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Arrowheadlines: Winning the West will be the toughest it has been in years

Chiefs headlines for Monday, May 9

Denver Broncos vs Kansas City Chiefs, NFL Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The latest

2022 NFL schedule release: Chiefs opponents, previews, full list of teams on regular-season schedule | CBS Sports

Patrick Mahomes has some new offensive weapons for 2022. led by free agent signings JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling at wide receiver and Ronald Jones at running back. The Chiefs also selected wide receiver Skyy Moore in the second round of the NFL Draft and still have All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. On defense, the Chiefs selected cornerback Trent McDuffie and edge rusher George Karlaftis in the first round of the draft. They also signed safety Justin Reid to replace the departed Tyrann Mathieu.

Kansas City has won the AFC West six consecutive times, yet will have its toughest challenge to date in this talented division. The Chiefs will be one of the favorites to go to the Super Bowl once again, but first they’ll have to make it through their 2022 opponents.

Fantasy Football 2022: Stock Up, Stock Down After NFL Draft | Bleacher Report

Stock Up: Skyy Moore, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore had to wait until the draft’s second day to hear his name called from among a loaded receiver class. But that hardly makes Moore a second-rate talent—and after landing in one of the league’s most prolific offenses with the Kansas City Chiefs, the diminutive speedster is a name fantasy managers need to keep in mind.

At 5’10” and 195 pounds, Moore doesn’t have great size for the position. But what he lacks in height, he makes up for with 4.41-second speed and excellent change-of-direction skills.

Cynthia Frelund of NFL.com called Moore’s selection at 54th overall one of the steals of the 2022 draft:

“Moore ranked 23rd overall on my big board ahead of the draft. For the Chiefs to acquire a key player of need 31 selections later is exceptional value, and this pick makes them one of two teams to appear on both my Day 1 and 2 value lists. Pro Football Focus gave Moore a 91.8 receiving grade last season, the second-highest mark in the FBS among receivers. My models compared him to Texans wideout Brandin Cooks, in large part due to his consistency as a route runner. Moore had 262 yards after contact in 2021 (tied for ninth in the FBS, per PFF) and forced 26 missed tackles on receptions (tied for the most in the FBS).”

The Chiefs attempted to address the departure of Tyreek Hill by signing JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who are more proven options in the pros than Moore. Mecole Hardman is still in town as well.

But the opportunity is there for Moore to carve out an early role in Kansas City’s high-octane offense, making him an interesting potential sleeper pick.

Patrick Mahomes, Alex Smith showed how to handle QB transition | Fox Sports

Tannnehill’s response led to some furrowed brows across the NFL landscape, as many argued it was a harsh response from a veteran player who hasn’t had the same career success as someone like Favre or Brady.

A more recent example of a team drafting a young quarterback when an established signal-caller was already in place was in Kansas City. It was just five years ago when the Chiefs selected Patrick Mahomes with the 10th pick. This came one season after Alex Smith led K.C. to an impressive 12-4 regular-season record and an AFC West title.

According to Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, the staff made it clear right away that it wasn’t Smith’s job to groom Mahomes to be the team’s future starter under center.

“I told Alex to go out and have the greatest year you ever had,” said Reid, who joined Colin Cowherd on Friday’s airing of ”The Herd.” ”We told him, ‘You don’t have to teach Pat. We’re here to do that as coaches. You’re here to produce and win games.’”

For this Chiefs rookie, a Mother’s Day story: Cherish your mom, but don’t work for her | Kansas City Star

Don’t get corneback Jaylen Watson wrong. He loves his mother. She an inspiration, a fountain of encouragement for all of his dreams.

“I wanted to be an actor, a rapper, whatever, she was always there to support me,” Watson said. “She’s like my super-woman.”

She also was there for her son when his college football path took an unexpected turn. The first stop for Watson, from his Augusta, Georgia home, was Ventura College, a two-year school in California. He excelled there and signed with USC. But an academic obstacle forced a detour, and Watson returned home.

The plan was to take a year off and regroup. Watson returned to Augusta but couldn’t find a job. Then came the offer from Mom, who was the manager at a local Wendy’s: Come to work for me.

With limited options, the son was added to Mom’s work payroll at $7.25 an hour, and, well ... “I love her to death, but it was terrible,” Watson said.

“You get no breaks from your mom. You go to work, you’re with your mom. You go home, your with your mom. You can’t even talk about work.

“But I still love her.”

Around the NFL

Arrest warrant issued for former All-Pro safety Earl Thomas | ESPN

Court records show the warrant, signed April 27, charges Thomas with a third-degree felony for at least two violations within 12 months of a protective order from May 2021 that stated he could only communicate with the woman through a co-parenting phone app, according to the paper.

Trey Dolezal, who represents Thomas in his ongoing divorce, told the paper that the arrest warrant stems from Thomas reaching out to the woman to see their children. Nina Thomas filed for divorce from Earl Thomas in November 2020.

“They were consciously and collectively working together to see his kids,” Dolezal told the paper. “I don’t really understand how he could be in violation by working together to visit with his children.”

But according to the paper, the woman told police that Thomas recently began threatening her and her children via text, including one message on April 18 informing her that he had just obtained two handguns, and another later that day in which he told her he will “kick [her] ass.”

Commanders WR Jahan Dotson takes Ron Rivera’s advice, attends graduation from Penn State | NFL.com

With rookie minicamp underway, Commanders wide receiver Jahan Dotson didn’t even think of attending his graduation ceremony from Penn State on Saturday.

That’s until head coach Ron Rivera stepped in.

“I was actually ready to skip the graduation and be out here at practice, but (Rivera) said that’s a once-in-a-million type thing,” Dotson said, via pennlive.com. “He was all for me going, and I hadn’t even thought about skipping practice until he brought that up.”

Dotson spent the week preparing for the start of the Commanders’ rookie minicamp on May 6 and the second day of practice was scheduled to coincide with the graduation. The first-round pick was committed to his pro obligations, but the veteran coach was wise to let Dotson live out an experience he will never forget.

Veteran QB Matt Ryan brings ‘a breath of fresh air’ to Indianapolis Colts | ESPN

“A breath of fresh air” is how Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Marcus Brady described having veteran quarterback Matt Ryan as the team’s new starter. Brady was referring to having another voice outside of just the coaching staff during the team’s offseason workouts.

To some, the breath of fresh air could also have meant Carson Wentz’s short stay had officially ended since Ryan is now throwing passes and working with his teammates during workouts.

“You feel him in this building,” Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said of Ryan.

Defensive lineman DeForest Buckner said Ryan reminds him of former teammate Philip Rivers, another veteran who spent most of his career with one team — the Chargers — before ending it with the Colts in 2020.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Rookie Skyy Moore says you can’t stop the Chiefs’ playbook

And as he begins to absorb it, he says he believes there isn’t a better fit for him out there.

“I feel like this is the best system for me,” said Moore. “I’ve figured out that you can’t really stop our playbook. Everything about the plays, there’s a way to attack the defense in every type of play.”

Moore loves the detail provided by Reid and the coaching staff.

“Everything matters, from the split to the route to the leverage of the corners,” explained Moore. “Everything. That’s definitely something [that’s] not new, but more amplified.”

During the NFL Draft, the Chiefs traded back from the 50th overall pick to the 54th overall pick in order to gain a fifth-rounder. Kansas City had to hold its breath as four players went off the board, but no team ahead of it picked Moore.

That allowed the Chiefs to draft him — inserting him into the new-look room led by Mecole Hardman, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

“I feel like the receiving room that I’m walking into has everything,” said Moore, “but I feel like I bring versatility and just another playmaker.”

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