Players welcome the bye

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs officially enter the bye week and a lot of players couldn’t be happier to have the break before the start of the second half of the season.

The first nine games saw the Chiefs enjoy a historical turnaround. They’re the first team in NFL history to start 9-0 after posting the league’s worst record the season before. Coach Andy Reid is the first coach in team history to start 9-0 in his first season with the club and the list of accomplishments goes on.

Sep 29, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid watches play during the first half of the game against the New York Giants at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 29, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid watches play during the first half of the game against the New York Giants at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

After that tremendous start, Week 10 is a well-deserved breather.

“We’ve positioned ourselves well, and it’s a time to get rested up and recover here for the home stretch,” quarterback Alex Smith said during Monday’s locker room media session. “No question, especially with a big one coming in two weeks and a lot of division games left ahead of us.”

Cornerback Sean Smith agreed.

“We’d definitely like to go out there Sunday, but this bye week is much needed,” he said. “It’s a chance for some of the guys to get healthy, get our bodies right because the second half of the schedule, it gets pretty tough, so it kind of came at a much better time for us and we’re definitely going to welcome it.”

Wide receiver Donnie Avery has special plans with family during the bye.

“My daughter, her birthday is on the bye and I promised her a slumber party,” Avery said. “I have to deal with a lot of screaming girls.”

Other players will head out of town in the next 24 hours, but punter Dustin Colquitt is staying in the Kansas City area.

And the bye week came at a perfect time.

“We have a lot of guys that can go out of town and that are staying in town getting better,” Colquitt said. “That’s what I’m doing, but I’m having a baby in four or five days.”

Meanwhile, coach Andy Reid has a list of priorities as his team takes off in different directions the next week.

Reid said he has three primary categories. The first includes his staff as they do a self-scout. The second is the preparation for the Denver Broncos in Week 11 and last, the preparations for the team’s practice when the return to the field on Monday.

“Today we’ll have the players in a little and get them out of here,” Reid said. “After today, we have some business things to take care of. We’ll go through the tape and look at it, and we’ll get them out.”

Still, it will be difficult to keep the mind 100 percent free of football in the coming week.

The Chiefs know who they face when the return to work and the showdown against the Broncos will be hard to ignore.

“I think every guy in this locker room in the back of their head this whole week will be thinking about Denver,” Smith said. “It’s a big game ahead of us, but at the same time (we need a) little time. As much as you can, you use to get away a bit to come back fresh and ready to roll.”

Notes: Reid said defensive lineman Mike Catapano (ankle) was the only injury of note … Reid extended his thoughts to Denver Broncos coach John Fox, who underwent heart surgery over the weekend, and Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak, who collapsed on the field Sunday … “Those are good friends,” Reid said. “I’m grateful that they’re OK.”