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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs News 11/20

Good morning! Welcome to Sunday (the worst part about playing on Monday). Lots of Kansas City Chiefs news for you today. Enjoy!

Many of Belichick's protégés have attempted to leave the nest and duplicate the Patriot Way. Most have failed. Mangini says it's a mistake to try to copy the design precisely. He knows, because after two terms as a head coach, sticking too closely to Belichick's philosophy helped to derail his promising career.

Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli, who left New England in 2009 after nine years and all three of those championships, is among the ones still trying to perfect it in a location far from Patriot Place. He downplays the New England influence on the Chiefs, but others see a noticeable Patriots fingerprint.

Duplicating The Patriots' Way Hasn't Been Easy For Belichick's Proteges from KC Star

Admit it. You're disappointed.

About the only appeal that Monday night's game at Gillette Stadium had was the assumption that old friend Matt Cassel would be leading the Kansas City Chiefs into battle against the Patriots, the team he led to an 11-5 record after Tom Brady was injured in the 2008 opener against these same Chiefs.

Then Cassel left last week's game against Denver with a broken finger, and now a 28-year old fellow who has made more than his share of stops at every level of the football ladder will take the reins and hope to shock the world on Monday Night Football.

Palko Gets His Shot For KC from The Attleboro Sun Chronicle Video: Playbook: Chiefs vs. Patriots

Derrick Johnson is having the kind of season he always expected. He is having the kind of season the Kansas City Chiefs expected when they made him the 15th overall pick in 2005. It just took longer than expected.

"I've become a player that can change the game," Johnson said in a phone interview. "That's what I'm now trying to do is be a factor in us winning the game."

Light Comes On For Former Texas Star Derrick Johnson from The Macon Telegraph

The Patriots announced yesterday that cornerback Devin McCourty, who suffered a separated shoulder in the win over the Jets while colliding with Moore, is listed as doubtful. McCourty did return to practice yesterday, but was limited.

Safety Patrick Chung, whose absence led to the Patriots playing Moore last Sunday night, is listed as questionable with a right foot injury.

If Chung can play, Moore could shift to corner.

Devin McCourty Doubtful vs. Chiefs from The Boston Globe

But if you think the man who helped win three championships with the Pats - picking the groceries at Bill Belichick's side - was on some kind of nostalgia tour, think again.

He was doing what he does best. The Chiefs general manager was scouting and evaluating talent. He made stops at Boston College (Wednesday) and UConn (yesterday).

Good Scout Pioli Rips Belichick Critics from The Boston Herald

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City offers a free pass to indulge in baby back ribs and burnt ends and players get their fingers dirty over at Fiorella's Jack Stack, where the meat is "hickory-kissed." According to The Pitch, running back Thomas Jones is a huge fan of the chicken wings.

Where The NFL Eats from Fox News

The Patriots have, with overwhelming positive results, gone no-huddle in seven of their first nine games. (That excludes two-minute drives, which are always no-huddle.)

It's a safe bet you'll see it tomorrow night when the Kansas City Chiefs stop by Gillette Stadium.

Obviously, such a course of action could neither be confirmed nor denied this past week. What the Patriots will tell you is that their first rule when it comes to the no-huddle is they never rule it out prior to a game.

Patriots No-Huddle 'Puts Pressure On The Defense' from The Worcester Telegraph

Wallace Gilberry DE for the Kansas City Chiefs and Baldwin County High School Graduate also contributed to help the event.

Loxley Families Gather For Early Thanksgiving Dinner from   

Since leaving the shadow of Bill Belichick in January 2009, Pioli has built a reputation for bringing a strong executive in his own right. Pioli, a friend and underling of Belichick's since their Cleveland days of the early 1990s, was Belichick's right-hand man in New England. 

The Patriots were the team of the first decade of this century and Kansas City owner Clark Hunt pegged Pioli as his top choice to lead his team after a nearly 20-year run by former general manager Carl Peterson. Hunt has to be pleased with the work Pioli, 46, has done in Kansas City as the Chiefs head to New England for a "Monday Night Football" game.

Scott Pioli Goes Home A Success from ESPN

Since traffic for weeknight Patriots games competes with the evening commute, Gillette Stadium officials are encouraging fans to allow ample time to get to Gillette Stadium for the November 21, 8:30 p.m. matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football.

Gillette Stadium parking lots open at 4:30 p.m. and stadium gates open at 6:30 p.m. on Monday.

Patriots Fans [editor's note: and traveling Chiefs fans] Encouraged To Leave Early For Monday Night Game from

As we wrote last week, it's hard not to notice that the New England passing game has boiled down to two targets recently. As the great Evan Silva noted, since the Patriots' Week 7 bye, Tom Brady's target distribution has been skewed heavily in favor of the Gronkowski/Welker duo: In the last three weeks, Gronkowski has been targeted 35 times and Welker 26. Only one other receiver has been targeted more than 20 times (Branch, 20). Expect defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and the Chiefs to try and take out Nos. 87 and 83 and hope Brady struggles to locate the rest of his options in the passing game.

Ten Matchups To Watch Monday Night from WEEI

In the past, a Chiefs-Patriots matchup used to thrust the tight end position into the spotlight, heavily focusing on how New England would defend Tony Gonzalez. When Kansas City invades Gillette Stadium on "Monday Night Football" for the first meeting between the teams in three seasons, the script will be flipped a bit.

Patriots second-year tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez have emerged as tough covers for the opposition, and Kansas City coach Todd Haley raved about the duo this week.

Gronk, Hernandez In Red-Hot Zone from ESPN

The challenge now for the defensive line is attempting to slow a potentially potent Kansas City offense led by Tyler Palko, making his first career start Monday night in place of former Patriots' quarterback Matt Cassel, likely out for the season with a hand injury.

Despite a limited amount of film on the second-year quarterback, the Patriots are already aware of his legs.

"He's just a very elusive quarterback," Carter said, "and that's something that as a pass rusher, it doesn't matter if you're coming off the edge or inside, you have to be aware of because he's a playmaker."

Patriots' DE Carter Hoping To Build Off Four-Sack Performance On Monday Night Against Chiefs from The Washington Post

One player I'm looking forward to watching Monday night is Chiefs defensive end Tyson Jackson. He was Scott Pioli's initial first-round pick in Kansas City (No. 3 overall) and it looks like he's playing a Ty Warren-type role for the Chiefs. Jackson was considered a safe selection, and considering some of the struggles of other top picks that year (e.g. Aaron Curry, No. 4 overall, is already with a new team), one can understand Pioli's thinking.

Quick-Hit Thoughts Around NFL & Pats from ESPN

Patriots over Chiefs (Monday Night Football): I can't see what the schedule-makers ever saw in this game, unless they owe a huge favor to either Kansas City,...or New England. The only good thing about this is that most of us outside of KC or NE (and maybe including both places!) will be able to turn the tube off and go to bed early as this one should be a snooze-fest of the highest degree.

NFL Picks & Pans: Week 11 from Baltimore Beat Down

In midweek, the Ravens' coach beckoned the third-string running back into his office and delivered the news: He would make his first NFL start that Sunday, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Priest Holmes nodded, excused himself and hurried to the men's room.

"I had to say a prayer," Holmes said, recalling that day in 1998. "I thanked God for the opportunity. I knew I had a work ethic to compete with anyone in the league."

Priest Holmes Blasted Out Of The Third String To The Top Of The NFL from The Boston Herald