Hey, this guy is a starter and somebody we should be interested in.' You make your telephone calls and those kinds of things and see if you can get the guy in and visit and talk to him to find out what kind of person he is, if he'll be interested in those kinds of things. That's kind of the process we went through."
When asked about some more details on why Winston chose the Chiefs over other teams interested in him, including the Miami Dolphins, Crennel gave his best shot at answering.
"I think the opportunity to start, for one," said Crennel. "I think that goes a long way with these guys when they're looking for places to go. I think the fact that there were good people in the building, and he had a good interaction with the people that are in the building. I think he felt very comfortable with who we are and what we're trying to get done. I think that helped."
The team wined and dined Winston for nearly three full days while trying to get the tackle to make a decision and work out a deal. Few details were made publicly available, as per the usual, but it was leaked that Winston enjoyed the local flavor and food.
"Well you have to recruit a little bit because you do have competition," said Crennel.
The Kansas City Chiefs are in the eighth day of training camp and injuries are always a part of the game, and Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel provided an update about the injury status of the team. The biggest concern is corner back Brandon Flowers who suffered a bruised foot in Tuesday's practice and has been held out ever since.
Crennel said that Flowers would not practice in Saturday's afternoon session, and that makes sense since the Chiefs do no practice on Sunday. That extra day will allow Flowers to be heal even more without missing a practice session.
Fullback Shane Bannon is suffering from an abdominal injury, wide receiver Junior Hemingway has a groin injury and defensive lineman Ethan Johnson are all getting the Saturday afternoon session off to rest so that they can some more rest leading up to their first preseason game.
After beating up on each other for practice since training camp opened at Missouri Western State University, the Kansas City Chiefs will have some new faces to get to know on Tuesday as the Arizona Cardinals will take their talents to St. Joseph, Missouri for a few days.
Regardless of there being new faces in new places, Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel is stressing that there will still be "a regular script" to the practice session.
"They're going against a different person, a different player that they really don't know. As you work against your own teammates, you get to know the strong points, the weak points, what they like to do. When you've got a completely different guy you're going against, it's good for us to get that evaluation to see how our players will be able to react against their players.'' Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel
The Chiefs and the Cardinals will hold a joint practice session on Tuesday, then the two teams will host separate practices on Wednesday. These sessions will serve as a precursor to their upcoming clash on Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium as the two teams will kick off their preseason schedule with an actual game.
When it comes to asking the Kansas City Chiefs front office or coaching staff, there's no official word regarding Dwayne Bowe's absence from the team's training camp activities as he's holding out after being tagged with the franchise label earlier this offseason. In fact, Pioli said yesterday in an interview on The Dan Patrick Show that it wouldn't be respectful to either side to comment. Apparently Tamba Hali doesn't agree.
Tamba just said we need bowe here to win the afc west which is our main goal— Bob Fescoe (@bobfescoe) August 2, 2012
The Chiefs top pass rusher understands well what it means to be an impact performer and the difference such a player can make, so having someone high-profile and level-headed like Hali speaking out is both a rare and interesting occurrence.
Bowe is set to make $9.5 million as a franchise player in 2012.
With fullback Shane Bannon among the Kansas City Chiefs players dealing with slight injuries early in training camp, it's not surprising to see the front office making a move to get another body at the position on the roster. The team announced the signing of fullback Patrick DiMarco today and he will join the Chiefs soon enough.
Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel spoke about Bannon's injury today at training camp, "The only other guy, [Shane] Bannon, strained his ab, so he's not going to be out there today. We're going to rest him a little bit and then he'll be back on the field."
DiMarco is a 2011 graduate from South Carolina who signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent.
"For the latest on the Chiefs, be sure to check out Arrowhead Pride.
Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli recently took some time out to discuss a few points on The Dan Patrick Show and found himself asked about a number of potentially contentious subjects. The Chiefs' failure to lure Peyton Manning's attention, the absence of Dwayne Bowe from training camp, the quarterbacks behind Matt Cassel were all discussed, but Pioli stood in the crosshairs well.
Perhaps no subject saw Pioli handle himself as well as the questions about Peyton, and Pioli was very forthright about the entire situation.
"Well, I'd say that we evaluated, but there wasn't much to evaluate on him," said Pioli. "But we did reach out to him and I'd made that point clear at the time that we did reach out to Peyton and his people and he made his decision to do what he wanted to do.
Pioli did express some light-hearted frustration at his eventual landing spot with the rival Denver Broncos.
"I just wished he wouldn't have ended up in the division," said Pioli. "I thought it was over having to face him as often. When he was in Indianapolis, we had to face him every year whether it was regular season or postseason or sometimes it was both. Now I'm stuck having him with a team that we're gonna be facing twice a year. He's a heck of a player. Obviously, he's a Hall of Fame player."
The obvious follow-up to the question was asked about incumbent Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, but Pioli also took that in stride. When asked about smoothing over the feelings of his current starter, Pioli didn't hesitate.
"You're using the words 'smooth it over' and I guess there would have to be a problem in order to smooth it over, but Matt didn't have a problem with it at all," explained Pioli. "There's no smoothing it over. I've been with Matt since the beginning of his career and players that know me and that I have relationships with understand that any opportunity that I see or have to improve our football team or improve the competition, I'm going to do that.
"Matt's no different from any other player on this football team and he understands that. Just like I'm doing everything I can to add talent to the guard position or to the tackle position or the nose position or running back position, I'm going to do that at quarterback if the opportunity arises. Again, Matt's attitude was fine about it. He understood it and welcomed it."
Good news on Brandon Flowers. Just a foot bruise. Will probably be held out today— Josh Looney (@JoshLooney) August 2, 2012
Considering how important Flowers is to the Chiefs secondary this season, Kansas City will likely be very careful in returning him to the practice field, but it doesn't appear that the injury will affect him all that much going forward.
A 5'9 190 CB from Virginia Tech, Flowers has started almost every game for the Chiefs since being drafted with the No. 35 overall pick in 2008.
In 2011, he had 47 tackles, 20 pass deflections and 4 INT's. And with Brandon Carr now in Dallas, he'll be expected to have an even bigger role in 2012.
For the latest on the Chiefs, be sure to check out Arrowhead Pride.
The Kansas City Chiefs absolutely have to stay healthy to have a chance to win in 2012. There's no way around it. As many roster moves as the front office has made, the Chiefs are still a bit thin in key positions to withstand a significant injury, so the news that Brandon Flowers was taken off of the field in training camp earlier this week is an update worth watching like a hawk. The reason? The loss would be devastating to the Chiefs defense.
The Chiefs have an impact secondary in the making, but it revolves around Flowers as the cornerstone at cornerback while Eric Berry comes back from injury last season. The team already lost four-year starter Brandon Carr and replaced him with Stanford Routt. While it might have served as a better value play, the Chiefs can't afford to lose Flowers for any length of time and go with Routt as the team's best corner option.
The team definitely has depth at the position with some guys who excel on special teams. Travis Daniels is versatile and a solid back-up. Jalil Brown impressed at season's end. Javier Arenas is also around, but none of these guys can hold down an opponent's top receiver for any length of time the way that Flowers can shut down a quarterback's greatest option.
More news should come out today about Flowers injury and Chiefs Nation is hoping there's nothing to really worry about. But if it's another worst-case scenario, a season that hasn't even started will suddenly take a major nosedive.
For the latest on the Chiefs, be sure to check out Arrowhead Pride.
This isn't exactly the news the Kansas City Chiefs or Chiefs fans are looking for, but it's news nonetheless. Brandon Flowers left Tuesday night's practice because of an injury -- and those close to the action claim that Flowers injured his ankle.
Brandon Flowers left early, apparently with an injury. I'm not exactly sure what happened and didn't see the specific injury. He did come walking off the field, took his pads off and then rode in the front seat of a golf cart back to the locker room. Those who saw it are saying ankle. That's about all I know. Romeo will talk on Thursday where we could hear an update.
Hopefully for the Chiefs and Flowers, the injury isn't too severe. More news should come in the coming days, but given that Romeo Crennel comes from the Bill Belichick coaching tree, I wouldn't expect lots of details coming from the Chiefs regarding the injury.
For the latest on the Chiefs, be sure to check out Arrowhead Pride.
Being a man without a position can be a problematic role for many players in the National Football League. If a team doesn't properly know how to utilize a player, then that player can often find themselves off of that roster. Yet if the player doesn't have a position because of the many skills they can bring, he can become a swiss-army knife of sorts, being utilized in more ways than just one. That's the role that Dexter McCluster is hoping for with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Heading into his third NFL season, McCluster still hasn't found a home. He's a return man, wide receiver, third down back and yet none of them stick. While one believes that Devon Wylie might replace him on the roster, another will say he's a dynamic weapon who should thrive in Brian Daboll's new offense a la Reggie Bush or Charles Clay.
McCluster's remarks at camp show he's saying the right things by talking up points about versatility.
"They have been asking me to do a lot of different positions: running back, slot receiver, punt return, and kick return," said McCluster. "I think that makes me more versatile and it gives me different outlets to get on the field."
McCluster says he's not frustrated by the lack of permanency in one place. Instead, he says he relishes the chance to do several things on the field.
"I like the fact that I can play multiple roles," said McCluster. "I like the challenge. I feel that the running back coach and the wide receiver coach are doing just as much to help me get batter at that position as the next one, so right now I feel like I am mastering both."
Ultimately it comes down to trust, and that's what McCluster mentions when it comes to his new offensive coordinator. The coach has to not only trust the player, but a guy like McCluster has to feel that his coordinator knows best how to use his talents.
"Coach [Brian] Daboll really knows his offense," said McCluster. "It's something that has worked in the past for him and he stuck with it. It opens up a lot of play-making abilities and eliminates the negatives and ultimately heightens the strengths."
This week on Chop Talk we were joined by TJ Carpenter of 810 WHB Sports Radio in Kansas City, as well as Chiefs insider from www.kcchiefs.com, Josh Looney. Each guest came on this weekly radio show that airs live on Sunday nights from 7-8:30pm CT for about 30 minutes. You can listen to the show in its' entirety right here.
We talked mainly offense with TJ and he shared his views on Matt Cassel and what the ceiling of this offense could potentially be if things come together for the Chiefs in 2012.
I see Matt Cassel much more as a guy that does what Troy Aikman or Terry Bradshaw had to do in their careers, they weren’t really great unless they had other great players around them and that is certainly the case with Matt Cassel, he has all the tools. He’s got probably the best running back corps in the NFL and he’s got a lot more weapons in the wide receiving corps to work with. So if those guys are all on the same page and he is doing some really good stuff off the play-action, then I think they have the potential to be a top ten, maybe even top five offense.
I think it's safe to say that most Chiefs fans are more optimistic about the defensive side of the ball than they are about the offensive side of the ball, mainly due to questions at the quarterback position. But if things come together with Cassel and this receiving group, especially a promising young player like Jon Baldwin, I don't see any reason that this offense couldn't approach the top 10 level. Although a lot of that will depend on the health of star running back Jamaal Charles, who by all accounts at camp looks great so far.
You'd be hard-pressed to find many Chiefs fans that have been following what's been going on at training camp that don't have a keen interest and strong opinion in what second-year quarterback, Ricky Stanzi is doing at there on the field. And depending who you ask you may get a different answer. TJ summed up his thoughts on the Cassel-Stanzi situation.
Cassel is the guy, but if they have a terrible season. Like, if they are 2-6 through their first 8 games… Uh, then Cassel is going to lose his job, I think a lot of people on twitter who follow me and they see what I’m saying and they listen to the show and they hear what I’m saying about Cassel and Stanzi, take it the wrong way. I’m not saying that Cassel is amazing and Stanzi is a joke. I’m saying that Stanzi has a lot to work on that Cassel already has.
We asked Josh Looney if there were any players that had stood out to him after just a few days at camp.
You know actually, two guys really caught my eye. One was Rodney Hudson in one on one drills, he appeared to have a very good day, a lot of stalemates in the one on one drills. For him, that’s a good thing to see, especially with him going into his first year as the starting center.
When we had Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus on the show a few weeks ago Hudson was one of the players that he talked about as being a candidate for a breakout-type season. He said that in 71 plays last season in which Hudson was on the field blocking on a pass play, he had given up ZERO pressures. While those plays were at Guard, it's still a good sign that a first-year starter who did have success in a limited role as a rookie is having a good camp so far.
Looney then mentioned a player along the defensive line that has caught his eye so far in camp.
Another guy who really impressed me and you’re probably not going to hear it from anybody else, cause the guy doesn’t get much press or much action, was Brandon Bair......he's is an interesting guy, because when they are running around in shorts and shirts, this is a guy that doesn’t really catch your eye....But when he puts the pads on, he is big, he is physical, he commands presence when he is the game and you start turning your head… like there is number 90 again.
Bair is one of the more interesting guys to keep an eye on as we get closer to the preseason games. The defensive end spot for the Chiefs isn't lacking players right now. You've got incumbent starters in Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson, but then you've also got Amon Gordon who took snaps at defensive end (or 5 technique) last season, as well as nose tackle.
Allen Bailey is possibly developing as a player that could one day become more than just a situational defensive tackle in our nickel or subset defense, where he started last year as a rookie. The Chiefs also signed Ropati Pitoitua from the New York Jets in early May. So the defensive end spot has got some players and Bair is a guy to keep an eye on to grab one of those last spots for the Chiefs.
Looney also shared some of his thoughts on the Chiefs offense after bringing in free agent tight end Kevin Boss this off-season, formerly of the Oakland Raiders, who's been spending quite a bit of time on the field at the same time as second-year tight-end, Tony Moeaki.
The two tight ends is interesting to me, because we saw a ton of that and we’ve continued to see that throughout training camp and mixing Boss and Moeaki together at the same time. When you have two tight ends that can kind of being in the mold of what New England does and yes, look Boss and Moeaki are not Gronkowski and Hernandez, but with the Chiefs, they don’t have to be, because the Chiefs have a run game that New England doesn’t have.
I love the idea of running a lot of double tight-end formations that help establish a mentality of running the football well behind an already solid offensive line, but also give Cassel big, physical targets in the short and intermediate routes. I think teams will have a choice to make as to what kind of personnel you have on the field to defend this particular grouping.
Josh Looney also mentioned something special the Chiefs are doing in honor of their 50th year in Kansas City. They're holding a "Rock The Mic" competition in which one lucky fan will get to report from the sidelines during the Chiefs final preseason game against the Packers in Green Bay on August 30th. It's the chance of a lifetime for one lucky fan to live out their dreams of being a sideline reporter during a NFL game. You'd be joining Trent Green, Paul Burmeister and the 65 Toss Power Trap Productions crew at Lambeau Field. You can enter the contest by following the directions at this link.
Romeo Crennel wouldn't go into specifics of the injury. From the Chiefs official team site:
"He wasn't able to get on the field up to this point because of a physical and meeting with doctors and things. He couldn't pass the physical, so he will no longer be on the team because of medical reasons."
Gentry fully participated in the Chiefs offseason program. He was a three-year starter at NC State after making the team as a walk-on. His exit from the Chiefs leaves 2011 seventh-round pick Shane Bannon as the only fullback in camp. Crennel said the team hadn't yet decided whether or not to bring in more fullbacks, but has options.
In other injury news, linebacker Brandon Siler was able to participate in Tuesday's walk-thru after suffering an ankle injury on Sunday. Siler missed all of 2011 with an Achilles injury in the preseason. From the Chiefs site:
"Siler was out there this morning at that surprised me," Crennel said. "They were resting him yesterday and he was on crutches yesterday in meetings, but today he was walking around like a spring chicken. I think that he will probably get some reps tonight."
The Kansas City Chiefs have fared well when it comes to injuries so far this preseason, although the team is admittedly only a few days into training camp. Yet compared to a year ago, the Chiefs could hardly have a worse preseason and early season than they did in 2011. For now, Kyle McCarthy was just placed on Injured Reserve and now rookie wide receiver Junior Hemingway has experienced a minor setback.
Romeo Crennel discussed Hemingway's injury with the media before training camp today at St. Joseph as the Chiefs were prepping for their first night practice of the preseason.
"The only other thing from yesterday is Junior Hemingway got a muscle strain in the groin, so we're going to have to rest him a little bit until he can get that strength in it and then get him back out there," said Crennel. "Junior was working hard, just like all the guys are, and we think that he was making progress. So, this will set him back a little bit, but because he does work hard, I think that he'll be able to catch up pretty quickly."
A former Michigan product, Hemingway was the Chiefs second seventh round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Give the Kansas City Chiefs front office credit. if there's a perceived need on the field, the team is acting incredibly fast this preseason to give the coaching staff the bodies they need in camp for the sake of competition. Just one day after Tony Ugoh announced his retirement unexpectedly -- just days after signing as a late free agent with the Chiefs -- the team has announced the signing of another veteran offensive tackle in Ray Willis.
Willis is expected to compete with second year player David Mims, who was an undrafted free agent in 2011, and Donald Stephenson, the team's third round draft choice this season out of Oklahoma. Both players lack experience, so having someone like Willis is definitely helpful in camp as the coaching staff decides what the right set-up is with an offensive line loaded with potential but lacking in experience, especially on the overall depth chart.
With Dwayne Bowe holding out from Kansas City Chiefs training camp at this point, Jon Baldwin has become the focal point of the passing game as last year's first round choice and go-to target for Matt Cassel in practice. The team is going to need him to break out in 2012, not only to make good on the team's high investment but simply to help give Cassel a dynamic red zone target. The good news is that he's taking full advantage in practice so far.
Brian Daboll is the Chiefs new offensive coordinator and he says that he likes what he sees so far from Baldwin from the spring and the first few days of camp in St. Joseph.
"Jon has been doing a good job," said Daboll. "I think Nick Sirianni is doing a really good job with all the wideouts. They're taking to their coaching. I think that from a year one to a year two sometimes with any player historically that I've been around, you kind of make a little bit of a jump, and we're hoping to see that progress from Jon."
As for a question asking him to differentiate Baldwin's performance from others, Daboll would not go there. However he did complement the entire unit, even without Bowe's presence.
"I think that all the guys out there really are no different," said Daboll. "Jon is trying to bust his can and make the plays when they come his way and do what is being asked of him. So are Steve [Breaston] and [Dexter McCluster], [Terrance Copper] and all the young guys, so I hope [Jon] likes to take advantage of the opportunities he gets."
Baldwin had 21 catches for 254 yards and 1 touchdown last season.
The Kansas City Chiefs signed a new face for the defense yesterday with the announcement that former Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker/defensive end Edgar Jones has signed with the team. A closer look at Jones, however, reveals that his real value will likely come on special teams where he's been a force for the Ravens for the last several years. Now the 27-year-old hopes to break camp with the Chiefs and add that dimension for Romeo Crennel.
"My whole career has been about special teams and everyone has to find what it is that they can do to stay in the league and I've found what it is for me. That's being on special teams," Jones said. "I'm coming here to help out how I can - special teams, defense or even offense if my name is called."
For now, Jones is unable to practice due to new rules in the CBA that hold a player out for the first three days from practicing in pads.
"It's a challenge, but that's what life is about," Jones said. "Coming in here a couple of days after everyone started camp is a challenge for me, but then I also find out that I can't practice for three days. So right now I'm really getting into my playbook and watching extra film. Even when I'm out on the field, even though I can't get in I'm watching the reps on the sidelines and listening to the calls that they are getting. I'm listening and then going back to my playbook even more."
The Kansas City Chiefs signed veteran offensive tackle Tony Ugoh to a deal on the eve of the 2012 training camp in St. Joseph in the hopes of bolstering the tackle position where inexperience rules behind starters Eric Winston and Branden Albert. Apparently, Ugoh didn't like his chances and decided instead to retire just a few days after initially signing.
It's clear that Ugoh had a read on whether or not he would make the team or that something wasn't clicking in his new surroundings. After Ugoh's exit, David Mims, a former undrafted free agent from 2011 out of Virginia Union, and Donald Stephenson, a third round choice from 2012 out of Oklahoma, remain as the primary options to back up the tackle positions.
"People don't realize how hard it is to bounce around from team to team,'' said Winston. "It's tough. It's tough on families. There are a lot of things going on in people's lives. You don't know what's going on. Guys sometimes lose interest. I respect him for backing away more so than anything. There are a lot of guys trying to fake it and pick up another paycheck. The thing about this game is it's hard to fake it, and I think he knew that. He was just ready to move on.''
There's no denying that Matt Cassel has a firm grip on the starting quarterback position for the Kansas City Chiefs, but what is also clear is that the back-up situation is a toss-up. Brady Quinn was signed in the offseason to compete, and Ricky Stanzi is also there as last year's fifth round draft choice. However, both guys have yet to really work out their potential at the pro level.
For Quinn, he's been stuck in Denver who vaulted Tim Tebow above him with fans clamoring to see the former Florida Gators star. Before that, it was a poor stint with a miserable Browns franchise that has made every quarterback look subpar. As for Stanzi, he didn't play a snap last year despite Cassel's season-ending injury. Instead Tyler Palko somehow earned four starts and Stanzi was kept on the bench under former coach Todd Haley.
In this week's training camp, Stanzi said the difference between the two years is amazing being able to have a full offseason and already having a year of experience under his belt.
"It's almost like night and day," said Stanzi in a recent interview with Mitch Holthus. "Last year, stepping in our first time seeing the playbook and being around the team was in camp, so it was a tough adjustment for a lot of the young guys -- and just for the team in general -- to not have that offseason to bond, to get a look at the playbook and get a feel for what we're gonna do before we hit camp.
"So this year is just a whole different animal," he continued. "It's nice to have that mini-camp OTA period to get some work in, to get the physical preparation that we need, to take some time off then come back and be ready to go in camp."
The Chiefs definitely have some unknown quantities backing up Cassel this season, so it will be interesting to see Quinn with a new team and the way that Stanzi will play in his second year in the NFL. Fans hope to hear the Chiefs have a couple of solid options just in case something goes wrong.
It wasn't long after Poe was drafted that Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli came out and said one of the things they loved about Poe was his versatility to be able to play in the Chiefs base defense, as well as the sub-set defense. Considering they spend about 50% of the time in both of these defenses, it's important to have some players that can play in both schemes. It's that versatility that should serve Poe well as he's already taking first-team reps in walk-through's at training camp in the sub-set defense, playing next to Allen Bailey along the defensive line.
Most Chiefs fans will tell you that it takes a few years for defensive lineman to properly mature into NFL players. Especially those entering 2-gap schemes like Romeo Crennel and the Chiefs defense currently use. Chiefs fans can recite these defenses for giving defensive lineman time to develop because they've seen it with Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson in recent memory, and they've been conditioned to understand that it takes some time to see that return on your investment.
It might be smart of the Chiefs to plan on bringing Poe along slowly because one of the things he has going for him right now is an elite combination of strength, size and quickness. If you try and throw too much at him at once and you get him thinking, it could slow him down. Thus taking away one of the things that makes him so special.
If the Chiefs can throw just enough at him from day-to-day that he maintains his quickness and explosiveness, then he'll be on the right path.
I personally figured that as a rookie that Poe would really show flashes of what he could do while playing most of his time in the sub set defense. By bringing Poe in on 3rd down you're simply asking him to get after the quarterback, free from a lot of thinking and more about strength, size, quickness. Which obviously suits him well.
Dontari Poe held his ground in 2 on 1 drill making sure the Guard didn't get 2nd level.
When it comes to the part of the game that tends to take younger defensive lineman longer to develop, maybe Poe is further along than we might think as well. This tweet from Nick Jacobs of TWC Metro Sports in Kansas City should be exciting for any Chiefs fan right now. One good day of practice and maybe one good rep doesn't mean that he's 'made it', but let's not ignore good news either and so far Poe has been bringing Chiefs fans good news.
Five days after signing with the Kansas City Chiefs, 28-year-old veteran offensive tackle Tony Ugoh decided he didn;t want to play pro football anymore and abruptly retired. Uzoh was brought in to add depth to the offensive line and was the only player in camp with any NFL experience at the tackle position.
CBSSports.com has more:
Ugoh was expected to provide depth at both tackle positions and was the only reserve tackle in camp with any NFL experience. With Ugoh out of the equation, the Chiefs will rely on third-round pick Donald Stephenson and second-year tackle David Mims to back up Branden Albert and Eric Winston. Second-round pick Jeff Allen could also factor in, but Allen is more likely to be the team's top backup at left guard.
Read more on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Pride and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over to the SB Nation NFL hub page for additional news and analysis around the league. Also be sure to subscribe to the SB Nation Youtube Channel for video commentary.
The Kansas City Chiefs have announced the official dates, times and locations for their 2012 Chiefs Celebration Tour Schedule that starts this week in St. Joseph, Missouri, the site of the Chiefs training camp. The fan caravan is intended to serve as a major part of the Chiefs 50th anniversary as they celebrate with fans in various ways.
"We are extremely proud to have called Kansas City home for 50 years," tema owner Clark Hunt said. "Kansas City is the ‘Home of the Chiefs,' but our following extends far beyond the city limits. In honor of our fans across the region, we're going to take our celebration on the road, traveling around the area to say ‘thank you' to all who have supported us over the years."
The promotions this season started with the recent announcement of a free new jersey for every season ticket holder. Now it continues with the tour.
All tour stops will include autograph and photo opportunities with Hall of Fame greats Len Dawson and Bobby Bell. The first 200 people will receive a pass to get autographs (subject to availability). All fans will get the opportunity to take a photo with the Lombardi Trophy from the Chiefs victory in Super Bowl IV during the tour stops. Every stop on the schedule will last from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
In addition to Len Dawson and Bobby Bell, the Chiefs Cheerleaders, KC Wolf, team executives and Chiefs media personalities including Mitch Holthus, Josh Looney or Shanna Hilt will also make appearances at the various tour stops.
Chiefs Celebration Tour Schedule
St. Joseph, Mo. - Wednesday, Aug. 1, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
* St. Joseph Hy-Vee - 201 North Belt Highway
Topeka, Kan. - Tuesday, Aug. 28, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
* Topeka Hy-Vee- 2951 SW Wanamaker Road
Kansas City, Mo. - Friday, Sept. 28 (Alumni Weekend), 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
* Cleaver Family YMCA - 7000 Troost Avenue
Wichita, Kan. - Wednesday, Oct. 3, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
* Greater Wichita YMCA - 3405 South Meridian Ave.
Springfield, Mo. - Wednesday, Oct. 10, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
* Springfield Hy-Vee - 1720 West Battlefield Rd.
Peyton Manning signing with the Denver Broncos this offseason reshaped the complexity of the AFC West in 2012, but the division is clearly wide open. So there's plenty of reason to get your hopes up, and Joel Thorman makes the case for why the Chiefs will indeed play in the postseason:
The Chiefs will make the playoffs because they have three of their most important players returning from injury. Tony Moeaki, Eric Berry and Jamaal Charles all tore their ACLs by Week 2 and they're all returning at full health. Matt Cassel missed nearly half the season and he's returning healthy as well. Adding in Peyton Hillis, the Chiefs expect to have one of the top rushing attacks in the league this year.
Read more on the Chiefs at Arrowhead Pride and SB Nation Kansas City. Head over to the SB Nation NFL hub page for additional news and analysis around the league. Also be sure to subscribe to the SB Nation Youtube Channel for video commentary.
Romeo Crennel took a few minutes out today, as he does every day of training camp, with a few words for the media to address the latest roster moves. The Chiefs made their first significant moves since camp started with the announcement that defensive back Kyle McCarthy was going to be lost for the season due to a knee injury, and that the team also announced the signing of Edgar Jones, formerly a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens.
As for McCarthy, the injury was believed to be serious when he went down and Crennel confirmed the sentiment.
"The day before yesterday, unfortunately, Kyle McCarthy had the knee [injury]. I mentioned to you that it didn't look good and it's not good," said Crennel. "He's going to have to have surgery on it. We waived him because of the youth, where he is in the CBA. We had to waive him injured, which means that he'll come back to us on I.R., which opens up a spot. We filled that spot with a linebacker, Edgar Jones, who played at Baltimore before and I think he went to school at Southeast Missouri."
When it comes to Jones' addition, Crennel said it was a matter of feeling like there weren't enough bodies at camp at his position. It's clear that the Chiefs are well-stocked in the secondary even with the loss of McCarthy, so the open roster spot allowed the team to move on to another position.
"I think he can help us at the linebacker spot and help us in special teams as well," Crennel said of Jones. "He's trying to get his feet on the ground and learn his way around the campus and learn his way around the playbook. We've already started that process."
It didn't take long for the Kansas City Chiefs to have their first camp casualty. Kyle McCarthy, who was trying to make the rosters as a special teams player, is out for the season after injuring his knee on Saturday.
#Chiefs place Kyle McCarthy, the safety who injured his knee in practice on Sunday, on IR. His season is over— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) July 30, 2012
McCarthy also suffered a knee injury while with the Broncos in 2010 that ended his season.
A defensive back from Notre Dame that entered the league as an undrafted free agent, McCarthy has played sparingly during his NFL career. If he is fully recovered, he will hope to get back on the field for the 2013 season.
The Kansas City Chiefs lost multiple players before and during the 2011 NFL season to injury that crippled their chances to repeat as AFC West champs. From Jamaal Charles in the backfield to Eric Berry in the defensive backfield, the Chiefs lost impact stars that forced the units on both sides of the ball to compensate for so great a loss.
Now Berry says he's back and ready to return to the form that made him the No. 5 overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft and, consequently, made him a Pro Bowler in his first year in the league. Berry said after the first day of pads in training camp that it was good to be back with the team, practicing and getting up to speed.
"It was good. It was exciting to get back out there with my teammates just having fun running around, but at the same time I still understand there's a lot of work that needs to be done. I felt like I worked hard this offseason. I worked hard throughout my recovery. I'm just trying to pick up where I left off before I left when I got injured," said Berry.
Berry had 92 tackles, 4 interceptions and 2 sacks his first year in the league. Adding that level of play back in Romeo Crennel's secondary will go a long way toward vaulting the Chiefs back to the playoffs.
"Right now I'm pretty much just on a mission. I'll say it as simply as I can: I'm just on a mission to help my team."
There's no doubt that the biggest jump needed that the Kansas City Chiefs need to make is on the offensive side of the ball this season. The defense is already a very solid unit with the potential to become great now that Eric Berry is back, but the offense was stagnant last season and that's where the bulk of the roster moves were made. Now they'll have to show their stuff under new offensive Brian Daboll.
Daboll has been with the Browns and Dolphins for the last two seasons, and those locations likely won't inspire anyone's confidence given the overall record. But Daboll's offense is something that can come on once he realizes how to best utilize players -- Chiefs fans should remember well the loss to Miami just last season. New running back Peyton Hillis, who played under Daboll in 2010, is definitely a fan.
"Coach Daboll, since I've known him, he's very smart," said Hillis from training camp Sunday. "He knows how to create mismatches and stuff like that and he's always done a great job. He's a big players' coach. We always know he is going to put us in the right position.
"I think he gets the most out of a lot of guys," he continues When I see him travel around from New England to Cleveland to Miami, I see he got a lot out of a lot of players. That's just because he's such a smart coach and knows how to connect with players."
Hillis says it was partly Daboll's presence that gave him confidence to sign with the Chiefs and make it a good situation for him.
"To tell you the truth, I think that I'm on a very good team. With Coach [Brian] Daboll here from Cleveland and having a complementary back in Jamaal Charles - he's one of the best backs in the league - I feel like it will be good for me. I feel it will be good to have a tandem, somewhere I can fit in and don't have to carry the load. I'm looking at this as a new beginning and a new place where I can start."
It's clear that the responsibility of an NFL team's success falls on the shoulders of its coaching staff and front office. However, it's the quarterback who most often becomes the lightning rod for unmet expectations, which every team wishing their team could have a Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. A quick look at the number of teams falling over themselves to get Peyton Manning this offseason tells you all you need to know about quarterback hopes around the league.
But not every team is going to have an All-Pro at quarterback and that means that teams must learn to live with what they have. For the Chiefs, Matt Cassel has been a consummate pro and leader since the day he arrived and even went to the Pro Bowl his last full season in 2010, something many fans likely forget. Yet recently, fans booed Cassel at the charity softball game during MLB All-Star break festivities in Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium and, in general, give a lot of heat to Cassel.
Yet it's something that the former New England quarterback says he understands and he's learned to take it in stride.
"I'm going to be the same guy each and every day," Cassel said recently. "I'm going to give you 110 percent of what I have, and some people like it, some people won't. You know what? I'm going to give it my all."
As for his head coach, Romeo Crennel doesn't understand the lack of respect for Cassel given the way he carries himself.
"I don't know why everybody beats up on the guy, other than the fact we haven't won the way everybody wants us to win," Crennel said. "But he did take us to a playoff game. I've said before that we have to develop Matt's consistency. I think we are going to have an opportunity to do that this year."
Cassel was out last year for nearly half the season with a hand injury, so it will be interesting to see how he comes back amidst the pressure yet armed with better weapons than he's ever had.
The Kansas City Chiefs did not waste any time after getting a look at former Baltimore Ravens defender Edgar Jones. It was announced late tonight that the two sides had reached and agreement and it's clear that Jones will be with the Chiefs going forward in training camp.
It's the second veteran acquisition in the last few days after the Chiefs also brought in offensive tackle Tony Ugoh, formerly a second round choice of the Indianapolis Colts before spending last season with the New York Giants. Jones should be expected to compete at defensive end and outside linebacker and has special teams experience.
The 27-year-old has 41 games of experience with the Ravens as a defender and special teams player, although he's never started a game in his career. His flexibility also includes a possibility of playing some tight end. Perhaps that versatility is what drew Scott Pioli's eye.
The Kansas City Chiefs are fine tuning their roster to make the best as it possibly can for training camp. Training camps allow for a 90-man roster, and the Chiefs have decided to worked out former Baltimore Ravens defensive end/linebackers Edgar Jones for a roster spot on Sunday.
Jones was an undrafted free agent in 2007 and signed with the Ravens where he spent three seasons with team. Last season he was with the Washington Redskins and the Ravens. In addition to playing defensive end and linebacker, Jones also spent time at tight end as well as special teams. The Chiefs are likely working out Jones due to his versatility of being able to play multiple positions.
One of the more interesting additions for the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason has been free agent running back Peyton Hillis, who signed a one-year deal to team with Jamaal Charles in the backfield. Hillis has proven he can be a positive force yet last year was steeped in drama and Hillis dropped from 1,177 to 587 rushing yards from 2010 to 2011.
Now that he's back working with offensive coordinator Brian Daboll again, who coached him in 2010, Hillis is looking to return to form. Head coach Romeo Crennel took time out of training camp today to discuss the new addition.
"Hillis is a good player, he's been productive in this league catching the ball, running the ball and as a blocker at times," said Crennel. "That's a good talent, why wouldn't we be interested in a good talent like that? He was available so we added him to the team, and I think that he's going to do a good job for us."
When the Chiefs brought in Daboll, Hillis became an obvious free agent target given the hole at running back with Jamaal Charles' season-ending injury last year and subsequent rehab. Charles is at his best when there's a power tandem back, and that is exactly what Hillis can provide.
"He has some familiarity with the system because Daboll was in Cleveland while he was there,'" said Crennel. "So, Daboll knows his ability and what he can do as well. I think it's a good situation for us there."
The Kansas City Chiefs experienced their first significant injury on the roster early in training camp with the word that defensive back Kyle McCarthy is likely going to miss some time with a knee injury that head coach Romeo Crennel describes as "not good." After the injury happened on Saturday, Crennel took time to open with comments on his status on Sunday.
"You know yesterday Kyle McCarthy was injured on the field," said Crennel in his opening statements from training camp on Sunday. "He has a knee (injury) and it doesn't look good. We will have to let that swelling go down and see where that leads us. It is just one of those things about football that happens, something that you have to deal with. He is a young man who has been working hard, a smart guy who had picked up the defense, but like I said, it doesn't look good for him."
McCarthy is a Notre Dame product trying to make the Chiefs as an extra defensive back and on special teams. The Chiefs are deep at that position with numerous bodies in camp, but it hurts to lose a hard worker like McCarthy.
BJ Kissel, Matt Conner and Craig Brenner are back this week for another episode of Chop Talk. Tonight from 7-8:30pm CT they'll be talking about the Kansas City Chiefs training camp story lines that everyone is discussing, and maybe a few that people aren't yet talking about.
They'll be joined first by 810 WHB Sports Radio in Kansas City's TJ Carpenter around 7pm, and then they'll talk with Chiefs insider from www.kcchiefs.com, Josh Looney around 7:30pm. We'll get their thoughts on how the first day of practice with the pads went and how they're seeing this training camp going so far for the Chiefs.
We'll be taking callers for the last 30 minutes of the show so if you have any thoughts or questions you want to throw out there, don't hesitate to call. We'll also be taking questions from the chat room where you can discuss camp with other Chiefs fans during the show.
Sometimes it's easy to wonder what exactly the Kansas City Chiefs are doing in their time at St. Joseph. With the number of practices limited, the amount of actual time on the field that fans and media members can see doesn't fill up the days during training camp, so Romeo Crennel recently took some time out to explain what exactly is going on behind the scenes -- including making sure the players have proper time to nap between activities.
"Classroom, weight room and then they get to rest a little bit between the walk-through and practice," he said when asked about how players are spending time off of the field. "We have to give them some down time, and so there's about a three-hour window there where they can go and take a nap. We're allowed to have meetings in that three hours, but I think it's beneficial for them to take a nap and get rested up for the afternoon practice because we added a little bit more time to the afternoon practice."
Not only is the schedule more demanding in the afternoon in terms of time and activity, but weather certainly plays a factor as the calendar nears August.
""it's tougher in the afternoon. It's hotter and they have to push themselves more," said Crennel. "We have to be cognizant of the heat and how much work that they're doing and things like that. I mentioned that we might have to start giving them more breaks, more time to take their helmets off and get some of that heat away from the bodies, but so far it's been ideal weather, so we shouldn't have to go through that yet."
Fans can catch the full training camp schedule for the Chiefs here.
The Kansas City Chiefs could almost create another entire offensive line made up of new additions they've brought in this season to add to the pieces already in place. A mixture of drafted rookies and new free agents, the Chiefs made the line an intense focus of development and change this offseason and the team should be much stronger up front for it.
Eric Winston was brought in as the new starting right tackle. Donald Stephenson was drafted as a swing tackle, and Tony Ugoh was a late addition via free agency. Jeff Allen was drafted in the second round to back up the interior spot and push Ryan Lilja for some competition. Rodney Hudson takes over for Casey Wiegmann while Jon Asamoah and Branden Albert are the only two who can feel safe and secure in their posts.
The level of change does create challenges for the team in training camp. Head coach Romeo Crennel said the starters have to get reps but the young players need experience. It makes it difficult when practice rules limit what coaches are able to do.
"Well, it's the young guys, because it's going to be the young guys that are going to provide us the depth," said Crennel on Saturday. "We play football, guys are going to get hurt, get nicked up, the starters are going to be out and young guys are going to have to go in and play.
"So getting the young guys up to speed, that's a concern because they haven't played the professional game before, so it's how quickly they can adapt. We're taking some guys that were tackles and are making them guards and some guys who played on the left side and asking them to play on the right side. And that takes some time to get acclimated to."
Without a doubt, the Chiefs gained a lot of ability and depth along the line so the team will be quite glad in the end for the acquisitions.
The Kansas City Chiefs made more moves at the offensive line position than any other in this past offseason, and the cornerstone of all of the team's changes comes at right tackle with the addition of Eric Winston. The former Texans right tackle visited Kansas City and never got away after experiencing the personal encouragement of KC fans and the great atmosphere of the city and stadium.
Now Winston is in camp and hoping to be the person that makes a difference in completing the offensive front. Together with Branden Albert and a slew of new, young players in the middle, the Chiefs have more depth and potential along the trenches in several seasons.
"I think we've got a lot of athleticism," said Winston from training camp on Saturday. "I think we've got a lot of guys with a lot of experience combined with some youth. I really expect us to do some good things; I really do. I expect us to get Peyton [Hillis] and [Jamaal] Charles out in the open field and let them do their thing.
"I think it's on us to get them separation into the secondary. I think from there, then they decide what they're going to do with the ball, if you will. There's no reason for us not to be a good offensive line that can put up some big yards in the run game and allow [Matt] Cassel to have some time back there."
Branden Albert agreed and the left tackle said that Winston in particular adds a new impressive dimension to the line.
"I think it's a big addition," said Albert. "He's a hard worker, a player that has proven himself in the league and will help this offensive line."
The Kansas City Chiefs made an interesting roster addition on the eve of training camp earlier this week when they announced the signing of veteran offensive tackle Tony Ugoh to the roster. After addressing the position in free agency and the draft through the signing of Eric Winston and the additions of rookies Donald Stephenson and Jeff Allen, adding another body to the line is a display of just how thin the line was in 2011.
Ugoh, however, is going to be a question mark to make the team. When asked so far about the move, the team has been positive about the ability to bring in a guy with starting experience. However, Crennel defended that today with a bit more clarity on what Ugoh brings and why he's not made it so far in the NFL with one single team.
"That happens in the NFL, guys go from one team to the other and for whatever reason they are not able to stick and sometimes it's injuries and sometimes it's circumstance," said Crennel during training camp on Saturday. "He was available and we felt like there was a need for him, so we added him to the team. Now, whether he sticks and how long he stays, that's kind of going to be up to him."
The Kansas City Chiefs' offense last season was a mess. It didn't help, of course, that they were missing several key pieces for the season due to injury. Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki both missed nearly the entire 2011 season, so having them back after passing their physicals yesterday is a major addition to a team that looks more promising by the day.
Moeaki himself said that it's great to be back in training camp working out again after suffering through a long rehab and offseason.
"It's good; it just feels good to be back out there with the team, the first day trying to build a good team here," he said from the first day of Chiefs training camp. "We are off to a good start."
Moeaki said he didn't doubt his ability to come back, despite having a reputation as being injury prone from his days at Iowa.
"That's what keeps injury guys going to rehab every day, waking up going through the tough times cause you know the end goal is being back on the field," he said.
"That was part of the physical. They ask you if you are confident in going back. I said yes, so I'm back out here."
The tight end is a major part of the Chiefs offense when healthy, providing a dynamic receiving outlet from the tight end position that few teams enjoy. Kevin Boss has also been added to the corps of tight ends and can partner with Moeaki to bring an added dimension for Brian Daboll.
"It was exciting to get back," said Moeaki. "It seems like a long time when you are out for so long, so today was a day that we were all looking forward to."
All eyes are on Jonathan Baldwin at this point. Dwayne Bowe has made his choice and the Kansas City Chiefs front office has done the same. It's impossible to tell who is drawing lines in the sand and on what points they are drawing them. However, the team has arrived at training camp and the offense must move on at some point, choosing to work with the players who are present.
As much as the team has made a number of significant additions this offseason, Jon Baldwin is going to be the go-to guy throughout training camp and into the season until Bowe is here. The Chiefs' offense is predicated on the running game, but that only works if defenses have to respect a team's passing game. Enter Baldwin who must force secondaries to be honest.
It's a challenge that the Pittsburgh product says he's ready for.
"I am super motivated," said Baldwin from the opening day of Chiefs training camp. "You just have to keep working hard and critiquing yourself and don't get complacent and stuck on being one way. I just want to get better and just continue to critique myself and take it from there."
Baldwin created a buzz with his performance in OTAs with circus catches in the end zone, albeit with no pads on. The game is very different when the official whistle blows and the equipment is on, but there's no denying Baldwin's incredible talent.
"The main thing, to tell you the truth, is just to try and make every play," said Baldwin. "That is one of my goals is to try to make those type of plays and to make plays, period. I was a basketball player and rebounding was one of the things that I was able to do well so I just try to translate that to when I played basketball back in the day on the football field."
The Chiefs are certainly a much better team when Bowe is on the field to pair with Baldwin, but there's no telling when the two might team up. In a new year under a new head coach and offensive coordinator, the times have changed and this is now Baldwin's offense. It's something he certainly sounds ready for.
As the Kansas City Chiefs open training camp today in St. Joseph, Missouri, the team will be without their starting left tackle due to personal reasons. It's not clear exactly what is going on or even when Albert will return, but his absence gives the Chiefs the chance to check out several new additions this offseason at the tackle spot, including one guy who might surprise.
The Chiefs brought in several new faces along the offensive line, none bigger than new starting right tackle Eric Winston. The team also drafted Allen from the University of Illinois in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft and Donald Stephenson of Oklahoma in the third. Allen was known for his versatility across the line at Illinois and Stephenson was brought in to help play the swing tackle role. However, Tony Ugoh, signed yesterday as a free agent, will also be competing in camp for time.
It's hard enough to earn reps and get noticed with so many players around, but Albert's absence opens that door a bit wider for these guys to turn heads.
The Kansas City Chiefs are making their goals this preseason very clear: enter the 2012 regular season as healthy as can be. The team is going to be taking it easy with players who are coming back from injury and they've added considerable depth on both sides of the ball. The team will continue to practice, work out and get ready but they won't release the horses until the bell sounds for week one against the Atlanta Falcons.
To that end, it's good news that the Chiefs are learning that their injured players from last year -- Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles, Brandon Siler, Matt Cassel and Tony Moeaki -- are back and cleared to practice.
All injured #chiefs passed their physicals and are good to go— Bob Fescoe (@bobfescoe) July 27, 2012
The Chiefs official training camp begins today, so getting this type of good news early at St. Joseph is a good sign that the Chiefs will be ready.
Dwayne Bowe is still holding out for a new contract, unsatisfied with the franchise tag he was hit with this offseason. As a result, Bowe is absent from training camp, as he's been in all of the Chiefs team activities over the offseason, while a deal between him and the organization remained unlikely.
Joel Thorman at Arrowhead Pride mentioned the possibility of this all being semantics and maybe Bowe will show up to camp eventually. It's interesting because no one really knows what Bowe wants and why he hasn't been more open with his demands.
He did an interview with Thorman earlier in the summer saying he would report to camp, and the possibility is certainly still there. In the meantime, fans are just left to speculate on what it would take to get their teams' star wide receiver on the field.
The Kansas City Chiefs are officially back in action today with the opening of training camp in St. Joseph, Missouri, and fans can rejoice at the return of the most popular sport in the nation. However, the fans aren't the only ones ready for the NFL season ahead. Several of the Chiefs players took to Twitter to express their hopes and excitement for the season ahead for Kansas City.
Back to football... Being with my brothers will make things feel much better #chiefnation— branden albert (@B_albert76) July 26, 2012
Jamaal Charles (@jcharles25) July 27, 2012
Feels good to be back in football camp. Been itchin to get the year started!! #CHIEFNATION— Jalil Brown (@TheJalilBrown) July 27, 2012
It's a work day!— Jamar Newsome(@j_newsome1911) July 27, 2012
Caleb Campbell arrived at training camp for the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday knowing that he has a long shot to make the roster when the team pares it down to the final 53. However he also knows that the best man on and off the field is going to win the job and that the opportunity is the same for him as it is for every other player. Thus he's ready for the competition ahead in Chiefs camp and talked as much when he first arrived.
Campbell, who is also a lieutenant in the United States Army, knows well what it means to strive and do what it takes to succeed for his position.
"We have a quote when we walk into the West Point Football field," said Campbell. "It says ‘On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other days and other fields will bear the fruits of victory.' It means that the seeds you sow while playing this game, the intrinsic qualities that it takes to play this game run parallel with other fields of battle on other days."
All the talk right now seems to be about Dwayne Bowe not having yet signed his franchise tender for the Kansas City Chiefs. He's staying away from camp for who knows how long and the Chiefs will be moving on without him. Whether or not this turns out to be a prolonged situation or Bowe just trying to get a few more days of air conditioning, we won't know for a while. But something we should know fairly soon is if Jon Baldwin will continue his impressive off-season thus far.
Back in mini-camp a few weeks ago one of the names that kept popping up that was impressing all those who were watching these practices was Baldwin. He looked to be the physically dominant receiver that people hoped he would become when the Chiefs drafted him in the first round out of the University of Pittsburgh a year ago. Although it was just a few days in a mini camp, still, a buzz was created about Baldwin that developed him as a candidate for a breakout season.
A rough start to his career that up until this point has been defined by an alleged locker room altercation with former Chiefs veteran running back, Thomas Jones. Baldwin has an opportunity to put that behind him in his second year and a great showing at camp this year might do more for Chiefs fans psyche's than just feeling good about how Baldwin is coming along.
I see a situation developing that changes the narrative for a lot of Chiefs fans that are clamoring for Bowe to not only sign his tender and attend camp, but to get that long-term extension that many believe he should receive. If Baldwin has a camp that portrays the same picture that he did coming out of those mini camps, all of the focus will turn to how good Baldwin can be as a Chief in 2012.
Don't get me wrong or misunderstand what I'm saying. The talk will become about how good Baldwin has looked and less about how Bowe's contract situation. Even though every Chiefs fan should still want Bowe to be there because two stud receivers are better than one, it's feasible that enough talk about how good Baldwin has looked would take some of the sting away from Bowe deciding not to join his teammates.
I'd love for both Baldwin and Bowe to be there in camp and for both of them to look like absolute studs, but the truth of the matter is that if Bowe isn't going to be there, I'll feel a whole lot better if Baldwin continues to impress like he did at camp. I'm curious to know how the front office and coaching staff will handle questions about Baldwin (not Bowe) in the wake of Bowe not being there.
The Kansas City Chiefs are making a lot of noise today on the transaction wire. Not only is the team reporting for training camp today to start their preseason practices tomorrow, but they've also reached contract agreements with both their first round pick Dontari Poe and free agent offensive tackle Tony Ugoh as well.
We reported the Ugoh deal earlier, but the question remains: what specifically does Ugoh bring to the team? The answer is likely "not much." Ugoh came into the league at a second round choice of the Indianapolis Colts in 2007, so the promise was there when first entering the league. However, he couldn't stick on a team with a poor offensive line, so at the very least he was a poor fit for what the Colts were wanting him to do.
After failed stints with the Detroit Lions and the New York Giants, the Chiefs have now brought him into Kansas City to be with the offensive line in training camp. It should be noted that new Chiefs offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. was with the New York Giants last season, so perhaps he's been brought into camp on a tip from Bicknell to the front office. If so, that bodes well for Ugoh's chances of making the team.
However he'll be competing with David Mims and rookie Donald Stephenson at positions behind Eric Winston and Branden Albert for a roster spot. It might help if Ugoh has the ability to play multiple positions, but it doesn't look like it.
Brad Wells from Stampede Blue, the great SB Nation blog focused on the Colts, answered a few quick questions for us about the acquisition to see what fans should expect:
What strengths does Ugoh bring to the Chiefs?
Wells: Regarding Tony, I haven't seen him play or practice since 2009. So, I don't know his health or his fitness. I know that, when he started at left tackle from 2007-2008, he was very athletic. Long arms. Quick feet. Big. So, for a zone blocking scheme, he could have the physical tools.
Why didn't things work out for Ugoh in Indy?
Wells: This issue with Tony was always his toughness. He also never could recover from making a mistake. One screw-up would linger with him all game, and things would snowball.
If you had to bet on whether or not Ugoh will make the team out of training camp...
Wells: I would not bet on him making the team, but I'll root for him to do so. When I've spoken with Tony, he always was accommodating and honest. Seems like a good guy.
While first-round holdouts used to be a right of passage in the NFL, the salary scale instituted by the new CBA has dramatically changed that dynamic, as teams and players have a very narrow window of contract parameters to even discuss.
Disagreements about a fifth-year option reportedly held up the contract from being completed, but Poe should be ready for the start of training camp on Friday, July 27. He'll be expected to contribute immediately on the Chiefs defensive line in his rookie season.
He was seen as one of the biggest risk/reward prospects in the draft this year, and his development will be one of the most closely watched storylines of the Chiefs preseason.
For more coverage of the Kansas City Chiefs, check out Arrowhead Pride.
The Kansas City Chiefs announced this morning that they had signed free agent veteran offensive tackle Tony Ugoh. This bolsters a position the team has addressed in a number of ways already this offseason and further solidifies the depth chart after a season in which the team was perilously thin all across the offensive front.
Ugoh was a second round draft pick by the Indianapolis Colts in 2007 and played three seasons in Indy, but failed to deliver the kind of results the team was wanting. The line in front of Peyton Manning was always an issue with the Colts, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Bill Polian's draft results later in his tenure with the team just failed to work out, especially along the front line.
After leaving the Colts, Ugoh surfaced with the Detroit Lions and New York Giants before landing now with Kansas City as the team preps to enter training camp at St. Joseph. Keep expectations low for Ugoh to even make the roster, but it's worth a look for another veteran to combine with David Mims and rookie Donald Stephenson.
The Kansas City Chiefs were ranked as "Next Level" in preseason power rankings from NFL.com, one level below the top teams in the league. They expect big things from the Cheifs, saying it "wouldn't be a surprise" to see them in the Super Bowl and "We expect a big step up for a youthful, talented Chiefs squad."
That's a considerably higher ranking than the Chiefs earned from SB Nation, where they were ranked No. 21 in early power rankings. SB Nation Chiefs blog Arrowhead Pride took issue with that ranking, pointing to the same thing as NFL.com: potential.
The Chiefs' potential is much higher than their actual power ranking. This team has top 10 potential given the players returning from injury, including Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry. Assuming both come back healthy, the Chiefs have as good of a chance as anyone to win the AFC West. With Charles and Peyton Hillis running the rock, Matt Cassel won't be asked to be a hero, and the Chiefs could see a repeat of their 2010 season, which ended in a division title.
It's clear that the Chiefs could be capable of big things, but the proof, as always, is in the game.
In a recent interview with Fox Sports Radio, Kansas City Chiefs running back Peyton Hillis gave his perspective on what he hope to bring to the team this year as well as his take on perceived durability issues throughout his career. Of course, this came after he gave a nice plug for a protein drink he recently became a face for. Here's a few of the highlights.
When asked about his take on signing with the Chiefs:
To tell you the truth, I'm really looking forward to it. I report to camp in two days and I'm looking forward to getting the season started. I'm with a bunch of great guys and coaches and a lot of talent, so I think that this year could look really up for us if we do everything just right.
When asked which version of Peyton Hillis was going to show up this year for KC:
I don't know. [Laughs] I don't know how many Peyton Hillis's there are, but this Peyton Hillis will try to do his best no matter what happens. I'm going to do my best out there no matter what and hopefully it's a great thing for Kansas City and not a bad one.
When asked about perceived durability concerns:
I'm definitely in good shape. I've never thought durability was really a problem. I've just had some twinges here and there that kept me out of games. All you can do is hope and pray that you're healthy and you'll do good things.
When discussing the roller-coaster nature of his career:
I've been through a lot of ups and a lot of downs. There's been no steady course with me, but that shouldn't be an excuse. I love to compete. I love to play this game. I've always felt that if I got an opportunity that I always did well with that. That's the way I'm going to look at it this time. I'm going to go out there and do the best I can and hopefully I get a lot of opportunities.
For more information on the Chiefs and their training camp schedule, check out the great analysis and discussion over at Arrowhead Pride.
Expectations are high for most fans of the Kansas City Chiefs as the 2010 AFC West champions only finished one game off of the division lead last season and now return several impact players from injury in 2012. Key additions have been made along both lines and at several skill positions and the roster has arguably never been deeper in Scott Pioli's tenure. However not every NFL Power Rankings list coming out this preseason verifies this same worldview.
Instead, Pete Prisco of CBS Sports has the Chiefs as the third worst team in the entire AFC and predicts they will finish at 6-10 at the bottom of their division. Only the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts are predicted to finish the season worse than the Chiefs.
Meanwhile the Denver Broncos are expected to win the division behind Peyton Manning at 11-5 and the Chargers are listed at 10-6. Other predictions include the Texans winning the AFC South at 9-7 and for the Patriots to go undefeated at 16-0.
For more information on the Chiefs and their training camp schedule, check out the great analysis and discussion over at Arrowhead Pride.
The Kansas City Chiefs suffered from numerous injuries last season, more than the typical season, and in so doing lost the AFC West. No team can withstand the losses that the Chiefs absorbed and remain standing, so it was no surprise when the Chiefs finished outside of the playoffs in 2011 after losing Eric Berry, Matt Cassel, Tony Moeaki and Jamaal Charles for the season. Now that they're back, however, expect expectations to rise again.
The Chiefs won the division in 2010 and that same young, developing core is now entering its prime. The team has several playmakers on both sides of the ball, and the team has the best offensive and defensive lines since Scott Pioli arrived. But nothing can make a greater impact, perhaps, than the return of the Chiefs offensive spark as Charles bounces back from a lost 2011 season.
Pro Football Focus' Khaled Elsayed places Charles among his top three players in the NFL returning from injury to watch -- a list led by Peyton Manning, of course:
He didn't do much as a rookie, but when he was handed the starting spot for the Chiefs in Week 9 of 2009, you suddenly started to see a very rare and special talent. For the next season a half, Charles would take what little the Chiefs' offensive line gave him and turn it into something as he squeezed through gaps, cut past defenders and out-sprinted everyone. It was as if rushing the ball became an art and Charles was delivering master classes week after week.
Sure, Arian Foster did have more yards but just look at that 6.3 yards per carry. There are times when numbers lie, but this wasn't one of them. If he's anywhere near back to his best, prepared to be wowed.
The Chiefs certainly hope he's back and ready, but they've prepared for Peyton Hillis to also take some of the carries as well. Expect the Chiefs to let Charles along slowly until he's confident and ready once again. If so, the team should enjoy the spoils of one of the best backs in the NFL once again.
Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki make up an important core for the Kansas City Chiefs, and unfortunately the 2011 season fell apart when the team lost all three players to injury early on. While the team remained in striking distance of the AFC West, it was more of a testament to a very weak division than anything else. Now the Chiefs know they'll need these impact players to be healthy to have a shot at a division on the rise again.
Scott Pioli recently spoke to Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star and said that the three players will be ready for the season, but that it might be a very measured approach moving forward.
"They'll be ready, but I also think we're going to be smart with all players," said Pioli, "not only the ones who were on injured-reserve last year. We're going to have to monitor as we go along."
It's likely that the team will play a lot of their depth chart more than their starters throughout the preseason to save the team for the regular season. Pioli stressed this earlier this offseason in an interview when he said staying healthy was the key for the preseason.
"You have to be smart with them," Pioli said. "They're coming back and their bodies haven't been stressed. Even though they're ready, you have to manage them. When guys are coming off certain surgeries or injuries, if they go hard one day they may have a little swelling, swelling in their knee or swelling in their shoulder. That's when you say, ‘OK, he's gone hard four days here. He's got a little swelling so let's take it easy and not overstress it.' You need to monitor those things."
On a defense already loaded with Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali, safety Eric Berry might just have the most talent of all. Charles is an All-Pro running back that nearly set historic marks in 2010, and Moeaki is a favorite for breakout candidate at the tight end position -- if he can stay healthy. If the Chiefs can add all three players for the duration of the 2012 season, it should be an enjoyable year for Chiefs fans.
For more information on the Chiefs and their training camp schedule, check out the great analysis and discussion over at Arrowhead Pride.
The Kansas City Chiefs were ranked at No. 21 in the first power rankings of the year, ahead of the start of training camp. Kansas City fans may not like this ranking given the players they have returning, but this is the initial average of all 32 blogs on the SB Nation network.
The SB Nation blog Arrowhead Pride says that while the ranking seems low, there is a lot of potential on this team if things go right for them this season.
The Chiefs' potential is much higher than their actual power ranking. This team has top 10 potential given the players returning from injury, including Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry. Assuming both come back healthy, the Chiefs have as good of a chance as anyone to win the AFC West. With Charles and Peyton Hillis running the rock, Matt Cassel won't be asked to be a hero, and the Chiefs could see a repeat of their 2010 season, which ended in a division title.
The Chiefs certainly hope that the running game provides enough that Cassel will not be asked to do too much and keep the pressure off of him this season. If the pressure is off Cassel, the Chiefs have a great chance to possibly win the AFC West.
The Kansas City Chiefs could be without one of their most skilled positions players for the early part of training camp. Adam Schefter said in an interview with Josh Vernier of 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City that Bowe could hold out for quite a bit.
Bowe caught 81 passes for 1,159 yards and five touchdowns last season. In the five years that Bowe has been in the league, he has caught 356 passes for 4,927 yards and 36 touchdowns, 15 coming in 2010. Bowe definitely has the abilities that the Chiefs need on their team, the question is now are they willing to pay what he wants?
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that while multiple draft picks are finally signing their first official contract in professional football, the Kansas City Chiefs and first round choice Dontari Poe are "not close" on a deal. Training camp opens for the Chiefs in a few days, so it was expected that the Chiefs would likely announce something soon. Apparently it's not as automatic as once believed.
"Chiefs and Dontari Poe, the 11th overall pick, right now are not close," said Schefter. "The next 24 hours are said to be critical to getting a deal done and typically both sides will be motivated to get that deal done and to get Poe into camp. But right now as it stands Poe and the Chiefs are not close."
It's easy for news like this to leak right around training camp time only to find itself resolved rather easily. However an agreement might not be as easy to reach as believed until now. Expect the two sides to eventually find an agreement, but the hope for all parties is that the defensive tackle doesn't miss an ounce of time at training camp.
Matt Cassel and the Chiefs are returning for another season on Thursday, when training camp begins. What should we expect from the maligned quarterback?
Training camp time is here, which means your favorite sport to care about is that much closer to getting underway. Joel Thorman at Arrowhead Pride has actually posted the Chiefs training camp schedule for you twice, but it appears like the third time is supposed to be the charm, here.
Check out the dates and times for the Chiefs training camp:
Friday, July 27 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Practice - 3:20 p.m.
Saturday, July 28 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Practice - 3:20 p.m.
Sunday, July 29 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Practice - 3:20 p.m.
Monday, July 30 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Practice - 3:20 p.m.
Tuesday, July 31 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Practice - 7:15 p.m. (Spratt Stadium)
Wednesday, Aug. 1 Practice Closed
Thursday, Aug. 2 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Practice - 3:20 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 3 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Practice - 3:20 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 4 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Family Fun Day Practice - 1:30 p.m. (Spratt Stadium) | Team Autograph Session
Sunday, Aug. 5 No Practice
Monday, Aug. 6 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Practice - 3:20 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 7 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Practice - 3:20 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 8 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Practice - 3:20 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 9 Team travel day - No practice
Friday, Aug. 10 Preseason game No. 1 - Chiefs vs. Cardinals - 7 p.m. at Arrowhead
Saturday, Aug. 11 No Practice
Sunday, Aug. 12 No Practice
Monday, Aug. 13 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Practice - 3:20 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 14 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Practice - 3:20 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 15 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Practice - 3:20 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 16 Walk-through - 10:30 a.m. | Practice - 3:20 p.m.
*All walk-through practices are closed to the public, but are open to credentialed media.
As NFL training camps begin to open all around, Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network and NFL.com recently laid out his most pressing questions for all 32 teams. When it comes to the Kansas City Chiefs, Lombardi definitely focuses on a potential issue for the team, but it's hardly the main thing to focus upon. In fact, it's a bit surprising that he chooses Peyton Hillis of all candidates when analyzing the Chiefs.
Lombardi writes, "The Chiefs must successfully pound the ball on the ground, but which Peyton Hillis will show up? Hillis could give Kansas City a legitimate power back (like he did for Cleveland in 2010), but he also could miss games (like he did in 2011). There is no other full-time runner on this team, as Jamaal Charles is a change-of-pace back. The Chiefs managed just five rushing touchdowns all season in 2011."
With players like Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry and Tony Moeaki coming back from injury, the main concern would likely be the health of the team. That doesn't even include the season-ending injury to Matt Cassel, the team's starting quarterback, as well. However, the Chiefs will need Hillis to provide a solid tandem partner with Charles to win the AFC West this season. It's just far from the biggest question for Scott Pioli and company.
The Kansas City Chiefs already had a stout defense last season without impact defender Eric Berry in the defensive backfield. Now that he's back from injury, Berry is hoping to help cap off a Chiefs defense that could become a top five unit in the league. However he'll have to get over any personal concerns and nervousness first.
He admits in a recent interview with GoVolsXtra that he's still a bit timid but he also has another month and a half before the season starts. That's plenty of time to continue his rehab and training in the hopes of being game-ready for the 2012 regular season.
Berry says he's not feeling any outside pressure from the team or fan expectations to come back and produce at a certain level.
"It's never any pressure," Berry said. "I know what my goals are. As long as my family's happy and I'm happy, it's never any pressure. I know what I expect out of myself. I know what I've been through, and I know where I'm at now, so it's never any pressure. I'm going to always try to please myself and make sure I'm doing everything to the best of my ability. I hold myself to high standards, so if there's any pressure, it's going to be pressure that I put on myself, not from anybody else."
The Chiefs open training camp in St. Joseph on July 27th.
After a disappointing 2011 NFL season that left the Kansas City Chiefs out of the playoffs one season after taking the AFC West title, it's not surprising to hear Scott Pioli, the team's general manager, say that staying healthy is the primary goal during training camp this season. That's because last year the team lost a number of impact players before the season could even really get rolling.
Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry and Tony Moeaki were among the players lost for nearly the entire 2011 season. To that end, Pioli said that keeping the guys on the field was a primary concern in a recent interview with Mitch Holthus.
"I want to see us stay healthy, improve as a football team, grow as a football team," said Pioli. "Progress needs to be made in terms of learning the offense, making sure that some of the younger players getting better at knowing and understanding the defense. So just seeing constant improvement in particularly our younger players and staying healthy is a big part of it as well as we found out last year."
As for how he feels about the roster as constructed, it's clear that Pioli likes the way things look on paper. The Chiefs had to play a lot of guys last season who gained invaluable game experience. Now with a full offseason after last year's lockout, it could be a great year for the entire roster.
"We're excited -- cautiously optimistic," said Pioli. "We made a lot of changes this offseason in a lot of areas. We certainly believe we've improved our team through free agency, through the draft. We saw a lot of our young players improve this offseason in terms of developing and growing. We're excited."
The Chiefs open training camp in St. Joseph, Missouri on July 27th.
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