A couple of weeks ago, I talked about my concern that the offensive line was the area of biggest concern for the Chiefs 2011 season. In the comments, I was asked to extend this and talk more about strengths and weaknesses overall. With the signing of Le’Ron McClain, the offense is pretty set, though we could use an upgrade at offensive tackle and overall depth on the offensive line. So, in the article I am going to cover the defense. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the defense?
Secondary – In the starting lineup, the secondary is the strength of the Chiefs defense. Berry, Lewis, Flowers and Carr have the potential to be as effective as the awesome secondary of Cherry, Burruss, Lewis and Ross. That unit was the best secondary unit the Chiefs have ever fielded. Will the current group be as good? I don’t know, but they could. Depth is a bit of an issue, but the starting lineup is good. Here the Chiefs could use a backup safety and you can never have too many cornerbacks in the NFL today.
Defensive line – With the signing of NT Kelly Gregg, the Chiefs are probably done here. My feelings on Gregg are mixed. Talent-wise, Gregg is an upgrade over Ron Edwards. However, Gregg is changing systems coming to KC. The Ravens run a hybrid 3-4 defense and there will be a learning curve. If the Chiefs get two solid years out of Gregg, this signing makes sense. If it’s a one year Chiefs career, it looks more like a plan B pickup when Edward and Sean Smith signed elsewhere. Glenn Dorsey is solid at right defensive end. There are enough talented bodies (Jackson, Bailey, Gilberry and Powe) to be somewhat comfortable with the potential of defensive line.
Linebackers – The linebackers are more a tale of two cities. One one side, with Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson, the Chiefs have a top notch duo. One the other side, however…… Yes Addicts, the strong side linebackers are my pick for the weakest spot on the Chiefs defense. I am a big fan of Jovan Belcher and I like the potential of Andy Studebaker. Let’s be honest though, this is the weak spot in the starting lineup. Belcher is growing in his role, but the Chiefs are improving and his play has to take a step up this year. Studebaker has shown flashes, but he has a lot to prove. Like the Chiefs, I don’t even consider an unsigned draft pick in this analysis. Brandon Siler may push Belcher, but I think his value is more special teams oriented. He does give the Chiefs flexibility. He has the ability to play both weak and strong inside linebacker spots. Ultimately, the Chiefs would like to merge those positions. Like the defensive line, the Chiefs have brought in enough young talent to be comfortable with the potential depth here.