Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Chiefs Hoping Continuity and Stability Lead to Success

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Chiefs Hoping Continuity and Stability Lead to Success

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs rank as one of the youngest teams in the NFL, yet one of the team's biggest strengths may be its continuity, with a group of veteran leaders bringing together a talented young core ready to tackle the new season.

Quarterback Alex Smith says the team has confidence and an understanding that only comes with time and coaching.

"I think that comes with being in a system for longer," Smith said. "I think that guys do see the bigger picture, don't have the tunnel vision just on their assignment or their line on the paper, really kind of understanding what we're doing."

Smith, a 12-year NFL veteran entering his fourth season at the helm of the Chiefs offense, is among the key group of veterans the Chiefs believe can help their young squad mature quickly.

Jeremy Maclin leads a young wide receiver corps that includes two rookies, fourth-round pick Demarcus Robinson and fifth-round draft pick Tyreek Hill.

Maclin spent the offseason in Kansas City with two of his fellow receivers, third-year pro Albert Wilson and second-year receiver Chris Conley. This year marks the first time the Chiefs have returned their top three receivers in yards from the previous season since Smith and Reid arrived in Kanas City in 2013.

Maclin said the key step to learning the Chiefs' offense is understanding everyone's role, not just your own.

"We have open lines of communication," Maclin said of his chemistry with Smith. "It kind of helps when we think alike as well."

The offensive line does have two new faces -- right tackle Mitchell Schwartz and rookie left guard Parker Ehinger. But the same starting group has played together since the spring, which left tackle Eric Fisher says is a plus.

"We've had to shuffle a lot of guys around the last few years," Fisher said. …

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