With the 2013 regular season quickly approaching, there’s undoubtedly a lot on the minds of Chiefs Kingdom.
It’s a new era of Kansas City football, and while a bunch of excitement and optimism comes along with it, so do a lot of questions.
Frankly, that’s natural for week three of the NFL preseason. Everybody has questions, and at this point, there have been few answers.
Once meaningful football rolls around much of this will be resolved, but for now, we here at Arrowhead Addict took at shot at answering your Chiefs questions.
Let’s open the mailbag.
@ArrowheadAddict who were the stand out defensive players in camp that aren’t starting? Zombo? Abdullah?
— Mike Herrera (@TrashTalkFF) August 23, 2013
I didn’t make it up to St. Joseph this year so I can’t give a first-hand account, but all of the reports suggest that Austen Lane and Quintin Demps had impressive training camps. I think Demps will make the team. Lane’s been battling injury and hasn’t seen any preseason game action thus far. He may not make the cut, but he’s certainly a rotational guy along the defensive line who can provide pressure.
-Stacy D. Smith
@ArrowheadAddict What players do u see coming available for the chiefs to pickup during roster cuts? What positions is must need?
— Kevin T Priester (@ktpriest) August 23, 2013
As for the O-line problems, there’s no telling what talent might be available after the initial roster cut down on Tuesday. The Chief are in desperate need of a center (Kush doesn’t seem to be cutting the mustard) and I’m still concerned about Allen at the LG position. These are the two areas I think the Chiefs should concentrate after the first round of roster cuts.
Justin Brown on Facebook: How is Rodney Hudson doing coming back from Injury?
Because of his limited NFL playing time, Rodney Hudson unfortunately has not given Chiefs fans much of a measuring stick by which a comeback can be gauged. Yes, Rodney Hudson is our starting center, but due his lack of experience and lack of production, it is a pretty safe bet that he is still on the learning curve portion of his pro career until he proves otherwise. Only time, and experience, will tell whether Hudson fulfills his high potential.
Unkle Dub on Facebook: Who has been the biggest surprise throughout training camp?
From a broad perspective, my vote goes to Special Teams. From an individual perspective, the most pleasant surprise has to be Knile Davis. The big knock on Davis coming in was whether he could hang on to the ball. So far, that hasn’t shown up as a concern; he’s catching and carrying it well, and showing flashes of making an impact when he has the ball.
@ArrowheadAddict will the chiefs struggle at WR this year? Should they add more depth?
— Chauntelle Murray (@cmurray416) August 23, 2013
What do you mean this year? The Chiefs have, for some reason or another, struggled at the wide receiver position for several years now. Only twice since 2009 has a receiver not named Dwayne Bowe recorded over 600 yards in a season (Chris Chambers had 608 in 2009 and Steve Breaston had 785 in 2011). Of the active players on our roster who catch the football – receivers, running backs, and tight ends – the most any has had with the Chiefs, once again excluding Bowe, is Tony Moeaki’s 556 in 2010, and he’s looking like a 3rd string tight end right now.
Specifically regarding the wide receiver position, yes, we will struggle this year. After taking Jon Baldwin in the first round of 2011, he was a continuous disappointment, but the Chiefs still might have taken one step forward and two steps back trading him for A.J. Jenkins, who didn’t record a single catch his rookie season in San Francisco and has had his work ethic questioned. While he projects as a better slot receiver than an outside threat, and thus perhaps a better fit for the Chiefs West Coast Offense than the one he was previously with, the Chiefs already have plenty of capable options at that position, including Dexter McCluster and Devon Wylie. As far as the rest of our depth chart is concerned, we have Junior Hemingway (a 7th round pick from 2012), Terrance Copper (undrafted free agent in 2004) and Josh Bellamy (an undrafted free agent in 2012). The potential is limited for those three.
Now to be a little optimistic: we still have Dwayne Bowe, who seems to have his swagger back; Baldwin was probably more of a head-case than he was worth; Jenkins has been a bust for a shorter amount of time than Baldwin, so there’s reasons to be hopeful for the second year player; and the receiving corps is full of speed. This speed doesn’t just come from the newly acquired Jenkins and his 4.39 40 time at the combine, it was already there when the Chiefs signed Donnie Avery in free agency this offseason. Avery caught 60 passes for 781 yards and 3 TDs last year for the Indianapolis Colts and is the projected number 2 receiver opposite Bowe. When you combine his speed with Jenkins’, McCluster’s and Wylie’s, in an offense with a competent QB that is designed to get receivers the ball in open space to accumulate yards after catch, we have a receiving group that could overachieve.
As far as signing depth, while that would be welcomed, it’s probably not possible with the Chiefs salary cap situation. NFLPA figures show the Chiefs to have just $82,492 of salary cap space remaining after the signing of Eric Fisher, which doesn’t leave the team with much wiggle room. Unless the Chiefs cut someone or renegotiate a contract somewhere to secure more salary cap space, I don’t see additional depth being brought in.
Do you have a question and didn’t get a chance to send it into the mailbag? How about your own answers to these questions? Go ahead and post below. If you’ve got a question, we’ll answer it in the comments.