CHIEFS DT DONTARI POE
Q: When you look at Philip Rivers what's the best way to prepare for a quarterback like that?
POE: "You just have to get ready for a team. One person can't do it, one person can't be off their game. Everybody has to be ready."
Q: Do some of the key absences that you all have right now; Josh Mauga and
Justin Houston, does that put more added pressure on your unit?
POE: "We put the pressure on ourselves as the D-line in a way, no matter who it is. Even though some guys are missing, we still put the pressure on ourselves no matter what the situation is."
Chiefs Opponent Preview: Get to Know the 2016 San Diego Chargers from Chiefs.com
The San Diego Chargers (0-0) take on the Kansas City Chiefs (0-0) in Sunday's opener at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs took the last matchup against the Chargers on December 13 by the score of 10-3.
Entering this season, the Chargers are aiming to rebound from a disappointing 4-12 season. To help accomplish that, they rehired Ken Whisenhunt, who was let go by the Tennessee Titans this offseason, back to the offensive coordinator position, which he held in 2013.
"It's been a very smooth transition," head coach Mike McCoy said via conference call on Wednesday. "Ken was here obviously in 2013 with us and did a great job there and he was fortunate enough to move on for a little bit and had an opportunity to make some changes this year to bring him back in and so it's been very smooth. The system's in place."
Chiefs vs. Chargers: How to Watch and Listen from Chiefs.com
Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 12p.m. CT on CBS (KCTV5 Local)
Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO.
Chiefs Players Excited to Return to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday from Chiefs.com
"I was telling the (young) guys this morning, 'Wait ‘till you run out of Arrowhead on Sunday,'" veteran receiver
Jeremy Maclinsaid to this talented rookie class. "It's a totally different feeling. It's a totally different vibe and speed. You're going to be opened up to a new world.
"I'm excited about seeing those guys progress—seeing the start of their journey, and hopefully it continues for a long time."
"I already know Arrowhead is going to be shaking," tight end
Travis Kelceadded. "We've been waiting since our first playoff win in forever just to get back on this field and get another shot at running for the title.
"I know (Chiefs Kingdom) is going to be ready and it's just up to us to make sure they're loud and proud like they always are."
What Are the Chances the Chiefs Make the Playoffs? from Chiefs.com
Here are all of Kansas City's FiveThirtyEight projections entering the 2016 season:
Make Playoffs: 69 percent
Win Division: 39 percent
First-round Bye: 29 percent
Win Super Bowl: 9 percent
Red Friday celebration will include concert by ‘American Idol' winner from The Kansas City Star
A "special kickoff party" will be held Friday night at the Power & Light District, starting at 6:45 p.m. Some Chiefs players are expected to be on hand, as well as the team's cheerleaders, KC Wolf and the Chiefs' Rumble Drum Line. A concert with Trent Harmon, who won this year's "American Idol," will be held at 8 p.m.
"Red Friday is a special day for the Chiefs Kingdom every year, and this year, we are proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the great tradition started by my father Lamar," Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said in a news release. "For the last 25 years, Red Friday has united our community as fans throughout the Chiefs Kingdom come together to benefit a tremendous cause and celebrate the return of Chiefs football to Arrowhead. We look forward to another great event leading up to our home opener next Sunday."
Kansas City Star Video: Chiefs gameplan: Chargers at Chiefs, Week 1 preview
Chiefs' Spencer Ware is the thunder to Charcandrick West's lightning from The Kansas City Star
Yet the two stewards of the Chiefs' running game (in Charles' stead) also look at each other as friends. Both are former practice-squad players at the same position who were called on to help save the team last year following a miserable 1-5 start and an injury to their team's best offensive player. There's a shared camaraderie in that.
"We're both young guys and for us to come in and have the little success we're having right now, it's pretty good," West said. "We feed off each other. If I go out there and see him pounding, pounding, pounding and then they come in with me, it's a switch up on the defense. Now I can go run routes. I feel like we complement each other. It's crazy, the situation, how it all happened.
"I mean, we started the season on the practice squad. To be here now is crazy."
Here are some notes of interest on how the Chiefs split the work without Charles last season:
-The Chiefs favored West as they neared the opponent's goal line. West got 69 snaps with the Chiefs inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Ware was in for 22 such plays. West got 27 snaps with the Chiefs inside the 10, Ware 11.
-The Chiefs played just one game in which the snaps were split almost equally. That was in the final regular-season game against the Oakland Raiders. Otherwise, including in the two playoff games, one back got about twice as many snaps -- or more -- as the other.
Chris Conley relying on experience to breakout in second season from Chiefs Digest
Conley said he found it difficult as a rookie to approach Smith at first.
"Initially, yeah, because you know who he is, you know the success he has had in this league and you want to respect him and respect that," he explained. "But then at some point, he really does a great job of breaking down those walls. He came to me first. He made it a lot easier getting that connection started."
In his second season, however, Conley said he's more comfortable telling Smith what he sees in defenses, and in turn Smith appears to have more confidence in Conley.
I"I think this year he's willing to give me some more opportunities and I've been thankful for that," Conley said. "It's really been me communicating back with him what I see out there, the way I'm running these routes, and he's been giving some great balls and some great looks."
Derrick Johnson confident Chiefs will survive Justin Houston's absence from The Kansas City Star
"I think we should have enough pieces around our defense to get pressure," linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "And we put pressure on ourselves knowing we have to pick up the slack."
That's what occurred last season. After starting 1-5, the Chiefs had evened their record when they met the Bills. They had momentum but the season could have turned either way after Houston was injured in the first quarter.
But the Chiefs kept winning, and remained strong on defense. Two weeks after losing Houston, his replacement, Dee Ford, turned in the best game of his career with three sacks and a critical pass breakup against the Chargers. Ford will get the start in Houston's place on Sunday.
Chiefs' Tamba Hali misses practice for personal reasons from The Kansas City Star
Running back Jamaal Charles was listed as a limited participant with cornerback Phillip Gaines (knee) and running back Charcandrick West (elbow) as full participants.
Week 1: Thursday injury report from Chiefs Digest
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Did not participate in practice: None
Limited participation: WR Keenan Allen (not injury related/rest), CB Jason Merrett (calf)
Full participation: G D.J. Fluke (ankle)
Chiefs look to break home-opener losing pattern from The Kansas City Star
The Chiefs have lost two straight home openers and four of their last five. Three of those losses came in the first game. Last year, the Chiefs won at Texas and fell to the Broncos in the home opener.
The only victory in that span came in 2013, when coach Andy Reid opened his Chiefs tenure with nine straight victories.
But there are no locker-room football history majors among the Chiefs.
"After we got them and we got to see them practice, I remember thinking, ‘Hey, these are pretty good football players,' " defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. "For that many guys to come in and be involved that soon and then really make some major contributions to our team for an extended period has been really impressive."
Cooper and McGrath in particular played a lot that first season with the Chiefs, in 2013. But the Chiefs were content to be patient with the others, Howard and Parker in particular. Howard played in just three games that season and Parker played mostly on special teams.
Those two may have eventually become productive players for the Seahawks, but the Chiefs were the ones willing to wait for it to happen.
Chiefs are confident in their youthful cornerback corps from The Associated Press via FS Kansas City
The most experienced cornerback on the Kansas City Chiefs' roster is entering his third year in the NFL.
The best of them is entering his second.
In other words, the eyes of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers should light up when he steps inside Arrowhead Stadium for the season opener Sunday. He's coming off a 4,800-yard season with plenty of production coming against defensive backs who have been through the professional grind.
"Obviously, we're not optimistic right now," Telesco said. "It truly is a day-to-day injury. It's a minor hamstring, and our goal is to make sure it doesn't turn into something long-term."
Telesco went onto say the Chargers have been preparing other players to perform in Bosa's absence since the Ohio State product remained unsigned at the start of training camp on July 29.
This top Bolts draftee will face Chiefs from The San Diego Union-Tribune
A hamstring injury will sideline top Chargers draftee Joey Bosa in the season opener Sunday, but the team's actions show that another rookie whom Tom Telesco graded as a first-round talent, Hunter Henry, will play a big role against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Henry worked with San Diego's first unit throughout training camp and in the preseason.
Bolts offensive coordinator and former NFL tight end Ken Whisenhunt has treated Henry, 21, like he's an NFL veteran. He deployed him at traditional tight end, slot receiver and blocking back.
Henry performed numerous tasks at an adequate or better level, in both practices and the exhibitions.
The San Diego Union-Tribune Video: Pagano talks defending the run and turnovers
1. Rivers has passed for 5,157 yards versus the Chiefs, his highest total against any opponent.
2. The Chargers averaged just 240.5 yards in two games against the Chiefs last season, more than 130 below their average.
3. Chiefs LB Tamba Hali has recorded nine sacks in his last 10 games against the Chargers.
PREDICTION: Chiefs 27, Chargers 17
There's no harder week than Week 1, but let's dive right into it, with an open mind, unlike those Chiefs and Ravens fans who won't forgive me for thinking their teams finish in last place this year.
Chargers +6.5 at Chiefs -- Hey, Chiefs fans! Look, Kansas City has built something nice and steady under Andy Reid. They've developed a lot of quality players on both sides of the ball. But they ripped off 10 wins last year against a cake schedule and have a lot of injured guys to start the season. I can't fathom why they're giving nearly an entire touchdown to Philip Rivers and crew. Give me the points. Chargers win this one, too.
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-7), Sunday, September 11, 1:00 p.m. EST
No Jamaal Charles, no problem. Kansas City will pick up where they left off in the 2016 regular season: Playing sound, mistake-free football and beating up lesser teams. THE PICK: Chiefs.
These are the 4 best NFL bets to make in Week 1 from For The Win
Underdog bet: Chargers +250 v. CHIEFS
For the last few years, the Chargers have been pretty good in the first month of the season, when injuries haven't yet taken their yearly toll on the team and Philip Rivers' entire body hasn't turned to mush. They'll be at full strength on Sunday; the same can't be said for Kansas City. The Chiefs will be without their best defensive player Justin Houston, and if the defense can't get pressure with a standard four-man rush, Rivers will tear it apart. No quarterback is better at recognizing blitz before the snap and adjusting accordingly. The Chargers win outright in a high-scoring game.
In Omaha, "Chiefs Kingdom" flags flags will be sold for $5 at more than 40 locations, including Omaha/Council Bluffs metropolitan-area Hy-Vee stores, Hy-Vee Gas locations and City of Omaha Community Centers.
Gas sale locations will begin at 5 a.m. and grocery sale locations will begin at 3:00 p.m. Net proceeds from the sale of those flags will benefit the Omaha Parks Foundation.
From KC Wolf to Warpaint to cheerleaders, the Ronald McDonald house was a packed house as well-known members of the Chiefs Kingdom visited families who are staying at the home.
The Ronald McDonald House is the beneficiary of Red Friday. All money made from flags sold on Friday will help support the organization.
Craving chocolate bacon pizza? Get your fix at Arrowhead from The Kansas City Business Journal
Arrowhead officials want to entice fans with much more than new concession offerings, however. They're focused on boosting the number of non-football events year-round. During a previous interview, Chiefs President Mark Donovan told the Kansas City Business Journal that he wants Arrowhead to "be a place where the community could gather and celebrate, whether it's football, soccer or other events. We're working hard on that vision."
MEET CAIRO SANTOS, THE BRAZILIAN NFL PLAYER from Plus55
In the beginning of the 2000s, football was a niche sport, and there was only one competition: the Carioca Bowl. It was a beach version, with no pads or adapted rules. Over the last decade, however, the popularity of the sport has exploded. 120 teams across the country, most of them amateur, are now playing the game with the oval-shaped ball. The first national competition to require the official equipment (helmets, pads, uniforms) was the Touchdown Tournament created in 2009. Today, there are three national leagues.
American football was rapidly professionalized in Brazil, especially when traditional Brazilian football teams like Flamengo and Vasco started to invest in the sport, bringing in players from the United States. The new National Superleague consists of 31 teams across 17 states. As with the NFL, teams are divided into divisions with a regular season and playoffs. The final, the Brasil Bowl, will be played on December 17.
Chiefs Address Efficiency Issue -- With 2 Offensive Coordinators from The PostGame
Smith said the issues in New England occurred for several reasons. In his third year in the same offense, the playbook and two-minute options had continued to expand. Injuries to receivers, including Jeremy Maclin, left Kansas City with Conley, Albert Wilson and Jason Avant as their primary receivers during a long drive.
"Those guys got gassed after the game," Smith said. "On the road, a playoff game, injuries, your numbers are down, young guys are in, it all just kind of piled up ... some inefficiencies kind of showed."
The Chiefs-Patriots game, though, was not the first time a Reid-coach team has been criticized for running an inefficient two-minute offense during a crucial game.
Ranked: The 10 Best NFL Head Coaches from Epoch Times
9. Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs
Reid was installed as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles back in 1999 and—despite being let go by Philadelphia following the 2012 season—hasn't taken a year off since. The former Green Bay Packers assistant (1992-98) now has ten 10-win seasons under his belt and 11 playoff appearances in all. During his 14-year run in Philly, Reid had just three losing seasons and won six division titles as well as an NFC championship. In three seasons with the Chiefs, he's 31-17 with a pair of playoff appearances.
Muslim Players To Watch This NFL Season from Muslim Matters
In 2012, when Abdullah was playing for the Minnesota Vikings and his older bother Hamza was playing defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals, the two of them took the season off to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and then tour the U.S. visiting mosques and Islamic centers. Husain made his way back to the NFL, signing with the Chiefs the following season. Hamza (who served as a pallbearer at Muhammad Ali's funeral) hasn't played in the NFL since going to Mecca.
It seemed whenever the national media wanted to run a story on Muslims who play football, or Muslim American athletes who observe the Ramadan fast, or any other story in which Islam and sports crossed paths, Husain Abdullah was one of the first athletes they called.
Now that he has retired, who is the NFL's most prominent Muslim player?