“Being able to have such a dynamic pass-rusher out there, it really helps,” Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. “I know that there’s always going to be issues with him in terms of us having to protect against him and know where he is on every snap. I think that changes the defense a lot.”
Linebacker Derrick Johnson said Hali had already apologized to his teammates for being suspended for Week 1, and that the apology was readily accepted.
“We stick by Tamba all the way. He’s one of our brothers, our family members, and we know he’s all-in with us,” Johnson said. “Tamba is our best player on defense. He’s going to get to the quarterback, he’s going to help the back line — he’s going to help me out.”
At one point in the offseason, there were rumors that the Kansas City Chiefs might not have any use for Dexter McCluster anymore. After a few seasons of moving between positions, the team acquired new faces like Cyrus Gray and Devon Wylie in the draft, guys who seemed to also serve in places that McCluster could have been. Thus it seemed like he was a potential candidate to be traded or even released.
However the team’s second round pick has only excelled in Brian Daboll’s offense so far. After a solid preseason and training camp, McCluster has come on strong in the 2012 campaign to lead the team in receiving yards after the first game.
McCluster says he’s happy to have the stats under his belt, but it’s hardly cause to celebrate. He’s simply doing his job.
Both teams are coming off blowout losses in Week 1 and the Chiefs are looking to exact a bit of revenge from last year’s season-opening 41-7 loss to the Bills in their own home stadium.
While the Chiefs certainly shouldn’t take the Bills lightly, there has to be a sense of relief going into the game with a handful of key players returning to lineup this week.
Outside linebacker Tamba Hali is back from a one-game suspension, and cornerback Brandon Flowers was a full participant at practice for the first time in over a month and could see the field for the first time all season.
There was, however, a tangible moment when I discovered what it meant to be appreciated and part of that team. The Thursday before the home opener all of the Chiefs staff were told to meet in the cafeteria because there was going to be a message delivered by Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt. Upon entering the room I had realized this message was going to be accompanied by a fantastic gift. Flanking the walls were customized Nike jerseys, the very same ones that the Chiefs Season Ticket Holders received for remaining faithful to the Kingdom.
Hunt stood at the front of the room and presented the employees with their customized jerseys as a way to say “thank you” to those behind the scenes. From accountants, to sales executives, to the production team; all received a jersey as a gesture of Hunt’s appreciation.