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KC wide receiver Eddie Kennison blasts the Denver Broncos and coach Mike Shanahan
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City wide receiver Eddie Kennison blasted the Denver Broncos and coach Mike Shanahan on Wednesday, and seemed to promise that the Chiefs would beat them this week.
Kennison, who started six games for the Broncos in 2001 and then was dismissed for quitting the team the night before a game, insisted that the Chiefs are the NFL's best team.
"You can believe that," he said. "If you think I'm not serious, I'm about to get emotional right now just thinking about it."
Controversy with the Broncos is nothing new for Kennison. He has said he walked out on the team because his wife was going through a difficult pregnancy. But many Denver players at the time expressed anger.
The Chiefs (11-1) can clinch the AFC West title Sunday and take another step toward securing home-field advantage by beating the Broncos (7-5). In Kansas City in October, the Chiefs eked out a one-point victory despite getting outplayed in many statistics.
Kennison said he was upset by remarks he had heard in the Denver media leading up to Sunday's game in Denver.
"They better get ready," Kennison said. "We're the best team in the NFL right now. They better understand that. They better respect it."
Kennison said he was particularly disturbed that someone in Denver had referred to the Chiefs as "frauds."
"We'd rather be 11-1 frauds than 7-5 hanging from a string for Mike Shanahan," he said. "When you're really scared, that's when you make quotes in the paper like that."
Kennison was unfazed when told that it was Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla and not the players who said the Chiefs were frauds.
"Well, OK," he said. "Then he's scared, too. He's scared of (the Kansas City media). Scared of what you all might write. I need to write something about him."
Kennison, who has caught 42 passes for 601 yards and three touchdowns, said he was also irritated because he'd been told there was criticism in Denver of Kansas City coach Dick Vermeil.
"They talk about our coach. Ask them about their coach," he said. "Ask them what kind of person he is."
Moving defensive back Deltha O'Neal to wide receiver, Kennison said, was just a way for Shanahan to "find a scapegoat."
"If you ask any of (the Denver players) -- they'll probably say the opposite -- but as long as I was there, he had his select few people he liked being around, he liked having," Kennison said. "Why do you think John Elway left? John Elway didn't like that guy. It was his way or no way. If it's not his way, it's the highway."
The Chiefs have also been irritated at remarks by Denver safety Kanoy Kennedy, who said, "We physically whipped them" after the Chiefs won in October on Dante Hall's 93-yard punt return.
On that play, Julian Battle got away with an apparent clip that may have helped spring Hall for his NFL-record fourth straight game with a touchdown return.
"They've got some guys who talk too much," said linebacker Scott Fujita. "Personally, I think they ought to keep their mouths shut. That's the way I feel about it."
Vermeil, without knowing exactly what Kennison and Fujita had been saying, said he preferred that his players do no trash-talking.
"It doesn't do any good," Vermeil said. "It's just always better to keep your mouth shut and go play football."