A 'New' Chiefs Franchise Kicks Off In Jacksonville from KC Star
[I]f you study the past, there are some striking similarities in what the Chiefs are trying to do this season and the transformation that took them from local afterthought to regional passion.
Those similarities are not lost on people who know the franchise best.
"I see exactly what you see," says former general manager Carl Peterson, who never got the Chiefs to the Super Bowl in his 20 years in charge but helped transform them into Kansas City's obsession.
The New Chiefs are following a few key steps from The Old Chiefs, in other words, and this is something that's been largely missed in the whirlwind from last year's widespread anger to today's cautious optimism.
Take 5: Subplots In Chiefs vs Jaguars from The Mothership
As if the Kansas City Chiefs 2013 season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday wasn't intriguing enough, the countless subplots involved would have Inception director Christopher Nolan drooling. Below are five storylines of the Chiefs-Jags matchup that are sure to be talked about tonight, tomorrow and Monday morning, around the water cooler.
Ask a Chief, just about any Chief, about Reid, and you'll hear various versions of largely the same strong sentiments.
"When he talks, guys listen," kicker Ryan Succop said. "He knows how to connect with every guy on this team."
That stems from Reid's combination of credibility, ability to deliver crisp, clean messages when he speaks to the group and his reputation as a player's coach.
It's what comes from having what Dorsey calls "zero ego" and not one "phony" bone in his body and from what linebacker Derrick Johnson calls the ability to convey "what he wants" with "no gray area."
It's a manner of leadership that has been lacking here, a way that Reid radiates and doesn't have to demand, the type that leaves reserve quarterback Chase Daniel saying, "You want to make him proud" without Reid needing to raise his voice.
Four Downs With Chiefs QB Alex Smith from The Mothership
You're a proud husband and father; how have the responsibilities of each role helped you as a football player?
"I've become a more efficient worker. Fatherhood, and being a husband, taught me that. My time away from here is so much more valuable. With my time here, now I have to be a lot more efficient with it. I found myself wasting time here a lot; it's different now. I really work hard. I really try to be efficient with my time here, so I can still get home and be with my kids and my wife. In that aspect, I think I'm better at it. I'm a better worker. Kids are a life changer. They put things in perspective."
Fisher or Joeckel? Joeckel or Fisher?
So why would either share a tip or tidbit with the other when it came to improving technique as a blocker, understanding a defensive scheme or impressing a coach or general manager in an interview?
"We really didn't talk much at all," said Fisher, who visited Jacksonville with Joeckel on April 3 - 22 days before the draft.
As it turned out, the Chiefs selected Fisher, the fourth offensive tackle to go No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft. Jacksonville took Joeckel.
Chiefs-Jaguars Scouting Report from KC Star
It's a new era for the Chiefs, and after four turbulent seasons under former general manager Scott Pioli, they would love to kick off the Andy Reid-John Dorsey era with a victory. Fortunately for them, the Jaguars have a new coach and could again be one of the worst teams in the league. A loss would quickly sour the considerable optimism many had entering the season, but it probably won't come to that. Prediction: Chiefs 34, Jaguars 20
Opening Day Chiefs-Jaguars Factoids from KC Star
Andy Reid could become the first head coach to win his opening game with the Chiefs since .... Are you ready for this ... Frank Gansz in 1987. The Chiefs beat San Diego 20-13 at Arrowhead.
Marty Schottenheimer, Gunther Cunningham, Dick Vermeil, Herm Edwards, Todd Haley and Romeo Crennel all lost in their debuts.
Game Day Jacksonville Weather from The National Weather Service
Today - Sunny, with a high near 88. Light north wind becoming northeast 9 to 14 mph in the morning.
So, as a part of The Star's ongoing effort to give you the most comprehensive Chiefs coverage possible, here's the first of what I hope will become a gameday staple here on The Star's Red Zone blog - three keys to a Chiefs victory (based on film study, statistical analysis and interviews with players and coaches throughout the week).
Without further ado, take a look at the offense as the Chiefs head into their showdown at noon against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field.
Kansas City At Jacksonville from CBS Sports
"Listen, I thought (coach) Jim (Harbaugh) did a nice job with (Smith) out in San Francisco," Reid said. "But here, everybody's on board. I'm asking him to do a ton of things and he's handling it."
That's good news for a team coming off a 2-14 season that tied the 2008 squad for the worst in franchise history. Kansas City selected Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher with the No. 1 overall pick to help protect Smith as it looks to improve on its league-worst 13.2 points per game from 2012.
"I think every team in the NFL has positive expectations right now, every single one," Smith said. "It's a fresh start. It's a new beginning for everybody. It's what team is going to put in the work and take the steps necessary to get better?"
Week 1: Jaguars Point-Counterpoint from The Florida Times-Union
Each week, Times-Union Jaguars writer Ryan O'Halloran and 1010XL Jaguars reporter Jessica Blaylock will debate five topics.
1. If Blaine Gabbert starts against Kansas City despite missing three weeks with a broken thumb, what are the reasonable expectations for him against the Chiefs?
Four Downs: The Keys To Sunday's Jaguars-Chiefs Game from The Florida Times-Union
Staying on schedule
The Jaguars were dreadful at home last year (1-7), but the worst part was their first-half performance. Opponents outscored them 94-36 in the opening two quarters. The Jaguars faced halftime deficits of 17-0, 17-7 and 21-0 and only twice did they have a lead. Being able to stick with the game plans is the goal and that comes with winning on first and third downs on both sides of the ball.
Ten Questions About The Jaguars-Chiefs Opener from The Florida Times-Union
Chiefs-Jaguars: Preview Capsule from The Florida Times-Union
During the preseason, Bowe was kept mostly on the left side, which would pit him against Gratz, the third-round pick who had two preseason interceptions. But the Jaguars expect Bowe to be moved around the field to explore other matchups.
The Jaguars have confidence Gratz can thrive if he faces Bowe the majority of the time.
No. 2 Overall Pick Luke Joeckel Debuts For Jags, With No. 1 Pick On Opposite Sideline from The Florida Times-Union
Kyle O'Brien has a unique perspective of the Fisher-Joeckel decision. He was a member of Kansas City's scouting department until May 2, when he was named the Jaguars' director of college scouting. O'Brien says Chiefs general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid kept their pick under wraps.
Detailing his scouting report of Joeckel, O'Brien says: "Has athleticism and patience. ... He times his punch really well, he's able to sift through the trash, he's able to anticipate twists and blitzes. ... He doesn't get too aggressive - he won't chase a twist and then help the guard [too late]. ... He understands his assignments and allows things to come to him. ... Playing in the SEC benefited him a lot. He played against some extremely talented players last year."
Putrid 2012 Squads Chiefs, Jaguars Aim To Improve from The Associated Press via The St. Joseph News-Press
The Chiefs, who lost four in row and 12 of 13 to end last season, have 30 new players on the 53-man roster. Jacksonville, which ended 2012 with a five-game losing streak and lost 12 of its final 13, has 26 newcomers.
"Sometimes change can be good," said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who spent the previous 14 seasons in Philadelphia.
Neither team appears done tweaking the roster, either.
The Jaguars added 10 players over a six-day span last week, making for a unique situation heading into the opener.
Jacksonville defensive end Jeremy Mincey said he's still learning names and numbers.
Booher: Chiefs Can't Afford Clunker In Opener from The Springfield News-Leader
What a difference a year makes for the Chiefs. That and a new quarterback, a new coach and a new general manager who seems to have a clue as to what he's doing.
And now, today, a new season.
But why is it that today's season opener has a non-opening day feel to it?
Given the eyesores of Chiefs seasons past, the giddiness of Christmas mornings are elsewhere, in San Francisco and Green Bay and places that know they could really enjoy a special season.
No, today seems to have the feel of ... um ... a must-win, doesn't it?
Five To Watch: Chiefs vs Jaguars from Warpaint Illustrated
Until proven otherwise the majority of NFL teams facing the Chiefs in September will stack the box to contain Sir Charles. Should that occur then Quarterback, Alex Smith has to deliver the goods through the air.
The key for KC's offense is getting Charles in open spaces. If he can wrestle away from the Jaguars front four, he could deliver the goods on a 150-yard rushing day that could lead to a touchdown or two.
Let's Call It Feat Ball from The Denver Post
Some talking heads believe the Kansas City Chiefs offer the Broncos their only competition in the AFC West. Andy Reid's arrival as Kansas City's new coach is a major reason. New quarterback Alex Smith, a former overall No. 1 pick, should help too.
The Browns have not taken that step forward to start a season since 2004, when they defeated the Baltimore Ravens 20-3. They are 1-13 in openers since their rebirth in 1999, even though all but one of those games was played in Cleveland. The Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders are tied for the second-worst record in openers during that span with four wins apiece, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
NFL Insider: Who's Hot, Who's Not And More from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Kansas City Chiefs are 0-4 in season openers on the road in the past 10 years. They haven't won away from home on Opening Day since 2002 at Cleveland.
NFL Week 1 Picks: Settle Down On Singe-Game Reactions from CBS Sports
Chiefs at JAGUARS (+3½): BLAINE GABBERT BACK? OK, it's hard to be "back" when you were never "here," but an impressive performance by Gabbert in a victory -- yes, that's right -- against Kansas City and a sneaky-good secondary (Brandon Flowers, Sean Smith, Eric Berry are a very nice trio) and people are going to start wondering whether or not Gabbert can become a franchise quarterback. This could get at least as messy as trying to go all Dr. Moreau on a mustachioed Gabbert and an actual Jaguar:
Andy Reid and Alex Smith are expected to bring stability to the Chiefs' offense. They already had the feats of agility with Jamaal Charles. The Jaguars are better than you think with their cogs for Blaine Gabbert, even without Justin Blackmon. Reid, however, inherited a more ready-to-win veteran team than Gus Bradley. Chiefs 24, Jaguars 14.
Week 1: Here's Everything You Need To Know For Sunday from FOX Sports
Expect a healthy dose of Maurice Jones-Drew as tight end Marcedes Lewis has been ruled out with a calf injury and Justin Blackmon begins his four-game suspension. The Chiefs' new-look defense vows to play fast, but it all begins up front with former first-round pick Dontari Poe. Kansas City returns three Pro Bowl linebackers in Justin Houston, Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson. It could be a long day for Jacksonville's offensive line.
What I Reid Into It: September 7, 2013 from The Lee's Summit Tribune
In fact I see winning records and playoff appearances under Coach Reid. Long-time KC Chiefs fans will recall back in 1989 the team hired a veteran head coach named Marty Schottenheimer. Division titles and playoff appearances soon followed. Twelve years later in 2001 the team brought in veteran coach Dick Vermeil who had similar results. Now 12 years later in 2013 new General Manager John Dorsey hires veteran coach Andy Reid. I look forward to seeing the team thrive under another veteran head coach and hope the time is real soon.
Former Andalusia High School football standout Nico Johnson won't make his NFL debut on Sunday when the Kansas City Chiefs open the regular season at the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Chiefs selected the linebacker out of Alabama with a fourth-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and his training-camp performance had him competing with six-year veteran Akeem Jordan for a starting spot at inside linebacker.
When the Kansas City Chiefs kick off the 2013 home opener against the Dallas Cowboys, the suites, club seats, and season tickets at Arrowhead Stadium will be full of VIP guests, all leveraging the power of the NFL to help their businesses. For the third season, a large number of Chiefs suite holders and season ticket holders will be using online tools and a new mobile app to measure the ROI on their investment.
Sunday Fun-Day: How To Throw The Ultimate Football Party This Season from The Richmond Times-Dispatch
Drinks are a great opportunity to use some color to express team pride, advised Schoels.
"Use a glass drink dispenser to show off a bright red punch for the Kansas City Chiefs; add some blueberry juice to seltzer with a squeeze of lime for flavor to make a blue fizz for the New York Giants, or add a few drops of green food coloring to lemonade to show love for the Green Bay Packers," she suggested.
If you are planning on having a kid's table/viewing area, provide mini bottles of sports drink so the kids can get into the game as well.