Chief Concerns: Stephen Brown
Has the Kansas City Chiefs’ roster improved? Absolutely, but 2013 for both John Dorsey and Andy Reid is only step one.
On defense, where I think the Chiefs improved most, upgrades include Mike DeVito, Sean Smith (Replaced Stanford Routt, Javier Arenas, and part-timer Jalil Brown) and Dunta Robinson.
Acquisitions to start right away by John Dorsey.
Dorsey also brought in LB Akeem Jordan, LB Zac Diles, LB Frank Zombo, LB Edgar Jones, S Husain Abdullah, and S Quintin Demps. Akeem Jordan is a starter with the rest playing backup according to the Chiefs current depth chart. In time rookie LB Nico Johnson could replace Jordan, but Jordan has the experience right now over Johnson who’s still learning.
In addition to the new players John Dorsey brought to the Kansas City Chiefs, previous starters like Tyson Jackson and Dontari Poe looked to be improved. Fans have already seen glimpse of Poe being better in preseason.
Against Drew Brees and the Saints the two’s held their own fairly well by holding Brees to a field goal.
There’s just a few that remained from last season on the defensive depth chart. Players like DE Allen Bailey, DE Anthony Toribio, NT Jerrell Powe, CB Jalil Brown, CB Neiko Thorpe, and S Tysyn Hartman were in Kansas City last year.
Defense will be the main strength of the Kansas City Chiefs, because they’re the most established. With the starters on defense Kansas City has, I call them set. With the exception of middle linebacker, and hoping Kendrick Lewis stays healthy, the starters on defense are in their prime and ready to go.
As Chiefs fans saw with the Jon Baldwin trade for San Francisco 49ers second-year receiver A.J. Jenkins, Dorsey continues to tweak. How much Jenkins can help I don’t know, he might not. Most experts feel that Baldwin has the best potential to actually do something after the trade.
But experts can be wrong and GM’s and head coaches can be right.
I think it was one of those “why not” moves, let’s see if the change of scenery can help. Jenkins does have the skills to better fit what Reid wants to do more so than Baldwin.
I was wrong on Baldwin, I really was. Potential doesn’t mean squat if it doesn’t happen. It didn’t with Baldwin in Kansas City.
But moving on to the offense and the depth chart. This is where more work still needs to be done.
John Dorsey can only do so much his first year, he emphasized defense because defense is going to help carry the day… initially.
The Chiefs still have their primary starters along the offensive line, which isn’t a bad thing. They’re all young and have talent. There are questions about Rodney Hudson still and his leg. Despite Hudson running around and looking good that away, game wise some still see him favoring his leg causing the Chiefs to only be able to do certain things.
To me Hudson looks fine, but rookie C Eric Kush taken with the Chiefs 170th overall pick in the sixth round this year isn’t a threat to take his job. Kush is still working on the finer points like hiking the ball.
Watching the San Francisco 49ers game I was thankful that Branden Albert was still playing left tackle rather than rookie Eric Fisher. I think Fisher will be a good offensive lineman, possibly great, but it’s smart that he’s learning the ropes at right tackle.
Overall the offensive line has allowed 11 sacks in two preseason games, tough stat. One that has to get better fast, but starter wise there’s good potential on the offensive line.
Depth wise, Dorsey is still working with leftovers Donald Stephenson and Jeff Allen. Dorsey brought on Geoff Schwartz who’s a versatile player that can play multiple spots on the offensive line. Matt Reynolds was acquired off of waiver wire from the Philadelphia Eagles and Ryan Durand was a free agent signing that played one season for the Tennessee Titans.
Depth after the starting offensive line is shallow, in my opinion. A mixture of youth and inexperience… guys that haven’t done much yet. Branden Albert is the most experienced player in this group.
The Chiefs have questions marks at receiver. #84 Jamar Newsome has received the most targets of any Chiefs receiver (6) in preseason… why? Dwayne Bowe has one target… again, why? It could be because Andy Reid hasn’t really game planned for any preseason game, but it’s concerning. Besides Bowe, I’ll throw Dexter McCluster in as decent, the Chiefs receivers are nothing special.
Donnie Avery has looked like any other receiver in training camp. He’s made a few nice catches, but nothing spectacular. The Chiefs might be playing it vanilla in preseason, or maybe their receivers are just that vanilla.
Reid did take over a team that hadn’t averaged over 200 passing yards per game since Dick Vermeil. There’s work to do, not Dorsey or Reid’s fault.
We’ll know more when the real bullets start flying, but at receiver… right now, it needs future addressing.
Rookie Knile Davis went a long ways towards showing his skills against the 49ers last Friday. That was a big test for the rookie and he did well.
I have confidence in the running back position with the Kansas City Chiefs. Between Jamaal Charles and Davis Kansas City should be able to run the ball very well. Davis also displayed good hands when thrown to (3 rec. on 4 targets… 31 yards) against the 49ers with a long of 17 yards, something he’s been working hard on in practice.
Shaun Draughn and second-year player Cyrus Gray bring up the rear.
Now we come to Alex Smith. I like his leadership, his attitude, and the way he answers questions. I think Alex Smith has a great focus and he knows what he wants to do. He wants to “stick it to” all the doubters, that’s all the people that doubt what he can do, and to being successful in Kansas City.
To that I say Amen!
I hope he does, but we’ve also learned from the past. Fans have seen Matt Cassel and many past quarterback experiments go bad. There have been too many quarterbacks not work in Kansas City.
I loved what Smith did against the Saints in those 14 plays. He kept the drive going, made smart reads, and crisp throws. Smith isn’t one to hang out and get sacked, he knows when to throw the ball away.
The big obstacle needing moved facing Alex Smith and the receivers is going long. That’s the roadblock for Smith. The short game looks good; the running backs are catching the ball well. I missed seeing the screen pass, but that’s not all Reid.
Seven times coaching the Eagles Reid’s team passed for 20+ yards 50 or more times in a season, more than 60 in four of his seasons. Reid’s Eagles where top 10 passing the ball 20+ yards in a season 10 times, four times Reid’s Eagles had 60 20+ passing plays in a season. The Chiefs haven’t come close to 40 times since Dick Vermeil.
Unless Reid suddenly changed his thinking, Smith will have to display that during the regular season. Practice and preseason is that time to work the “mechanics”… that’s what Bowe said when asked about going deep.
I like everything about Smith as a person, like what he’s shown so far, but until he goes long and hooks up with Bowe often, like in more than one target in two games, that mark is on Smith and his arm.
I’m pulling for Smith, really am, the Chiefs NEED their quarterback to be able to make things happen when needed. I’m fine with Jamaal Charles being the man… cool, but every hero needs a great sidekick. That has to be Smith and Bowe.
Overall there are things to like about the roster, but there are pieces that aren’t good enough. In time, if Dorsey attacks it like he did when he first arrived, then no worries. It’ll get done.
In the meantime let’s enjoy the upcoming season with what the Chiefs have. Who knows, there could be some nice surprises along the way. Sometimes that happens too, a player or two rises up.
Who really knows the future? Just one.
Good day, Chiefs fans!