I got together with Patrick Allen from Arrowhead Addict to help preview the season for the Kansas City Chiefs. Here are some of his responses for questions I sent over to him:
Which player(s) on roster need to step up in order for the season to be successful?
Jonathan Baldwin is the first name to pop into my head. The Chiefs will struggle on offense of they don’t have another threat opposite of Dwayne Bowe. Baldwin is a big target with tremendous ability and he could be an excellent secondary target for Alex Smith. Baldwin has been a disappointment the last two years but this year he is out of excuses. He has a serviceable QB, a great coach and plenty of other weapons around him. It is now or never.
What position battle(s) will you be paying attention to during training camp?
The battle for the starting middle linebacker job between Akeem Jordan and rookie Nico Johnson figures to be one of the major story lines of the preseason. I am also interested to see if Tyler Bray can beat our Ricky Stanzi for the #3 QB job.
Which rookie(s) on the team will make an immediate impact?
Obviously, No. 1 overall pick Eric Fisher had better make an impact. If he really was the best player in the draft then he should start contributing at a high level right away.
A less obvious answer is TE Travis Kelce. The Chiefs are deep at TE with Anthony Fasano and the oft injured Tony Moeaki but I think Kelce will be a weapon Andy Reid will use a lot this season. And keep an eye on Knile Davis spelling Jamaal Charles.
• Saints DE Baraka Atkins spent the 2009 season in San Francisco with the 49ers during Chiefs QB Alex Smith’s tenure (2005-12).
• Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley spent his 2006-10 seasons in Philadelphia with members of the Chiefs: Head Coach Andy Reid (1999-2012), Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers Coach David Culley (1999-2012), Offensive Coordinator Doug Pederson (2009-12), Tight Ends Coach Tom Melvin (1999-2012), Assistant Offensive Line Coach Eugene Chung (2010-12), Quality Control Coach Corey Matthaei (2008-12), LB Akeem Jordan (2007-12), S Quintin Demps (2008-09), Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Barry Rubin (2008-12), Quarterbacks Coach Matt Nagy (2010-12) and Statistical Analysis Coordinator Mike Frazier (2003-12).
• Chiefs CB Dunta Robinson spent 2010-12 in Atlanta and played with Saints S Rafael Bush (2010), LB Curtis Lofton (2008-11) and QB Luke McCown (2012).
“If you trust your line, if you know you can hit the ball where you want it to go, that’s all you need to worry about,” Toub said. “So you get in a game, you pick a spot, whatever the wind is, you say, ‘I’m going to hit it right here, and if hit it on that line, and know it’s going to go through . . .’
“If some kind of wind gust blows and blows it out, there’s nothing you can do about that. As long as you can hit your line, we’re fine with that. He’s getting to that point where he’s building that confidence.”
Succop won’t have to worry about any wind in Friday’s preseason opener at New Orleans. His performance there last year, capped by a 43-yard field goal that sent the game into overtime and the 31-yard game winner, had additional meaning.
“When I look back, that was special for a lot of reasons,” Succop said. “Not just the six-for-six and the one to tie and the one to win, but my wife’s aunt had cancer at the time, and her family is from Louisiana. She brought her whole family, and we got to share that moment with her.
“She’s since passed away, but it was neat how it all came together.”