New season begins for Mauga, Chiefs |

New season begins for Mauga, Chiefs

Thomas Ranson
Fallon's Josh Mauga makes a tackle against SanDiego in 2014.
Michael Zito / KCCHIEFS.COM |

Lambeau Field. London. Staying healthy.

It doesn’t get any better for Fallon’s Josh Mauga, whose Kansas City Chiefs open the 2015 season on Sunday in Houston.

“This offseason has been great,” Mauga said before injuring his Achilles last month. “I’m focused on getting strong and conditioning myself to be in the best possible shape.”

Mauga hurt his heel last month in practice but he participated this week as Kansas City gets ready for a road clash with the Texans. Although he missed the preseason games, Mauga’s still listed as a starting linebacker and he’s hopeful about suiting up this weekend. Mauga should know by the weekend whether he’ll be playing.

“I should be,” Mauga said this week. “It’s up in the air right now. I’m going to see how it goes this week in practice.”

Before the injury, though, Mauga said he was in great shape but was more focused on staying healthy last year. This offseason Mauga was geared toward being more dynamic.

“Overall, my body feels great compared to this time last year,” he said. “I felt like last year I didn’t have much time to focus on my strengthens explosiveness so I made it a priority this offseason to improve in that area.”

Mauga led the team in tackles last year after signing a one-year deal last summer. He wasn’t picked up by the Jets after two separate stints on injured reserve, but he recovered and had several opportunities. But it was the Chiefs, who had Mauga’s ex-defensive coordinator (Bob Sutton) and ex-college coach (Chris Ault) on the staff.

Mauga, though, is looking for improvement from last season when he started in all 16 games for the first time in his career.

“I’m looking forward to having a better season overall,” Mauga said. “Recognizing plays quicker and being a better tackler is on the top of my list.”

For the team, Mauga believes the Chiefs are a playoff contender if they can execute and finish on both sides of the ball. Ironically, it was the injury bug that sidelined several starters, including Joe Mays, who freed up the starting role for Mauga to fill.

“We have a great team with play-makers on both sides of the ball,” he said. “I’m looking forward to having a great season with this team and winning a lot of games.”

The Chiefs compete in a tough division with the Broncos leading the way and the Chargers making some noise lately. Aside from divisional clashes, Mauga’s looking forward to two road games: Green Bay at Lambeau Field and facing Detroit in London.

“There’s so much history in Green Bay and a great football team makes for an exciting time to be in Lambeau Stadium,” said Mauga, who played a preseason game in Green Bay last year.