Scouts Inc.'s Jeremy Green takes a look at our Kansas City Chiefs heading into Scouts Inc.'s Jeremy Green takes a look at our Kansas City Chiefs heading into

ESPN's Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp Preview


Scouts Inc.’s Jeremy Green takes a look at our Kansas City Chiefs heading into training camp. I don’t do this very often, but since most of you aren’t Insiders I just jacked the entire thing.

My biggest problems with what I’ve been reading as of late from analysts about our Chiefs are: A.) That our defense is average; and B.) The blatant lack of respect for Brian Waters, Casey Wiegmann and, to a lesser extent, John Welbourn, who’s pretty damn good when he’s not playing out of position. I just don’t understand how anyone could look at our ends, linebackers and corners and not see an outstanding Cover 2 defense. Personally, I even think we’ve addressed our two biggest weaknesses – defensive tackle and safety. I also don’t understand how an AFC playoff team loses an over-the-hill QB, a washed-up return guy and a future HOF guard who retired a year late, and suddenly we are destined to win like three or four games.

Oh yeah, and I think Tony G (who didn’t even get mentioned!) has been a constant this decade. Call me crazy, but I just do.

Don’t get too bent out of shape. It’s just ESPN, and any network that runs “Who’s Now” can’t be that in touch. Plus, it’s painfully obvious that Green didn’t do his homework on this one. Do the fellas over at Scouts Inc. ever make it out West of the Mississippi? I honestly don’t think that they do.

"Three Burning QuestionsWill RB Larry Johnson show up for training camp without a new contract?After saying in late May that a contract holdout was the last thing he was thinking about, Johnson has changed his tune and says he will not show up for camp without a new contract. Johnson is scheduled to earn a little over $1 million this season despite being arguably the second-best running back in the NFL behind San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson. Johnson set an NFL record with 416 carries in 2006, and will need at least that number again if this team has any chance of seeing the playoffs in 2007. However, the Chiefs also have some leverage. Johnson is under contract and the team knows it can franchise him after the 2007 season. Johnson and his group know this as well and that is why he is looking for the big payday right now. Johnson is a beast as a runner, plays hard and has been a good team player. He deserves to be paid as one of the top backs in the NFL, but whether that happens remains to be seen. The Chiefs’ one constant this decade has been the play of their offensive line. Can this makeshift unit hold up this season?Two seasons and two retirements, and all of a sudden one of the better offensive lines from this decade is starting to look shaky at best. Prior to the 2006 season it was the retirement of LT William Roaf. This year, RG Will Shields walked away. The team has yet to get the left tackle position figured out and the depth inside is not very good either. Jordan Black did an adequate job of manning the left side in 2006, but he left via free agency to Houston. The team added veteran Damion McIntosh, but he has been a below-average starter over his career at best. Veterans John Welbourn and Chris Bober are expected to compete for the right guard spot, but both players combined do not give the Chiefs what Shields did inside. LG Brian Waters and C Casey Wiegmann are still solid, but neither is young and they are not surrounded by the same talent. Everything the Chiefs have done up front on offense this decade has revolved around solid offensive-line play and that unit is a huge question mark coming into the 2007 season.Will the Chiefs have enough firepower on offense to compensate for an average defense? There is no question the Chiefs are a better defensive team with Herm Edwards calling the shots, but they are far from dominant and are going to need to be very efficient on the offensive side of the ball. Can they do that with an offensive line that is no longer dominant, an aging veteran QB or inexperienced second-year QB, a lack of consistent playmakers outside and a potentially disgruntled running back in Johnson?The player under the microscopeQB Damon Huard. Assuming he wins the job, no player will be more scrutinized than Huard. He put together a solid run last season, but there is a reason he has been a career backup and that reason showed up in a key loss in Miami last year in the week before the team went back to Trent Green. Make no mistake about it: Green was released because of his salary, not because anyone in the organization felt like he wasn’t the best quarterback to lead this team in 2007. Because of experience, Huard will likely get the starting nod, but his leash could be extremely short. Breakout playerRookie WR Dwayne Bowe. It is not easy to find a breakout player on a team that we honestly do not feel is going to be very good in 2007. Bowe fits the bill though. With Bowe needing only to beat out the aging Eddie Kennison and the inconsistent Samie Parker, we see him getting a lot of playing time. This is a team that lacks talent at receiver, and the young and athletic Bowe has the most potential of anyone on the Chiefs’ roster.Comeback player of the yearDT Ron Edwards. Edwards signed with the Chiefs prior to the 2006 season. In 2005, he played in only four games with the Bills as he battled back from injuries. In his first healthy season in some time in 2006, Edwards had 20 tackles and 2½ sacks. With a year of experience in the Chiefs’ system, we think Edwards could fill his potential and become a consistent force inside. When healthy, Edwards has shown the ability to be a force and playmaker along the interior defensive line.Offensive philosophyFormer Chiefs offensive line coach Mike Solari will begin his second season as the replacement to Al Saunders as the offensive coordinator. Even though Solari kept the same philosophies in place, the production fell off in 2006. A big part of that was caused by the serious concussion sustained by Green and an aging offensive line that is not as good as it once was. The Chiefs still have a versatile attack in place, which uses multiple shifts and motions to keep defenses off balance. The Chiefs will rely on their standard personnel groupings on early downs, while spreading the field and utilizing three-wide packages in sub situations. Also, look for Solari to incorporate a little more West Coast flavor into the passing game. Edwards is a big believer in running the ball to set up the play-action passing game. That can be seen in the career-high 416 carries from Johnson last season. Johnson (if he does not hold out), may be asked to do even more this season based on the inconsistent efforts this team is bound to get from the quarterback position.Defensive philosophyEdwards brought a defensive background to the Chiefs when he took over last season and it paid dividends. The Chiefs still were not able to come up with enough big plays on defense, but overall, they were more consistent and they did not have nearly as many mental mistakes, blown assignments or give up as many big plays as they did during the Dick Vermeil era. Defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham still calls the plays on defense, but he has had to adapt his philosophy to the more conservative Cover 2 style that Edwards likes to employ. Although the Cover 2 scheme allowed the Chiefs to keep the ball in front of them and not allow as many big plays, they need to find a way to create more havoc up front in 2007. They are more of a bend-but-don’t-break defense right now, but that philosophy can take you only so far in the difficult AFC West."

“Chiefs Training Camp Preview” – ESPN