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Brand tops Deterding in Bob Kuhn Classic -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Tiger wrestling falls short of No. 3 UNK -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

No. 17 Tigers dominate No. 4 Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

FHSU men fall short of Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Friday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/25/2015, 2:45 PM

-1/25/2015, 2:00 PM

TMP girls use overtime for semifinal win -1/24/2015, 3:13 PM

Young key in Indians' semifinal win -1/24/2015, 1:22 PM

Defense lifts TMP boys to MCL title game -1/24/2015, 12:27 PM

HHS wrestling picks up dual win -1/23/2015, 10:31 AM

Finney takes step toward NFL -1/23/2015, 10:31 AM

Indians pick up first-round win -1/23/2015, 10:22 AM

K-State agrees to series with Vandy -1/23/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women win 16th straight -- Pitt State next -1/23/2015, 10:13 AM

Huge second half fuels Tigers -1/23/2015, 10:13 AM

Shockers roll past Missouri State -1/22/2015, 10:14 AM

KSU at Sporting Park? -1/22/2015, 10:14 AM

GCCC women's team involved in crash -1/22/2015, 10:14 AM

Tiger wrestling wins at home -1/22/2015, 10:33 AM

TMP girls survive and advance in MCL -1/21/2015, 11:36 AM

Choices for HHS swimmer -1/21/2015, 11:27 AM

Dodge City upends HHS girls -1/21/2015, 10:33 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/21/2015, 10:15 AM

Cyclones outlast Kansas State -1/21/2015, 10:06 AM

Tiger women enter Top 25 -1/20/2015, 2:31 PM

KBCA rankings, Jan. 18 -1/20/2015, 10:18 AM

Kansas State ready for first-place battle with ISU -1/20/2015, 10:17 AM

Bill Self hopes President Obama will meet with team -1/20/2015, 10:17 AM

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Kubiak to Broncos -1/19/2015, 10:09 AM

Patriots run all over Colts to reach Super Bowl -1/19/2015, 10:09 AM

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Tuesday

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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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