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“It was kind of a no-brainer for us with the situation we were in, first and foremost from a depth standpoint,” coach Todd Haley said. “Once the decision was made that Matt (Cassel) was going to be lost for the season, there was no other option as far as we could see.”

Orton didn’t arrive in Kansas City in time to practice with his teammates Thursday. Haley, who said he had spoken with Orton over the phone, indicated Orton would join the Chiefs today.

“He had a couple of personal things he had to attend to,” Haley said.

“Helping to feed the hungry of Kansas City is a cause that’s very important for the Chiefs Family and my family,” noted Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt. “Unfortunately, far too many individuals in our community are worrying about where their next meal is going to come from. One out of every five people face the daunting choice of paying for basic services or feeding their family. That’s a decision that they shouldn’t have to make. We hope that we can do our part to make that choice easier and also bring awareness about hunger right here in our local community.”

Perhaps the most stunning loss during the slide was a 27-24 overtime defeat in Kansas City, a game in which the Steelers outgained the then-2-7 Chiefs by more than 200 yards and enjoyed a 10-point second-half lead.

Three turnovers, eight penalties and an uncharacteristic late defensive collapse sent Pittsburgh into a tailspin. Losses to woeful Cleveland and Oakland followed even after coach Mike Tomlin promised to “unleash hell” in December.

“Coach LeBeau, knowing him, we have a very good relationship,” said Palko. “I met him when I was in college, and ran into him a bunch over in the lunch room, and he has always been very good to me, along with a lot of the other coaches over there.

“Coach LeBeau may be the best defensive mind in football and it is going to be a big challenge for us. Those guys are really good on the defensive side of the ball. So it is going to be an interesting experience. They are going to play well on defense so we have to do our job on offense and execute and try not to turn the ball over.”

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