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Arrowheadlines: Kansas City Chiefs News 12/24

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Good morning and an early Merry Christmas to all of you! I'll be taking the next few days off from Arrowheadlines so I can enjoy a little R&R with the family (including Sunday's game at Arrowhead). Thanks to Joel for covering for me! I'll be back early next week. Have a safe and happy holiday. Here is today's Kansas City Chiefs news.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Four Chiefs Players Named to 2015 NFL Pro Bowl Roster from The Mothership

The National Football League announced on Tuesday that four members of the Kansas City Chiefs have been selected to participate in the 2015 NFL Pro Bowl, presented by McDonald's. The below players have earned a spot on the NFL's Pro Bowl Roster:

Jamaal Charles (Running Back)
4th Nomination

Tamba Hali (Linebacker)
4th Nomination

Justin Houston (Linebacker)
3rd Nomination

Dontari Poe (Defensive Tackle)
2nd Nomination

The Pro Bowl will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. This year's all-star game features the new format adopted in 2014. The familiar AFC vs. NFC match-up that existed from 1971-2013 will no longer be in place. Instead, players were selected without regard to conference in voting by fans, coaches and players. Players will be assigned to teams during the 2015 Pro Bowl Draft on NFL Network on Wednesday, January 21 at 7 p.m. CT.

12/23 Practice Recap: LB Justin Houston Says He Wants to be in the Hall of Fame from The Mothership

Evaluating the quality of a player while watching a football game isn't always easy from the broadcast.  That statement holds true even live at the game.

The small nuances of the sport-positioning, footwork, quickness and awareness, just to name a few-call for a trained eye for recognition.  Sometimes, they take a trained eye from multiple replay angles.

But with Houston, throw that out the window.

Take a fan to his or her first ever football game and he or she would be able to identify who the scariest player on the field is.

Andy Reid Press Conference 12/23 from The Mothership

Q: Andy, does Bob Sutton get enough credit for what he has been able to do with that defense this year?

REID: "Well, I don't read the paper so I can't tell you, but I know from my standpoint he's got good players and he puts them in good positions and they play hard aggressive football. So he is well appreciated in this building."

Q: With all those injuries he's had on defense, how have they been able to do what they have on defense and not allow a 30 point score yet this year even?

REID: "He has had some guys step up for the guys that were injured. As I mentioned before (Josh) Mauga having had been in the defense I think helped him be able to adjust as quick as he did and get to start in there. I think everyone just picked their game up, is what I think really happened. And Bob has taken their talents and utilized their talents and put them in good positions and they have responded."

Chiefs QB Alex Smith Talks Relationship with Andy Reid from The Mothership

For the first time in his career, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith has thrown for at least 3,000 yards in back-to-back seasons.

Smith threw for 3,313 yards last season after completing 60.6 percent of his passes with 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also helped orchestrate the best single-season turnaround in franchise history, helping the Chiefs with a nine-win improvement between 2012 and 2013.

"We've been through some things [over the past couple of years]," Smith said of his relationship with Chiefs coach Andy Reid. "He's a guy that's been around a lot of different quarterbacks. He has such a wealth of knowledge about football and I continue to learn through it all."

This year, Smith has completed 65.3 percent of his passes with 3,265 yards with 18 touchdowns and just six interceptions.

Chiefs Visit Pediatric Unit to Spread Holiday Cheer from The Mothership

The group passed out special Chiefs gifts, teddy bears, signed autographs and visited with the children and their families. The patients ranged in age from newborns to early 20s and their illness varied as well. Some patients have the flu, while others are recovering from car accidents or are receiving cancer treatments.

"It was a great opportunity to visit the hospital; this is what it's all about," Danan Hughes, Chiefs Ambassador, said. "It's about being able to bless others and take their minds off of being at the hospital during the holidays. We're happy to help bring a little bit.

KCChiefs.com Podcast: Chiefs Download 12/24

KCChiefs.com Video: Locker Room Sound 12/23

KCChiefs.com Video: Opponent Preview: Examining the Chargers

KCChiefs.com Video: Arrowhead Update 12/23: Giving Gifts

KCChiefs.com Video: Reid: Teams know the significance of this game

Cancer survivor wants to show Chiefs' Berry the light at the end of the tunnel from FS Kansas City

Isaiah Boldridge has run a mile in Eric Berry's lymph nodes. In December 2012, then 17 and a junior football/basketball standout at Lawrence (Kan.) High School, Isaiah -- his pals call him "Zay" -- was diagnosed with stage II Hodgkin's lymphoma, the rare cancer that has become synonymous with Berry and the Kansas City Chiefs over the past two months.

"If I were him, I would say, 'Just stay strong,'" Boldridge says. "There are many obstacles that you get in your life, and this is just one that you have to get through...

...This Christmas, Zay Boldridge runs like a gazelle in full flight, free and easy, cutting the way a skipping stone does across the surface of a pond.

"Just starting to feel as good as I had before," says Boldridge, who redshirted this past fall as a wide receiver at Highland (Kan.) Community College and who plans on making Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College the next stop on his long, winding football journey.

Chiefs' Charles, Poe, Houston, Hali selected to Pro Bowl from Chiefs Digest

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, defensive tackle Dontari Poe, outside linebacker Justin Houston and outside linebacker Tamba Hali were named to the Pro Bowl, the NFL announced Tuesday.

This marks the fourth Pro Bowl for Charles, who previously made it in 2010, 2012 and 2013). The seventh-year pro has 979 yards rushing on 193 carries and 238 yards receiving on 38 catches with 14 total touchdowns (nine rushing).

Chiefs' Charles, Hali, Houston and Poe selected to Pro Bowl from FS Kansas City

Houston's third Pro Bowl invite was fairly predictable, as the hard-hitting outside linebacker owns an NFL-best 18 sacks to his name.

Poe hasn't missed a start at defensive tackle, posting 43 tackles, including three for loss, five sacks and seven QB pressures in his third season with the Chiefs, and now second as a Pro Bowler.

2015 Pro Bowl: Jamaal Charles one of four Kansas City Chiefs picked from ESPN

Tamba Hali, OLB, fourth Pro Bowl selection: Unless Hali has a big game on Sunday, he will finish the season with his lowest sack total since 2008. He has six, putting him far down the statistical list. But Hali has also been a strong all-around player. He also has played well against the run and is having a solid season in pass coverage.

Chiefs bring back TE Adam Schiltz to practice squad from Chiefs Digest

Kansas City signed tight end Adam Schiltz to replace long snapper Charley Hughlett, whom the Cleveland Browns signed to its active 53-man roster.

Tuesday marked the third time this season the Chiefs signed the 6-4, 256-pound Schiltz to the practice squad.

Chiefs still without TD catch from wide receiver from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City

Bowe once caught 15 touchdown passes in a single season. He'd give just about anything for one right now.

That's because the Chiefs head into Sunday's regular-season finale against AFC West rival San Diego without a single wide receiver having caught a touchdown pass.

That has never happened before in a 16-game season.

Scouting Report: Chargers at Chiefs from Chargers.com

On Offense for the Chargers

Philip Rivers aims to wrap up another strong regular season with a performance to launch the Bolts into the postseason.   He's completed 359 of 536 passes (67%) for 3,995 yards, 31 touchdowns and 16 interceptions for a 95.8 passer rating. One of his top targets remains Antonio Gates, whose 12 touchdowns on the year are just one shy of his career high for a single season.  Meanwhile, Malcom Floyd has 49 catches for a team high 827 yards and six scores, Eddie Royal's caught 58 balls for 683 yards and seven touchdowns and Dontrelle Inman made a big impact last week with seven catches for 79 yards.   While it remains to be seen if Ryan Mathews will return, the Bolts' backfield was quite balanced last week in terms of how the snaps were shared between Branden Oliver (31), Donald Brown (23) and  Ronnie Brown (21).

Chargers should have edge over Chiefs from The San Diego Union-Tribune

Under Andy Reid, the Chiefs show up. They don't pack up.

In a similar scenario last year, the Chief pushed the Chargers to the brink of playoff-race elimination. This Chiefs team has won eight games without any receivers who score touchdowns, and without the services of two Pro Bowl defenders lost for the season.

Yet for the Chargers, the essence of Sunday's game sets up the same as last week's contest.

They have the emotional edge. It's simple why. If they win, they go to the playoffs.

Brandon Flowers' release worked out for both sides from ESPN

[T]here's no denying a Chargers win on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium would give him the upper hand, at least for now, as to which side got the better deal when the Chiefs released him in June.

The truth is that Flowers' release was a win for both sides. Flowers was freed to move on from a team with a front office and coaching staff that preferred cornerbacks much bigger than his 5-foot-9 and 187 pounds.

The Chiefs needed the salary cap room his departure afforded.

San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Prediction, Betting Odds, Preview For 2014 Week 17 Game from The International Business Times

Both teams were in the playoffs last year, and the Chargers were in a similar position to the one that Chiefs find themselves in, entering the final week. San Diego defeated Kansas City, and got help from other teams in the AFC to grab the No.6 seed. The Chargers went on to upset the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the playoffs.

The Chiefs might not get what they require from the Jaguars and Browns, but they've proven that they can defeat the Chargers. Having lost three of their first five games to start the year, Kansas City visited 5-1 San Diego and left with a 23-20 victory. Alex Smith completed 19 of 28 passes for 221 yards and no interceptions, and the Chargers were limited to just 251 yards of total offense.

In their second matchup of the year, Kansas City, once again, looks to beat the Chargers, despite not playing their best football.

Tackling: a lost art from The Associated Press via The Statesboro Herald

In football, one of the essential elements of the game - tackling - just doesn't get a whole lot of practice time anymore. It's like a baseball infielder who doesn't take grounders before a game, or a hockey goalie who never faces 100 mph shots until it counts.

"We don't tackle live, not in practice," said Bob Sutton, defensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. "I don't think anybody in the league does."

The reasons for that are understandable. Tougher restrictions on full-contact drills have taken hold at all levels of football, mostly spurred by a heightened awareness of the devastating long-term damage that concussions can cause.

From high schools to colleges to the pros, the impact of that change is noticeable to everyone - especially those who are trying to avoid getting tackled.

Andy Reid, McCoy have a quirky past from The San Diego Union-Tribune

One NFL head coach with a sense of humor is the Chiefs' Andy Reid.

If not quite David Letterman, he uncorked a wry riff Tuesday.

The subject was Chargers coach Mike McCoy. In 1995, when Reid was a Packers aide, McCoy was a quarterback on Green Bay's practice squad.

"He's a better coach than he was a player, but he was a good player, too," Reid said. "It's hard for me to say because he went to the University of Utah; I'm a BYU guy.

"It's funny that he's wearing blue, and I'm wearing red now. We're all messed up. And I'm coaching a Utah quarterback. So, this is a complicated relationship he and I have."

Manti Te'o: People still making fun of his fake girlfriend need to 'find a new joke' from For The Win

It's been almost two years since San Diego Chargers linebacker Manti Te'o was forced to come clean about the fictional dead girlfriend he had while at Notre Dame, but as we noted Monday,some opponents are still giving him grief about it.

Torrey Smith won't resist scoreboard watching; Joe Flacco would prefer no scores be shown from The Baltimore Sun

Torrey Smith and Joe Flacco have different philosophies when it comes to scoreboard watching.

As the Ravens play the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, they'll be paying special attention to the outcome of the game between the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Assuming no ties, the Ravens need to beat the Browns and have Chiefs win to earn the sixth AFC playoff spot.

"You're doggone right I'll be watching that," Smith said of the scoreboard. "Every punt, I'm looking over there. If we score a touchdown, I'm looking to see if the Chargers scored a touchdown. I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't going to be watching that scoreboard like a hawk."

Detroit News NFL Power Rankings: Week 17 from The Detroit News

16. Kansas City Chiefs (8-7): They're still in the wild-card hunt but will need plenty of help to make it. To their credit, they stayed in it until the last week of the regular season, but some key losses hurt their chances. Last week: 14

Agent's Take: The five teams with the worst salary cap situations from CBS Sports

The Saints, Cardinals, Steelers, Patriots and 49ers are the five teams with the worst salary cap situations entering 2015.

Below are some options for them to become compliant with the cap when the new league year begins on March 10, assuming it comes in at $142 million. Other potential key offseason developments have also been identified with the teams.

The St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs also have extremely tight cap situations. The Rams are approximately $500,000 over the cap while the Chiefs have slightly under $400,000 of cap room.

NFL team's a loser? Move on, fans from ESPN

In a must-win situation at Pittsburgh, the Chiefs ran a sweet fake field goal -- holder tosses a shovel pass to a wingback -- for a first down, then settled for a field goal on the possession anyway. Now it's Steelers 10-6 with 27 seconds remaining before intermission, Kansas City facing fourth-and-1 on the Pittsburgh 12, Chiefs holding a time out. Normally conservative Andy Reid goes for it! But TMQ's Law of Short Yardage holds -- Do a little dance if you want to gain that yard. Power set, straight ahead rush -- no man-in-motion, no misdirection. Runner stuffed.

On the day, Kansas City was zero-for-four in the Pittsburgh red zone. Chiefs' faithful cannot be pleased that No. 1 overall draft selection Eric Fisher had a terrible outing, barely slowing a Steelers' rusher on a sack while being pushed into the backfield by 36-year-old James Harrison on a tackle for loss in a key late down. Nor that with one game to go, Kansas City has no touchdown reception by a wide receiver.