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NFL Notes: Chiefs, Falcons, Vikings

Chiefs

Chiefs DE Chris Jones said he is focused on being a team-leader in 2018 and hopes to continue improving.

Elevation, that’s the key,” Jones said. “Getting better every year in my all-around game and being a more vocal leader. I think I was kind of silent last year.

Jones added that he is holding players accountable and is taking his role as a leader seriously.

You know, I’ll curse them out,” Jones said. “I’ll get them to buy me lunch, feed them all these stories that they have to do all of this extra stuff, which they don’t really have to do.”

  • According to Adam Teicher, Chiefs OLB Frank Zombo could be “a luxury they decide they can’t afford” this summer.

Falcons

Falcons FS Ricardo Allen offered some high praise for first-round WR Calvin Ridley based on what they’ve seen from the rookie in offseason workouts.

“One thing me and the veteran DBs already talked about and one of the things I’m already excited to see is him in Year 4 and Year 5,” Allen said. “I know that’s kind of jumping ahead early, but because he’s such a disciplined route runner and because he already kind of moves like a veteran, I just want to see when he becomes a veteran how much better a player he’s going to be.

“He’s the real deal. And he’s a good person. He’s not walking around like he thinks he’s hot s—. He’s walking around like a really good dude.”

Falcons HC Dan Quinn also acknowledged that Ridley has been “a little bit ahead of the curve.”

Comfort-wise, I think he came in a little bit ahead of the curve,” Quinn said of Ridley. “Not only did Alabama use some of the same pro-style concepts that we feature, but some of the terminology had even been the same. So you can imagine how excited he was to see the playbook and see some of the same language he’d been studying for three years. There was like some instant sense of like, ‘OK, they call it the same thing here.’ So that was helpful.

“Then on the field, the different depths of routes … [Ridley was] so mindful to get it exactly right, the right depth. And as the practices went on, you saw more of the speed come because he had real assurance of the right spot, the right space, where to break guys off. So I’m encouraged. I really am. The speed, the athleticism, all the things you saw on tape, that came to life. I knew he was a good competitor. I probably didn’t know how strong a football IQ he has. You can tell he’s really equipped in that way.”

Vikings

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins said he is working toward building connections with his new receivers in Minnesota.

It’s a process of saying, ‘Hey, this is the way I’ve done if for six years. You’ve done it a different way for five years. Let’s try to talk about why you’ve had success, why I’ve had success. Let’s find some middle ground, let’s decide whether I’m going to learn your way, you’re going to learn my way,'” Cousins said, via Courtney Cronin of ESPN. “That’s the process I’m talking about. Every route, every concept, really we could talk about each individual one. The best part of the whole thing is you know you have a chance when the communication is as healthy as it is.”

Cousins added that he plans to put in a lot of work during training camp to ensure he has a full grasp of the team’s offense.

“I think the more important level of communication will be between me and the coaches, talking about some philosophy things and how I want plays to be designed,” Cousins said. “I’ll have my iPad with me as I go home, and I’ll spend time every day going back.

“All the stuff I didn’t catch, go back through and see that I had starred this, I had checkmarked this as something to go back to when we had time rather than take time when we were so busy.”

“I’m going to go back, I’ll make a list, probably get on the phone with [offensive coordinator] coach [John] DeFilippo or [quarterbacks] coach [Kevin] Stefanski and email and just go through it all to get each question answered over the summer.”

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