Dave Toub on Demarcus Robinson: "He drives me nuts. He's got to learn to get up the field. He's got a ways to go.— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) August 24, 2021
Post-draft ranking: 1
Person on the hot seat: WR Mecole Hardman
The Chiefs showed a lot of faith in the third-year player, declining to bring in a veteran receiver or draft one in an early round to replace Sammy Watkins. Hardman is first in line to replace Watkins and needs to justify that faith. If he doesn’t respond with a consistent season, one without all the highs and lows of the past two seasons, look for the Chiefs to acquire a receiver next year to join Tyreek Hill as a regular. — Adam Teicher
It should be little surprise, but CBS Sports will have its top broadcast team at Arrowhead Stadium for the Chiefs’ season opener against the Cleveland Browns.
The network announced Tuesday that Jim Nantz will be joined in the booth by Tony Romo with Tracy Wolfson working as sideline reporter for the Chiefs-Browns game that kicks off at 3:25 p.m. on Sept. 12.
Here are the rest of the CBS Sports broadcast teams:
Ian Eagle, Charles Davis and Evan Washburn (reporter)
Kevin Harlan, Trent Green and Melanie Collins (reporter)
Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta and AJ Ross (reporter)
Andrew Catalon and James Lofton
Spero Dedes and Jay Feely
Tom McCarthy and Tiki Barber
Editors note: Remember the last time Romo called the Chiefs vs the Browns?
A rather substantial list of reasons help explain why the Denver Broncos have lost 11 consecutive games to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Begin with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who started his first NFL game against the Broncos to close out the 2017 regular season and has since started two Super Bowls, won a league MVP, a Super Bowl MVP and is three weeks from his 26th birthday. Add coach Andy Reid and wide receiver Tyreek Hill to a list that also includes ill-timed Broncos’ turnovers and Chiefs’ touchdown returns.
But amidst that list, likely nudging his way near the top, is tight end Travis Kelce, who has vexed, exasperated and overwhelmed a growing assortment of Broncos defensive coaches.
While nobody will say it out loud as the Broncos’ preseason rolls into its final week, Kelce is one of the reasons the Broncos have been so intent on getting rookie cornerback Pat Surtain II out of Alabama ready for regular season.
“I mean just his athletic ability,” said Broncos safety Justin Simmons. “As long as we get him lined up in the right spot against the man he has to be on or the zone concept that we have implemented for that game plan he’s going to be great.
A Day 2 pick to the Kansas City Chiefs for G Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
The Cincinnati Bengals have bolstered an offensive line that nearly got 2020 No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow killed last season, but the interior remains a potential problem, and they could use a solid veteran to take some pressure off of underwhelming potential starting guards Michael Jordan, Xavier Su’a-Filo and Quinton Spain.
Duvernay-Tardif could be on the outs with the Chiefs, who signed veteran Joe Thuney and used a second-round draft pick on Creed Humphrey. He’s 30 but, like Solder, could be fresh after a year off.
At the very least, the highly-respected vet would likely be a reliable presence inside, and he brings plenty of experience and playoff pedigree to a rebuilding team.
For Burrow’s sake, that’d be worth a third-round pick if the Chiefs were willing to participate.
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Instead, the Bears will start rookie first-round pick Justin Fields, who Nagy said should play two quarters on Saturday before giving way to third-stringer Nick Foles.
Fields will play with “some, but not all” of the Bears starting offense, according to Nagy.
“I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for Justin and then you know we’ll be selective across the board for the other players as we go but you’re going to see a direction of more kind of like the old school fourth preseason game for that,” Nagy said.
“We just want to see him play hard, play well. The variables are different. He’s not out there — just like Andy hasn’t been out here with some of those one receivers. So, all I want to see from him is just play a good game of football at the quarterback position and again keep the big picture in mind for all of us.”
But in advance of the club’s final tune-up, he did at least acknowledge that rookie Mac Jones can take advantage of it.
“It is, yes,” Belichick conceded, with his usual economy of words, when asked if Sunday’s game against the New York Giants is a big opportunity for his first-round draft pick from Alabama, per NFL Network’s Mike Giardi. Through a misunderstanding of the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols for testing away from club facilities, Newton is being forced into only virtual participation in team activities this week. He’ll return to the team on Thursday, and his five-day absence is only required of unvaccinated players.
Asked if the rules for unvaccinated players could impact his decision-making, Belichick dodged in classic fashion.
“The league rules are the league rules,” the Patriots coach said. “We’ll be compliant with them. Whatever they are, they are.”
The spot became vacated when McCarron — who signed with Atlanta in April — tore his right ACL in the second quarter of Saturday’s preseason game against the Dolphins in Miami, ending his season.
Speaking earlier Monday, Falcons coach Arthur Smith said the team would work out and add a quarterback to compete with Feleipe Franks as the back up to starter Matt Ryan. He was open about the Falcons’ current quarterback quandary.
“It doesn’t mean if we add someone this week, doesn’t mean that we may not add another person next week,” Smith said. “We’ll continue to monitor that.”
The Carolina Panthers and the wide receiver have agreed to terms on a two-year, $29.5 million contract extension, with more than $20 million of that guaranteed, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday, per sources informed of the deal. Carolina later announced the agreement, which runs through the 2023 season.
Undrafted out of Temple University in 2016, Anderson was a more-than-pleasant surprise as a rookie for the New York Jets, starting eight games and making 42 catches. His career took off from there, and the Panthers brought him in prior to last season on a two-year deal for $20 million, with $10 million guaranteed. He responded by posting career highs in starts (16), catches (95) and yards (1,096).
In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride
On Tuesday, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo weighed in on the 26-year-old.
“Those are hard decisions, first of all,” acknowledged Spagnuolo. “Like when I texted him [Monday] — because I didn’t get a chance to see him in the morning, but I had texted him to remember that he helped us win an AFC championship — and sometimes, this happens in the league. But I think more than anything, some of the other guys jumped up and did a nice job. I think what was good, I thought (general manager) Brett (Veach) made a good point: we give Taco a chance to maybe catch on with another team, so I wish him the best.”
For the 53-man roster under Spagnuolo in both 2019 and 2020, the Chiefs have kept 10 defensive linemen. The numbers wedged Charlton out of the mix.
“You got the next group of guys there — you got Demoane (Harris), you got Tim (Ward), you got Josh (Kaindoh). Right? You got a bunch of guys battling for positions.”
Second-year defensive end Mike Danna is another player who has stood out throughout training camp and the preseason.
“I’ve talked about Mike a lot,” added Spagnuolo. “You guys know how I feel about him — his intelligence, his natural ability. I think what coach Daly and Terry Braden do with him is outstanding. I’ve just seen him — you’re talking about a guy that was at Central Michigan that went to Michigan for a year, and he just keeps doing this, and if he can keep doing that, I think he’s going to help us.”
A tweet to make you think
Bieniemy: “We consider the slant route as run game throw.”— Aaron Ladd (@aaronladd0) August 24, 2021