I said yesterday that I believe the Kansas City Chiefs need to make a statement this Saturday night in Tampa. To do that some individual players are going to need to step up and make plays.
Here is a look at five guys I think need to step up this Saturday and help the team move forward.
1. Matt Cassel
It all starts with the quarterback. While the Chiefs didn’t really open up the passing section of the playbook in Atlanta, Matt needs to make the most of the opportunities he does get. Cassel is running out of excuses. He has some weapons out there and he needs to step up and show he knows how to use them.
2. Ryan O’Callaghan
Big O looked pretty good at times last year at RT for the Chiefs, however he struggled mightily in pass protection against the Falcons. While the rest of the offensive line seemed to be doing a pretty good job giving Cassel time, O’Callaghan was giving up pressure way too fast. On one occasion his play led to a strip of Matt Cassel and a turnover. The Chiefs resident Irishman did a good job of solidifying the RT position last season but he needs to take his game to another level to avoid being fingered as the weak link on an improved offensive line.
3. Derrick Johnson and Jovan Belcher
These two come as a package deal.
Johnson did not have a good game in Atlanta yet Todd Haley is still giving himself a chance to start against the Bucs. He needs to stop the disappearing act, take advantage of his athleticism and make some plays for the Chiefs defense. We have all seen flashes from DJ but he needs to stop trying to be great every play and instead, work on being consistent. Johnson has the tools and if he takes care of the little things, the big plays will come.
Belcher is one of the Chiefs rising young stars. He is a fantastic tackler and always seems to be around the ball when the play is over. He has done a nice job of pursuit in the running game and has a talent for extending runs to the outside to give the defense time to catch up. If he can improve his coverage skills to stay with a TE across the middle on occasion, he should be able to easily unseat Corey Mays at MLB. His fate, however, seems to be tied to Derrick Johnson.
4. Glenn Dorsey
Dorsey had an up and down game against the Falcons. The key for Glenn is going to be getting off the ball faster. I watched the Atlanta game 3 times and on snaps where Dorsey got off the ball quickly, he almost always beat his man. Unfortunately, there were too many plays where Dorsey was so slow that the running back was already in possession of the ball by the time he stood up.
Dorsey looks improved over last year. It is time he takes his game to another level.
5. Tyson Jackson
Jackson was a non-factor versus the Falcons. He did have a play where he batted down a pass and while he showed good awareness, he was more the beneficiary of a good pass rush than anything else. He often does a poor job of clogging his lane and there were a couple of plays against Atlanta where it looked as if he completely lost sight of the ball carrier. If Jackson can improve even a little bit, it should greatly help the Chiefs run defense.
Those are my 5 Addicts. Time to sound off. Who do you think needs to make a statement Saturday against the Bucs?