But a large percentage of the Chiefs' locker room speaks with Southern accent. Eight players on the active roster list a Georgia hometown, matching California in hometown leadership among Chiefs. Four on the Falcons' roster are from Georgia.
"The state is known for its talent," said rookie cornerback D.J. White, who attended Georgia Tech and grew up a Falcons fan. "Just look around this locker room, Justin Houston, Eric Berry, a bunch of guys. It's pretty cool to see."
Only defensive tackle Dontari Poe and linebacker Tamba Hali sat out practice Friday in final preparations for Sunday’s game at the Atlanta Falcons. Poe continues battling back spasms while Hali took a scheduled day of rest. But coach Andy Reid did not rule out the possibility Poe could play Sunday. The team listed him questionable on the Friday injury report.
Prep football legend Joe McKnight was working at a local hospital treating mental health patients and was in talks with the Minnesota Vikings about a potential NFL comeback when he was fatally shot on a Terrytown street Thursday, according to his brother. Jonathan McKnight, a a former football player for the University of Arizona, said telling Joe's young son in California on Thursday that he would no longer be able to speak with his father was one of the most difficult things his family has ever done. "It was sad to hear him cry," Jonathan McKnight said of his nephew. "We're going through it right now. I miss my brother already. It's shocking to me I can't see my brother anymore.
"They just go and run their offense with a purpose," said Kansas City strong safety Eric Berry. "They’re not just out there just running plays. They have a specific plan and they know they’re a good offense. They run their plays like they know they’re a good offense. They’re very confident in what they do. … We know we have a challenge." The Chiefs are 7-0 when winning the turnover battle this season. The 24 takeaways have led to 72 points.
Ten Kansas City Chiefs will wear special edition cleats during Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons that reflect their commitment to philanthropic causes and help raise funds for charitable organizations nationwide.
A sheriff in Louisiana confirmed Friday that investigators released the man who admitted he shot ex-NFL running back Joe McKnight in a road rage incident that left the athlete dead. Jefferson Paris Sheriff Newell Normand told reporters he was confident the suspect, 54-year-old Ronald Gasser, was "not going anywhere. He has been completely cooperative." Gasser has not been charged. McKnight "did not have a gun in his possession," Normand said.
Days after making one of the better catches of the NFL season on a Sunday with the Chiefs, former Wisconsin-Milwaukee forward Demetrius Harris talked things over with the Horizon League.
Dave Choate: We all live in fear of Justin Houston. How does he look this year, and how can the Falcons possibly slow him down?
Joel Thorman: I was sure the Chiefs would ease him back in a couple weeks ago but he came out and played 55 snaps in his first game back. He didn't look completely right in that first game. The solution? The Broncos right tackle. Houston embarrassed the right side of the Denver line with nine pressures and three sacks in 75 snaps.
We’ve seen the style of play that really gives Atlanta trouble: either power run concepts that take advantage of Atlanta’s lack of depth and size, or the style of play like San Diego or Green Bay where they run a lot of underneath routes that force a more disciplined game from Atlanta’s defense. The Chiefs are more of the latter and they rarely throw over the top. The Kansas City offensive line has been pretty mediocre this year, but their style of play makes their job a little easier than normal.
"Joe lost his life yesterday," Chiefs coach Andy Reid told Kansas City reporters Friday. "It's a tragic deal. This world is a bit crazy right now, just a bit crazy, and hopefully we can stop the nonsense that's going on. But, what a great kid and we appreciated having him here, and our hearts go out to his family."
Berry was docked Friday after he made direct contact with the helmet of Denver Broncos backup running back Kapri Bibbs in the first quarter of the Chiefs' 30-27 overtime victory last Sunday night. Bibbs left the game to be evaluated for a concussion, but later returned.
It goes deeper than just saying as Berry goes, so go the Chiefs. Immediately following the win, Reid addressed the team with a few words. Then he turned it over to Berry. And by the time the media was allowed in the locker room some 20 minutes after the game, you wouldn't have known if the Chiefs had won or lost, or if it was a Wednesday during Week 2 of training camp. The vibe was that of a group of men who had just finished a successful business trip and were on to the next one. Because that's what Berry preaches. "It just shows that we know how to win when the game is on the line," Berry said in the far back corner of the visiting locker room dressed in black from head to toe. "That's it, though. I'm looking down the road. That's just how I rock, period."
The Kansas City Chiefs are projected to be $1,497,345 OVER the cap in 2017 (all salary info via Over The Cap). They may be able to carry close to $6 million over from 2016, and they could save $10,750,000 by cutting Nick Foles. That would leave them around $16,000,000 in cap space to work with. Since I am mentioning the possibility of Foles being a salary cap cut, I will add him to my list of possible free agents.
"We have done a good job on defense as far as going against offenses that score a lot and have a lot of yards," linebacker Derrick Johnson said. But the Falcons might present a challenge for the Chiefs’ defense beyond any the unit has seen this season. Quarterback Matt Ryan is second behind New England’s Tom Brady in passer rating. Wide receiver Julio Jones leads the league in receiving yardage.
The Chiefs have played their most complete games of the season against opponents with a similar profile as that of the Falcons. The Raiders, Saints and Colts each were among the NFL's highest-scoring teams but were also allowing a lot of points when they faced the Chiefs. Kansas City won all three games, two in a convincing manner and the other by six points.
The Falcons took one of the NFL's premier defenses in Arizona and had their way offensively all day. Is Matt Ryan and crew peaking at just the right time? I don't know if "peaking" is the right term, but they certainly are playing better. I would have liked to see them play better in Philadelphia, but that place has been a house of horrors for Atlanta over the years. They have won 3 out of 4, including wins over the Packers (which sent Green Bay into a tailspin) and the Bucs (which seems to have rallied the troops in Tampa), and the win over Arizona was very impressive.
"Sometimes I'll catch myself — crossing the street I'll give people a wave," she said, laughing, "and I'll be like, I don't have to be on ‘appearance mode' right now."
DeRouchey has been riding Warpaint since 2009. It was the Chiefs' 50th anniversary year, and the organization decided to bring back the Arrowhead tradition. It was supposed to be a one-time thing. The fans demanded more.