In another in my “5 Things” series I take a look at 5 positions I feel the Chiefs can roll with moving in to next season.
The Chiefs may not yet know Matt Cassel’s full potential but they can certainly stick with him for a couple of more seasons. Cassel has shown incredible toughness this year. He has not had it easy. As QB’s like Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan have shown us, it is much easier to make the transition as a young and inexperienced QB when you are on a team with some talent. Cassel has shown he can play well, not just as a Patriot but as a Chief as well. He has some growing to do, but I feel confident he will continue to progress if the Chiefs can surround him with more support. A lesser QB would have crumbled under the conditions Cassel faced this season, yet he stood tall and continued to fight back through adversity and some poor performances. You want your QB to be a reflection of the identify of your entire team. If Cassel’s toughness and resiliency is a sign of the identify the Chiefs are developing, I think they are in good hands.
2. Running Back
Jamaal Charles has proven himself and the Chiefs need to roll with him moving forward. Jackie Battle and Dantrel Savage are good enough to spell him and come in for spot duty. Battle is a bigger back who could be useful in short yardage situations and Savage is a small, fast back, similar to Charles who would be ideal to run the plays the coaches design for Jamaal. There are plenty of other needs here. The Chiefs should be fine at RB with this group and some improved blocking up front.
3. Corner Back
I really like Brandon Carr and Brandon Flowers. I think Flowers is on the cusp of putting up Pro Bowl type numbers and it could happen in his 3rd season. Carr does a very good job, especially because he tends to get thrown on more because he is playing opposite Flowers. If the Chiefs get a quality Safety look for their secondary to be very hard to throw on next season.
4. Outside Linebacker
The Chiefs have struck gold my moving Tamba Hali from DE to OLB. He has already surpassed his career total for sacks in a season with one game to go. Previously, his best season was 7 sacks while playing opposite Jared Allen. After having a disappointing season on the defensive line last year, Hali has revived his career, performing quite well as the Chiefs only serious pass rushing threat.
On the other side of the field, the Chiefs have to be really excited about the potential of Andy Studebaker. While it is hard to anoint him the starter, given the limited action he has had spelling Mike Vrabel, you have to like what you’ve seen. If Studebaker can get the job done, he will enable the Chiefs to focus on the MLB positions.
It is hard to think of Kicker as something the Chiefs can hang their hat on but to that way of thinking I simply say, Justin Medlock. Ryan Succup has been a breath of fresh air in the Chiefs kicking game. He has a big leg and can get the ball into the endzone on kickoffs. The Chiefs kicking game has suffered quite a bit since Herm Edwards got rid of Lawrence Tynes. It may not seem like much now but I assure you, as the Chiefs improve, you will be very thankful for Ryan Succup.