Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs vs. Packers: Who Earned Their Spot?


Andy Reid decided to sit his starters tonight, and the reserves responded. The Chiefs crushed the Packers 30-8, led by an impressive performance by the rookie, Tyler Bray.

This game wasn’t as much for Bray, however. He’s already made this team. This game was for the fringe guys. The guys that needed the opportunity to show just a little more. The following is a list of battles that were evident on Thursday night.

The Receivers

At the half, I was feeling a bit sorry for Frankie Hammond, and although I still don’t think he makes the team, he did redeem himself with not one, but two nice returns and a touchdown catch. He’s got a lot of competition, but he definitely showed his desire to make the team tonight.

Junior Hemingway caught 7 balls for 80 yards, and a score (his second of the preseason). I would be surprised if Junior didn’t make this squad. I’ve felt from the get-go that this regime valued him a lot more than the last, and he’s taking advantage of that good faith.

Josh Bellamy hauled in a deep throw by Tyler Bray for six, Wylie was hurt early, and Rico Richardson was a bit quiet. Should Devon Wylie and Travis Kelce’s injuries be serious, it will be interesting to see the effect that could have on the construction of this roster.

Who do the Chiefs end up keeping?

The Running Backs

I’ve been a Cyrus Gray critic, but I think I’m changing my mind about the kid. He’s got a great burst, and hits the hole hard.  While Draughn has been ahead of him on the depth chart all offseason, Gray out-shined him tonight. Will it be enough to make the team?

The Linebackers

Both ILB Darin Drakeford and ILB Orie Lemon played very well tonight. In the first half, Drakeford showed some serious wheels when he chased down a galloping Vince Young. That was a play I made note of, as he seemed to come out of nowhere. He ended the night with three tackles, and a forced fumble. Lemon also played well with six solo tackles on the night.

In a 30-8 victory, there are usually a ton of contributors. This is especially true for the final preseason game, where coaches are trying to get as many final looks as they can. There was urgent play all around, but I felt the above position groups showed the most urgency in their play. What about you, Addicts? Anybody shine that I didn’t mention? Who do you think makes the cut?

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Tags: Cyrus Gray Devon Wylie Frankie Hammond Josh Bellamy Junior Hemingway Kansas City Chiefs Orie Lemon Rico Richardson Travis Kelce Tyler Bray

  • BurtGummer44

    By the end of next season Bray will replace Alice Smiff as the Chiefs starter; Kaepernick style.

    • P Heitman

      By the end of next season, won’t Smith’s contract be up? So you may be right.

      • Jim Harper

        I really don’t see them doing that. Reid would not do that to Smith. Unless Alex were to have a horrible year they will give him a nice extension, and continue to bring Bray along slowly.

        • P Heitman

          Yeah, I agree. Odds are good that Smith is looking at an extension. He’s still not even 30. I think it’s a safer bet that Bray moves ahead of Daniel by that time.

          • Jim Harper

            Bray put on a clinic last night. That much is clear but they will continue to bring him along slowly. Can’t make too much out of one game against 2nd stringers. He is the most exciting QB we have had since Montana came to town. He reminds me of Big Ben in many ways.

          • KCMikeG

            We all need to remember that the “clinic” was against players that probably won’t even be in the NFL come week #1. He has huge upside/potential but has lots of issues and needs to be developed.

    • Jacob Crouse

      He played well but fundamentally he has alot of work to do. If he gets his footwork down he could be elite. Just a matter of continuing to grow and mature under the syster, something Trent Green touched on that i felt was spot on.

      • Dfrey87

        Your very right he has the talent to be elite and with time and good coaching I believe he will be. I don’t believe he could be in a better situation right now. No pressure to progress to fast, a great veteran leader to coach him and one of the best QB coaches in Reid. That my friend is very exciting for us Chiefs fans. It’s going to be awesome to watch.

      • Justin Jones

        he has an arm and i think ur right jacob that he needs work. i feel this team is gonna bring him along slowly and see what happens. if they can fix his footwork and tweak his accuracy a bit i could see him being the man in a few years. no hurry. smith is still young

        • Dfrey87

          So very true with his maturity in question him being number three this year and of course sitting behind AS11 for a few years will do wonders. Of course if you fix his footwork it will fix his accuracy.

    • PunjabiPete

      That will never happen. This is what has been wrong with the Chiefs for a long time. The INSTANT a QB completes a pass, we wanna give him the keys to the kingdom. Remember the LAST time a QB beat the Packers and we got all bonered up for him? Hmmm????

  • http://www.prescribedthoughts.com/ KSCaliforniaboy

    I think they should keep Junior based on the fact that he’s shown ability, and that his name is just awesome.

    • P Heitman

      I agree. Great name. I think of a very tiny Earnest Hemingway.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Hemingway made the team tonight. I’m excited to see what he could bring to the table this year.

    • Jason Mickey

      Second that! Will he be in the starting rotation or just be a backup? Hard to tell from pre-season but he seems to do well no matter who is under center

      • Stacy D. Smith

        He won’t start, but he’ll be part of the rotation and should get his share of looks.

      • Jim Harper

        Not a starter yet, but will get playing time.

    • P Heitman

      Yeah, I think he iced it last night as well.

    • berttheclock

      Yes, “The Sun Also Rises” will make the team.

    • thabear04

      I love Hemingway since we draft him last season he showed some flash last season.

      • Stacy D. Smith

        I had almost forgotten he was actually drafted by the organization.

  • Jason Mickey

    Just wanted to second the hard running of Cyrus Gray. The guy has heart and its great to see

    • Kisersosay

      He showed some power running that I had not seen from him before….and something that I still have not seen from Draughn…..

      • kmon

        You could simply tell that he wanted it more than draughn did. I feel like he earned that last spot

  • Dfrey87

    The OL tonight was up and down but showed some flashes. I thought they did a decent job considering the complete lack of experience some if them have. Bray at times had time to throw. Man that kid has a cannon and will be great. I was ecstatic when we picked him up, I thought he was going to be drafted. I love the idea of him sitting behind AS11 for awhile and let him groom him, as well having Reid aka “The QB Guru” as his coach. That is one hell of a recipe for success. Next year he will be our number 2, heck maybe by the end of this year. I have been screaming all through camp and preseason that Gray should be ahead of Draughn and he showed why tonight. Gray I think has JC potential, call me crazy but they are a lot alike and if you remember JC was almost cut at the beginning of his career. It will be a complete injustice if Draughn makes it over Gray, he has shown nothing to say he is better. Our 2nd D looked good and the first few series they were up against GB’s first team OL. This team has shown a lot over the preseason they have gotten better every game. Our depth has gotten better every game. Not to say we don’t have areas we need to work on because obviously we do. We have seen a lot of promising things this year and this team has a lot more depth and much better depth. Along with the upgraded 1st team talent we have a lot to look forward to this year and for years to come GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!

    • KCMikeG

      Dead on with the Gray to be future Charles. I have thought this from the start and couldn’t figure out why Draughn was getting the carries. I know being hurt has slowed Gray but he is a star in the making. Davis looks pretty damn good too. Nice to have such depth at such an important position.

      • Jim Harper

        Come on Mike. I like Gray too, but the future Charles? He has not produced even one run that could be mistaken for Jamaal. His longest run last year was for 15 yards. Jamaal’s longest? 91 yds. Nobody is the next Jamaal. Don’t make me take that jersey away from you! LOL Lucky for you I am getting weaker all the time and my threats are meaningless:)

        • Dfrey87

          Not saying he is but he does have the potential. Do you remember JC first few years? He was almost cut.

          • Kisersosay

            Almost cut????? In favor of who? He was never on the bubble….

          • Dfrey87

            When he was sitting behind LJ and Herm favored Kolby Smith over JC. There was a time that he was on the bubble under Herm.

          • Kisersosay

            So not true….he had a 5.3 average as a rookie….compared to 2.7′s ave he was rock solid. He started halfway through the next year. While he may have been #3 on depth chart he was never on the bubble. Of course if you read that he was on the bubble on the internet then I can understand your confusion….

          • Dfrey87

            You may not remember but he struggled in camp his rookie year and was the subject of more than one conversation of being on the bubble. Anyway it’s not the point were talking about Gray here and for you to try and nitt pick a side thought of the comment is pretty sad. The point is Gray has earned his spot on this team he has consistently out performed Draughn the last two years.

          • Kisersosay

            On Gray we do agree. It may be sad but I do like to pick on idiotic comments for sure.

          • KCMikeG

            What is even more sad is when you are wrong yet want to argue and insult other’s informed intelligent posts.

            Charles’ first year (2008) as a Chief was hardly in the spotlight; as a backup to Larry Johnson, Charles rushed only 67 times for 357 yards. During Week 9 of the 2009 season, Larry Johnson was released (Thank God) and Charles was promoted to first-string but still had to split carries with Kolby Smith. In his limited action Charles managed 36 yards on only 6 carries for a 6 yard per carry average. Charles has also had issues with fumbling which caused him to drop from the 2nd to the 3rd round and raised questions again in 2011. http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2011-09-02/kansas-city-chiefs-team-report-jamaal-charles-fumbling-problems-return.

            The point of the conversation was that Gray has a huge upside. Everyone knows Charles is one of the best RB’s in the NFL today and the best all time in yards per carry.

          • Kisersosay

            Exactly where in that response is the part where Charles was in danger of getting cut? You accuse me of insults yet you are the one calling me sad …..I understand the point of the article and stand by calling you out for an outlandish statement. This is all it is….if you don’t like being called out for inaccurate statements then stop making them.

          • Dfrey87

            Neither KCMike or I have made any inaccurate comments. Just because your ill informed doesn’t mean we’re inaccurate or idiotic as you suggest. The only reason I said you were sad is because it obvious you have nothing better to do with your time than to troll AA and use inaccurate information to try and make yourself look good. If that’s not sad then I don’t know what is.

          • Dfrey87

            The only idiotic comment made was yours if you have been fallowing the chiefs for any length of time you would know this. So I guess you don’t have anything better to do but troll comments and make an ass of your self as other people have also confirmed what I had said. You sir should asses your self before you start trying to make your self feel better by calling someone else an idiot. Wow such a sad person.

          • Kisersosay

            I quote “Do you remember JC first few years? He was almost cut” = Inaccurate. I did not call anyone an idiot. I said it was an idiotic statement. There is a difference. Everyone makes them once in a while…yours just happened to be in print. The Chiefs carried 4 RB’s on the roster his rookie year. LJ, JC, Kolby, and Jackie Battle. If you think that JC as a #3 Draft choice was ever in danger of being cut before Jackie and the other RB’s that did get cut then that is certainly your opinion and you have your rights to having it. However you are representing it as a fact and that is what i am disputing. Regarding following the Chiefs for any length of time ….Since ’62. Probable before your Dad was born. I still have my program and ticket stub from the Championship Game in “67. I doubt that you know that it was called that back then. They call it the SuperBowl now. Let’s give it a rest and move on.

          • Dfrey87

            Listen guy I don’t care how long you say you have been a fan, I my self have been a fan for over 20 years. You say my remark is inaccurate but there is more than one person on here telling you it’s not. The fact is you did insult me over a comment I made when in fact your correction of me was wrong. Of course I know before the NFL & AFL merger it was called the AFL Championship game and yea I know JC was 3rd round pick. You act like draft picks are never in danger of being cut. I’m done with this, your a very sad old man that tries to boost yourself confidence by trying to insult people on a web site with inaccurate information. I guess you must have been picked on as a kid. Please go some where else to boost your self confidence, or at least try to do it with facts. It makes you look really bad when you try and correct someone when your wrong. I’m done wasting my time on a person like you it’s not worth it.

          • Dfrey87

            Championship

          • Kisersosay

            Just to be clear you are the one that started the personal attacks. Go back from the beginning. And you have continued them all the way through. My points have always been about the comments. Nothing personal about you….You should look in the mirror young man…

        • KCMikeG

          No way you could get my #25 from me! Somebody had better be the next Charles as he won’t be here forever. I know what you mean though as I felt the same about Priest. I didn’t say he IS Charles. I agreed with Dfrey87 that he has the potential to be the next JC. Comparing his stats to JC is like comparing JC 2009 to Priest’s stats to predict his potential. Gray better be retained over Draughn. Look at his highlight reel and see the similarities.

          • Jim Harper

            FOUL!! It is unfair to use video evidence to make your point and prove I am full of something unpleasant.

          • KCMikeG

            Sorry! Gray’s cuts, shifts and acceleration are incredible! Charles just glides – so fluid. I seriously think there are times he is actually floating. We are so strong at RB especially when we know Reid will use Dexter there too.

      • Dfrey87

        I just hope that it doesn’t bite us in the ass, and just let Gray go. It’s very obvious that Gray is right now a much better back than Draughn and has way more upside. I just hope since he was injured and we have good depth there he gets over looked. That would be a travesty

        • KCMikeG

          Agreed! Gray needs to be kept for sure. He is our leading rusher in total yards and YPC. Why wouldn’t you keep a guy like that?

      • Jim Harper

        You realize we are up way too late. Did you go to the game?

        • KCMikeG

          No I donated my tickets to the Boys & Girls Club of KC.

          • Jim Harper

            Really? I am surprised they did not call me. I used to be a boy, liked girls, and lived in KC. I am hurt!

          • KCMikeG

            Maybe you could have gotten grandfathered in.

      • Jared Watson

        Mike, I’ve watched all the games so far and I would say Davis has been underwhelming. He did have the kickoff return and has had a few nice intermediate runs interlaced with a lot of short gains, some catches also, but I would say overall he hasn’t shown me a whole lot. Either that or they played a game I didn’t know they played lol. I will say that when he gets in the open field he moves well for a big guy, and quick. Just haven’t been impressed with Davis…yet.

        • KCMikeG

          Yet. He hasn’t had a big preseason but he is the complete back who can pound it between the tackles, has break away speed, has pretty good hands and has shown his value in the return game when he hadn’t ever done it before. Seems like we have always have the speed guy and the pounder so defenses know what we are going to do based on the player on the field. Davis changes all that. He has so much more potential than our back up RB’s have had in the past. That said IMO if Gray stays healthy and is given the opportunity I think he will surpass Davis.

  • KCMikeG

    Avery better step it up or Hemingway will be our #2 before the midpoint of the season. I liked him in camp in 2011 before he got hurt and have been banging his drum loudly this off/preseason. Kid is tough, big 225 #’s, has good hands and fights for his YAC. Good on ST’s too. WR is going to be a tough cut. I had written off Hammond but he showed he has potential – maybe a practice squad guy? I liked them both but I’m done with Wylie and Moeaki. So with Kelce having injury issues too our suddenly deep TE position is a concern for me. Harris isn’t ready – practice squad player. Brock has been a little better but I would like to see us sign FA Visanthe Shiancoe.

    On defense I had been down on Drakeford but he exploded tonight. I really like Ridge Wilson & Josh Martin too. Catapano is healthy and in the game tonight showed what I had seen from him in camp before his injury. Wish Austen Lane would have shown a little more in the games like he did in camp. Could it be that Jalil Brown is finding his way? I had been concerned about our depth at DL but Toribio and Powe have stepped up just as Edgar Jones, Nico Johnson and Frank Zombo have at LB.

    Our Special Teams will win games for us this year no doubt. Not just from the big returns we have seen already but they have been just as impressive on the kick coverage. Look at the huge improvement in Succop from the 40-50 yard range. Don’t know what he has done but I sure like it! Dave Toub for Coach of the Year!

  • tm1946

    Many ‘bubble’ types played very well. Reid will have to make some tough decisions but does he cut one guy over another who played great one game. Glad I am not involved. Depth will be less an issue as the season progresses.

    For the kids, you guys played well and if, heaven forbid, you do not make it here, you have a good bit of film to show other teams. Wish everyone of you the best, it was a pleasure watching your effort.

  • Joe Myers

    Not sold on gray . One good outting or one bad outting isn’t good enough . Dhrone has shown more consistency . Might be too little to late

    • KCMikeG

      Gray 23 carries for 95 yards and 4.1 YPC vs. Draughn 17 carries for 50 yards and 2.9 YPC. Gray is far and away the better back.

      • Joe Myers

        What’s thier preseason stats ? I really dont knaow I went by the eye test .

  • Auburn78

    With our injuries at TE Id grab Lutzenkirchen off the waiver wire now. Rams released Emory Blake as well, he woulde be a great addition to the practice squad. Great hands and a gifted route runner. (Son of QB Jeff Blake)

  • thabear04

    I think Bradley McDougald should earn his spot on the roster.

  • ArrowFan

    I don’t know if it is the pads or just his size but Hemingway looks fat to me.

    • Jim Harper

      You’re kidding right?

  • Dfrey87

    I just read the funniest post in the world. I thought US chiefs fans could be a little over optimistic at times but there are some broncos fans that are just plain crazy. There is broncos site writer that suggest Ronnie Hillman is as good as our own JC. So I looked up his stats for this preseason he is 24 carries for 91 yards and 2 fumbles that’s a like 3.7 ypc. How can you even justify saying that? I even looked up last years stats he had a 3.9 ypc and one td. To even suggest Hillman in the same sentence as JC is an insult let alone saying he is as good.