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Reid, Chiefs look to Royals for inspiration

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KANSAS CITY — Coach Andy Reid never fails to mention the successful performances of the Kansas City Royals when he speaks with the K.C. media. Some six hours ahead of the deciding Game No. 5 between the Royals and Houston Astros in the ALDS, Reid again mentioned the Chiefs’ neighbor at the Truman Sports Complex and used a word that may have been directed more at his team.

“The job they did the other night (a come-from-behind victory over the Astros in Houston), definitely a lot of grit there,” said Reid. “It’s a great example for all of us. We can all take a little bit from that.”

With four consecutive loses, the Chiefs have been blown out twice and in the other two games blown fourth quarter leads. There’s a real question of the team’s grit level as the Chiefs slid to a 1-4 record. The Royals were down 6-2 at the start of the eighth inning, but scored five runs in the inning without a home run and eventually won the game 9-6.

“They played their hearts out; that was obvious to all of us,” Reid said of the Royals. “In the business of competitive sports in America, it’s about winning games and finding ways to do that. That was a nice example there.”

–The opportunities for the No. 2 back with the Chiefs offense so far this season have been dominated by Charcandrick West and not Knile Davis. The third-year running back has touched the ball only 12 times in five games. In his first two seasons, Davis averaged seven touches a game working behind Jamaal Charles.

With Charles out, it would appear that the opportunities for the former third-round draft choice out of the University of Arkansas should increase.

“I’ve just been patient and staying ready,” Davis said of his personal outlook over the last month. “Andy (Reid) and coach E.B. (Eric Bieniemy, running backs coach), made sure I was good and I was staying ready for when my number is called.

“It’s tough, especially when you put a lot of work into it. At the same time, you sometimes have to sacrifice for the betterment of the team. That’s where I was. Now, I’ve got an opportunity to play, so I’m excited.”

While Reid has said he has confidence in Davis, one of the reasons his offensive snaps have diminished may be his role in the passing game. In two seasons, Davis showed inconsistent hands and was a liability if forced into a pass protection role. He says he’s worked very hard at improving in those areas.

“I work on it every day,” Davis said. “When I’m on the field, I really focus in. When I first came into the league, it was like Chinese, trying to read and figure out where people were coming from (on the pass rush. Now, I’ve got a good idea where they’re coming from and that makes a big difference.”

NOTES: Inside linebacker ILB Josh Mauga (groin) did not participate in the Chiefs’ practice on Wednesday, an indication that he might miss his second consecutive game. Mauga left the field early in the game against Cincinnati and has not worked on the field since. … Nose tackle Dontari Poe (ankle) came out of the Chiefs’ game against Chicago because of a high ankle sprain and he did not practice on Wednesday. Poe suffered the injury in the third quarter, but played on and did not receive treatment after the game. But he woke up Monday morning with a swollen ankle and appears to be questionable for this weekend’s game against Minnesota. … Outside linebacker Justin Houston came into the 2015 season with sacks in his previous six games. Houston expanded that to eight games at the start of the schedule, but has gone three straight games without a sack as the Chiefs’ pass rush has dried up with only three sacks in the last three games. Since the 2013 season, Houston has not gone more than three games without a sack. … Tight end Travis Kelce has not been producing the types of numbers expected of him in the Chiefs offense this season. In five games, Kelce has 24 receptions for 328 yards and two touchdown. In K.C.’s last two games, Kelce has caught eight passes for 84 yards, and he’s not been in the end zone since scoring twice in the opener against Houston.


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