Pre Training Camp Gut Feeling Report

It’s been well documented that this time of the year, not only for Chiefs fans but any fan of the NFL, is a notoriously slow time for news, views and articles .  So I am reaching here a little with this article but it should get a discussion going of some kind, and that’s the whole point. Right?

I am going to give you my opinion of what the offense, defense and special teams are going to be like this upcoming season.  Not based on fact, not statistics, nothing legitimate except for my gut.  That’s right, I’m going to give you a “Pre-Training Camp Gut Feeling Report”  on how the 2008 Kansas City Chiefs are going to look if they played tomorrow.

OFFENSE

My gut tells me Brodie Croyle will have a respectable year.  Tom Bradyesque?  No, let’s not kid ourselves here.  But I honestly believe Brodie will play well enough to be the starting quarterback going into the 2009 season.  LJ will hopefully get back on track, however, that will be impossible if the biggest question mark going into the offseason doesn’t prove to be fixed-the offensive line.  I believe Branden Albert will be a solid left tackle, I don’t know if he will get the national attention Joe Thomas did last yeart as a rookie, but I can see Albert holding down the fort for Brodie’s blind side and doing it very well, maybe even surprisingly well to some.  The rest of the offensive line changes?  Let’s be honest, and it’s been the battle cry of all Chiefs fans out there-“They can’t be any worse“.  Amen.

D Bowe will continue to excel and Tony Gonzalez will be Tony Gonzalez-at least for another year.  The rest of the WR’s I’m not so sure about, I don’t even know who they will be.  Hopefully a couple of the remaining step it up in training camp and define themselves as the number 2 and 3 receivers-they will have to if the Chiefs are to be successful this year.  I’m also pretty excited to see what Brad Cottam can do. I don’t care if he catches a single pass, I just want to see him destroy DB’s and LB’s on the opposing team.

Overall I think the Chiefs surprise a lot of people this year around the NFL, many have already predicted them to finish below .500 and I can see why, but this is Brodie’s third year he has a firm understanding now of what it’s like to stand in a NFL kitchen and take the heat-especially after last season offensive line woes.  IF the O-line can put it together and provide running lanes for LJ, then Brodie will be OK, if the line is like last season and allows Croyle to get hammered play in and play out then the Chiefs are done.

DEFENSE

Ok, I know what’s on your mind.  Glenn “Catfish Gumbo, Swamp Thing, Tiger, whatever” Dorsey. Can I just go on record here and say that if we must give Mr. Dorsey a nickname, I’m going with my own- Glenn “Kansas City Kajun” Dorsey. That’s right, I spelled “Cajun” with a “K”- I’m crazy like that.  Now, back to the show.  I believe Glenn will struggle the first 6-8 games, but not like a Ryan Sims kind of struggle. Just a trying to feel out exactly what’s going on here, I’m thinking too much kind of struggle.  What I’m trying to say is Glenn will have a much better second half than first half of the season.  As I stated in last weeks article, I believe the D Line will struggle as a whole for a little while, I really do.  Why?  Because of my gut man, that’s why.  Moving Hali, no legitimate left defensive end going into camp, a rookie and 2nd year player in the middle.  I’m nervous about that, aren’t you?

The linebackers I believe is where the defense will shine this year.  Gunther is in control of the linebackers this year as well as the defensive coordinator, that can only be a plus.  I’m going to state if right now, right here, Derrick Johnson will be a pro bowler this year.  He has grown and improved every year he has been in the league.  This is the year of the Derrick, write it down and put it on your fridge.  I’m excited to see the defensive backfield this year as well, maybe two rookies at cornerback.  I said maybe, so don’t beat me up too bad, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it happened. Would you?   Bernard Pollard has to step it up this year, a second round pick and he still isn’t the clear cut favorite to start this year.  He needs to have a great training camp or he might find himself not only out of a starting role, but out of a job come next offseason.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Thank God Eddie Drummond is gone.  You talk about awful.  Eddie was good at one thing-running 30 yards east to west to go 1 yard north to south.  Now, I will have to say that the blocking was not good, which could have caused some of the problem.  But, returning punts takes a certain amount of impromtu ability to be effective and break a return wide open when it looks like nothing is there, Eddie didn’t have that.  If the blocking wasn’t perfect, Ed was dead in the water.  The kicking game was just as bad last year, starting with the failure of Justin Medlock.  The Chiefs tried to find someone to kick the ball through the up rights with little success.  This year the Chiefs will have a competition for the kicking job-my money is on Connor Barth.

So there you have it, a brief look at what I feel the Chiefs will do this year.  I’m not making any win/loss predictions yet, that will come after training camp breaks.

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