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Arrowheadlines: Kansas City Chiefs News 8/26

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Good morning and Happy Friday!!! I have to do an abbreviated post this morning so I can catch an early train into the city. Please feel free to drop links to any articles I missed in the comments. Thanks, and enjoy today's Kansas City Chiefs news!

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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

Q: What do you try to look for in a third preseason game? What's the biggest emphasis?

REID: "Just keep polishing and get yourself ready for the upcoming season. Execution always, that becomes important as we go here."

Q: Is there any particular area in the first two games that you didn't think went as well as you expected?

REID: "Listen, in all phases we're not there yet. In all phases we can get better at things. There are some good things -€” some things we need to work on and that's what we're doing. We're going to keep trying to get better every day that we get a chance to come out on the field."

Chiefs vs. Bears: Five Things to Watch from Chiefs.com

2. Can Alex Smith stay hot?

Now in his fourth year in Andy Reid's offensive system, quarterback Alex Smith has progressed each year. Based on his performance through two preseason games, he looks to be in total control of this offense heading into the 2016 regular season.

Smith has completed 12 of 16 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown in the first two games combined, leading the first-team offense to points in four of their five drives, including 3 touchdowns (two of which were 75-yard drives).

Of Smith's 12 completions—they have gone to six different targets—only two have been to receivers. The other four were to three different tight ends and a running back.

Special Teams Becomes Tie Breaker for Tough Roster Decisions from Chiefs.com

The communication process between Toub, head coach Andy Reid, the coordinators and positional coaches, as well as the personnel staff, is frequent this time of the year as they look to trim down the roster.

"They know what my philosophy is by now," Toub explained. "The front office guys, I'm talking Chris [Ballard], John [Dorsey] and Andy Reid, they understand where I'm coming from. We meet all the time, we talk, we grade the players every day, every practice and after every game. We grade guys one through five at whatever position, and then I put a special teams grade on them.

"The position coaches put an offensive and defensive grade on them as well. It's open communication and everybody hears what everybody else says, which is important."

Chiefs RB Spencer Ware, a Fantasy Sleeper? from Chiefs.com

We are less than two weeks away from the NFL regular season, which also means we are less than two weeks away from everyone's favorite—fantasy football season.

Recently, NFL fantasy football writer Alex Gelhar compiled a list of "deep fantasy sleepers" heading into this season.

According to Gelhar, if you are finally going to take down Uncle Mike, you may want to consider Chiefs running back Spencer Ware.

Ron Parker and Charcandrick West Renew Rivalry With Madden 17 Release from Chiefs.com

EA Sports released "Madden NFL 17" on Wednesday, and Kansas City Chiefs safety Ron Parker celebrated the day by inviting running back Charcandrick West over for a little friendly competition.

Alex Smith's mission: prove everybody wrong from The Kansas City Star

Reid believes Smith possesses at least two Super Bowl-worthy traits — his brains and his athleticism. And that play represented a positive step toward proving his detractors wrong. Those are the same people who dog Smith with the "game manager" tag, citing his conservative nature and inability to drive the ball downfield like other quarterbacks.

Overall, Smith showed enough improvement last year to inspire the notion that the same 32-year-old once benched for Colin Kaepernick could indeed be good enough to take the Chiefs to the promised land.

"He's a really good quarterback and a guy you'd definitely like to have," an NFC personnel man recently told The Star. "I think you can win a Super Bowl with him. Definitely."

Chiefs Thursday notebook: Starting offense takes shape from Chiefs Digest

This week has been a dress rehearsal for the Chiefs, simulating a game week all the way down to the noon kickoff agains the Chicago Bears at Solider Field on Saturday.

But it's still a preseason game, so that's pretty much where the comparison ends. Players returning from injury won't play, and there's very little game planning involved, coach Andy Reid said.

"Just keep polishing and get yourself ready for the upcoming season," Reid said. "Execution always, that becomes important as we go here."

Chiefs' Phillip Gaines could see first action of preseason from The Kansas City Star

Gaines has missed the first two preseason games as he recovers from knee surgery. The Chiefs used different starters at right cornerback in those games.

"There's a good chance he'll play," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "We'll see how he feels."

Move to safety paying off for Chiefs' Eric Murray from Chiefs Digest

"That's a daily challenge for me everyday because I'm new," Murray said of proving to coaches he knows his new position well enough to play.

Murray joins a Chiefs defensive secondary in flux with the absence of Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry and the departures of veterans Hussain Abdullah to retirement and Tyvon Branch via free agency. Returning starting free safety Ron Parker and backup strong safety Daniel Sorensen bring stability, but the Chiefs hope Murray provides additional depth and flexibility.

The conversion from corner to safety is not as easy as it may sound.

Unretired Brock Vereen looks for chance with Chiefs from The Kansas City Star

"Obviously, it's not a standard way of going about things," Vereen said. "There were some issues that needed to be addressed. Everything's good and right now I'm happy to be a Chief."

Vereen, a member of the Patriots' practice squad last season, wouldn't specify what led to the strange sequence of events last week.

The 2016 MVPs -- excluding quarterbacks -- for all 32 teams from ESPN

Kansas City Chiefs

Cornerback Marcus Peters

Peters last year turned the Chiefs' defense from one that struggled to force turnovers (six interceptions in 2014) to one of the NFL leaders in interceptions (22 last season). He tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with eight (and had another in the playoffs) and was selected as the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year. Those turnovers are crucial to a team that doesn't get a lot of big offensive plays. -- Adam Teicher

Fatal flaw addressed: Chiefs have solid backup (QB) plan in newcomer Nick Foles from The Kansas City Star

Backup quarterbacks are the NFL's version of insurance policies, and because insurance is boring, we usually don't talk about them much until the storm hits and we check the premiums.

But for the Chiefs, other than the rehab of stars and the emergency call for a pass rush, the development of an alternative for a possible injury to Alex Smith is the most important task of this preseason.

And, it should be noted, with 17 days remaining until the season opener, the Chiefs appear to have knocked this off the list of reasons to worry.