RED FRIDAY!! Good morning! We are heading into the weekend and the home opener for your Kansas City Chiefs. Today's news continues the theme of previews, predictions, and the return of Tony Gonzalez. Enjoy.
In the opener, Studebaker's main responsibility will be rushing Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, not intercepting his passes. Hali ranked second in the AFC with 12 sacks last season and has 53 1/2 sacks in his six-year career, including 26 1/2 in the last two seasons. Studebaker has 2 1/2 career sacks since the Chiefs plucked him off the Philadelphia practice squad midway through the 2008 season.
"You can't go in there trying to be someone you're not," Studebaker said. "For me, I'm going to know my job, I'm going to play as hard as I can. As a defense, we're going to play hard, we're going to know what we're doing, we're going to communicate effectively and put ourselves in a position to have a good chance (to win)."
Chiefs' Studebaker Ready For Start Against Falcons from KC Star
"Inactives" are turned in to NFL officials 90 minutes prior to kickoff each gameday. This single sheet of paper signed by each head coach declares seven players ineligible to play for each team, creating two 46-man rosters.
This Sunday, 10:30 a.m. (CST) will carry plenty of significance in Kansas City's regular season opener against Atlanta. The Chiefs currently have six defensive starters either suspended or with injury questions heading into Sunday's game.
"I've got what I've got and we're going to go to battle with who we have, and that's the way you have to do it in this business," Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel said Thursday.
Chiefs Notebook: Belcher Added To Watch List from The Mothership
KCChiefs.com Video: From The Podium: Romeo Crennel Press Conference
KCChiefs.com Video: Chiefs Brief: Week 1
NFL.com Video: Preview: Atlanta Falcons vs. Kansas City Chiefs
NFL.com Video: Weather Update: Atlanta Falcons vs. Kansas City Chiefs
NFL.com Video: 'NFL Films Presents': John Amos And The Turk
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Video: Falcons Set To Face Chiefs In Week 1
QB Matt Cassel's thoughts on heading into the first game of the season:
"It's been a long time coming. We've put a lot of hard work and effort into not only the offseason but mini-camps and then you get into the season and you've had four preseason games and now it's for real. We're all excited, we're enthusiastic about it, and this team is working hard, so we couldn't be more excited. And, the fact that we also get to have the Opening Day at home in front of our fans and all the traditions that go along with it with Red Friday and everything else, it's going to be a great weekend."
Overheard: Captains And Player Debuts from The Mothership
Although Atlanta was a playoff team last season, the Falcons have new offensive and defensive coordinators, which puts the Chiefs in a little bit of a bind preparing for Sunday's opener.
Do the Chiefs trust preseason Falcons tapes or go back and look at what new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter did at previous stops?
The tour includes the Draft room, the Broadcast Lounge and Suite, a visit to the production booth on the Press Level, the Hall of Honor presented by Time Warner Cable and access onto the field, right next to the Chiefs Bench to watch the field preparation and pre-game warm-ups. At the end of the tour fans receive a team roster card, Chiefs Yearbook and a Chiefs Pro Shop coupon as a thank you for taking this exclusive gameday only experience.
Get A Gameday Tour from The Mothership
They're on the road to start the season and Arrowhead Stadium is never the easiest venue, but the Falcons are probably not your garden-variety opponent either. A series of playoff flameouts have the fan base - not to mention the owner - impatient, which means little margin for error is left for a first- week stumble. The Chiefs may play ball-control and try to limit possessions, but Ryan should have enough opportunity for at least one decisive big play.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Falcons 28, Chiefs 17
NFL Preview - Atlanta (0-0) at Kansas City (0-0) from KC Star
The city will get painted red, both literally and figuratively, while special editions of the Red Friday Magazine are available on street corners and businesses around the metro from 6:30-9:00 a.m. for a suggested donation of $2 apiece. Net proceeds from the magazine will benefit the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater KC. Magazines will be available at 12 locations in Kansas and another 26 in Missouri. Click here for the list.
Chiefs Set To Kick Off Season In Style With 20th Red Friday Celebration from Examiner.com
"I've been playing my whole career for a chance to go to the Super Bowl, and I feel we have as good a chance as anybody."
The first roadblock, of course: Romeo Crennel's Chiefs, who will be shorthanded defensively without rushing linebacker Tamba Hali, out because of a one-game suspension, and possibly linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive back Brandon Flowers, both because of injuries.
Stopping Gonzalez, even at age 36, wouldn't be easy, Crennel said, even if the Chiefs were at full strength.
Tony Gonzalez Returns To Arrowhead Stadium from FS Kansas City
He anticipates a welcome wagon of ex-teammates, Chiefs staffers and fans there to say hello and perhaps goodbye for one last time as a player. He's been all over Kansas City's media this week and he plans to get to the stadium earlier than normal to make sure he has enough time to shake many of the hands that clapped for him through so many Pro Bowl seasons in KC and still have ample time to ensure he's prepared mentally for the game.
Through it all, Gonzalez said that last part is what is still the most important. There's a football game to play and once all the emotion of pregame is cast aside, he's looking to deliver a loss to those same fans that were hugging him earlier in the day. Once the game clock starts, Gonzalez' game face will be on.
Gonzalez Ready For Emotional Return To KC from AtlantaFalcons.com
DB - If you're the Chiefs - which Falcon do you fear the most WR Roddy White or RB Michael Turner?
NA - In my view it has to be Turner. Sure there is concern with the talent at the receiver position the Falcons posses. But it'll be a long afternoon at Arrowhead if the Chiefs front seven does not contain the running talents of Turner. If he's lose in the secondary, Matt Ryan, will have a field day with his play-action abilities in the passing game.
Burning Questions: Falcons vs. Chiefs from Warpaint Illustrated
Throughout training camp, the Chiefs protected Jamaal Charles by limiting his practice time and closely monitoring his surgically-repaired knee.
The training wheels come off on Sunday when the Chiefs open the season against Atlanta, which will mark Charles' first action in a regular season game since tearing his ACL in Week 2 last season.
Chiefs Notebook: RB Jamaal Charles Ready For His Return from CBS Sports
The Chiefs' replacement for one of the NFL's most feared pass rushers this Sunday will be an unheralded veteran linebacker out of tiny Wheaton College.
It won't be the first time Eureka High School graduate Andy Studebaker has started a game, but it'll surely be like none other: It's the season-opener against the Atlanta Falcons, and the Congerville native will be taking the place of Tamba Hali, who is suspended for Week 1 for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.
Eureka's Studebaker To Start For Chiefs In NFL Week 1 from The Associated Press via The Peoria Star Journal
But it seems like Bowe has caught up and up to speed on offensive coordinator Brian Daboll's system. Bowe is listed as a first-team receiver on the team's depth chart again.
I expect Bowe to become an instant impact in the red zone. He is one of the most consistent red zone receiving threats in the NFL.
Will Bowe Continue To Shine In Red Zone? from ESPN
Red Friday kicked off on Thursday this year. The American Royal held their yearly awards luncheon and scholarships announcement Thursday afternoon.
The guest speaker this year was Chiefs Owner Clark Hunt.
It was a very open and revealing Hunt at the American Royal lunch and awards presentation at Kemper Arena.
If you're smart enough to have seen past the lie that Peyton Manning will be the best QB in the league again this year, you've probably realized that the AFC West is wide open this year. If you've paid enough attention to the Chiefs roster, you've probably seen the deepest and arguably best roster in the division.
I don't see a way for the Chiefs to miss out on winning the division this year - honestly, someone name one player not named Matt Cassel that will start for the Chiefs this year that you wouldn't want playing for your team.
Count On It from Sports Central
Kansas City: linebacker Justin Houston: The Chiefs will need a pass-rush burst against Atlanta's Matt Ryan with Tamba Hali serving a one-game NFL suspension and with injuries in the secondary. Houston showed great potential last season and served as a nice complement to Hali. For this game, Houston will need to be the main pass-rusher from the edge.
One Guy To Watch In Week 1 from ESPN
A clash of styles, with the Falcons unleashing an enhanced vertical passing game under new offensive co-ordinator Dirk Koetter, while his Kansas City counterpart Brian Daboll - also appointed this offseason - should lean heavily on the running back pairing of Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis. The absence of the Chiefs' best pass rusher, Tamba Hali, through suspension hurts, but I think home-field advantage will be decisive in a close game. Although hardly shabby, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is notably less productive on the road than he is at the Georgia Dome.
Chiefs to win
NFL Talkboard: Week 1 from The Guardian
Favorable Quarterback Matchups
Matt Ryan (ATL) vs. Kansas City - Injuries to cornerback Brandon Flowers and safety Kendrick Lewis really hurt the Kansas City secondary this preseason, with opposing quarterbacks completing 64 percent of their passes and just one interception. Both players are not expected to suit up for the opener, meaning the Chiefs' struggles against the pass should carry over into the regular season.
Week 1 In Fantasy Football: Favorable And Unfavorable Matchups from The New York Times
But even more than the fact he led the team, and was third in the NFL, in rushing during the preseason with 206 yards on 34 carries, he won the hearts of general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel with the grit he showed every time he stepped on the field. About halfway through training camp, assistant head coach/running backs coach Maurice Carthon said he was the most improved player at his position in the preseason.
Hazleton's Eachus Sticking With Chiefs from The Morning Call
The number of teams using iPads for playbooks and game film has increased this season from two to 14. In the NFC, the Bears, Cardinals, Cowboys, Lions, Packers, Panthers, Redskins and Seahawks are using the tablets as are the Bengals, Broncos, Chargers, Colts, Dolphins and Ravens in the AFC.
Other teams, such as the Chiefs, Titans and Saints, are using iPads for some things but haven't completely abandoned three-ring binders, and the Bills are considering switching over next year, when the NFL makes game film available in high definition, coach Chan Gailey said.
NFL Starting To Ditch Old Paper Playbooks from The Associated Press via KC Star
Working behind the scenes, they understand the importance of getting the full scope of a player on and off the field. It is not solely about athletic ability, but also about the athlete's reputation, work ethic, and character. Chiefs scouts dig deep to be sure that any athlete entering Arrowhead Stadium is worthy of wearing the Red and Gold.
The Job That Never Stops from The Mothership