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“The guys who are just getting here, they think they’ve been working but they’re not in football shape. So now they’ve got to try to catch up to the guys who were here early. As soon as we get those guys caught up, everyone will be on equal footing and then we’ll have a chance to make real progress.”

He survived, but 44 others did not. More needed clothing, food and assurances that, during one of the worst tornado seasons in decades, better days lay ahead. Arenas says that instead of wallowing in the uncertainty that follows a tragedy, he decided to go to work. Football could wait, at least for a while.

“Yesterday (Friday) as practice wound down and the heat went up, it was pretty clear to me that when we got to the conditioning portion of practice, you could see a pretty clear difference in the guys that had been here and the guys that were trying to get acclimated like that first group did last week. We are trying to get the entire team in the conditioning area we need to be. We have to make sure that’s not getting pushed to the side.”

The Chiefs were a middle-of-the-pack defense last season, but that was largely because they struggled to get penetration up front. The backfield yielded fewer than 220 yards passing per game, a significant improvement over the previous year, and a big reason why Kansas City went from 30th in total defense in 2009 to 14th last season.

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