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Alex Smith, Chiefs players have a "feeling" about this year with higher expectations

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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

There's an interesting vibe being picked up when you listen to Kansas City Chiefs players talk. Many of them seem to mention a "buzz" or a "feeling" or just something ... different about this year. I suppose part of that naturally comes at this time of year when optimism is at an all-time high. It also probably comes because the Chiefs have the same coaching staff and the same system for the third straight year, which is unusual in this league.

There's just something about this year, according to multiple Chiefs players who spoke with the media recently.

On 810 WHB, Alex Smith said the players and coaches talk in the locker room about the raised expectations this year.

"The one thing that stood out to me was the difference in expectations all over from within the building, coaches and players, and all over," Alex said. "The mentality is different heading into this camp than I've seen in here in the last couple of years .. the intensity was definitely turned up this camp."

Jeremy Maclin said he's off to the best start with a quarterback he's ever had because of the trust he has with Alex.

"It's a feeling man, it's a feeling," Maclin said, via quotes from the Chiefs. "On paper, we've got talent, but I think as far as believing it can grow to be something bigger, I think it's a feeling."

The one thing that stood out to me was the difference in expectations all over from within the building, coaches and players, and all over.

Ben Grubbs said it's there for the taking.

"Just to reiterate what Coach said, Coach Reid stated that, right now we have a good team, but there's potential to be a great team. But potential without hard work is nothing. We understand what we have here, we do have a lot of great pieces to this puzzle. Our mindset is that it's not going to come to us, we're going to have to go get it."

Travis Kelce says the Chiefs have more confidence after the adversity of last year's season opener where Derrick Johnson and MIke DeVito went down.

"Last year, I think it was kind of a mystery, especially after the first game, the first game we had two of our core guys, defensively, go down. I think there's a lot more confidence in who we are and what we can be. A lot more focused on staying on track and doing the right things, week by week."

Eric Fisher, who is making the switch to right tackle, again said something about a "feeling" out there.

"Oh yeah, I guess a lot of people have been talking about it, a lot of people have been saying it," Fisher said. "It's just a feeling you get, everyone is feeling real good about this upcoming season."