12/3 Practice Recap: Bowe on DAT - "He's a Natural-Born Leader" from The Mothership
Every rookie in the National Football League could use someone to look up to. With the professional game being one vastly different from that of college, a veteran who has been there before can ease the rookie's transition, allowing for a better chance of success early on in a young player's career.
There is no better example of this in Kansas City than wide receiver
Dwayne Bowe's taking of 21-year-old De'Anthony Thomas under his wing.
Bowe, who was drafted by the Chiefs in 2007, is one of the team's longest-tenured players and currently the leader of a young wide receiver corps. When Bowe looks at Thomas, he sees the future, a player who could one day fill his shoes.
Chiefs Back In Full Pads at Practice Wednesday from The Mothership
Each NFL team gets just 14 full-padded practices per season, and the Kansas City Chiefs, who have dropped two straight divisional games, used one of theirs on Wednesday as they prepare to take on the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday.
So tackling has been an emphasis this week for coach Reid.
Andy Reid Press Conference 12/3 from The Mothership
Q: There are games where your quarterback has time to get the ball off and then there's games where your quarterback has no time. Is that you and your offensive line or is it the opponent and what they're doing?
REID: "I think it's a combination of things but we've played some pretty good fronts where we could have done a little bit better job. I've got to make sure that I move him around a little bit and give him an opportunity to do that stuff."
Arizona Cardinals: A Closer Look from The Mothership
The Kansas City Chiefs (7-5) take on the Arizona Cardinals (9-3) on Sunday as both teams look to pick up a crucial win after dropping two straight games.
Both teams also feature second-year head coaches, and both orchestrated the best single-season turnarounds in their franchises' history in their first seasons with their respective teams.
The Cardinals, led by coach Bruce Arians, who actually began his NFL coaching career as the Chiefs' running backs coach (1989-92), went from a five-win team in 2012 to a 10-win team in 2013, Arians' first year in the desert.
That five-win improvement from one year to the next is the best in Cardinals history.
Chiefs Host Military Members at Arrowhead Stadium from The Mothership
"This is such a great event to be able to spend time with local military members and talk with those overseas through the webcam,"
Husain Abdullahsaid. "The guys overseas are in a completely different mindset and atmosphere, so to be able to distract them for a little bit and play video games with them and interact with them is really cool."
Pro vs. G.I. Joe, in partnership with the USO, is a program designed to provide deployed troops a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go head-to-head in online video game competitions against their favorite professional athletes. The troops play either in USO centers all over the world or on location with the professional athletes back home.
Lamar Hunt: The "Era of Good Feeling" ends from The Mothership
Hunt, Peterson and Schottenheimer had ruled longer than any management team in recent NFL memory. But even the opening of a newly renovated Arrowhead, another local tax effort that Hunt was actively engaged in even with his illness, did not bring the sales numbers up to their mid-90s level.
The defeat at the ballot box of the rolling roof component of the stadium renovation cut Hunt to his heart. The public's indifference to a movable roof atop Arrowhead depressed him in a way the author had not seen before.
The NFL's ownership along with commissioner Paul Tagliabue had already guaranteed Kansas City a Super Bowl if the roof was built and for it not to be, considering what was at stake for the city, was unnerving for Hunt who seldom showed public displeasure.
KCChiefs.com Podcast: Chiefs Download 12/4
KCChiefs.com Video: Chiefs Community: November Hunger Relief
KCChiefs.com Video: Locker Room Sounds 12/3
KCChiefs.com Video: Arrowhead Update: Chiefs Put the Pads Back On
KCChiefs.com Video: Under The Helmet: Dwayne Bowe in Studio
KCChiefs.com Video: Chiefs Brief: Be Berry
Week 14: Wednesday injury report from Chiefs Digest
The Chiefs list 14 players on the initial injury report for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Defensive end Allen Bailey (concussion), wide receiver Junior Hemingway (concussion) and guard Mike McGlynn (calf) did not practice.
But the players are "making progress," coach Andy Reid told reporters after Wednesday morning's walk-through.
As Chiefs seek answers on defense, why isn't Dee Ford one of them? from FS Kansas City
Now we mention all this not to pile on first-year outside linebacker Dee Ford, the man the Chiefs tapped with pick No. 23, although he hasn't been heard from in weeks, save for a special-teams tackle here or there. Nor are we necessarily lighting the blowtorch in the direction of general manager John Dorsey, whose track record here, more than two years in, still features more hits than misses.
But we will say this: When you connect the dots with No. 55, the figure on the page ends up looking a lot like a giant question mark, doesn't it?
While that's a mind-boggling statistic, it hasn't really hurt the Chiefs, at least while they're in the red zone. They get a touchdown on two-thirds of their trips inside the 20-yard line, which is second best in the NFL.
Chiefs content to continue spreading around receiving touchdowns from Chiefs Digest
Smith points out the Chiefs have contributions in the end zone from various players in the passing game.
Running back Jamaal Charles and tight ends Travis Kelce and Anthony Fasano each have four touchdown receptions; running back Joe McKnight, who is on injured reserve recovering from a ruptured Achilles, has two; and fullback Anthony Sherman has one.
Charles and Fasano have recorded a receiving touchdown in two straight games.
Distributing the ball to players with an opportunity to score, even if they're not a wide receiver, sits perfectly fine with Smith.
All season, the Chiefs have discounted the lack of point production from their wide receivers as just a fluke.
"I don't worry about who gets them, I'm concerned that you score them, whatever position it is," said Reid. "We've needed more than what we've done the past couple of weeks so we've got to do better there."
But after 12 games of being shut out, the lack of points from the receivers puts more pressure on the run game and the tight ends and backs to be the touchdown makers, and that narrows the Chiefs' margin of winning at a time they should be expanding their weapons to produce winning efforts in the run to the playoffs.
Chiefs sticking with Ryan Harris at right tackle from Chiefs Digest
"It's not really what Donald's done," Reid said. "It's Harris has done a pretty good job there."
Stephenson, for the most part since his return, has been utilized on special teams and as an extra tackle on offense, roles Reid said would continue.
"That doesn't mean Donald won't be in," Reid said. "We'll work him a little bit at tight end; he's gotten in a little bit at tackle. Right now it's Harris."
Chiefs' battle to contain the run continues against Cardinals from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
It all started with Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks, and perhaps the Chiefs defense could be forgiven for allowing them to run wild. But it was Latavius Murray who ransacked them for Oakland the following week and C.J. Anderson who turned the trick for Denver last Sunday.
Not exactly a pair of household names.
So even though Ellington could miss Sunday's game with what coach Bruce Arians called a "severe" hip pointer, all that really means is that Marion Grice, Stepfan Taylor and Robert Hughes will be spending this week licking their chops at the prospect of facing Kansas City.
Reeling Chiefs look to return to winning ways in Week 14 from Chiefs Digest
A two-game losing slide has the Chiefs sitting on 7-5 record and in a precarious position with four games remaining.
Kansas City is one of eight teams jockeying for a wild card playoff spot, but a third straight loss Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals would drastically hurt the Chiefs' chances.
Chiefs look to end skid and boost playoff chances in Arizona from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
Drew Stanton has thrown three touchdowns and five interceptions while completing just 60.8 percent of his passes in three starts since Palmer went down, including a 19-3 loss at Seattle on Nov. 23 and a 29-18 defeat at Atlanta last week.
Larry Fitzgerald missed both losses with a sprained right knee, but Arians isn't making any excuses.
"When you stink, you stink. You point out how you stunk and get it corrected," Arians said. "No, I don't throw chairs and holler and do all that stuff that's non-productive. That's not teaching. You have to teach in order to get things corrected."
Things need to get corrected quickly before it's too late. Arizona's lead is down to one game ahead of the 8-4 Seahawks.
Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald walked through the media room early Wednesday morning with no sign of a limp, announcing, "I feel good. I feel really good."
Coach Bruce Arians said Fitzgerald would practice in full on Wednesday after missing two weeks due to a MCL sprain suffered against Detroit on Nov. 16, but he was later listed as limited on the team's official injury report.
The Cardinals could really use his presence on the field Sunday against the equally desperate Kansas City Chiefs, as both clubs try to remain in the playoff picture.
Arizona Cardinals Vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Prediction, Betting Odds, Preview For 2014 Week 14 Game from The International Business Times
While the Cardinals might be able to survive their losing streak because of a 9-1 start, the Chiefs find themselves in a much more difficult position. Trailing the Denver Broncos by two games in the AFC West, Kansas City will almost certainly need a wild-card berth to make the postseason. The Chiefs have the same record as the Miami Dolphins, current No.6 seed in the AFC, but they are also competing with four other teams who have seven wins.
The Chiefs have had their starting quarterback the entire season, but Alex Smith's inability to make big plays has hurt Kansas City. He has yet to throw a touchdown pass to a wide receiver in 2014, and Kansas City totaled just 36 points in their back-to-back losses. Smith ranks just 20th in passing yards (2,364) and 29th in yards per attempt (6.75).
Alex Smith: 'No time to panic' for struggling Chiefs from USA Today
"Any time you get a couple losses strung together, it's tough," Smith said Wednesday. "Momentum starts going the other way. You've got to fight to reverse it. I think the thing is to go back to your fundamentals, go back to what you know works, and it's the little things, the details.
"No time to panic. No time to do anything crazy. I think if anything, just more attention to detail, more attention to those little things throughout the week and kind of a collective (belief) that we're going to get this thing turned."
The NFL's sack leader with 14 through 12 games, Houston is in the final season of his four-year rookie contract and will hit a big payday going into the 2015 season. Whether that comes from a long-term deal with the Chiefs, a similar deal from another team through free agency, or more than likely a franchise-player tender by the Chiefs, his paycheck will exceed the $1.4 million total he will receive this season. This season linebackers given the franchise player designation were guaranteed $11.45 million, an indication that tender offer will top $12 million in 2015.
Which two teams will win the AFC wild-card spots? from Yahoo! Sports
Kansas City Chiefs (7-5)
Remaining schedule: at Cardinals, vs. Raiders, at Steelers, vs. Chargers
Tiebreaker outlook: Not too bad, and the road win over the Chargers is a nice chip for them. Wins over the Dolphins and Bills might loom large too. A 5-4 conference record isn't ideal, with a lot of 6-3 marks in the mix, but it can be improved upon.
Verdict: They're in pretty good shape. The schedule doesn't look too daunting, and they're positioned well in the tiebreakers. If the sixth AFC seed goes to a 9-7 team, this is probably the one (although 10-6 is realistic too).
Fasano has developed into one of Smith's receivers of choice when the Chiefs are near the opponent's goal line. While Smith has aimed more passes inside the red zone to Travis Kelce and Jamaal Charles (eight each), three of his four passes to Fasano in the red zone have gone for a touchdown.
Fasano's other touchdown this season was from 20 yards, or three feet outside the red zone. Fasano caught three red-zone touchdowns from Smith last year despite missing seven games with various injuries.
Diligent defenses taking advantage of Chiefs' struggling offense from The Republic Monitor
Well, I am branching out relative to the recent demise of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Sure, their schedule ranks in the top 10 in terms of strength, but much credit goes to the opposing defensive coordinators.
The plan is simple: take running back Jamal Charles out of the equation.