Tomorrow the Kansas City Chiefs will see their first action of the 2012 season when they take on the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 of the NFL’s preseason.
First and foremost let me just say, please nobody get injured, please nobody get injured, please nobody get injured, please nobody get injured, please nobody get injured, please nobody get injured, please nobody get injured, please nobody get injured.
No seriously. Please.
Now that we got that out of the way, we return to a weekly feature here at Arrowhead Addict during the season: 5 Players To Watch.
This is particularly difficult for a preseason game because you’ll really want to be watching everyone but for the sake of tradition, I am going to try to pluck out five guys I think you should pay extra special attention to.
1. Matt Cassel
It all starts with the QB and even though we are still relatively early on in the process, I want to see a comfortable Matt Cassel for whatever amount of time he spends in the game. Todd Haley is gone. I don’t want to see any confusion about the plays. Ideally, we’re looking for Cassel to come in, lead a TD drive and then get the hell out of the game. The plays might be vanilla for most of the game but I bet the starters’ load will be more reflective of what we’ll see during the season. Don’t let anyone fool you. The preseason does matter. Cassel doesn’t need to throw for 5 TDs, but hopefully the offense will look on track.
Fans seem to be in agreement that Rodney Hudson will be just fine at center but truth be told, he is probably the biggest question mark on the team heading into the season. The kid has never snapped a ball in a real NFL game. I still have nightmares about Rudy Niswanger hiking the ball 30 yards over Matt Cassel’s head in 2009. I hope to see the Chiefs run some shotgun just so Hudson can get comfortable.
3. Jonathan Baldwin
How can this guy not be on the list? We’ve seen some camp highlights. We’ve heard the rave reviews. The next step is for Baldwin to show what he can do against some live competition. Go get it young man!
4. Dontari Poe
This one goes without explanation. Romeo Crennel has been downplaying expectations about Poe for the last week or so. I don’t buy that as a reason to panic. Romeo needs to make sure Poe keeps working his but off. Poe wants to start. The more he hears Romeo talking about how much work he has to do, the better. The rookie will likely get plenty of reps with the second team. It would be nice to see him make a couple of plays.
5. Josh Bellamy
Back on offense, I think you should keep an eye on undrafted WR Josh Bellamy. He’s the sleeper of this year’s camp but he faces an uphill climb. He’ll need to make plays and hold on to the ball if he wants to become KC’s version of Victor Cruz.
I know this was offense-heavy but let’s be honest, there are far fewer questions on the defensive side of the ball. I also didn’t mention the ACL crew of Berry, Moeaki and Charles. I assume they are all about back to normal but it will be good to see them out on the field. Friday night could be crucial for them, especially Charles. Once he makes that first cut and takes that first hit, hopefully he’ll be able to relax and get back to business.
All right Addicts, those are the five players I’ll be keeping a close eye on tomorrow night. Who will you be watching?