THE LIFE AND CAREER OF CHIEFS LEGEND, WILL SHIELDS from The Mothership
One of the most decorated and revered players in Kansas City Chiefs franchise history will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, August 8.
Will Shields, who will become the 11th longtime member of the Chiefs to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, recently earned some of the highest praise a player can receive from Chiefs Chairman and CEO, Clark Hunt.
"He truly embodies everything we want our players to be," Hunt said of Shields. "It's very special for every NFL team when one of their own goes into the Hall of Fame. We couldn't be more excited to have Will Shields go in this year.
"He's such a deserving football player and person."
The list of accomplishments for Shields on the field is long and distinguished.
Here are a few highlights:
Chiefs Training Camp Update 8/5: What You Need to Know from The Mothership
While there wasn't any live contact as the players were in shorts, there were a handful of plays that got a rise from the crowd on Wednesday morning.
During one of the special teams periods, punter
Dustin Colquitt, who ranks No. 1 in franchise history in career punts downed inside the 20-yard line (316), gave his teammates some practice at pinning teams deep in their own territory.
Frankie Hammond, Marcus Cooperand Tello Luckett all made fantastic plays in this drill as each caught the ball in the air within two yards of the goal line.
What We Learned From Wednesday's Chiefs Media Availability from The Mothership
Head coach Andy Reid ran a lighter practice for the Chiefs before the day off Thursday, implementing a 10-10-10 format (10 reps per first team, second team and third team).
"You're servicing each other, rolling people in and out with each group and making sure everybody gets enough reps there," he said. You can't read into it too much from starters and that because we're trying to get reps in and balance them out the best we can in this type of practice.
"That's what this was and if you see somebody get beat, it's probably because it's an offensive-defensive period and that scout team player has been told to do something that they normally wouldn't do."
Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson: "I am definitely at 100 percent" from The Mothership
On Tuesday, which marked just the second padded practice of training camp, Johnson made a couple of standout plays that showed everyone he was back to his old self again.
He can normally be found hyping up his teammates before and after plays, something he says is his responsibility as a leader.
"They need to hear from you," he explained. "Of course, they see me make some plays, but at the same time, I need to reiterate certain stuff—make them think, call out different plays. I've been in this game for a long time and they need to hear from me.
"When I call out different plays or talk to motivate them, they know Derrick Johnson is on our side and he's about to make a play."
Chiefs Hosted Members of the Snowball Express Tuesday for Practice from The Mothership
The Snowball Express is an organization that remembers our fallen military heroes who will never return by creating new memories for their surviving children.
Every local event the organization puts on is referred to as a "snowflake event." The idea is that over the course of many events, the Snowball Express creates a snowball from all of the snowflakes.
On Tuesday, the Kansas City Chiefs training camp practice in St. Joseph, Mo. served as a snowflake event for more than 10 families in connection with the Snowball Express organization.
"The Kansas City Chiefs put on an incredible event to where the kids had activities," Fred Galvin, a retired member of the Marine Corps and a Snowball Express coordinator, said. "They're all playing over there now [in the Kids Zone]. They get to see professional athletes."
Chapter Nine: The Numbers Add Up from The Mothership
"Marv thought we could control the ball by running it and keep the game close," a player at the time recalled years later. But now, the difference to pass and run under Mackovic was a disturbing 303 plays. Only three quarterbacks in NFL history had surpassed Kenney's passing yardage when the season concluded. The team's running attack ranked last in the league, however, a figure so low that eight individual runners in the league topped it.
"We're not going to be a running team," Mackovic insisted, "but we're going to have to be able to run."
None of this offensive fireworks seemed to matter much as only 11,377 spectators cared enough to show up for the final game of the season. Only one team in the AFC had a worse record.
Safety Eric Berry hit another milestone with his first interception at training camp. Berry caught a deflected pass from quarterback Aaron Murray. It's been some time, but the Chiefs have seen similar plays from Berry before. He has eight career interceptions and returned three for touchdowns.
Chiefs' De'Anthony Thomas comfortable at wide receiver from Chiefs Digest
Thomas, who clocked a 4.34 40-yard dash at his Pro Day workout last year, should prove a nightmare matchup for opposing cornerbacks regardless where he lines up.
And that scenario caused excitement for Thomas when asked how big his eyes become when looking across the line of scrimmage to see a taller defender lining up against him.
"Real big," Thomas said with a grin. "Just making that one move to open his hips up, and that's the only thing I need, and then next is attacking him. After that, just letting ability take over."
Chiefs look to Maclin to find that impenetrable end zone from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
Tight end Travis Kelce led the team in receptions and yards receiving, and five of the top six in receptions were either fellow tight ends or players listed as running backs.
The only wide receiver to crack that top six? Dwayne Bowe, who was jettisoned along with his massive contract after catching just 60 balls for 754 yards -- and no touchdowns.
The Chiefs signed Maclin as an upgrade, one who fits their system better. Andy Reid traded up to draft him when Reid was running the show in Philadelphia, and the two remained in touch when the coach moved on to Kansas City and Maclin was rehabbing a torn ACL two years ago.
Last year, Maclin bounced back with 85 receptions for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns, proving not only that he was healthy but -- at least to the Chiefs -- that he was a No. 1 wide receiver.
"Oh, yeah,'' Davis said. "I was in Houston training. I was in Dallas a little bit. All I was working on was my feet and routes because that's what Andy [Reid] wants to see me do better. Come out of the backfield and run routes, be in the slot, be out wide, things like that. Be more versatile.
"I think I've worked on that and I think he can tell the difference and I think he's gaining confidence."
Then Davis came out in one of the Chiefs' two padded practices and dropped two passes.
Chiefs RB Charcandrick West kicks it in gear while having fun from Chiefs Digest
Chiefs running back Charcandrick West has been hard to miss through the early part of training camp with and without pads.
That is, unless one happens to be on defense trying to slow down the second-year pro.
The 5-10, 205-pound West picked up where he left off in organized team activities, displaying explosion through a hole and exceptional receiving skills out of the backfield.
...[W]hen the regular season opens, they will be without starting cornerback Sean Smith, who is suspended for the first three games. They might be without safety Eric Berry, who only recently was declared cancer free and cleared by the Chiefs for practice.
The versatility of Ron Parker will help the Chiefs get through their shortage. Parker can play both safety and cornerback. Parker has been a safety throughout this year's camp but the Chiefs may come to him sometime soon and ask him to take a few practice snaps at cornerback.
CB Phillip Gaines among three Chiefs players to return to practice from Chiefs Digest
The Chiefs on Wednesday welcomed back three players to training camp practice.
Cornerback Phillip Gaines, who left Tuesday's practice with a knee injury, appeared to practice without limitations.
While coach Andy Reid said after practice to not read too much into personnel groupings given the scaled-down nature of Wednesday's practice, the Chiefs may have erred on the side of caution with Gaines considering the team is off Thursday.
Everything is rosy with the Kansas City Chiefs and left tackle Eric Fisher, at least from a public standpoint. Fisher on Wednesday said, "I'm healthy. I'm strong. I'm confident.'' Coach Andy Reid was similarly optimistic, saying of Fisher, "He's actually doing very well. He's had a good camp the last couple of days here. He came back in great shape. It's paid off for him out here.''
We're going to withhold judgment on whether Fisher is closer to becoming the player the Chiefs envisioned when they made him the first overall pick of the 2013 draft. The Chiefs have had only two days of practice in pads, giving Fisher a limited amount of time to prove he's improved, if indeed he has.
The Chiefs have identified those somebodies, at least for now. While Poe is recovering from surgery on a herniated disk in his back, Jaye Howard will play Poe's spot on running downs, with relief from Mike DeVito. The Chiefs have a good idea what they will get from each player. Both have been starters for the Chiefs.
The unknown is Mike Catapano, who will replace Poe on passing downs. Poe and Allen Bailey made for a nice pair of inside pass-rushers last season.
But the Chiefs are hopeful Catapano can be effective as well.
Former CMU star Eric Fisher has Super Bowl dreams from KC Star via The Detroit News
After the first question from reporters Wednesday — how this year's training camp under coach Andy Reid compares to his first two — left tackle Eric Fisher made sure he mentioned the team's ultimate goal.
"It's good," Fisher said. "I came in here — I'm healthy, I'm strong and I'm confident. I'm just coming out here to work every day. We all got the same goal this year, and we're working for a Super Bowl."
This is not a coincidence. The former Central Michigan star proceeded to mention the Super Bowl, unprompted, twice more over the next five minutes. After witnessing the Royals' majestic run to the World Series last fall, Fisher wants the same for his football team.
"It was amazing being a part of that, being around town and going to some games," Fisher said. "Kansas City is a great town, a great fanbase. It will be awesome to go to the Super Bowl this year. We're all looking to do that."
She'll start her third of six four-day rounds of chemo Saturday at the University of Kansas Hospital, where she'll honor the motto on her Alyssa's Angels wristband: "Time To Cowgirl Up."
By the end of the few weeks between treatments, she feels like herself and is able to take limited walks twice a day.
That's why she had it in her to be at Chiefs camp on Wednesday morning, an appearance also enabled by a deeper purpose that was evident from the placard she held:
"FUTURE LYMPHOMA SURVIVOR (JUST LIKE BERRY)."
"That's what I'm talking about; love that sign," Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said as he stopped to speak with Alyssa, who was clad in a Chiefs hat and a Berry T-shirt.
It's one thing to be told your terrible illness is curable, and it's another to see encouraging statistics or hear upbeat anecdotal evidence.
But it's quite another to have a living, breathing example of hope before you.
Offense Begins and Ends with Jamaal Charles from Warpaint Illustrated
Charles is the consummate professional. He plays with a fury that's, not only controlled, but executed to perfection when he's striking genuine fear in any team that has the job to stop him on the playing field.
He's so good at running and catching passes he makes it look effortless. However, that's not the most fascinating item about the productivity this one man has delivered since Head Coach, Andy Reid arrived in town two seasons ago.
Charles has delivered the goods playing behind a sporadic offensive line, and without another viable weapon on offense.
Will Shields latest Chiefs lineman to enter Hall of Fame from The Associated Press via The Miami Sun Herald
On every team that Will Shields played, from high school in Oklahoma to college at Nebraska to the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, there was always someone better than him.
More talented. More athletic. More important.
But when he's asked to identify those players, the affable Shields runs into a flaw in his case. Most of the names he mentions never played 14 seasons in the NFL, or made 12 consecutive Pro Bowls, or paved the way for one of the best offenses in Chiefs history.
None of them is going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, either.
Chiefs head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder shared the photo, writing "Some guys just get it."
Well said. According to Burkholder, Avant worked with a whole line of people at the bag.
Ranking the NFL's top 10 linebacker corps entering the 2015 season from Sports Illustrated
2. Kansas City Chiefs: As with the Ravens, the Chiefs' linebacker quartet starts with its pass-rushers, and there are very few in the NFL better than Justin Houston. The fifth-year veteran came within half a sack of Michael Strahan's single-season record with 22 in 2014, which led to the six-year, $101 million contract he signed in July. It's the biggest contract ever given to a linebacker, and if Houston keeps on at his current pace, the compensation is appropriate. On the other side, Tamba Hali is coming off his lowest sack total (6.0) since 2008, but he's still a good pass rusher and run-stopper when healthy. Dee Ford, the team's first-round pick in 2014, played just 122 snaps in his first season and should get more reps as Hali's potential replacement. In a stroke of incredibly bad luck last season, Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito, both of Kansas City's projected starting inside linebackers, each tore their Achilles tendons in the season opener. Both will be back for the 2015 campaign, and in Johnson's case especially, that's great news.
Shawn Johnson makes Chiefs Camp appearance from The St. Joseph News-Press
"My family lives in Kansas City and I competed here in St. Joe many times," said Johnson, who grew up a few hours away in Des Moines, Iowa. "... It's still a good Midwestern town. Everybody is so nice. Honestly, the only thing I can remember is like the inside of a gymnasium where I was competing or an Applebee's where we went to dinner."
These days, Johnson is living in Nashville, and said she plans on coming back at least one more time before training camp is over. She'll only be here for a couple days this time around, seeing East in a professional uniform for the first time.