10 Takeaways from Kansas City Chiefs Media Availability Thursday from The Mothership
Pederson explained what he expects defensive coordinators will do now that the Chiefs running back situation has changed.
"Teams in our division - obviously, you get two games," he said. "You've got history and what you end up seeing is if you're scouting a defense and you're looking at other teams' offenses, obviously as you're scheming, if they have a dynamite type running back, then you kind of see how they handle that runner. Are they doubling him with the end and a backer or a backer and a safety? How are they handling that? And so you can kind of pick those things up on tape. With Jamaal, you're seeing that a bunch, whether it be an end and a linebacker, an end and a safety, two backers - backer, safety, corner. There's a bunch of different matchups that way. And then you do the best you can by moving your back around so that it has to change their double technique, so to speak. And hopefully it creates an advantage for us."
Chiefs vs. Vikings: Five Things to Watch from The Mothership
1. Who's going to step up with
Jamaal Charlesbeing out?
It's the million-dollar question right now for the Kansas City Chiefs.
With Charles being done for the season with a torn ACL, the next-man-up philosophy now applies to the replacement of the Chiefs most important offensive player—someone who has accounted for more than 30 percent of their total yards since 2012.
Two of the options that have experience on the field this season—
Charcandrick Westand Knile Davis, both offer something different.
Chiefs vs. Vikings: Eric Bieniemy Highlights Team Connections with Minnesota from The Mothership
When the Kansas City Chiefs play the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, running backs coach Eric Bieniemy will return to face a team whose ground game he helped to greatness.
Bieniemy served as the Vikings running backs coach from 2006 to 2010. In each of those seasons, a Vikings back ran for at least 1,000 yards.
Such backs include Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 1,760 yards in 2008.
Bieniemy came to the Chiefs in 2013 under head coach Andy Reid and has since helped Chiefs RB
Jamaal Charlesto two 1,000 yard seasons: 1,287 in 2013 and 1,033 in 2014. Charles also had 693 yards receiving in 2013.
Sometimes you start working on a project and that project turns into something else entirely.
That's what Andrea Nevins, the writer and director of what would become "Play It Forward" explained happened as she was working on a separate piece that broadly covered what life is like for retired professional athletes.
As she described, it was the first day of filming and she was interviewing former Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez.
As she tried to simply cover the basics with Gonzalez—how and why he started playing football—something special happened.
Knile Davis hopes patience, hard work pays off going forward from The Kansas City Star
That said, Chiefs running back Knile Davis found a way to remain a good soldier over the past month, when he was essentially demoted to the No. 3 running back position in favor of Charcandrick West, a back with a skill set more similar to starter Jamaal Charles.
And now, with the Chiefs sitting at 1-4 and Charles out for the season with a torn ACL, the third-year pro from Arkansas finds himself in a position where he could be rewarded for his patience and hard work, even if he ends up splitting carries with West or Spencer Ware, who was just signed from the practice squad.
"It's real tough, especially when you put a lot of work into it," Davis said, when asked how tough it was to sit the past three games. "Sometimes you just have to sacrifice for the better of the team, and that's kind of where I was, but now I've got an opportunity to play, so I'm excited."
Chiefs running backs ready to do whatever is necessary to help team from Chiefs Digest
A three-headed running back now resides in the Chiefs' backfield as the team looks to replace Jamaal Charles, who is out for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.
While the exact roles - much less the identified starter - among Charcandrick West, Knile Davis and Spencer Ware has yet to be determined, the Chiefs plan to utilize each player going forward.
"We've got a little bit of a committee thing going," coach Andy Reid said. "I can't sit here and tell you which one's going to start or not start. There's a chance they all play. We'll just see how it works out throughout the week."
"You can't say 'You're going to get 10 carries and you're going to get nine carries,' " offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said. "Games just don't unfold that way."
The Chiefs will respond to game circumstances, how the Vikings are defending them, and what's working and what isn't in determining how to dole out playing time to their running backs.
A definitive playing order may take some time to evolve, if it ever does, and what it is on Sunday may be different the following weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers and beyond.
Chiefs cornerback Steven Nelson staying positive from The Kansas City Star
"The last month, just been doing everything I can to help this football team, even when I was on scout team," Nelson said. "I'm still on scout team, showing the starting guys a good look and what they're going to expect from the opposing team."
Nelson is learning how to play nickel corner, a position he says he did not play in college.
"It's a lot more than just playing cornerback (there),' Nelson said. "You're making a lot of calls. You're being put in a lot of situations in the blink of an eye. It's a lot of quick thinking."
Week 6: Thursday injury report from Chiefs Digest
A trio of defensive players headline the Chiefs' Thursday injury report as not practicing.
Outside linebacker Tamba Hali missed the workout with a knee injury after practicing Wednesday.
Also not participating in practice are inside linebacker Josh Mauga (groin, Achilles) and Dontari Poe (ankle), both of whom missed practice for a second straight day.
Tamba Hali was held out of Thursday's practice because of a sore knee. It's certainly possible Hali could play in Minnesota -- he's played on Sundays many times over his career after appearing on the weekly injury report.
But Sunday's game could also be the start of what appears to be the inevitable transition from Hali, who is likely in his final season with the Chiefs, to Ford.
Ford has replaced Hali at times during the first five games but never for an extended period.
Chiefs' blocked field goal a result of "fundamental" mistake from The Kansas City Star
"We had a breakdown on the right side," Toub explained, without going into too much detail. "And the operation, we just — something that was pretty basic and fundamental, we just made a mistake there and they made a nice play and made a block."
Bears outside linebacker Pernell McPhee charged through a gap to the right of Donald Stephenson and to the left and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
Toub was asked if the problem was a personnel or execution issue.
"Sometimes it's a personnel issue, but not in this case," Toub said, with means the unit could remain the same Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. "It always comes down to fundamentals when something like that happens. We broke down, we had a breakdown."
The seemingly unending Chiefs search for a franchise quarterback from Chiefs Digest
It started in Week 2 with Peyton Manning (first round 1998) in Denver. What's followed has been Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers (first round 2005), Andy Dalton with Cincinnati (second round 2011) and Chicago's Jay Cutler (first round 2007.)
Coming up on Sunday are the Minnesota Vikings with Teddy Bridgewater as the starting quarterback, a first-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Before the end their season, the Chiefs will play 13 games against highly drafted quarterbacks, with the possibility of two more based on future possibilities of injury and production.
The Chiefs have their own first-round, franchise-type quarterback that they've thrown up against these other highly-rated guys in Alex Smith.
CBSSports.com has a nice look at how dead money is dragging down several NFL teams, including the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are seventh in the league in dead money at about $20.5 million, or 14 percent of their allotted salary-cap space.
Berry early in the season moved back into the starting lineup and last Sunday against the Chicago Bears he had his best game of the season.
Berry played so well that Pro Football Focus graded him higher than any of the NFL's other safeties from last week's games.
The Chicago game was also notable for another reason. Berry was in the game for all 78 of Chicago's offensive plays, the first time this season he was in the lineup for all of the opponent's snaps.
Keys to the game: Chiefs @ Vikings from Chiefs Digest
No matter who has the ball in his hands, one thing is certain - the Chiefs must still find a way to run the ball. There must be some threat from the ground game; they cannot become an unbalanced offense relying entirely on throwing the ball. Reid does love the passing game, but the veteran head coach knows he must have a hint of the run game or the Vikings will tee-off against quarterback Alex Smith with the pass rush.
There has been gradual improvement from the offensive line, but there remains much room for that group to reach a level of consistency. For the Chiefs offense to make a contribution in the run game, the blockers have to get to the second level, where the Vikings talented linebackers live, Anthony Barr and Chad Greenway on the outside and Eric Kendricks in the middle. They all have made big plays so far this season, with interceptions, sacks and touchdowns scored.
QB Alex Smith trying to rally Chiefs after losses, injuries from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
The nature of the position dictates that the quarterback is the leader, the one in the locker room that teams are supposed to rally around when times are tough and the outlook dire. When the quarterback is also a veteran, that tends to be doubly true.
So when Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles went down with a season-ending knee injury in the third quarter of last weekend's game against Chicago, and Kansas City lost another heartbreaker at home to fall to 1-4 on the season, people predictably turned their attention to Alex Smith.
Their question: What are you going to do now?
With both Charles Johnson and Mike Wallace back at practice for the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, and both likely to be available for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs according to coach Mike Zimmer, the Vikings have an interesting dilemma on their hands:
How many of their six receivers do they use, and which ones?
That decision won't be dictated entirely by the Vikings. Zimmer said it's possible the team will have six receivers active for the first time this season, after rookie Stefon Diggs caught six passes for 87 yards in his first NFL action two weeks ago.
Hartman: After Super Bowl IV loss, Vikings crushed Chiefs in rematch from The Minneapolis Star Tribune
The presence of the Kansas City Chiefs here Sunday brings back memories of the Vikings' first Super Bowl in January 1970. The Vikings lost to the Chiefs 23-7 in old Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, which has since been demolished. Chiefs coach Hank Stram was wired for sound and acted like a real clown on the sidelines, which no doubt irritated Vikings coaches and players and made the defeat harder to take.
Multimillionaire Lamar Hunt, owner of the Chiefs, earlier had outbid the Vikings for the services of two former Gophers, Bobby Bell and Bob Stein, and put together a strong team by outbidding all of his competitors.
You can now mention Walt Corey in the same breath as Joe Namath, Mike Ditka, Joe Montana and other NFL greats from Western Pennsylvania.
Corey, a 1956 graduate of Derry Township High School, is among several former or active NFL players from Western Pennsylvania who will present commemorative golden footballs to their high school alma mater as part the league's celebration of its 50th Super Bowl, which will be played next year.
The NFL is presenting the golden footballs to every high school that had a graduate play or coach in a Super Bowl. Corey, 77, earned one of the footballs for his school by playing in the first Super Bowl in 1966 as a linebacker on the Kansas City Chiefs.
Vikings Look To Reverse Post Bye Week Losing Streak from CBS Minnesota
"Well, it's not just a bye week, it's when guys have three or four days off, trying to get back into it mentally," head coach Mike Zimmer said Monday about getting ready following a bye week. "For a while, a year ago, we'd give them a long weekend or something like that, they'd come back and they weren't as crisp or sharp as when they left. That's the pitfalls of it, yes."
Zimmer said after the team's Monday practice that the team was not sharp early, but things turned as practiced continued. The Vikings did a few things different this season than they did last season to help avoid a let down as practice picks back up this week.
NFL: Power Rankings: Oct. 15, 2015 from WKRN
PFT's Week Six picks from ProFootballTalk
Chiefs at Vikings
MDS's take: The Chiefs are quickly falling apart, and the Vikings are establishing themselves as an NFC wild card contender. The Vikings should win this one handily.
MDS's pick: Vikings 28, Chiefs 10.
Florio's take: The Chiefs will need a lot more than 65 Toss Power Trap to pull of a win at Minnesota, especially with Jamaal Charles done for the year. Meanwhile, Brad Childress returns to Minnesota as a member of the Kansas City staff. (It's safe to say no one will be picking him up at the airport.)
Florio's pick: Vikings 30, Chiefs 20.