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Tigers' Cole earns MIAA soccer honor -9/30/2014, 3:10 PM

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

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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
New-look Chiefs still learning to communicate

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New-look Chiefs still learning to communicate

Published on -8/23/2013, 10:15 AM

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By DAVE SKRETTA

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Alex Smith might as well have been playing Paul Newman's part from the seminal 1967 film "Cool Hand Luke" after the Kansas City Chiefs struggled in a preseason loss to San Francisco.

You know, where Newman -- playing Luke, a young prisoner -- repeats a line delivered by the captain earlier in the movie: "What we've got here," he says, "is a failure to communicate."

Yep, there were plenty of failures to communicate last Friday night.

Smith couldn't get on the same page with his wide receivers. The offensive line may as well have been speaking a different language the way they performed. The collective group was unable to put together a sustained drive all game against the 49ers' salty defense.

Smith was among several players who bemoaned the communication issues afterward. Several others said during practice this week that developing better communication, particularly on the offensive side, has been a priority heading into Saturday night's game in Pittsburgh.

Perhaps it's only natural given the amount of turnover in the roster.

Smith is throwing to a slew of new wide receivers, including A.J. Jenkins, who arrived in a trade with San Francisco just this week. His top two tight ends, Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce, are newcomers to the Chiefs. And he's working behind an offensive line that returns center Rodney Hudson from a season-ending injury and welcomes No. 1 pick Eric Fisher at right tackle.

In fact, just five of the 22 offensive players on the Chiefs' two-deep this week are the same as they were for the final game last year.

Throw in what's basically an entirely new coaching staff trying to install a new offense in a condensed timeframe and it's not surprising that messages get crossed.

"There were a couple plays we had a little communication problem, but you just have to keep doing it," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "There were a couple of plays, and they just have to work through those. That's all part of getting better. You look around and most teams are working that out, figuring that out, and we have to do a better job there, too."

That's especially true along the offensive line.

Even though three starters are back, there is still a perilous lack of experience protecting Smith's hide. Left tackle Branden Albert is entering his sixth season, and that's enough to make him the elder statesman by two years. The five players expected to line up for the opener against Jacksonville on Sept. 8 have a combined 120 starts in just 11 seasons in the league.

"We've got some things we need to fix," said Albert, who was part of the first-team line that allowed Smith to be sacked three times by San Francisco. "We're going to figure this thing out. We got no choice. We have to protect our quarterback to win games."

Part of the reason for many of the problems up front? Miscommunication.

"It's up to the player, the person, how well we jell together," Albert said. "I think guys are fighting every day to do it, but it's a work in progress. Guys are trying, they're working hard. They're listening to their coaches. We're working toward it."

Even the old man of the line is finding it hard, though. He's trying to learn his fourth offense in his sixth season in the NFL, and "probably my hardest one," Albert said.

"But if we get this thing going and do what we're supposed to do, it could be a pretty good one," he said. "There are a lot of nuances; a lot of detailed things on every play that you have to remember. But we're in this together. It's not just me. We're all in this together. We have to work together to get this done. ... I believe we will."

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