Arrowheadlines: Kansas City Chiefs News 1/7

Andy Lyons

Good morning. Today's Kansas City Chiefs news includes a lot of articles on concussions in the NFL. Some pretty serious reading on a very serious issue. Enjoy.

Alex Smith Proved He Was the Right Man For The Job from FS Kansas City

Yet there is no question that Smith made his share of great plays Saturday. He threw with conviction and precision, even when his best weapons began to drop out of the offense one by one because of injury. First it was Jamaal Charles. Then Donnie Avery. Then Knile Davis.

But Smith persevered. He scrambled, ran the read-option, and selflessly gave up his body to crushing hits downfield.

This is why Chiefs coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey were so excited to land him in a trade with San Francisco last March.

Chiefs Sign 12 To Reserve/Futures Contracts from Chiefs Spin

Two days after the season officially ended, the Chiefs shifted focus in preparation for the upcoming season.

The Chiefs signed 12 players to reserve/future contracts, according to Monday's official NFL Transactions report.

Eight of the players are familiar with the Chiefs having ended the season on the team's practice squad.

3 In The Kee: 3 Reasons The Chiefs Can Return To The Playoffs Next Season from FS Kansas City

At least one projection slots the Chiefs with $6.89 million in cap room for 2014. But the amount of flexibility, one way or another, probably depends on what happens with left tackle Branden Albert, who played on a one-year franchise tag this season and has been actively seeking a long-term commitment from this club -- or any club, really.

Conventional wisdom says Albert will be allowed to test the open market; as to whether that's the right call figures to be one of the loudest off-season debates among the fan base. According to ProFootballFocus.com, the 29-year-old Albert was far and away the Chiefs' best pass blocker this past season (+14.4 on dropbacks) and graded out as the second-best lineman overall (+10.0) to Geoff Schwartz (+18.6).

WR Makes Sense For Chiefs In First Round from ESPN

Should the Chiefs realistically do anything with that first-round pick besides select a wide receiver? We'll have plenty of time to discuss this over the next four months, but at this point, improving their passing game by selecting a fast wide receiver makes the most sense.

Chiefs High School Coaches Of The Year from The Mothership

This year, the Chiefs selected Shawnee Mission East's Dustin Delaney of Kansas and Pleasant Hill's Kyle Roach of Missouri as the 2013 High School Coaches of the Year. Each received the honor after strong performances by their respective teams, throughout the 2013 high school football season.

The 2013 High School Coach of the Year program is a joint initiative of the Kansas City Chiefs and the National Football League. It is designed to recognize and reward Kansas City area high school coaches, who have created successful programs for teams and players both on and off of the playing field.

Ex-Oilers Great Warren Moon On Chiefs' Playoff Gag: 'I Could Relate' from FS Kansas City

And here's where a weird story gets freaking weirder: Warren Moon, the last great quarterback to get his heart ripped out of his chest in the AFC playoffs, spent his Saturday watching the same thing happen to Alex Smith while, in all places ... Kansas City.

"I was with a bunch of Chiefs fans," the former Oilers, Vikings, Seahawks and Chiefs quarterback tells FOXSportsKansasCity.com. "And they got totally, physically sick watching it."

No kidding. So how did you feel?

A pause.

"I could relate," Moon says.

'Save Our Chiefs' Founders Reflect On Past Year from Chiefs Spin

Another area that improved in 2013 was how the Chiefs viewed the fan base, arguably one of the NFL's most-loyal supporters.

Reid often mentioned the fans during weekly pressers to offer gratitude for supporting the team at home and on the road...

...Reid's gestures throughout the regular season didn't go unnoticed.

"I think the tell-tale sign of the new outlook is how much the Chiefs have actually embraced the fans this year," McDonald said. "In the past with Scott Pioli, the fans were basically shoved off to the side at times. That's how some of us felt."

Group Blames Shuttlecocks For Kansas City's Sports Curse from KCTV5

Now that the Kansas City Chiefs season is over, a superstitious group of Kansas Citians has come up with the reason they think the city's teams can't win in the playoffs.

They call it "The Curse of the Shuttlecocks..."

...The group believes the curse is real, and even has a Change.org petition going to get the birdies removed.

Dispelling The 'Kansas City Curse' Myth from The Sedalia Democrat

Maybe Kansas City was cursed by the St. Louis Cardinals for daring to beat them in a world series. Maybe it comes courtesy of the Houston Oilers, whose last playoff appearance was the aforementioned loss to the Chiefs. Maybe the curse is mutual, since the Tennessee Titans have never won a Super Bowl under any moniker.

Kauffman Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium are relatively unique - there aren't a lot of NFL and MLB franchises that share a giant parking lot. Maybe the Truman Sports Complex was built on an ancient battle or burial ground.

There is no Kansas City Curse, because there isn't any curse, anywhere: just a series of unfortunate events.

Red Dead Execution: A Chiefs Fan In The Aftermath Of That Game from Grantland

It was those white pants. I should have known when we wore those damn white pants.

Sure, there were other ominous factors that were ignored at the time - that the usual sports bar viewing location was compromised; the hollow, concussed look on Jamaal Charles's visage when the trainer shone his doctor-issue Maglite into Charles's eyes; that the new viewing location was still festooned with dreaded Mizzou Tigers swag from the previous night's Cotton Bowl party. But the pants: They haunt me. Those pants!

You see, the Chiefs don't go all-white much. Want to know one time they did, though? A 2006 blowout at the hands of the Colts...

Jack's Smack: Feeling The Sting Of The Chiefs' Loss In Indy from KSHB

The sting of this epic, four-touchdown meltdown will be etched in memory for decades to come.

Lin Elliott must feel vindicated and off the hook now. He was castigated for 20 years after missing those kicks in a playoff loss to the Colts.

A Wild-Card Extravaganza from Grantland

The biggest blow came early, as the Chiefs lost star halfback Jamaal Charles to a concussion after just five snaps, leaving Kansas City without its MVP candidate and one of the most irreplaceable players in football. It would eventually lose his backup, Knile Davis, to a knee injury, leaving the team with Cyrus Gray (nine carries in 2013) and Dexter McCluster (a converted wide receiver who played halfback in college) at running back. Wideout Donnie Avery, who caught a 79-yard bomb from Alex Smith for an early touchdown, also left the game with a concussion. Flowers was injured on a third-quarter touchdown and could not return, and Houston was forced from the game one play before Luck's comeback-completing bomb to Hilton.

It's hard not to imagine the availability of even one of those players changing this game.

2013 Comeback Player Of The Year Candidates from CBS Sports

6. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback: The 49ers benched Smith last season, and then went to the Super Bowl on the arm and legs of Colin Kaepernick. Smith was traded in the offseason, and he went on to set personal bests in yards and touchdowns. He improved dramatically in the second half of the season, and showed that he's a rare starting quarterback that can excel for multiple teams.

Eight From Wild Card Weekend: In Indy, Hilton Always Open These Days from CBS Sports

Concussions were a big part of the wild-card games. At least four Chiefs players were sent off with concussion symptoms never to return. In all, eight players had such issues in the four games....

...After seeing the no-nonsense approach to concussion, there is a need for expanded rosters to have personnel ready to fill in as these concussions occur -- and protecting players from trying to return when they should not.

Did Concussion Rules Help Beat The Chiefs? from The Rush Limbaugh Show

The Chiefs lost three key players, Jamaal Charles being the first, in the first quarter, to concussions. Last year, previous years, they would have come back in the game. They were gone. They lost a couple other people to hamstring and knee injuries. That's part of the game. Don't misunderstand. I'm not claiming it's unfair. But the concussion business, some of these guys would have been back, and it would have made a difference.

Football's Devastating Harvest from The New York Times

For a while he didn't move. It wasn't clear that he could. He was stretched out on his stomach, a few concerned people bending over him, a few others kneeling beside him, as if in prayer, which they may have been. It would have been an apt response.

Seconds ticked by. Still no movement...

...This game, a playoff match on Saturday between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts, was turning into one with too many chills. This player, a star cornerback for the Chiefs named Brandon Flowers, wasn't its first casualty.

Jamaal Charles, Keenan Lewis, And The NFL Head Games from Grantland

Ultimately, the stricter concussion procedures mean that roster depth and coaching is even more important than it was just five years ago. Is an offensive coordinator capable of attacking the weak link that suddenly appears? Can the opposing defensive coach respond at a moment's notice by adjusting his scheme?

Over wild-card weekend, that chess match started almost immediately. Think the Chiefs' game plan changed a bit when Jamaal Charles, their leading rusher and leading receiver in 2013, hit his head on the turf on their opening drive? Backup Knile Davis played admirably, but a healthy Charles probably means the Chiefs successfully drain the clock with a 28-point lead in the second half. It didn't help that Kansas City later lost Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Flowers, concussed by a teammate in a goal-line traffic jam; the Colts responded with three rapid-fire touchdowns.

Jovan Belcher's Murder-Suicide: Did The Kansas City Chiefs Pull The Trigger? from The Nation

Cheryl Shepherd, it appears, wants answers more than she wants a payout. In August 2013, more than 4,500 former NFL players suing the NFL for concussion negligence chose to settle out of court for $765 million. The deal indemnified the NFL against future class action law suits and ensured that no one would have access to the NFL's own research on the effects of head injuries in their sport. But for Cheryl Shepherd, as Hruby writes, this is less a money grab than an "information grab." She wants to go to trial, and if her suit is allowed to move forward, we will all get what the previous settlement denied us: a discovery process under oath. Harassing players to take the field with head injuries, under threat of losing their jobs, should not go unpunished. If Scott Pioli used what can only be described as his "class leverage" to compel Jovan Belcher to wreck his own brain, then he needs to be held to account.

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