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Thomas Jones learned long ago not to fret over lousy personal preseason statistics.

“It’s an opportunity to get better before the first real game,” said Jones, a veteran Chiefs running back. “A lot of people look at (the preseason) and just try to get through it. If you just get through it, you don’t get better regardless of whether you’re a rookie or an 11-year veteran like me. You can always get better every day. That’s what I try to do.

That might be a great attitude for a veteran to have, but it doesn’t change the fact that halfway through their preseason, the Chiefs are running the ball far more effectively with Jamaal Charles as their featured back than with Jones.

Charles is averaging 7 yards per preseason carry, or more than two times Jones’ per-carry average of 3.1 yards.

Proving ground | Jones not worried about lack of production-KCStar.com

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Maurice Leggett is expected to make a full recovery from a neck and spinal injury suffered against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he was carted off the field.

“Everything looks good,” coach Todd Haley told reporters. “There is nothing spinal or anything like that. He was in a pretty good condition and I think that the trainers and doctors did everything that they were supposed to do as far as taking all precautions. It’s a scary situation, but that part of it is out of the mix.”

Haley added that he expects Leggett to practice at some point this season.

“All things are pointing to the fact that this should not affect him career-wise,” Haley said

Chiefs’ Maurice Leggett Expected To Make Full Recovery-NFP

SECONDARY

Nate Allen, Philadelphia Eagles: Kolb isn’t the only one trying to replace a legend in Philly. Allen, a second-rounder, has been anointed Brian Dawkins’ replacement at free safety two years after Dawkins left town. Allen seems to have the playmaking ability and demeanor to get the job done.

Eric Berry, Kansas City Chiefs: The abysmal defense didn’t get much help in the offseason, but talented Berry is the main exception. The No. 5 pick in the draft has drawn comparisons to Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu, though even that tandem would need help in Kansas City.

Malcolm Jenkins, New Orleans Saints: Whether or not all-pro safety Darren Sharper is completely recovered from knee surgery, Jenkins is too good to sit. Look for coordinator Gregg Williams to deploy him on the back line and at nickel back to get another playmaker on the field.

Bernard Pollard, Houston Texans: The Houston defense no longer looked like an Achilles’ heel once Pollard joined the lineup in Week 4 last season. He’s among the defenders who will need to be razor sharp to start 2010 amid the absence of suspended linebacker Brian Cushing.

Breakout players: Which NFL stars will emerge this season?-USA Today

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