1. Reid kicked things off by explaining how long he planned on playing the starters during Saturday’s game.
“I do it by quarterbacks, so Patrick [Mahomes] has the first quarter and then Chad [Henne] has the second quarter, [Kyle] Shurmur the third quarter and Chase [Litton] the fourth quarter,” Reid said. “Then the guys fall in. Everybody will play in the game. The main thing is that we get some of the young guys some playing time. You normally cut down the game plan a little bit for this. Just take some of the simpler plays - the easier plays that you’ve run during camp - and let them go out and play.”
3 Chris Jones
I asked resident NFL Network Scouting Gawd Daniel Jeremiah to rank Jones, Jadeveon Clowney and Leonard Williams as potential free agents. He had the same order as me, proving once again that scouting backgrounds are overrated.
It was Clark’s first-annual backpack drive at Arrowhead Stadium, and from VIP tours of the locker room to Clark’s words of advice, it was an experience that nobody in attendance will soon forget.
“This is the start of something great,” Clark said as kids filed down the line keen on grabbing a new backpack and a shirt. “It’s great just to see the reaction from the kids. That’s really the most humbling part – when you see kids and they show you how appreciative they are. It’s just an honor to be here and to impact their lives.”
2) Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes is a megastar who’s just scratching the surface of his potential. Scary. In his first year as an NFL starter, the guy earned MVP honors after becoming just the second player in league history (joining Peyton Manning) to pass for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in a single season. Somehow, I still think we don’t realize just how ridiculous that is.
What will ace play-caller Andy Reid and Mahomes cook up for an encore this fall? A whole bunch more points. The Chiefs boast the league’s premier home-run hitter (Tyreek Hill) and the best tight end in football (Travis Kelce). Also, when healthy, Sammy Watkins remains a dangerous WR2. The one big question mark exists in the backfield, but Reid continues to express extreme confidence in Damien Williams. For what it’s worth, Williams’ production over K.C.’s two playoff games was pretty darn impressive: 159 rushing yards, 91 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
In a crowded group of wide receivers that includes Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson, and rookie Mecole Hardman, Thompson knows he has to stand out in any way possible, and one of those avenues may be on special teams.
“I have to do anything I can especially showing my value on special teams — in all four phases with punt, punt return, kickoff, and kick return,” Thompson said. “I just have to be as versatile as I can and go out there and do everything they ask of me and do it to the best of my ability. I have to go out there and make my presence felt. I love playing receiver, but I know I have to be out there on special teams. I don’t mind it. I’ve made a lot of plays out there. I have to go out there with energy, and that will transition into a role on offense.”
Saquon Barkley is no Pat Mahomes.
Barkley, the New York Giants running back, proved this recently at preseason camp in East Rutherford, N.J., by trying a no-look pass and promptly pegging an assistant coach in the head.
Around the league
When University of Illinois star Red Grange joined the NFL in 1925, a deal scandalously planned while he was still playing in college, he drew scorn from those in college football. Not only was professional football considered barbarian, it was thought to be a lesser version of the sport. Indeed, the NFL champion played a yearly exhibition game in August against a team of college all-stars in Chicago, starting in 1934. The college players won six of the first 17 games and there were two ties.
The 29-year-old had been the Lions’ top reserve receiver during training camp, according to reporters in Detroit. Instead of shining in that role to get his career back on track, Kearse will spend 2019 in rehab after the brutal injury.
New York’s jerseys, named “Take Flight” by the organization, are the fifth different jersey the Jets have worn after breaking into the American Football League in 1960. The new jersey is similar to the jersey the Jets wore from 1978-97. New York’s current logo is extremely similar to the one that was used by the team during that period.
After a disastrous 1-15 season in 1996, the Jets’ brass decided that a new brand was needed. In 1998, New York decided to go retro, paying homage to the 1968 championship team by wearing a version of their jersey. The retros gave the Jets some immediate good mojo, as New York -- with Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcels on the sideline -- went 12-4 that season and making a run to the AFC Championship Game.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
The Chiefs are adding free agent Morris Claiborne on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with another $1.5 million in incentives, barring a physical to come on Friday. Claiborne has been suspended for the first four games of 2019 for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy — so he won’t be available Week 1 — but he offers something at a position that Chiefs fans had some hand-wringing about.
The 29-year-old cornerback started his career with the Dallas Cowboys before signing two consecutive one-year deals with the New York Jets the past two years. He was injured late in the year in 2018, and the Jets let him become a free agent yet again. His pending suspension — with the appeal rejected just this week — and injury questions likely left him on the market this late in the offseason, but he’ll be another veteran add to the Chiefs cornerback room.
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