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Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

KVA prep volleybal rankings, Sept. 24 -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS soccer falls at Great Bend -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS takes third at Salina South Invitational -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

No. 8 Washburn too much for Tigers -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Tiger defense continues to get stronger -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Two wins for TMP volleyball -9/24/2014, 10:27 AM

TMP soccer rolls to win -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Ventura dominates Indians as Royals push for postseason -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

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Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
Alex Smith already becoming leader for Chiefs

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Alex Smith already becoming leader for Chiefs

Published on -5/16/2013, 10:30 AM

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- It hasn't taken long for Alex Smith to become the leader of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The weight of the franchise was foisted upon his shoulders from the very second word leaked out that former No. 1 draft pick would be sent from the San Francisco 49ers to the Chiefs during a topsy-turvy offseason.

If he wasn't considered the leader in the huddle then, he certainly is now, as the Chiefs toil away in summer-like heat during the first full week of voluntary practices.

A quick survey of his teammates will confirm it.

"Just watching Steve Young back in the day, he's that kind of guy," wide receiver Dwayne Bowe said Wednesday. "He's not too vocal about it, but when he's in the huddle, he makes his presence known. He's demanding guys speed up -- I mean, I never had a quarterback like that."

It took Smith more than five years in the NFL to adjust to the expectations that come with starting at the game's most glamorous position. But given a fresh chance under a new regime in San Francisco, he thrived during the 2011 season, going 13-3 and leading his team to the playoffs.

He was doing it again last year, too, as the 49ers got off to a 6-2-1 start. But when a concussion forced him from the field, Colin Kaepernick stepped in and emerged as the next big thing in an era of mobile quarterbacks.

Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl as Smith watched from the sideline.

All along, though, Smith handled the adversity with the kind of professionalism that teammates and executives around the league had come to expect. So when Andy Reid was hired as the new coach in Kansas City, and longtime Packers executive John Dorsey came aboard as GM, they made an upgrade at quarterback their priority and targeting Smith their primary mission.

"For me, it's certainly not something to relax about," Smith said, when asked about the comfort of being the clear starting quarterback. "It's you know, full-steam ahead. I'm working as hard as I can, trying to push us as far as we can go."

That sort of leadership has come in handy as the Chiefs learn yet another offense.

"He's a great quarterback, a guy that's mobile, a guy that knows how to read defense and take advantage of mismatches," wide receiver Dexter McCluster said. "He's definitely confident. As a quarterback, you need to be confident. But knowing him, he's never shaken."

Even when everybody on the field seems to be on a different page.

In fact, that may be when Smith is at his best.

Several players have said this week that Reid's offensive system is deeper and more complex than what they've run elsewhere, and picking it up has been a chore. Not even extra time studying the playbook in the evenings has gotten everybody on the same page, as evidence by Reid more than once calling his team back from the line of scrimmage to huddle up and try again.

Yet during these early growing pains, Smith has become a sort of traffic cop, pointing wide receivers and running backs to the right places and adjusting his offensive line's protection.

"He seems to be picking things up fairly easily," Reid acknowledged earlier in the week, adding that Smith has stood out as a "very hard worker, very diligent, and I appreciate that."

His wide receiving corps certainly appreciates it, too.

They've had to make do the past few years with crippling uncertainty at quarterback. Longtime starter Matt Cassel struggled so much that he was ultimately benched last season, and backups such as Brady Quinn and Tyler Palko haven't fared a whole lot better. The result was an offense that failed to put points consistently, one that looked at times haphazard, at times downright disastrous.

That's the void that Smith has stepped into.

Notes

The Chiefs signed FB Braden Wilson, one of their two sixth-round picks, who played college football at Kansas State. The Chiefs now have signed four of their selections. ... OL Donald Stephenson continued to move around on the offensive line, spending time at RG with the first-team offense.

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