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Arrowheadlines: Kansas City Chiefs News 6/9

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What We Learned From Wednesday's Media Availability from Chiefs.com

MITCH MORSE

Q: How is everything going out there in OTAs? Have you seen any progress from where you started to where you are leading up to Training Camp?

MORSE: "Yeah, I think that is predicated on the fact that all the guys are bringing maximum effort every day to every drill. The focus is at an all time high right now and we are not focusing too far ahead of ourselves. We are taking one day at a time, one rep at a time and that correlates to getting better everyday."

Q: Why are you so focused right now since it looks like the offensive line is settled in? Are you guys not changing roles right now?

MORSE: "Well, I think the nature of the beast is that is just going to happen anyways even if it isn't happening right now. Offensive lineman have to plug in and play, so we practice scenarios everyday. I think we are just taking it to a professional level. We are all professionals, and we all understand that and our job is to get better even if it's through some dings, and bruises and generally soreness. It's our job to come and compete and to get farther than last year. Last year was a great year, but that's behind us. We're focused on winning a championship."

Chiefs WR De'Anthony Thomas: "Football is Everything to Me" from Chiefs.com

At just 23 years old, Thomas has already proven to have electric athletic ability, and he's hoping his second year under receivers coach David Culley will only continue his development.

"A lot of people at my age are just getting to the league, so I feel like I'm ahead of a lot of guys," Thomas added. "It's going to be a great year for me to just stay healthy and show people my ability and what I do."

When asked if he loved football, Thomas put it simply.

"Do I love football? I'm from south-central Los Angeles," he said. "Football is everything to me."

Spencer Ware Continues to Let Chiefs Know He's Thankful from Chiefs.com

The year was 2014.

For then-Seattle Seahawks second-year running back Spencer Ware, who was coming off a rookie season in which he had played just seven offensive snaps after being the team's sixth-round pick out of LSU, the subsequent release from the team at the end of that second preseason hit home.

It led the 5-foot-10, 228-pound Ware to being out of football for the entire 2014 season.

"Sitting out that year that I did, watching every game on Sunday, my old team, and watching possibly new teams, no one really wanted to mess with me," Ware explained, "but the [Chiefs] were the team that showed interest and were consistent."

The Chiefs signed Ware just two days after their final game of the 2014 season, a 19-7 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

Derrick Johnson Raised $110,000 At This Year's Celebrity Waiter Night from Chiefs.com

"Man it's awesome," Johnson said. "Celebrity Waiter Night caters to any inner-city kids through education and it's all about giving back and giving the core values that I grew up on. That's making sure education is important, having a good attitude and always doing you best."

The foundation uses the funds raised at Waiter Night for two main initiatives—DJ's Discovery Dens and Gearing Up! Together. According to Defend the Dream, these programs have resulted in nine reading oases containing 10,800 age appropriate books, and 300 kids receiving school supplies before heading back to school.

Chiefs' Derrick Johnson is passionate about helping local kids from The Kansas City Star

Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson raised more than $110,000 for kids in need at his fourth annual Celebrity Waiter Night on Monday at the Grand Street Café.

The event featured 17 Chiefs players, including Johnson, who served appetizers and entrees to approximately 175 guests.

Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith wasn't surprised so many of Johnson's teammates came out to support the event, which benefits Johnson's Defend the Dream Foundation, whose mission is to provide low-income and urban young people in Kansas City with opportunity and resources.

"Every year man, he gets a lot of guys," said Smith, who attended the event. "He asks us early and gets in the locker room and stays on us. But the guy he is, the teammate he is, everybody gets behind him and wants to help him out."

Notebook: Second-year pro Mitch Morse welcomes role as communicator on Chiefs OL from Chiefs Digest

Chiefs center Mitch Morse spent a month and a half with backup quarterback Aaron Murray during the offseason in Georgia.

It wasn't a vacation, however, and the players trained together.

"We spent an hour, hour and a half a day, just going through little things," said Morse, who also dedicated time looking at film from the past season. "He was kind of going through me, he was picking my brain and I was picking his."

When the daily physical training and mental aspect were over, Morse and Murray then moved outdoors.

Who's filling the biggest needs for all 32 NFL teams from ESPN

Kansas City Chiefs: Cornerback Steven Nelson has been one of the stars of offseason practice. Nelson played little last season as a rookie but is taking advantage of the lineup opening left by Phillip Gaines, who is rehabbing from a torn ACL. If Nelson continues to play well at training camp and in the preseason, he will at least be the third cornerback and could even take Gaines' starting spot. -- Adam Teicher

Chiefs' De'Anthony Thomas outruns questions on his late-season absence from The Kansas City Star

The first question he fielded was a general one about what happened last December. Thomas missed the final six games of the regular season, with four of them directly related to a concussion he sustained Nov. 22 in a 33-3 win over the San Diego Chargers. When he was cleared from the concussion in December, he was placed on the non-football injury list and missed the final two games.

His response?

"It's a new year, I don't even know what happened," Thomas said.

And on and on it went, for at least two more questions related to that topic, as Thomas continued to stress that it's a new year and he's looking to the future, not the past.

Chiefs' De'Anthony Thomas deflects questions on past season, focused on 2016 from Chiefs Digest

Thomas originally suffered a concussion in Week 11 and missed four straight games from Weeks 12-15. He sat out the Week 16 game with what the Chiefs categorized as a "personal issue" before landing on the NFI list for the season finale.

That is where the confusion began.

Thomas took to Twitter on Jan. 20 and tweeted in all caps, "still trying to recover from my concussion." But Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said on Jan. 21 that Thomas had passed the concussion protocol for the regular-season finale.

So, was there a misunderstanding on how the Chiefs viewed his status and how Thomas saw things?

"Like I said, I don't want to go back to that time," Thomas said, "and it's all about focusing on these OTAs and going out there and competing and working hard."

Chiefs buzzing about speed of rookie wide receiver Tyreek Hill from ESPN

De'Anthony Thomas was a sprinter on his track team in college and probably the fastest player on the Kansas City Chiefs during his first two NFL seasons.

He's normally someone sure of his ability, and particularly his speed. But he has a challenger for the title of fastest Chief in rookie Tyreek Hill, who ran a 4.24 40 as he prepared for this year's NFL draft.

Hill is fast enough that Thomas said he wasn't sure whether he could beat the rookie in a 40-yard dash.

"There's a lot of speed out there," Thomas said.

With help of coaches and teammates, Chiefs' Jamell Fleming adapts to new position from The Kansas City Star

As a pass floated past one of the Chiefs' tight ends and out of the back of the end zone, secondary coach Al Harris approached Jamell Fleming.

The two talked briefly at Wednesday's offseason workout, Harris pointing around the field as if to direct Fleming. He then patted Fleming on the back and retreated as the defensive back settled in for the next play, about 8 yards off the line of scrimmage.

Harris is one of several coaches who encouraged Fleming's switch from cornerback to safety after the Chiefs drafted three corners in this spring's NFL Draft. Fleming has felt comfortable to this point but still needs some pointers here and there.

Chiefs have to decide how to allocate running back work from ESPN

Exactly how the Kansas City Chiefs will divide the work this season among running backs Jamaal Charles, Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West remains a mystery. But the picture will certainly change once Charles, who hasn't been practicing as he continues to rehab from a torn ACL, returns.

"There's always going to be a place for him, whenever he's ready," Ware said.

That's the only given to the situation. The Chiefs were expecting Charles back for the start of training camp next month, and his role will be considerable once that happens.

Kansas City Star Video: Chiefs' QB Alex Smith on simplifying two-minute offense

Kansas City Chiefs' Jamaal Charles working to rehab from ACL surgery from UPI.com

The Kansas City Chiefs were rolling through another OTA practice at their facility in the Truman Sports Complex on Wednesday. The sun was scorching, the humidity was up and Andy Reid's team was working up an offseason sweat.

Running back Jamaal Charles was working up the day's soggiest workout shirt. But he wasn't on the field. Charles was running up and down a steep hill that sits next to the team's facility.

It's all part of his rehab from last October's ACL injury and subsequent surgery. It was his second ACL tear in five years.

Shaun Hill embracing flag football to help save the game from ESPN

Hill has a long history of caution in youth football; his parents held him out until he was in sixth grade. He plans to follow a similar plan with his sons, who are currently 2 years and 6 months old. In his letter, he quoted two former teammates, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and retired offensive lineman Dylan Gandy, who said they will do the same.

Further, Hill wrote, "the sentiment provided by my two colleagues and I aren't limited to just us. It is the feeling of a growing majority of men who live in this sport and understand it best."

That qualifies as a remarkable shift in thinking by many in football's middle class. As an institution, football has defended itself, often stubbornly and blindly, against perceived "attacks" that are in reality legitimate questions about safety.

Biletnikoff, Moore to be inducted into Pa. Sports Hall of Fame from YourErie.com

Joe Valerio (Football/Delaware County) was inducted into Penn's HOF in 2005. He had a six-year career with the Kansas City Chiefs and was nominated for NFL Man-of-the-Year for outstanding community service.

Daily Kickoff: "You got your nuts, we have our nuts"—Steve Israel | Bob Kraft's Birthday Bash from The Jewish Journal

BIRTHDAYS:...

...Former Congresswoman, survivor of an assassination attempt near Tucson in 2011, Gabrielle Giffords turns 46... Actor, starring in USA Network's "Royal Pains," Mark Feuerstein turns 45... Offensive tackle for the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, Hebrew name "Mendel," Mitchell Schwartz turns 27...