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Arrowheadlines: Kansas City Chiefs News 9/10

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Good morning! Lots of Kansas City Chiefs news out there as we get closer to the season kickoff. Enjoy!

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

18 Takeaways from Chiefs Media Availability on Wednesday from The Mothership

Head coach Andy Reid explained what he saw in offensive lineman Donald Stephenson that made him believe he could play left tackle this season.

"He was able to go through camp," he said. "Last year, it was a little bit up and down for him. This year he came back in good shape, he got in there and did a nice job. Like I said before, I thought he felt more comfortable on the left side than he did on the right side."

Reid went into what it takes for a player on the Chiefs to switch sides on the O-line.

"Let me say this—Andy [Heck] trains the guys to play all of the different positions on both sides if you're only a tackle," he said. "So with that, then it comes back to your post-leg and post-arm and how you use that and where you're most comfortable with it. In Donald's case, he probably has more reps on the left side than he does the right side if you really break it down."

Chiefs Newest Offensive Lineman Jah Reid Spent Time with Will Shields from The Mothership

Reid was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday after being released by the Baltimore Ravens, who selected him in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Central Florida.

It was before the NFL Scouting Combine that year that Reid had trained at 68 Inside Sports—a training facility owned and operated by Shields in Overland Park, Kansas.

Despite their abbreviated time together, Reid remembers that time well.

"I was with him for just a few weeks but I could tell how he approached the game and how much he focused on his technique," he said of Shields, who was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"He taught me a lot."

Across the Lines: Six Things the Texans Are Saying About the Upcoming Game with the Chiefs This Week from The Mothership

Watt commended Houston and his 22 sacks from afar.

"I think he had an incredible year last year and I think he's been a great player in his time in the league so far," Watt said of Houston. "22 doesn't just happen. I think he did a great job last season and obviously having him and Tamba [Hali] both come off the edges, that's a very formidable duo there."

Chiefs Pair with NFL, Bring New Facilities to Local High School from The Mothership

The goal of the NFL Grassroots Program is to provide assistance for non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations to improve safety, quality and accessibility of local football fields. It also seeks to redress the shortage of clean, safe and accessible football fields in low and moderate-income neighborhoods.

"This was a start to the funding that is required for us to make the improvements to this facility," said KCPS Interim Superintendent Al Tunis. "The $200,000 gets us an immediate start, and we will begin our planning right away."

Since 1998, more than $37 million in grants have been awarded to 290 projects in more than 70 cities nationwide.

Chiefs Download Podcast: Week 1 Discussion

QB Series Chapter 14: Good Enough, but not Great from The Mothership

DeBerg had never been bashful insisting he was a "system quarterback" and once he got the hang of Schottenheimer's system the Chiefs were in reasonably good hands, big hands, as it turned out, really big hands, since his were among the largest in the NFL for a quarterback.

"For me to perform best, I need teammates who are thoroughly in tune with the system," he admitted.  "I'm not a great improviser; I don't make a lot of plays out of nothing, the way some quarterbacks do.  What I excel at is executing a good play at the snap.  Not scrambling, but executing the play and making it work."

In other words, he knew his limitations, and so did Schottenheimer and Peterson, and so the words, "we have our quarterback of the future" never passed from their mouths.

Chiefs bring back OLB Dezman Moses, place G Paul Fanaika on injured reserve from Chiefs Digest

Head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder said Fanaika suffered tightness in his back after lifting weights Sunday morning.

"He comes in the next day worse," Burkholder said. "Dr. (Cris) Barnthouse saw him Monday morning, Labor Day morning, referred him for an MRI, which showed he had a herniated disk in his back."

Burkholder said Dr. Paul Arnold of the Kansas Hospital neurosurgery recommended Fanaika undergo surgery.

The Chiefs are now deciding if the procedure is necessary.

Injury report brings good news for NT Dontari Poe from ESPN

Now, in the first game-plan practice of the week, Poe was a full go. None of this guarantees him a spot in the lineup Sunday. If he plays, it will probably be as a part-timer. But that's more than it looked like just a few weeks ago.

Week 1: Wednesday injury report from Chiefs Digest

The Chiefs also list guard Jeff Allen (knee), wide receiver Jason Avant (hip), wide receiver Chris Conley (knee), tackle Eric Fisher (ankle), tight end Demetrius Harris (foot), tight end Travis Kelce (ankle), linebacker Josh Mauga (Achilles), defensive lineman Rakeem Nunez-Roches (ankle), wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas (calf) and wide receiver Albert Wilson (shouder) as full participants.

Allen returns to the field after suffering his knee injury in the preseason opener, but it remains to be seen how he will eventually work in the offensive line rotation.

Eric Fisher remains important figure for Chiefs, in 2015 and beyond from ESPN

"If they need me on the right, hey, I'm all for it," Fisher said Wednesday as the Chiefs continued preparations for Sunday's season opener at the Houston Texans.

"If they need me on the right, I'll go to the right. If they need me on the left, I'll go to the left. Whatever I've got to do to help this team win. If that's what coach [Andy] Reid thinks is best for out five up front ... so be it."

So it appears Fisher has taken the proper first step in what can be looked at in no other way than as a demotion.

Marcus Peters might be only rookie defensive contributor for Chiefs from ESPN

The Kansas City Chiefs have nine rookies on their regular-season roster -- four on offense and five on defense. I looked at the expectations for their offensive rookies in an earlier post. Here, I'll take a look at those for their defensive rookies.

CB Marcus Peters, first round, Washington: He will be the first defensive rookie to start the season opener for the Chiefs since Andy Reid arrived as coach in 2013. The Chiefs are asking Peters to be more than a starter. With Sean Smith serving a season-opening three-game NFL suspension, Peters is their No. 1 cornerback at least until Smith returns. Peters looked in training camp like he was ready to handle that burden.

Season openers unpredictable for Chiefs under Andy Reid from ESPN

Season-opening games can be unpredictable affairs. The last two for the Kansas City Chiefs under coach Andy Reid are good examples of that.

The Chiefs won an unexpectedly lopsided game at the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013 and then were blown out at home last year by the Tennessee Titans.

The Chiefs looked ready to play against Jacksonville and hopelessly out of sorts against the Titans. They'll probably be somewhere in between on Sunday against the Texans in Houston but in a season-opener, so nobody knows what to expect.

Chiefs' untested offensive line about to get first exam from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City

The Kansas City Chiefs are going with a rookie center, a right guard who has never started an NFL game and a largely unproven left tackle for their season opener Sunday in Houston.

Perfect way to face the Texans' J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney.

If you're a masochist.

Yet the Chiefs sounded confident Wednesday that a front five that has never played together in its present configuration will be able to protect quarterback Alex Smith from one of the league's most feared pass rushers in a loud and hostile road environment.

Chiefs' optimism goes beyond the season-opening norm from ESPN

"I've been in two locker rooms now and basically three because Chip [Kelly] came in and kind of changed the dynamic of the Philadelphia locker room," Maclin said. "This is no disrespect to anybody I've played with before, but I feel something special here. I can honestly say that.

"It's a feeling. Obviously, on paper, we've got talent. But believing it can grow to be something bigger than that is a feeling."

It's been some time since the Chiefs, normal season-opening optimism aside, could realistically feel that way. They haven't had the right to believe they could win the AFC West, as they do now, at least since Peyton Manning arrived in the division as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos in 2012.

Jadeveon Clowney on Texans' opener: ‘I'm ready to see myself out there' from The Houston Chronicle

Asked directly if he's "100 percent" recovered from the torn meniscus and articular cartilage damage that made microfracture surgery his only option, Clowney replied, "I feel pretty good. I feel like I can go out and perform, play at a high level."

Tuesday was the one-year anniversary of his getting hurt in the 2014 season opener against Washington. He landed awkwardly trying to avoid stepping on J.J. Watt, who was on the turf underneath him and wound up playing in only four games, never coming close to showing the immense potential that made him the top overall pick in his draft class.

"Whatever coach needs me to do I'll do," Clowney said, declining to speculate on how much he'll play against Kansas City. "I'm just looking forward to playing . . . to make plays, to be accountable. To help - to help us win."

J.J. Watt: Texans defense can't wait to help electrify fans from ESPN

To say he's anxious, well...

"That would be the understatement of the century," Watt said. "It's like an animal in the cage. You rattle the cage and hope they unlock it. Maybe the lock falls off; you hope somehow you're gonna get out of the cage.

"I think on Sunday they're going to finally open up the cage for me and I can't wait. I'm pretty hungry."

That pent-up aggression isn't good news for a Chiefs offensive front that gave up sacks on 9.9 percent of their pass attempts last season, the third-highest tally in the NFL.

The Microsoft engine that predicts NFL games is back — here are its picks for Week 1 from Business Insider

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans — Texans win, 65.9% chance. (Texans -1.5)

Chiefs' Eric Berry starts NFL season with winning record after beating cancer from The Washington Post

Berry's mother, Carol, told her son to think about what it would be like when he returned to an NFL field - no matter how far away that seemed. She printed notes and put them in frames throughout their home: negative energy was unwelcome in the Berry household. And don't overdo the sympathy; just behave as normal.

This applied to the stream of visitors who visited Berry in Atlanta. Coach Andy Reid reminded Berry of one of his coaching philosophies - "Fear nothing, attack everything," and in January team owner Clark Hunt stopped by to check on one of his favorite players. "Eric is a really quiet guy, and he would never tell you that he's hurting," Hunt said a few months later. "But I could tell he was hurting."

AFC West Roundup: Season preview from DenverBroncos.com

While it doesn't mean anything now, the Chiefs were the lone AFC West team to make it through the preseason undefeated. Now Kansas City will look to build on that confidence booster. In the offseason the Chiefs added Jeremy Maclin to aid quarterback Alex Smith. In 2014, not a single Kansas City wide receiver notched a touchdown catch. This preseason, Smith broke the streak and found Maclin in the end zone against Seattle. Running back Jamaal Charles also averaged 5.5 yards per carry last season as one of the league's top running backs, scoring 14 total touchdowns rushing and receiving.

And then there's Justin Houston, who collected 22.0 sacks in 2014. He's back with a new contract. As expected, he didn't see much action in the preseason, but against Tennessee, he totaled three tackles and a sack.

Silverman: NFL Predictions — Packers Will Beat Chiefs In Super Bowl 50 from CBS New York

AFC Championship game:

Kansas City over New England - Hard-running Chiefs overpower deflated Pats

NFC Championship game:

Green Bay over Arizona - Packers learn that they can't sit on a late lead. They keep pushing and win by double-digits.

Super Bowl 50:

Green Bay over Kansas City - A repeat of Super Bowl I, as the Packers paste the Chiefs in the second half.

Browns Opponent Preview: Kansas City Chiefs from WKYC

The Cleveland Browns will play their final road game of the regular season at one of the NFL's loudest venues, Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, before returning home to finish up their 16-game schedule against the Pittsburgh Steelers on January 3.

Under the direction of head coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs enter 2015 after finishing last season with a 9-7 record and one game behind both the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals for the two Wildcard playoff spots in the American Football Conference.

Returning to Arrowhead Stadium will give the Browns an opportunity at redemption after losing two of their last three games to the Chiefs in Kansas City, including a 23-17 setback on October 27, 2013.

Chiefs Kingdom taking over Kansas City Zoo from KCTV5

Chiefs Day at the Zoo is Saturday.

Chiefs Kingdom is taking over our wild kingdom. Chiefs Cheerleaders will be meeting and greeting guests from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. See Warpaint up close and get an autograph from Susie from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. behind the sea lion exhibit. You can have your picture taken with KC Wolf when he stops by from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. During this time, you can also test out your own skills on the Chiefs Play 60 football equipment.

Hoyer Wants To Follow Example Set For Him By Tom Brady from CBS Houston

He is working hard at proving his doubters wrong and takes being overlooked and unheralded as motivation. During his NFL career he's had the best example of a quarterback being an afterthought at quarterback into a successful NFL career.

"I kind of had a great guy to look up to in New England, (Tom Brady) was a sixth round draft pick and he's the greatest quarterback of all time," Hoyer said. "I saw that from him on a daily basis and from my own standpoint when you feel like you're overlooked you're always trying to prove people wrong."

2015 NFL POWER RANKINGS CONSENSUS, WEEK 1 from Bolts from the Blue

Chargers and Chiefs neck-and-neck. I don't really see it, I don't trust that offensive line in Kansas City and it's hard to trust Alex Smith. I could be proven wrong but that's my gut feeling

Early schedule complicates Broncos' plan to rest Peyton Manning from ESPN

Yes, the Denver Broncos still plan to rest Peyton Manning whenever they get the chance. They just won't do it right away in the regular season.

With two games in five days - starting Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens and next Thursday against the Kansas City Chiefs - the Broncos won't find their intended rhythm with Manning's practice schedule, as well as some of the team's other veteran players, until the season is a few weeks old.

Here's why your favorite NFL team will stink this year (Mike Argento column) from The York Daily Record

Kansas City Chiefs: The coach has his own gravitational field and will, pretty much every game, burn all of his timeouts three minutes into the second half and spend the rest of the game staring at a Waffle House menu, trying to decide between the pancakes and a bacon cheeseburger.

Tackling the burning questions heading into 2015 NFL season from Sports Illustrated

Best team to miss the playoffs

DON BANKS—Cowboys: The Cowboys are still talented and dangerous, but I think their vaunted running game and their opportunistic defense—the two real keys to last year's surprising success—will both fail to match the production from 2014. Not by a lot, but by enough to miss the playoffs, losing the division to the Eagles and wild-card berths to Minnesota and Arizona.

GREG BEDARD—Chiefs: Some key early injuries/suspensions are going to be the difference on whether this well-rounded team will sink or swim in a tough division.​ I think they'll sink.

2015 NFL Preview: Patriots, Ravens, Colts and Broncos are AFC favorites from The New York Daily News

ON THE HOT SEAT: QB Alex Smith needs to produce more than he has his first two seasons in Kansas City if the Chiefs are going to be more than a marginal contender. He hasn't shrugged off the game manager label yet.

KEY ADDITION: Speed receiver Jeremy Maclin has reunited with coach Andy Reid, hoping to provide the Chiefs with a deep threat. The Chiefs were the first team since 1964 to go all season without a TD reception from a wide receiver.

NFL Picks Week 1: Eli Manning, Giants Hope To Steal One Vs. Cowboys from NESN

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans (EV), 1 p.m.

Ricky: Texans. I'm not totally sold on quarterback Brian Hoyer, but the Texans' defense — led by J.J. Watt — should be good enough to pin down the Chiefs at home to kick off the season. It won't get any easier for Kansas City, either, as the Chiefs play the Packers, Broncos and Bengals in Weeks 2 through 4.

Ben: Chiefs. Am I the only person who sort of likes the Chiefs this season? I am? OK. Listen, K.C.'s defense was good enough with Mike DeVito and Derrick Johnson missing significant time last season. A fully healthy unit will handle the Texans.

Mike: Chiefs. Really looking forward to this 10-6 barn-burner.

Surprise NFL picks: Chiefs, Vikings up; Cowboys, Broncos down from Sports Xchange via Inforum

The call here is that Minnesota and Kansas City will be the league's two biggest surprises in 2015, and that Denver and Dallas will be the league's biggest disappointments.

What both the Vikings and Chiefs have going for them are excellent defenses that operate somewhat under the radar for small-market teams who between them have won just three playoff games, all by the Vikings, in 15 years. The Chiefs last won a playoff game in 1993.

Panthers have too many holes to repeat in NFC South from The Asheville Citizen-Times

AFC West: Kansas City; Denver; San Diego; Oakland: Andy Reid has the Chiefs ready to overtake the Broncos. The Chargers could give the West three playoff teams.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif wants to establish long-term as a starter with the Chiefs from RDS [translated from the original French]

I can play at this level, but I still have plenty to learn. It's a little reflection of my coaches. They see that I need experience to keep improving.

From the moment I showed that I had an understanding of the defense and a fairly good technique to be part of the starting lineup is playing I'll go get the additional knowledge that will enable me to become a better player.

Since I doubt a bit that I will be leaving, I obviously had moments of satisfaction and pride. But they have always been short-lived. More you ride in the hierarchy, the more one expects you to be near perfection.