Thursday's Three-Phase Chiefs Practice from The Mothership
While a lot of the hype continues to build up Sunday's matchup of rookie right tackles, Kansas City Chiefs T
Eric Fisherand Jacksonville Jaguars T Luke Joeckel, the score at the end of the game ultimately comes down to all three crucial phases, offense, defense and special teams.
The game won't start without an opening kickoff; so it seems fitting that the first Chiefs coordinator to address the media after the team's walkthrough Thursday was Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub, who discussed the reality of roster changes.
"We don't know if he's going to get the first one or the second one, but we're definitely going to work him in there," Toub said.
It might seem like common sense, considering Davis, a 5-foot-10, 227-pound Arkansas product with 4.37 speed, has returned kicks back for 109-yard and 79-yard touchdowns this preseason.
But it appears Davis, who fumbled seven times in 112 carries at Arkansas last season, is still earning Toub's trust when it comes to securing the football.
"A 109 (yard return) helps, there's no question," Toub said. "The guy, when he has the ball in his hand, is pretty dynamic. We just have to get him in situations where he's relaxed. Maybe (when) he's into the tempo of the game, we throw him in there and then we go with him."
Inside The Lines: Chiefs vs. Jaguars from The Mothership
The Chiefs are 3-6 all-time versus the Jaguars but head coach Andy Reid's squad has been hard at work this offseason and is ready for the challenge on the road.
This Sunday's contest marks the first time the Chiefs will open on the road since 2009. The Chiefs are 5-1 in games played on September 8th and own a 27-26 record in season openers.
Fisher, a rookie from Central Michigan and the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, may need to reach deep against the Jaguars. He is expected to log some snaps against defensive end Jason Babin, who had seven sacks last season and is being relied on to generate pressure from the "Leo" position, a staple of new Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley's defense.
Overheard: 'It's Go Time' from The Mothership
A.J. Jenkinson his comfort level with the offense:
"I'm very comfortable. I've been studying my behind off trying to get right and studying all the playbook. I'm meeting with Coach Culley as much as I can. I'm more comfortable than I have been the last couple of weeks."
Former MU Quarterback Blaine Gabbert Expects More Pressure From Chiefs from KC Star
The heat will soon be on Blaine Gabbert, and it's not just because the third-year pro is entering a likely make-or-break year in Jacksonville.
When the Chiefs square off against Gabbert, a former Missouri quarterback, on Sunday at Everbank Field, his mettle will likely be tested by a pass rush led by outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, who teamed up for 19 sacks last season, and a revamped secondary.
"They all hate the pressure," Chiefs safety Quintin Demps said of quarterbacks. "It's going to make those passes high, (cause) overthrows. We like it as DBs."
A Chiefs Historic Look: EJ Holub from The Mothership
"Yeah, the guys kid me, because I'm sort of a hillbilly," Holub admitted as he chomped away on more chewing tobacco.
At the time, Holub was living on his ranch on the Pecos River, some 125 miles from Odessa, Texas, and shopped there twice a week for groceries and other supplies.
Holub had only recently stopped chewing tobacco during games, had avoided an operation for the first time since he could remember and found a solution to the problems of being lonely at camp.
KCChiefs.com Video: Chiefs Live! Week 1
KCChiefs.com Video: Chiefs Brief: Starting Out Fast
KCChiefs.com Video: Toub: 'The Guys Are Playing Hard And Buying In'
KCChiefs.com Video: Pederson Works To Get Offense Prepared For Jags
NFL.com Video: Preview: Kansas City Chiefs vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Kansas City Chiefs Practice Report from ESPN
The Chiefs added cornerback Sean Smith (neck), safety Husain Abdullah (foot) and linebacker Dezman Moses (toe) to their injury report on Thursday. Smith and Moses were listed as full practice participants while Abdullah did not practice.
Can Chiefs Turn On Running GameSunday? from ESPN
With the exception of 2007, when they finished dead last, the Chiefs have been in the top half of the NFL in rushing yardage every season since 2001. They have seven top 10 finishes in that span.
So the Chiefs will always be able to run the ball effectively, right? Death, taxes and the Chiefs running all over their opponents?
That seems to be the attitude at Arrowhead Stadium and there's danger in that thinking.
The Chiefs figure to need help from their special teams. They don't have a dynamic, quick-strike type of offense, so if the Chiefs have to go 80 yards each time they get the ball, they might be in trouble.
That's where Davis comes in. The Chiefs have more reliable options in terms of securing the ball. Quintin Demps, who also brought back a kick for a touchdown in the preseason, and Dexter McCluster can also do the job.
The Long, Strange Trip Of Alex Smith, Football Nerd -- And Savior from FS Kansas City
He's been a nerd, a savant, a jewel, a hermit, a genius, a savior, a goat, a pariah, a phoenix, a victim, a spare part, and a savior again.
Yet, when you peel away all the layers, the subplots and the soap operatics, Alex Smith, the new starting quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, is the same skinny kid from San Diego he was a decade ago. It's everything around him that's gone bonkers.
Smith's often-rocky tenure by the bay has been well documented, a stint tormented by ineffectiveness, injuries, inconsistent coaching, inconsistent systems, inconsistent offensive lines and inconsistent receivers. In Year 2, Smith started to take steps forward under offensive coordinator Norv Turner, a renowned quarterbacking guru. After the fall of 2006, Turner left to become the head coach in San Diego, and Alex was back to square one. And back. And back. And back.
Preview: Reid, Smith To Make Chiefs Regular-Season Debut from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
Andy Reid and Alex Smith each proved that previous success means little in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately NFL, but the Kansas City Chiefs are banking on them to help usher in a bright future for a franchise that has missed the playoffs five of the last six seasons.
The excitement is tempered for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are more focused on basic improvement after undergoing an overhaul of their own.
Facts And Figures On Chiefs-Jaguars Matchup from FS Kansas City
Kansas City throttled Jacksonville, 42-20, the last time the clubs met in 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium. The Jaguars have won four of the five all-time meetings with the Chiefs that have been played at EverBank Field.
Kansas City Chiefs - PlayerWatch from GlobalPost
ILB Derrick Johnson is the most veteran of Chiefs, entering his ninth season with the franchise after being selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Johnson has now had five head coaches and three general managers in his time with the team, along with five defensive coordinators. As another season begins, he's comfortable in the role that's been thrust upon him.
Prineton: Catapano Makes Chiefs Team from The Princeton Packet
"It's great," Catapano said. "Coming into this process, getting drafted and everything else, it's the ultimate goal and to have a home is great. It doesn't end here, but this is a great starting point to my pro career."
Catapano is quick to point out that he's not done. Making the team isn't enough, and his improvement from his first to his second preseason game is indication there is a bright future ahead.
Carrie Underwood Sings 'Sunday Night Football' Theme from USA Today
Though Underwood's known in Nashville as a hockey fan - she married Nashville Predators forward Mike Fisher in 2010 - the Oklahoma native grew up with a football diet heavy on the Dallas Cowboys and the Kansas City Chiefs. "We didn't have cable," she says, "so you liked one of them, either Dallas or the Chiefs."
Chief Nation Plans For The Season Ahead from KCUR
One of the Chiefs' most faithful fans is sports blogger, Joel Thorman, who operates Arrowhead Pride, a blog associated with the SB Nation blog network. He says the must-see home game this season will be Kansas City Chiefs v.s. Denver Broncos in October. Thorman believes the Chiefs will be competing with the Broncos for the division title at that point. Another exciting game will be the home opener against the Dallas Cowboys with player Brian Waters who recently came out of retirement and signed with Dallas.
2013 NFL Preview: AFC West from USA Today
Their 2-14 record tied for the NFL's worst in 2012, but new coach Andy Reid knew he wasn't commandeering a franchise devoid of talent. He can comfortably focus on rejuvenating the offense knowing four of the Chiefs' six Pro Bowlers start on defense. And it's not like the cupboard is bare on the other side with RB Jamaal Charles, WR Dwayne Bowe, LT Branden Albert, incoming QB Alex Smith and No. 1 pick Eric Fisher, who will start at right tackle.
Fabulous Four: Jaguars-Chiefs from Jaguars.com
And finally, a word on the quarterback. We'll review the whole position, because that's what you do entering the regular-season opener. Gabbert will start if healthy, and
Chad Hennewill start if not. Those two have been the top two quarterbacks throughout the offseason and training camp, and any thought that Mike Kafka or Matt Scottwould push for a starting or backup role was wishful thinking by fans/observers wanting change for the sake of change.
Jaguars Look For A Pass Rush Sunday from The Florida Times-Union
Perhaps Bradley's main task is to rebuild a Jaguars defense that was ranked 30th last year and 28th in sacks per pass play. Bradley and general manager Caldwell have spent the offseason retooling the defense with six new starters, and they get their first test Sunday against quarterback Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Football Is Back: Tips For Week 1 from NFL.com
Jamaal Charles might be the NFL's most underrated player. We know he can run, but new Chiefs coach Andy Reid loves using backs in the passing game. Charles, playing the joker role, is a strong bet to surpass his 320 touches last season.
Joeckel Still Miffed At Being No. 2 from ESPN
It has been a little more than four months and Luke Joeckel is still annoyed.
And the source of his irritation is coming to town on Sunday.
Joeckel is still miffed that the Kansas City Chiefs passed on him with the No. 1 overall pick in April's NFL draft, instead opting for another offensive tackle --Eric Fisher of Central Michigan.
Jaguars Notebook: Marcedes Lewis Held Out Of Practice Thursday from The Florida Times-Union
Week 1: Chiefs-Jaguars Matchup Analysis from Lundy's Sports
This is a barometer game for both teams debuting new head coaches against a beatable opponent - an opportunity neither side saw often in 2012. There's more continuity, fewer injury concerns and more stable quarterback play for the Chiefs.
Our pick: Chiefs 19-13