Trucks Being Loaded Signifies Chiefs Training Camp is Almost Here from The Mothership
The wait is almost over.
The return of football being almost upon us was never more evident than on Wednesday when the Kansas City Chiefs continued to load the 10 semitrucks it takes to deliver the equipment needed for training camp on the campus of Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Over the course of five days, Allen Wright, the Chiefs equipment manager, will oversee the delivery of everything from the sleds and pads the players hit during practice to the shoes and clothing the players wear every day.
How Chiefs WR Chris Conley is Already Proving He Belongs from The Mothership
For one, he's skillful and has the college stats to prove it. He led (rush-heavy) Georgia in yards receiving in 2014 (657), in addition to touchdowns (8).
He's brilliant. Not only is he a semi-famed internet filmmaker, he's also a member of the NFF Hampshire Honor Society and was named the 2014 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
He's ridiculously athletic. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock wants you to know, in his own words, "he can flat out fly." This past Tuesday morning? He scaled five tires.
To top it all off, he's a leader, a two-time captain at Georgia.
But even with all that success and despite all that potential, by all indications, Conley took the right attitude this offseason.
Chiefs Cheerleaders Discover the Twitter Mirror from The Mothership
"I think the Twitter Mirror is really fun and creative," cheerleader director Stephanie Judah explained. "When I watched the girls do it, I saw it allowed them to do more group shots and maybe even think more creatively of what they would shoot."
The cheerleaders utilized the mirror on their personal Twitter site, @ChiefsCheer, in order to take fans behind the scenes of a field rehearsal.
This weekend, Judah, four members of the team and the Twitter Mirror will head to the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas for Pro Action Dance, a dance choreography seminar.
Chiefs start preparations for move to training camp from Chiefs Digest
"It takes a lot of people," Wright said. "I have five full-time guys on my staff, and of course the trainers have theirs, and the weight staff has their coaches. It's each individual department responsible for their own areas but it takes maintenance. It's an army of people that you rely on to do their jobs."
Wright told reporters the Chiefs will eventually pack 10 semitrucks for training camp, which kicks off in less than a week when rookies, quarterbacks and select players arrive at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo., on July 28.
The heavier field equipment left Kansas City, Mo., Tuesday and the process of moving and sustaining operations in St. Joseph continue through the final day of training camp on Aug. 20.
The Chiefs will take with them to camp, among other things, 1,600 shoes and 1,200 towels. That might sound like a lot for 90 players, and it is. But Wright is expecting new players to arrive during camp, as some inevitably do every year, and he wants to be ready for them.
"You have to have multiple sizes in every shoe because you don't know who's coming in, who's leaving, injuries, whatever,'' he said. "As the roster changes you have to be prepared for every scenario.
"If a player went out and he didn't perform at his highest level and he turned to his position coach and said, ‘I wasn't able to because I didn't have this,' I would be getting a phone call that I don't want,'' Wright said. "So I always take way more than what it takes. I don't want to have to answer the question why I don't have something.''
The NFL 100 Rankings: Part 1 from Grantland
The NFL's annual Top 100 Players countdown is never a pretty sight. As a list voted on by the very same players who suit up on Sundays, you would imagine that it should be the most accurate accounting of who actually stands out as the league's top talent. As I've written about in the past, players fall into a lot of the same traps that we on the outside often fall into as fans.
The 2015 edition is no exception. Look at the list of problems I brought up in that feature from 2013 and you'll see the same major issues pop up in this year's production, just with new names and faces:
The kicker is trying to get some insider knowledge about the famous stadium from some of his sporting friends from around the world and can't wait to get the chance to play there.
He added: "One of my close friends since high school has played at Wembley so I got to pick his brain a little bit.
"He told me about the turf, about the crowd, about the wind, so I'm just so excited to experience all that in person.
"I've seen a lot of soccer and NFL games there on TV but I'm just so excited to finally get to play there.
"I'm really excited to come back to London, obviously. I'll be here whenever they want me to and you guys will have me."
Former Ute quarterback Alex Smith's greatest stat that quiets critics: Wins from The Deseret News
Alex Smith is a winner.
Critics chastise the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback for his infrequent deep balls and more recently for his inability to get his wide receivers into the end zone during 2014's entire 16-game season.
But all Smith does is win.
The former University of Utah quarterback has a career record of 58-49-1 as a starting signal-caller in the NFL.
"Ever since he got out of the womb, he's a winner," said former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, who led the Baltimore Ravens to victory in Super Bowl XXXV and mentored Smith after being traded to the San Francisco 49ers in 2006. "He knows how to win, he knows how to get the best out of people, he plays within the system and he doesn't try to play outside the system."
The Read Option: Chiefs did what they had to do with Justin Houston from The Springfield News-Leader
You could make the case that it would have been more prudent to low-ball him and let him prove that the 22-sack season from 2014 was not an aberration. He had 26.5 sacks in the three previous seasons combined.
Is he the player who recorded 5.5, 10 and 11 sacks in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons? Or is he the player who recorded 22 sacks in 2014? It's definitely a gamble.
But in today's NFL, when you have a talent the caliber of Houston, and you can get him signed to a long-term contract, you do it.
Bullard designed a prediction model for the 2015 NFL season that was published on the Harvard College Sports Analysis Collective (HSAC) webpage Wednesday and that model is predicting that the Dolphins will be the best team in the AFC, followed by the Chiefs and Patriots.
So how exactly does Bullard's prediction model work?
I'll let him explain.
From the HSAC page.The method that I came up with uses Pro Football Reference's Approximate Value statistic, the site's best measure of trying to tease out individual talent. Then, using ESPN's NFL depth charts, I aggregated each team's per game approximate value of what I considered to be the 'core' makeup of an NFL team: QB, RB, 2 WR, TE, Top 2 OL, the Top-4 'Front Seven' defensive players, and the Top-2 players from the secondary.
Basically, on offense, it comes down to a team's top seven players vs. another team's top seven players. On defense, it comes down to one team's top-9 vs. another team's top-9.
Biggest gut-punch loss for every AFC franchise in the Super Bowl era from Sports Illustrated
Kansas City Chiefs: Jan. 7, 1996, AFC divisional round—Colts 10, Chiefs 7
Marty Schottenheimer Gut-Punch Game #2. The 13-3 Chiefs looked to be the AFC's best team, and they started their postseason against a Colts team that was without Marshall Faulk and Tony Siragusa. The problem was a frozen field at Arrowhead Stadium that prevented kicker Lin Elliot from making any of the three field goals he attempted, which proved to be more than the difference. Quarterback Steve Bono threw three picks before he was benched for Rich Gannon, and Colts quarterback Jim Harbaugh was a relatively unspectacular player who simply didn't make mistakes.
Amazingly, this was the first of two Chiefs teams under Schottenheimer's leadership that went 13-3 in the regular season and blew a tire in the divisional round—the 1997 team collapsed late in the game against the Broncos. And yet, neither of these losses (nor the two Browns losses mentioned earlier) was Schottenheimer's most agonizing postseason blunder...