Sports has seen a couple of famous trios in the last few years. First there was the “Big 3” in Boston and now there is the “Really Big 3” in Miami. The love story of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade has got me thinking.
Is there a “Big 3” in Kansas City?
You could group a few players together to make a trio for the Chiefs. You could argue that Bowe, Chambers and McCluster are a “Big 3.” They may not be future hall of famers but collectively they are vital to the Chiefs success this season. You could pair together Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones with say, Jackie Battle and argue that the backfield will be the Chiefs biggest strength this season.
Yet when thinking this whole thing out, I didn’t go that route. For me, the Chiefs do have a “Big 3” going in to the 2010 season. These 3 aren’t your typical triple threat. They aren’t well known around the league and no one fears them. The Chiefs’ “Big 3” are not big because they are accomplished NFL football players. They are big because they will play a crucial part in the future of the Kansas City Chiefs.
I’m talking about Eric Berry, Kendrick Lewis and Javier Arenas.
That’s right Addicts. The 3 guys mentioned above could make or break the Scott Pioli regime in Kansas City. There is a very, very real possibility, that the Chiefs will line up in their Nickel set against the Chargers in the season opener with 3 rookies being the last defenders standing between Philip Rivers and the end zone.
If that doesn’t frighten you a little bit, you aren’t human.
Marty Schottenheimer used to say that you can count on 1 loss for every rookie you start. While they might not all “start” there is a good chance that Dexter McCluster, Tony Moeaki, Kendrick Lewis, Eric Berry and Javier Arenas will see serious, serious playing time. Jon Asamoah will also likely be used heavily along the offensive line. That is 6 rookies. If Schottenheimer is right, the Chiefs could be in for another long season.
All rookies make mistakes. It just happens. It often takes players, even guys who end up being Pro Bowlers, 2 or 3 years to reach their full NFL potential. No matter how talented the player is, no matter how much the coaches teach them, there is an unavoidable learning curve.
The early reviews of both Lewis and Arenas are extremely positive. Lewis doesn’t appear to be your average 5th round pick and the Chiefs seem to be benefiting from a very deep draft. The expectations for Berry are on a whole different level. Thus far in his young career, he appears to be every bit the player he was advertised to be.
Still, a good defense is the sum of all it’s parts. If one player misses his assignment, even if everyone else does their job, it could lead to a big play or even a touchdown for the opposing offense. What happens if Arenas, Lewis and Berry each make 1 rookie mistake per game and blow an assignment. How many points could that lead to? 10? 14? 21? I truly believe the Chiefs are going to be a much improved football team this season even with the inexperience of their rookies. That being said, the 2010 Chiefs are only going to go as far as the the 2010 rookie class takes them. The deep secondary the Chiefs now sport is only deep because of the the rookies they drafted in April.
Be warned. The Chiefs secondary may face some growing pains this season. They may shut down a receiving core one week and the next week they make such horrifying blunders that you will be left smashing your beer can and scratching your head.
Berry, Lewis and Arenas had better grow up fast during training camp. They can’t afford to play like rookies in 2010. If they do, those of you that are worried about the front 7 need not be afraid.
No one will run the ball on the Chiefs if the quickest way to the end zone is to throw it over their heads.