The Kansas City Chiefs will travel to Pittsburgh on Saturday to square off with Mike Tomlin, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers.
Once again, let’s make note of the fact that it’s only a preseason game, but much like preseason games No. 1 and No. 2, there will be much to take away from this contest.
The regular season is so close you can almost feel it, and every snap, repetition and game-like situation is going to be integral for Andy Reid and the Chiefs as they prepare for Week No. 1 at Jacksonville.
These are the five Chiefs we here at Arrowhead Addict will watching.
Alex Smith, QB
Alex Smith impressed during the first drive of preseason Game No. 1, and he did the exact opposite against the 49ers. All good players find a way to come back, so even in the preseason, I’ll be interested to see how Smith responds to this past week.
The pressure of playing his old team has subsided, and now he can get back to just playing football. He’ll have different personnel around him from last week, but good franchise quarterbacks can play no matter who they are throwing to.
I believe we’ll learn a lot about Smith in Week 3 of the preseason, believe it or not.
Jamaal Charles, RB
If Jamaal Charles plays on Saturday night, I expect he won’t see many reps (He’s No. 1 on the updated depth chart). If I were Andy Reid, I’d put him out there for a series or two, let him take a couple hits and then get him on the sideline and iced up.
If he’s out there, we here at Arrowhead Addict will be watching to see how he moves. How is he with cuts? Can he plant and go? Just exactly how sore is that leg, if sore at all?
A.J. Jenkins, WR
A.J. Jenkins will have to learn the scheme and mesh with the quarterbacks, so I doubt he’ll start on Saturday night. That said, I would expect him to see the field, though, in an effort to get him integrated into the system.
If he plays, who is he taking reps with? Alex Smith or the backups? If he plays, will he look comfortable out there?
Those are all questions that will be going through my mind on Saturday night.
Dontari Poe, DT
Dontari Poe looks poised to have a special year. He’s simply a beast at nose tackle, and in the Chiefs’ aggressive scheme, he’ll have a chance to shine.
Pittsburgh is always tough at the line of scrimmage, so it’s going to be great to see how Poe responds to some big-time blocking. Simply put, Poe is the piece that can make this defense special in 2013.
Sean Smith, CB
Speaking of special, Sean Smith has that ability. He’s in his fifth NFL season (four seasons with the Dolphins) and he checks in at 6’3”, 218 pounds. In today’s NFL, having a corner who can man up a receiver, jam him and play physical at the line and out of the break is integral. I believe the Chiefs have that in Smith.
He’s physical, he’s lanky and he’s going to make some plays for Kansas City in 2013. Hopefully we’ll see a few of those plays against Pittsburgh.