KANSAS CITY MO - JANUARY 09: Quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs hands the ball off to running back Jamaal Charles #25 against the Baltimore Ravens during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 9 2011 in Kansas City Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Good morning! Predictions, previews and nachos are ahead in today's Kansas City Chiefs news from across the internet. Enjoy!
Update: News just broke that former Browns/Ravens owner Art Modell passed away at the age of 87.
"When I touch that field again, you're going to feel my pain," Charles said, speaking to what was then a distant Chiefs opponent. "You're going to go through what I went through. It's going to be that way for me the rest of my career."
That wasn't necessarily a good day for Charles. Instead, it was just Charles baring his soul. The time for him to back up those words begins on Sunday, when the Chiefs open their regular season against Atlanta at Arrowhead Stadium.
In the intervening months, Charles hasn't backed off that statement. In fact, on Wednesday, he embraced it.
Chiefs' Charles Feels Good And Can't Wait To Play from KC Star
Toribio, who turned in a standout training camp, injured his ankle in the first half of Kansas City's third preseason game against Seattle and hasn't practiced since. Poe drew the start at nose tackle Toribio's absence during last week's preseason finale at Green Bay and would be the leading candidate to do so again on Sunday according to the Chiefs most recent depth chart.
"I'll be kind of nervous and excited, all of those emotions all in one," Poe said of potentially making his first NFL start on Sunday. "I'll have to bundle all of that up and go out there to do what I'm used to doing. I've got to settle down, keep myself calm and do what this defense needs."
Chiefs Notebook: Poe Prepares For Increased Role In Regular Season Debut from The Mothership
KCChiefs.com Video: From The Podium: Romeo Crennel
Injuries and unexpected circumstances happen in this league. Teams can never prepare enough for them. Surely, if general manager Scott Pioli knew four months ago that Hali would be suspended this week or Flowers would miss six weeks of practice or that seemingly no one on this team would know how to play nickel corner, he would've added to the roster. Maybe he would've even retained cornerback Brandon Carr.
Instead, the Chiefs and Pioli cut coupons on defense, and the team again has millions left over.
One landmark Gonzalez hasn't visited recently is Arrowhead Stadium. A lot has changed since his final home game as a Chief against the Dolphins on December 21, 2008. Gonzalez went out with seven catches for 64 yards and a touchdown in a frigid farewell to the Chiefs crowd.
"It's going to be a little weird being in a different locker room and coming out of that tunnel when we first come in, ," Gonzalez said of Sunday's season opener against the Chiefs. "It's going to be a little weird, but I'm looking forward to it."
Arrowhead Return Marks Beginning Of The End For Tony Gonzalez from The Mothership
Tight end Tony Gonzalez caught hundreds of passes while playing for the Chiefs. On Sunday, for the first time ever, they'll have to figure out a way to stop him.
Gonzalez comes back to Arrowhead Stadium with the Atlanta Falcons for the season opener, and Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel talked today about that challenge.
Chiefs' Crennel Ponders How To Stop Tony Gonzalez from KC Star
Jan. 4, 1998, playoff game vs. Denver
He caught a 12-yard pass from Elvis Grbac for the Chiefs' only touchdown in a 14-10 loss. "That's when I started dunking over the crossbar. I wish all these young punks now knew that I was the one who started it. Someone else had done it before, but it hadn't been done for a while."
Tony G's Six Favorite Catches For Six Points from KC Star
Quarterback Matt Cassel and guard Ryan Lilja are the offensive captains, linebacker Derrick Johnson and safety Eric Berry the defensive captains and punter Dustin Colquitt and wide receiver Terrance Copper the special-teams captains.
Chiefs Notebook: Team Picks Captains from KC Star
A special edition of the 2012 Chiefs Red Friday Magazine will be sold at key areas throughout the metro area, with Chiefs Red Coaters leading hundreds of volunteers in street corner sales from 6:30-9 a.m. Friday. A donation of $2 is suggested for fans wishing to obtain a copy of this year's Red Friday Magazine, which will be available at more than 35 locations. Net proceeds from this year's magazine sales will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City.
20th Edition Of Red Friday Celebration from The Mothership
If Flowers and Brown do not play, veteran Jacques Reeves could be called upon to shadow either White or Jones. It's also hard to know what to expect from safety Eric Berry, a Pro Bowler in his 2010 rookie season who is coming back from a torn ACL.
"Other guys have to step up and they have to be relentless," Crennel said. "Like Eric Berry, he's going to be relentless with or without Tamba. I think other guys will have to play the same way."
There could be a greater urgency to get snaps for first-round draft pick Dontari Poe, a defensive tackle the Chiefs hoped to use as a situational pass rusher but now could be starting.
Atlanta At Kansas City from CBS Sports
If the team didn't think Flowers could play, he likely wouldn't be practicing with the first team. Flowers has made strides in recent days from a foot injury he suffered July 31. He missed all of the preseason.
Flowers may be rusty Sunday, but the Chiefs will gladly take him against the pass-happy Falcons.
"Obviously, I've been thinking about it,'' Gonzalez said Wednesday. "When the schedule first came out, obviously, it popped out. Right then and there, my phone lit up with everybody calling me: my family, people that I'm still friends with from the organization, and the friends I made while I was up in Kansas City. It's going to be special.''
And, he conceded, "a little weird.'' Those guys in the home locker room are now the ones he's trying to beat. He'll be the one wearing a visiting uniform.
Tony Gonzalez Excited About Return To Kansas City from The Associated Press via Sports Illustrated
It was the kind of grueling, monotonous work that can test even the hardiest football players' mental well-being, especially if there's no tangible finish line. But whenever one of the injured Chiefs got down on themselves, someone else picked them back up, and reminded them that the Atlanta Falcons are coming to Arrowhead Stadium for the season opener.
The finish line they kept in sight awaits Sunday.
Chiefs' Charles, Moeaki And Berry Fully Recovered From Torn ACLs As Falcons Await In Opener from The Associated Press via The Washington Post
One of Kansas City's favorite traditions returns Friday as the Chiefs celebrate the initial Red Friday of the 2012 season. Red Fridays, which celebrate the community's enthusiasm for the Chiefs, have become part of the Kansas City culture and will start this week with celebrations around the metro area as fans wear red to show their team spirit on Fridays during football season.
Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX). We'll see the Falcons let loose their new-look passing game, including a few long connections between Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Look for Ryan to get Tony Gonzalez a TD in his K.C. homecoming. Atlanta's defense will slow the run early and get to Matt Cassel later when he's in catchup mode. Prediction: Falcons 24, Chiefs 17
Kansas City's defence ranked 12th in the league last season and under head coach Romeo Crennel, the group should be as good or better in 2012. The return of safety Eric Berry will have an immediate impact on the Chiefs secondary, along with elite cornerback Brandon Flowers.
Kansas City has the capability to surprise and take the AFC West division title.
NFL: Which Teams Could Surprise In 2012 from SportsNet
One of the most popular items on stadium menus, traditional nachos have been taken to a new level by Aramark chefs. These new signature nachos incorporate popular tastes, inspired by each city.
- Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City Chiefs: Triple Meat Nachos, made with chili, pulled chicken, chopped brisket, nacho cheese sauce, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole.
1. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: It says something about the high calibre of the Chiefs defence that it managed to finish 11th in the league last season without injured safety Eric Berry, who was a Pro Bowl selection as a rookie.
A torn ACL cost Berry all but one game last season, but the No. 5 overall pick in 2010 is back in the lineup for a defence that includes linebackers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson and defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey.
Also back from injuries are tailback Jamaal Charles and quarterback Matt Cassell. Charles missed almost the entire season with an ACL tear, and Cassell had surgery on his right (throwing) hand.
NFL Preview: AFC Team By Team Breakdown from The Toronto Star
Is Peyton Manning enough to hold off the Chiefs? He might be, but the Broncos schedule might have something to say about that. The Chiefs defense should be a factor this year and the combination of Hillis and J. Charles will get the offense back on track. The Chargers are hoping for a much better season from Philip Rivers, but to have any shot, Ryan Mathews has to stay healthy. Carson Palmer simply doesn't have the arm to take advantage of all the Raiders speed.
NFL Season Predictions - Texans Take Another Step from The Houston Chronicle
The Chiefs are celebrating 50 years since their relocation from Dallas with this logo, it will not be worn as a patch on their jersey. Kansas City did a lot more to celebrate their 50th anniversary as a franchise (including their Dallas years) back in 2009. Still, to me Kansas City is selling themselves short with this design. There's nothing wrong with it...but there's not a lot to crow about.
When I turn fifty, there'd better be more of a fuss than this.
2012 NFL New Uniforms Preview from Sports Logos News
Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs should be represented by the most well-known face of the franchise ever. By which I mean this guy.
From Ryan Leaf To Tim Couch: The Legends The NFL Forgot from SB Nation
Michael Turner at Chiefs: I'm not in love with Turner this season, as he's now 30 years old and has carried the football 300-plus times in three of the last four years. It's hard to overlook him this week against the Kansas City Chiefs, however. Their defense allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs in 2011, which makes the Burner well worth a look as a solid No. 2 fantasy option.
Still, I think he will see him in several different variations. Yes, he will be in the slot, but I think he can be lined up a lot of different places. When the Chiefs want to mix it up, McCluster will be in play.
Mailbag: Dexter McCluster's Role from ESPN
The first five years of the American Football League were difficult ones attendance-wise, as most followers of the game understand, and that included Kansas City housed in aging Municipal Stadium. It's the fate of all new leagues where the record of success is particularly grim.
Then, why did he AFL succeed where so many others have failed?
HOH: New Stadiums Signal The AFL Is Here To Stay from The Mothership