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Arrowheadlines: Kansas City Chiefs News 7/15

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Good morning! We've just a few more hours till we know Houston's contract situation for the upcoming season. The latest buzz has been optimistic (at least not pessimistic?). Here's the latest Kansas City Chiefs news. Enjoy.

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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs Positional Preview: Defensive Backs from The Mothership

The Kansas City Chiefs secondary had their best season based on passing yards allowed per game (203) since 2011 last year, and the general theme for the group heading into this season will be continuing that success.

Returning starters Husain Abudllah, Ron Parker and Sean Smith head into camp leading a unit of 17, including two draft picks in first-rounder Marcus Peters and third-rounder Steve Nelson. Of the 17, five will enter their rookie season and two, Phillip Gaines and Daniel Sorensen, enter 2015 as sophomores.

Here are three points regarding the defensive backs group headed into the 2014 season:

Chiefs Hosted JDRF Group for Play 60 and Arrowhead Stadium Tour Monday from The Mothership

Per the JDRF website, nearly 26 million Americans, or 8.3 percent of the population, are affected by diabetes. The disease affects 371 million people worldwide.

JDRF is the leading organization doing things in order to change that, and on Monday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs hosted members of the Kansas City chapter for a health and wellness day at Arrowhead Stadium.

Gridiron Glory at Union Station: RK-Style Helmet from The Mothership

The Chiefs used a blood red color in their uniform offerings and that caused problems when the team moved to the "TK" sometime in the 1970s.  Riddell had a scarlet red and that was it.  Later, Riddell developed new impregnated colored helmets where color was added to the plastic pellets and painting was not needed.  Look at more contemporary Chiefs helmets in the Gridiron Glory exhibit and you'll recognize a brighter red than the one you see in Robinson's.

Chiefs, Justin Houston not at impasse or consensus, yet from ProFootballTalk

Houston knows what he needs to swap out the $13.1 million guaranteed salary for 2015 and the promise of a 20-percent raise (more than $15.7 million) for 2016. The Chiefs know what they are willing to pay. At some point within the next 21 hours, the two sides will move toward whatever their bottom line is.

If the current gap can be bridged, a deal will be done.

Justin Houston is right. The Chiefs do have the best pass rushing duo in the NFL, for now from SBNation

Both Houston and Hali have made the Pro Bowl in the last three seasons and their consistent production as a duo makes the pair one of the NFL's best. While 86.5 sacks combined in four seasons speaks for itself, it's the recent emergence of Houston that truly makes the Chiefs' pass rush special.

Houston has developed into arguably the NFL's most dangerous edge rusher and while Hali's play tailed off some, the Chiefs also have 2014 first-rounder Dee Ford waiting in the wings, which could re-establish the Chiefs as the team with the clear-cut, top tandem if he pans out.

AFC West Q&A: Who is the rising star in this division? from ESPN

Adam Teicher, Kansas City Chiefs: I'm torn here between Oakland linebacker Khalil Mack and Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce. His health willing, Mack will be a problem for opposing offenses for a lot of years. A rookie last season, Mack might be the best player in the 2014 draft class. He had four sacks as a rookie. Once he bumps that total and the Raiders win a few more games, he'll get the recognition he's due.

ESPN sets lineup for SportsCenter appearance in Topeka; K-State's Snyder among celebs in attendance from The Topeka Capital-Journal

Local sports celebrities will pitch in Saturday when ESPN SportsCenter provides a backdrop for the World Horseshoe Pitching Tournament.

The show, scheduled from 8-11 a.m., is part of the On the Road summer series ESPN produces.

Guests expected to join the ESPN set during the broadcast include Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Michael Wilhoite.

SEC Storied: In Search Of Derrick Thomas Coming In September from Bama Hammer

The SEC office announced today that Thomas would be featured in one of five SEC Storied films that will be released in September.

"SEC Storied: In Search of Derrick Thomas" will air on Tuesday, September 29 at 8 p.m. CT on the SEC Network. Here is what the conference office said about the film in the release.

Steal Chiefs TE Travis Kelce's Swagger—and Workout—to Step Up Your Game from Stack.com

Nine years ago, Kelce was an abnormally tall quarterback for the Cleveland Heights Tigers. He ran more than he threw. But he was dynamic enough to earn a scholarship to the University of Cincinnati, where he was turned into a tight end.

His combination of size and speed resulted in a breakout senior season, in which he caught eight touchdown passes and racked up 722 yards receiving. The Kansas City Chiefs took Kelce with the 63rd pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, but a knee injury sidelined him for his entire rookie season.

It wasn't until last year, a season in which he led the Chiefs in both receiving yards and touchdowns, that Kelce truly broke out in the NFL.

"It built even more confidence," Kelce says of his five touchdown, 862-yard sophomore season.  "It's something to build on."

What's at stake for five franchise tagged NFL players as contract deadline nears from USA Today

Houston isn't quite in the neighborhood of top NFL defenders J.J. Watt and Ndamukong Suh but is well within their area code. But pass rushers and cornerbacks are premium positions in the pass-heavy NFL, and Houston has made his case as the NFL's best 3-4 outside linebacker. No reason he shouldn't seek an overall pact in the $100 million stratosphere.

A look at the top rookies on the Pittsburgh Steelers schedule from 247Sports

Week 7: Kansas City Chiefs - Mitch Morse, C; Chris Conley, WR; Marcus Peters, CB: There could be an opening for the second-round pick Morse to grab the job at center this year. Conley can provide much-needed help at receiver, while the first-round pick Peters will add depth for the time being at corner.

Ranking the AFC West's best secondaries from 247Sports

2. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs ranked behind only the Seahawks in pass defense last season, allowing 203.2 yards per game through the air. And they did so without Eric Berry, arguably the best safety in the league, most of the season. Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma but recently finished treatments. While his health is the most important thing, he might also be able to come back and help the Chiefs again. If he can't return, Kansas City still has Ron Parker, who recorded 94 tackles and an interception last season, and seventh-year veteran Husain Abdullah at free safety.

The corner position isn't as strong, but the Chiefs hope to have made an improvement there by taking Washington product Marcus Peters with the 18th overall pick. Sean Smith has one spot likely locked up, and second-year player Phillip Gaines probably owns the other one. Either way, the Chiefs are still talented enough on the back end to be one of the best units in the AFC West and entire NFL.

The 20 Best NFL Players to Attend Stanford: Part Two takes a Modern Twist from Rule of Tree

The lone Stanford graduate to play in Super Bowl I, Burford was one of the most consistent wideouts in the 1960s - he ranked in the top-10 in the AFL in receptions seven times, receiving yards six times and receiving touchdowns six times.

After leading the NCAA in receptions in 1959, the Texans selected Burford in the ninth round. He rewarded the Texans, who would eventually move to Kansas City and become the Chiefs, by earning Pro Bowl honors in 1961 and being named to the AFL All-Pro First Team in 1962. Known as an exceptional route runner, he led the team in receptions in 1961, 1962, 1963 and 1965 on his way to becoming the Chiefs all-time leader in receptions at the time of his retirement.

His 55 career receiving touchdowns currently put him at 92nd all-time in NFL and AFL history while his 12-touchdown season in 1962 led the league and still ranks as the 93rd-best in that category in NFL and AFL history. In 1975, the Chiefs inducted him into their Hall of Fame.