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Arrowheadlines: Kansas City Chiefs News 4/20

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Good morning! Here is today's Kansas City Chiefs news. Enjoy.

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Tamba Hali Reflects Upon His First Trip Home to Liberia Since 1992 from The Mothership

Hali visited with Liberia's current president, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and saw family members he hadn't seen in two decades.

"It was almost restoring their faith because we haven't had any contact with one another," Hali said. "They tell other people, ‘That's our nephew, that's our cousin.' And they say, ‘If that's your cousin or nephew, how come you're living in this condition?'

"People didn't believe them. Just to pop up on them the way that I did, they were rejoicing and thanking God. It was really pleasing."

Hali described several sights that especially stood out to him during his trip, the most of which strangely being the physical condition of the roads.

Alex Smith Enters ‘16 In Same Offense, But With New Faces in New Roles from The Mothership

Keeping in mind that the offense really won't change, Smith already noted the difference in having four years in the same scheme as opposed to the alternative after his first workout with his teammates Monday.

"It's night and day," he explained, "just knowing what you're getting into, all the relationships that you have with the guys in the locker room, all the coaches upstairs, knowing what we're getting into.

"To not miss a beat and go out there and throw with the guys today ... you're just so far ahead of the game where to even compare to a few years ago, when you're starting over and you're just trying to learn how we take snaps under center, how do we drop back, all those things, you're able to be ahead of the game and try to take advantage of that."

Travis Kelce Says Don't Be Shocked When It Happens Again from The Mothership

After the offseason additions of free agent right tackle Mitch Schwartz and receiver Rod Streater, plus the development of the younger players and the return of running back Jamaal Charles, Kelce is confident that the offense can take the next step in 2016.

"We're going to unleash it," he explained. "I'm confident in where our personnel is right now. Where we're headed as a team is awesome and it's exciting. I feel like, offensively, we can definitely improve from last year. We know we belong here and now we know what we're capable of. We know what we're supposed to do and don't be shocked when it happens like it did last year. It's what we work for.

"We know where we're supposed to be at the end of the year and that's playing for a championship."

Chiefs.com Photo Gallery: Wide Receivers Attend Community Garden Planting

A look at the top special-teams players in the 2016 NFL Draft from The Kansas City Star

Included in measurables are height, weight, age they turn this year (if available) and 40-yard-dash time.

RETURN SPECIALISTS TO WATCH

MORGAN BURNS, Kansas State

Measurables: 5-11, 201, 4.38

Bio: Cornerback who returned 34 kicks for a 33.5-yard average and four touchdowns in 2015. Returned no punts. Has scored four career touchdowns off of returns.

Stable environment has Chiefs primed to receive more out of aerial attack from Chiefs Digest

With the foundation relatively intact from players to the coaching staff, the Chiefs look to build on the success and seek more in 2016.

"We want to get there, we want to win it all," wide receiver Jeremy Maclin said. "I think we have the talent to do so. I think we have the type of guys in this building, the type of coaches in this building and the type of organization in general to get that done, so it's our job to go out there and do it."

Maclin's declaration sounds easy enough to accomplish the mission, of course.

But while Kansas City's defense finished among the league leaders in numerous statistical categories, the aerial attack must improve if the Chiefs are to meet lofty expectations.

Alex Smith no longer has trusted veteran backup QB to lean on from ESPN

For as long as he's been the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, Alex Smith has had backup Chase Daniel to lean on to help him prepare for the upcoming game.

Now, with the Chiefs having started their offseason conditioning program, Smith is going solo, or at least without Daniel. The three-year Chiefs backup departed as a free agent for the Philadelphia Eagles, leaving Smith without a trusted veteran to run some ideas by.

Chiefs host Canadian college star David Onyemata on predraft visit from Chiefs Digest

The Chiefs held a predraft visit Tuesday with University of Manitoba defensive lineman David Onyemata, a source informed The Topeka Capital-Journal and ChiefsDigest.com.

The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Chiefs don't announce predraft visits.

The 6-3, 300-pound Onyemata, a native of Lagos, Nigeria, didn't start playing football until arriving in Canada in 2011, but he quickly picked up the game.

Confident Eric Fisher in a good offseason place from ESPN

If Fisher can lock down the left tackle spot, the Chiefs don't have to go through an exhaustive and probably expensive search for a replacement.

"I want to [become] that Pro Bowl-caliber player,'' Fisher said. "That's quite an accomplishment. Obviously I'd love to do that, make the All-Pro team.

"I see myself on a steady incline. I'm looking to pick up where I left off and continue to grow, just stay on a steady rise throughout my career. If I can do that 10 more years, whatever, however many more years, I'm looking forward to it.''

Fisher may never be the consistently dominant left tackle that being the No. 1 overall pick suggests he could become. But it's reasonable to think Fisher could still become the player he's describing.

Chiefs found late-round draft success with Kevin Ross in 1984 from ESPN

Ross' nickname was "Rock" because he was built like one, was as tough as one and was an intimidating hitter despite his size. Ross didn't have the physical stature to battle opposing wide receivers or the speed to cover them down the field, but he made up for that with superb technique and an iron will that wouldn't allow him to back down from a fight.

By the time his playing career ended, in 1997, Ross had been selected to play twice in the Pro Bowl. In 2011, he was inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame.

That was far more than the Chiefs expected when they drafted him.

Chiefs report to offseason program, provide injury updates from The Associated Press via The St. Joseph News-Press

Just about everyone who walked through the doors of the Kansas City Chiefs' practice facility for the start of offseason conditioning Monday wore a wide smile on their face.

The way things have gone the past couple months, they were probably happy to be back to work.

From tampering charges that cost them hefty fines and draft picks this season and next season, to the knee surgery on top pass rusher Justin Houston that could keep him out all season, to early retirements of Mike DeVito and Husain Abdullah, there has been little good news emanating from Arrowhead Drive.

Even the signing of veteran pass rusher Tamba Hali carried a cloudy lining: The Chiefs squandered some much-needed salary-cap space by failing to reach the agreement by a deadline contained in his previous deal.

So yes, Derrick Johnson and Co. were happy to be lifting weights and worrying about football again.

Chiefs' failed appeal proves Pats had no chance, either from ProFootballTalk

The decision of the Chiefs to push the issue, while admirable, had the same end result: The Chiefs didn't get their picks back. And the Patriots also wouldn't have gotten their picks back. Which is why the Patriots chose not to try.

NFL beat writers hold live mock draft and here's Terez Paylor's Chiefs pick from The Kansas City Star

Sam Farmer of The Los Angeles Times held his annual beat writer mock draft on Tuesday and I made the Chiefs' selection at No. 28.

You can look at all the selections here.

Mellinger Minutes: Royals worries, Chiefs predictions, Chris Young and poopy diapers from The Kansas City Star

I see a team that will most likely be without its best player for at least a chunk of the season, lost its best cornerback, has not added an offensive playmaker, and was stripped of a third-round pick in an egregious overreach by the commissioner.

Also, I believe one of the most overdone things in all of sports is looking at an NFL schedule in April and trying to determine whether it's favorable or difficult. You might as well flip a coin 16 times.

To me, this feels like a year where the Chiefs will take a step back. I don't mean a 2011 step back, but I see some bad signs. At the moment, it feels more likely than not that the Chiefs will miss the playoffs.

Center Elementary students team up with Chiefs to plant vegetable gardens from FOX4KC

"Gardening, it may seem easy, but it's kind of one of those things that we probably take for granted, because I mean, it's essential for us to live, and that's growing plants and growing foods that we need," Chiefs wide receiver Frankie Hammond said.

NFL locals roundup: Daniel Sorensen re-signs with Chiefs, Kaelin Clay with Ravens from The Deseret News

Sorensen signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2014 and has turned into a solid contributor on the Kansas City defense. Last year as a backup at free safety, he played in all 16 games and had 23 tackles, two pass deflections and a 7-yard sack, his first NFL sack, in a win over Oakland on Dec. 6, 2015.

Underground upgrades at Arrowhead Stadium to help in snowy weather from KCTV5

The upgrade will be underneath the grass and Kansas City Chiefs players said it means they can't wait to take the field at home.

During bitterly cold Chiefs games, the players are out in the elements and getting knocked down on an extra hard frozen field.

"For people who aren't down there playing its cold, the field freezes over and it feels like you're playing on a hard surface there. Sometimes it can feel like you're running and falling on concrete," said wide receiver Chris Conley.

On Tuesday, during the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority meeting, officials offered an exclusive look at Arrowhead's new heating system.

Players are thrilled.

LATE FOR WORK 4/19: DID RAVENS 'COLOR RUSH' UNIFORM GET LEAKED? from BaltimoreRavens.com

Since the leak has two disclaimers, we really can't be certain if this outside-the-box design is actually in the works. And if you're wondering whether I can confirm or deny the design since I work for the team, nice try. There were zero signs that the Ravens would use the gold uniforms last season until they were hung in the lockers when the team suited up against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Uniform designs are kept just about as secret as the Ravens draft board, which I also don't have access to. If I saw it, I might have to be terminated.

Now, if Baltimore does end up unveiling its own version of a Maryland Pride uniform, I would be all for it ... if executed properly. In theory, I wouldn't have been against gold pants either.  But pairing a mustard yellow pant with a purple jersey wasn't a hit, including for quarterback Joe Flacco.

Andy Reid's Chiefs slogan for 2016 revealed from KCTV5

When Chiefs coach Andy Reid met with his team Monday morning he unveiled his slogan for the upcoming season - "It's Time."

Every year, Reid gives his team a slogan. Last year, it was "Raise the Level."

Top draft needs for all 32 NFL teams from ESPN

Kansas City Chiefs

Top needs: Cornerback, wide receiver, offensive guard

The Chiefs haven't replaced starting cornerback Sean Smith, who departed in free agency, though they get Phillip Gaines back after he missed most of last year with a torn ACL. Kansas City didn't have a reliable No. 2 wide receiver last season to pair with Jeremy Maclin. The Chiefs have some bodies to play the guard positions, but an upgrade wouldn't be a bad idea. -- Adam Teicher

Chiefs fans snap up tickets for the fall season from KMBC

Football season is still months away, but Chiefs fans are getting ready.

Single-game and group tickets went on sale to the general public Tuesday. While most people bought their tickets online, some fans still made the trip to the Arrowhead Stadium box office.

Quentin Gause getting closer to NFL dream from WHAM

He is one of hundreds around the country hoping to hear their name called between next Thursday and Saturday at the NFL draft.

"I flew out to a couple teams, had a couple workouts," Quentin said."I've been back and forth, flying different places. It's been a good crazy. A good crazy."

A crazy life that's about to get crazier.

An astounding pro day at Rutgers earned Quentin multiple visits and a lot of interest around the league, including but not limited to the Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, and New York Giants.

That's why he's spending so much time at home, with his family.

Status clouds for Penn Wood's Oakman from The Delaware County Daily Times

It's pretty clear that Roseman has complete control of the upcoming Eagles draft.

At one point during a joint presser Monday with Doug Pederson, the head coach referred to "Howie's team."

The only involvement Pederson had in the drafts of the Kansas City Chiefs was giving his opinion on offensive players.

"Other than that, that was the only role that I had," Pederson said.

Are the Chiefs and Steelers Better Off Without Their Stud Running Backs? from NumberFire

In order to see the differences in how the teams played with and without their stud running backs, I looked at play selection and some different Net Expected Points (NEP) metrics.

You see, on every play, there's an expected point value an NFL team has for the drive based on yard line, down, and distance. What happens on that play can change the expected point value on said drive. What NEP does is aggregate the values gained or lost on every play into a single, netnumber.

You can read more about NEP in our glossary.

I observed the NEP for each offense with and without their stud running backs and broke each down per play. The results were staggering.