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2014 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS FOOTBALL PREVIEW

July 15, 2014
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



2014 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS FOOTBALL PREVIEW

Kansas City Chiefs (1974 - Pres)

HEAD COACH: ANDY REID, 11 – 5 at KANSAS CITY

CAREER RECORD: 141 – 98 – 1

OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: DOUG PEDERSON

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: BOB SUTTON

SCORING: 26.9

RUSHING: 128.5

PASSING 208.8

TOTAL OFFENSE: 337.2

SCORING DEFENSE: 19.1

RUSHING: 120.2

PASSING: 247.6

TOTAL DEFENSE: 367.8

INTERCEPTIONS: 21

SACKS: 47

TURNOVER MARGIN: +18

Kansas City Chiefs (1972 - Pres)

The Kansas City Chiefs made a huge turnaround from 2012 going 2 – 14, to 11 – 5 in 2013. So what was the reason for the vast improvement? Kansas City fixed the two most important areas in pro football, coaching and quarterback. The Chiefs hired Andy Reid as their head coach and acquired Alex Smith as their quarterback. One other huge key for their turnaround, is they stayed healthy. Smith became more steady and consistent under the direction of offensive coordinator Doug Pederson. Kansas City started the season with nine straight wins and became the first team in the modern era to begin a season with nine victories after winning two or fewer games the previous season.

Kansas City’s offense went from a predominantly run scheme to more of a passing attack after the coaching staff restructured the roster. It all started by acquiring Smith from San Francisco for two second-round selections. Smith threw for 3313 yards, 23 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Smith also became a dual threat quarterback after rushing for 431 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Smith is expected to be even better in 2014 now that he has a season underneath his belt in this system.

One player who benefited from all the changes was running back Jamaal Charles. Charles led Kansas City in rushing and receiving as the Chiefs used him in the backfield, the slot and as a wideout. They did lose running back Dexter McCluster to free agency but drafted Oregon running back the De’Anthony Thomas to fill that void. The receiving corps will include veteran Dwayne Bowe who had 57 receptions for 673 yards and five touchdowns, representing his worst numbers in his NFL career. Donnie Avery returns as the other starting receiver after having 40 receptions for 596 yards and two scores last season. Avery averaged a team best 14.9 yards per reception. Junior Hemingway and AJ Jenkins will also be in the mix. Coach Reid counts a lot on the production of his tight ends including Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce and both are healthy heading into the 2014 season.

The line will look much different in 2014 after losing three starters to free agency including left tackle Branden Albert. Eric Fisher is expected to take over at left tackle after having an injury plagued and inconsistent rookie season. Donald Stephenson will now be penciled in at right tackle with Jeff Allen at left guard, Rodney Hudson at center and former Colts lineman Jeff Linkenbach expected to start at right guard.

Kansas City went from a passive defense in 2012 to more of an aggressive, attacking defense in 2013 and the difference was night and day. The core of the defense remains in place including nose tackle Dontari Poe, linebacker Derrick Johnson and safety Eric Berry. Poe became one of the top every – down lineman and was one of the top run stoppers in the NFL. Johnson is one of the steadier tacklers in pro football and Barry may stay at strong safety or move to free safety to replace free-agent Kendrick Lewis. The coaching staff wants to see what second-year DB Sanders Commings can do after being hurt his entire rookie season with a broken collarbone. The Chiefs re-signed Husain Abdullah and will give him a long look at free safety. Outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali were among the best in the NFL in getting to the quarterback combining 422 sacks. Their production would been higher if not for injuries that sidelined them for a significant amount of time in the second half of the season. To provide more depth at linebacker, Kansas City drafted Dee Ford out of Auburn. Joining Barry and Abdullah in the secondary will be CB’S Marcus Cooper and Sean Smith. Rookie Philip Gaines out of Rice was drafted in the third round and is expected to be in the rotation along with backups Brandon Flowers, Jerron McMillian and Ron Parker.

What Kansas City accomplished last year by winning 11 games surpassed everyone’s expectations especially because they did it so quickly. The offense should be better now that Smith and Charles have a year in the system and the defense will improve his long as the linebackers stay healthy. It will be interesting to see how Kansas City responds to losing three starters on their offensive line and how the team will play with a brutal 2014 schedule which will include road games at Denver, San Francisco, San Diego, Arizona and Pittsburgh. Kansas City will play at home against New England, Seattle, Denver and San Diego.

Kansas City Chiefs (1988 - Pres)

2014 CHIEFS SCHEDULE PREVIEW:

The Kansas City Chiefs will be featured in four nationally televised games, including three in regular season play. Kansas City will take on the New England Patriots on ESPN’s Monday Night Football in Week Four and then have back-to-back nationally televised contests in Weeks 12 and 13, when they travel to Oakland for a Thursday night contest against the Raiders, followed by a Sunday night matchup vs. the Denver Broncos on NBC. This season will mark the fifth-consecutive year the Chiefs have held at least one primetime contest. The last time Kansas City held three nationally televised games was in 2010.

 

 

“We always look forward to the schedule coming out,” Head Coach Andy Reid said. “This allows us to get started preparing for our opponents in the order we play them. Today is really about our fans. There is no question that Chiefs Kingdom will be fired up, come September.”

Kansas City’s schedule features seven games against five playoff teams from the 2013 season, including the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. The club’s 2014 opponents boasted a combined record of 117-91 (.563) last season.

The Chiefs begin their 2014 slate at Arrowhead Stadium vs. the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 7. The club will then travel to Denver to face the division-rival Broncos on Sept. 14, followed by a trip to Miami for its second-consecutive road contest on Sept. 21.

After facing the Patriots on Monday Night Football, Chiefs QB Alex Smith will make his return to San Francisco to face his former squad on Sunday, Oct. 5. The club has its Bye Week in Week Six, then travels to San Diego to take on the Chargers on Oct. 19.

The Chiefs then return to Arrowhead Stadium to meet the St. Louis Rams on Oct. 26 in the Missouri Governor’s Cup matchup, with their cross-state rival. After contests vs. the Jets and at Buffalo, the Chiefs face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Nov. 16. Kansas City travels to Arizona after back-to-back divisional matchups in Oakland and then vs. the Broncos.

On Dec. 14, the Oakland Raiders will visit Arrowhead. The Chiefs are looking to repeat the sweep of the Raiders, after defeating them twice in 2013. In Week 16, Kansas City will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, before closing out its regular season slate at home vs. the Chargers on Dec. 28.

Season ticket memberships are available now for as low as $250 per year. Single-game tickets, partial plan packages and group ticket sales information will be released at a later date.

New this season, flexible scheduling may be applied in Weeks 5-10 in addition to Weeks 11-17. During that period, flexible scheduling can be used in no more than two weeks by shifting a Sunday afternoon game into primetime and moving the Sunday night game to an afternoon start time.

A select number of games are being “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences.

Kansas City Chiefs (1988 - Pres)

 

2014 DRAFT REVIEW FROM KCCHIEFS.COM

Breakdown of the Chiefs rookie class

Rookie Mini Camp and Phase III of OTAs wrapped up last week and many were impressed with the newest additions to the Chiefs. The team added some playmakers and quality depth to the roster last month and finally got to see them in action during the past few weeks of practices.

Perhaps most impressive was first-round draft pick, Dee Ford. Head coach Andy Reid commented on Ford’s talent, highlighting his quickness and athletic ability.

“It looks like he’s really spent a lot of time learning,” Reid said. “It’s a new position for him. I think he’s done a great job of jumping in the books and learning the drops and the things that you need to do with the pass coverage. That’s not an easy thing with all the combination things that we do. I’m happy with what he’s done there.”

Reid also noted Ford’s intangibles, describing him as “off the charts.”

“He brings a lot of energy,” Reid said. “He loves playing the game. Now, he and our quarterback (Aaron Murray) have competed against each other for the last four years and they get after each other out there, so it’s kind of fun to watch.”

Ford and Murray met a few times in college, including a November 16, 2013 game when Auburn beat Georgia 43-38. Ford was almost unstoppable that game, recording six quarterback pressures and a strip-sack takedown of Murray.

When Ford was asked about the matchup against Murray he responded, “I’m going to let you Google that. Come back to me. Yeah, we had some fun.”

While at Georgia, Murray completed 62.3 percent of his passes over his career for 13,166 yards, according to CBSSports.com. He left Georgia with SEC career records for completions (921), passing yards (13,166) and touchdown passes (121). Additionally, he became the first quarterback in SEC history to throw for 3,000 yards in four straight seasons.

Chiefs Assistant Director of College Scouting, Dom Green, noted Murray’s athleticism and leadership.

“Aaron was a phenomenal leader at Georgia,” Green said. “He’s been a four?year starter. He’s the type of guy that his teammates rally around and kind of gravitate towards. Just an overall competitive player and a guy that 67 percent of all his passes he’s completed. He did a really good job for them."

Along with Ford and Murray, the Chiefs also selected Oregon RB De’Anthony Thomas with the 124th overall pick in the fifth-round. Due to the quarter system at Oregon, Thomas was able to attend Rookie Mini Camp but missed OTAs. Thomas doesn’t consider it a setback, however, and says he’ll continue to learn and work from afar.

“I feel like I still have to be a student to the game, so I have to study and keep working hard and keep training and just wait for my turn to get back to this field,” Thomas noted.

CB Phillip Gaines, OL Zach Fulton and OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff are also among the newest additions. Gaines is a two-time All-CUSA selection who set a school career record by breaking up 38 passes in his career and closed his career by recovering a fumble to set up a touchdown and breaking up two passes in the Liberty Bowl.

Fulton played in 47 games, including 40 of last 43 games dating to 2010 at right guard. Duvernay-Tardiff was a third-year medical student, a two-time All-Canadian tackle from St. Hilaire, Quebec, and was only the second offensive lineman in McGill University history to win the Forbes Trophy as McGill University?s male athlete of the year.

Local experts provide their opinion on the 2014 Chiefs draft class, breaking down the group’s strengths and potential for the upcoming season.

Kansas City Chiefs (1974 - Pres)


2014 ROSTER:

 

Active

 

#NamePos.Ht.Wt.AgeExp.College
39 Abdullah, Husain DB 6-0 204 28 5 Washington State
71 Allen, Jeff OL 6-4 307 24 2 Illinois
4 Anthony, Deon WR   0     Troy
17 Avery, Donnie WR 5-11 200 30 5 Houston
97 Bailey, Allen DE 6-3 288 25 3 Miami (Fla.)
40 Baker, James FB 6-2 228     Idaho
29 Berry, Eric S 6-0 211 25 4 Tennessee
82 Bowe, Dwayne WR 6-2 221 29 7 LSU
9 Bray, Tyler QB 6-6 215 22 0 Tennessee
41 Bronson, Malcolm DB 5-11 192 24 0 McNeese State
38 Campbell, Jordan FB 5-11 240 26 0 New Mexico Highlands
77 Catapano, Mike DE 6-4 270 23 R Princeton
25 Charles, Jamaal RB 5-11 199 27 6 Texas
2 Colquitt, Dustin P 6-3 210 32 9 Tennessee
26 Commings, Sanders DB 6-0 223 24 R Georgia
31 Cooper, Marcus CB 6-2 192 24 R Rutgers
98 Cudjo, Jermelle DT 6-2 304 27 5 Central Oklahoma
10 Daniel, Chase QB 6-0 225 27 4 Missouri
34 Davis, Knile RB 5-10 227 22 R Arkansas
70 DeVito, Mike DE 6-3 305 30 7 Maine
13 Dressler, Weston WR 5-8 179 29 0 North Dakota
76 Duvernay-Tardif, Laurent OT 6-5 315 23 0 McGill (Canada)
80 Fasano, Anthony TE 6-4 255 30 8 Notre Dame
72 Fisher, Eric OT 6-8 305 23 0 Central Michigan
55 Ford, Dee LB 6-2 243 23 0 Auburn
73 Fulton, Zach OG 6-5 323 22 0 Tennessee
66 Furr, DeRon LB   0     Fort Valley State
43 Gafford, Thomas LS 6-2 250 31 6 Houston
23 Gaines, Phillip CB 6-1 185   0 Rice
81 Gordon, Richard TE 6-4 268 27 3 Miami (Fla.)
62 Gottschalk, Ben C 6-5 293     SMU
32 Gray, Cyrus RB 5-10 206 24 2 Texas A&M
91 Hali, Tamba LB 6-3 275 30 8 Penn State
75 Hamilton, Dominique DT 6-5 315 25 1 Missouri
85 Hammond, Frankie WR 6-1 185 24 R Florida
47 Harris, Demetrius TE 6-7 230   R UW-Milwaukee
22 Harrison, Mark WR 6-3 235 23 0 Rutgers
88 Hemingway, Junior WR 6-1 225 25 1 Michigan
65 Henry, Ricky OG 6-4 310 26 3 Nebraska
45 Highsmith, Alonzo OLB 6-0 240 24 0 Arkansas
50 Houston, Justin LB 6-3 258 25 3 Georgia
96 Howard, Jaye DT 6-3 301 25 2 Florida
67 Hudson, Otis G 6-5 330 27 2 Eastern Illinois
61 Hudson, Rodney C 6-2 299 25 3 Florida State
89 Jackson, Jerrell WR 6-0 192 24 1 Missouri
15 Jenkins, A.J. WR 6-0 200 24 2 Illinois
59 Johnson, Ben LB 6-1 234   0 Tennessee-Martin
56 Johnson, Derrick LB 6-3 242 31 9 Texas
52 Johnson, James-Michael LB 6-1 240 24 2 Nevada
57 Johnson, Nico LB 6-2 249 24 R Alabama
75 Johnson, Rishaw G 6-3 313 25 2 California (PA)
24 Jones, Brandon DB 6-1 187 24 0 Rutgers
30 Kearney, Vernon DB 6-2 185 25 0 Lane
87 Kelce, Travis TE 6-6 260 24 R Cincinnati
59 Kelly, Colin OL 6-5 298   R Oregon State
64 Kush, Eric OL 6-4 313 24 R California (Pa.)
74 Linkenbach, Jeffrey G 6-6 325 27 5 Cincinnati
94 Love, Kyle DT 6-1 315 27 4 Mississippi State
95 Martin, Josh LB/DE 6-3 245 22 R Columbia
53 Mays, Joe ILB 5-11 244 29 7 North Dakota State
84 McGrath, Sean TE 6-5 247 26 2 Henderson State
66 McKee, Ryan T   0     Southern Mississippi
30 McKnight, Joe RB 5-11 205 26 3 USC
34 McMillian, Jerron SS 5-11 203 25 3 Maine
54 Moses, Dezman LB 6-2 249 25 2 Tulane
7 Murray, Aaron QB 6-1 210 23 0 Georgia
20 Owens, Chris CB 5-9 180 27 6 San Jose State
38 Parker, Ron DB 6-0 206 26 3 Newberry
92 Poe, Dontari DT 6-3 346 23 2 Memphis
44 Rogers, Justin CB 5-11 181 26 3 Richmond
22 Rutland, Kevin DB 6-0 193 26 2 Missouri
5 Santos, Cairo K 5-8 160 22 0 Tulane
93 Schwenke, Kona DL 6-4 297     Notre Dame
42 Sherman, Anthony RB 5-10 242 25 3 Connecticut
11 Smith, Alex QB 6-4 217 30 8 Utah
21 Smith, Sean CB 6-3 218 27 5 Utah
49 Sorensen, Daniel S 6-2 208   0 Bringham Young
79 Stephenson, Donald OL 6-6 312 25 2 Oklahoma
6 Succop, Ryan K 6-2 218 27 5 South Carolina
14 Surgent, Darryl WR 6-0 185   0 Louisiana-Lafayette
1 Thomas, De'Anthony RB 5-9 174 21 0 Oregon
27 Van Dyke, David CB 6-0 185   0 Tennessee State
40 Van Dyke, DeMarcus CB 6-1 187   4 Miami
99 Walker, Vance DT 6-2 305 27 6 Georgia Tech
69 Watkins, Rokevious OL 6-3 338 25 2 South Carolina
68 Webb, J'Marcus OT 6-7 333 25 5 West Texas A&M
35 West, Charcandrick RB 5-10 205   0 Abilene Christian
83 Williams, Fred WR 6-0 190     St. Cloud State University
19 Williams, Kyle WR 5-10 186 25 4 Arizona State
8 Wilson, Albert WR 5-9 200   0 Georgia State
51 Zombo, Frank LB 6-3 254 27 4 Central Michigan

 

Waivers/No Recall

 

#NamePos.Ht.Wt.AgeExp.College
67 Alecxih, Chas DT 6-3 304 25 1 Pittsburgh
69 Broussard, Risean DT 6-2 280   R Hinds Junior College
66 Burden, Chandler G 6-4 310 24 1 Kentucky
  Dill, R.J. OT 6-7 310 23 1 Rutgers
  Grissom, Cory DT 6-2 316 24 0 South Florida
44 Kettani, Eric FB 5-11 240 27 1 Navy
12 Ross, Rashad WR 6-0 167 24 0 Arizona State
53 Wilson, Ridge LB/DE 6-4 256   R West Alabama



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