"I kind of know where his head is at right now," said punter Dustin Colquitt, a friend and teammate from Charles' first day with the Chiefs more than eight years ago. "It's frustrating, but he also has an outlook of, and I know this is a cliche, but, ‘What doesn't kill me makes me stronger.' So I think he's looking at this as a time to take and get back to being Jamaal."
Tamba Hali sat at his locker, smiling on Sunday. To his left, fellow outside linebacker Dee Ford — one of the heroes of the Chiefs' 30-14 win over the Indianapolis Colts — was holding court among a throng of media members.
Hali looked Ford's way and grinned, ever so slyly.
"Go talk to him," Hali said, in a way reminiscent of a proud father.
Sankey and Marcus Peters played college football together at the University of Washington, coming in as freshmen together in 2011, except Peters redshirted while Sankey played.
The key for the Chiefs is consistency. While they aren’t spectacular in a particular area offensively, they minimize mistakes and run a balanced attack. Smith had thrown eight touchdowns with two interceptions in six games this season, and the offense features five receivers with at least 220 yards receiving.
Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin arrived at the practice facility on Thursday with a sore groin and didn't practice.
Other Chiefs listed as not practicing were running back Spencer Ware (concussion), offensive guard Parker Ehinger (ACL) and defensive lineman Jaye Howard (hip).
The NFL has stats for everything, including punt return coverage. And the Chiefs lead the NFL with opponents averaging 4.6 yards per return.
Hackett, elevated to the position from quarterbacks coach last weekend after the Jaguars' loss to Tennessee two days earlier, is the son of former Chiefs offensive coordinator Paul Hackett.
While Paul Hackett was guiding the Chiefs' offenses from 1993-97, Nathaniel was playing tight end and linebacker for Blue Valley Northwest, which won two Eastern Kansas League titles during that span.
The Chiefs have a pretty good shot at the playoffs, better than all but a team or two in the AFC. That's certainly the thought in Kansas City. The Chiefs have shown they're a 10-win a year type of team. Their defense is playing terrific again. They have depth all over the place. They already have two wins in the division and the late season schedule is favorable. I would put some money on them making the playoffs.
"The only thing I was thinking about was hoping he was all right," Foles said. "You play this game and you see something like that -- you never want to see it. He's a guy that I'm with every day, he's a guy that has been a really good friend of mine and that's really all I was thinking."
Jacksonville's defense was lit up by the Tennessee Titans in Week 8, allowing 36 points and 494 yards of offense. The Titans weren't afraid to test the Jaguars with deep throws, the majority of which were completed for big gains. Foles, who is now reunited with Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid, is not afraid to take chances downfield. Reid coached Foles as a rookie and said he has improved since his early days in the NFL.
To be perfectly honest, who can blame them? Why would an objective, rational person think anything other than another blowout will happen for the Jaguars on Sundaywhen they head to Arrowhead? The team is coming off back-to-back blowout losses, one of which they appeared like they gave up before halftime. The team just fired their offensive coordinator and the quarterback flew in a personal mechanics coach. To top it all off, you have the players sniping back at fans who are frustrated with another dreadful start to the season.
Reid went on to say defensive lineman Jaye Howard is dealing with a hip flexor injury and offensive lineman Mitch Schwartz will be resting his sore ankle in practice. There is also the belief offensive lineman Parker Ehinger is done for the season with a knee injury. "It's part of the National Football League," Reid said with a shrug.
That tone could be felt throughout the Jaguars’ locker room this week, a week that has featured no talk of playoffs or of the AFC South race. The talk has been about a task that’s as clear as it is difficult: Win one game. Find a way to do that. Actually, first things first: play well one game. That won’t douse the disappointment of the first seven games, and it won’t make observers forget the mess that has been the past two weeks. But it’s a place to start.