Chiefs minicamp is over, and now the long wait for July 24th and the start of training camp begins. Andy Reid put the Chiefs through a light practice on the final day of minicamp so the notes from the final day of camp are not too interesting. Let’s get started.
This should speak to the low-key environment of the final day of camp. Some Chiefs fans were allowed to watch the final day of practice and got a small speech from Andy Reid. Cool deal.
OFFENSIVE LINE SHAKEUP
An injury to Donald Stephenson forced the Chiefs to be a bit creative with their offensive line on the final day of camp.
On one level this speaks to the versatility aspect Andy Reid covets in offensive linemen. You never know when someone is going to go down so having players who can move up and down the line are very valuable. On the other hand this also speaks to the reality that the Chiefs simply are not very deep along the offensive line.
I don’t expect the wide receivers to be much of anything this season, but there are some interesting players to watch during camp who could jump out an overachieve. One of those is A.J. Jenkins, who really has never had a chance to prove anything on the field.
Jenkins wasn’t a fit for what John Harbaugh was trying to do at San Francisco and therefore had a tough time making the 49ers active roster. His late-August trade to the Chiefs basically killed any chance of him being a productive player in year two. There are a lot of tools to like with Jenkins, and those tools matchup well with what Reid likes to do on offense. Jenkins will never be a number one wide receiver, but if he can be part of the solution for recovering the production lost with Dexter McCluster then he turns into a valuable player for the Chiefs.
– Dwayne Bowe has received a lot of praise for his attitude and work ethic this offseason. He’s said most of the right things, done what he needed to do to get his body in shape, and has performed well in practices. Should Bowe go back to doing Bowe-like things – averaged 71 catches, 1,041 yards, and eight touchdowns from 2010-2012 – then the Chiefs’ passing offense just got a huge boost.
– There are two wide cards for the Chiefs this season: Sanders Commings and Weston Dressler. Commings has the skill set to be the free safety we were all clamoring for before the draft started and could be a turnover machine. The downside is he could be an open gate to the end zone (if he’s ever on the field).
Dressler could be a wonderful possession receiver in the slot for the Chiefs. The more guys the Chiefs can rely on for consistent production, the more dangerous a guy like De’Anthony Thomas and Travis Kelce can become. This is part of the brilliance of Wes Welker – he’s always going to be open and, for the most part, will make the play in front of him. As a result, Tom Brady/Peyton Manning can look for the big play knowing an easy 7-12 yards are to be had with whatever route Welker was running.
Should Dressler turn into the player who perfects the knack of finding open space and having steady hands then he becomes the safe outlet for Alex Smith to dump the ball off too. Keeping the ball moving, sustaining long drives requires possession type guys like Dressler. He’s probably the best option the Chiefs have at such a player on the roster.
– Zach Fulton winning the right guard spot for the Chiefs would be huge to the depth of the interior offensive line. It would seem that Reid and John Dorsey agree that games are won at the line of scrimmage so having as much depth there as possible is paramount to winning football games. Fulton winning the job means he would be considered the better player of Rishaw Johnson, who is probably an average starting right guard in terms of talent. Having a backup like Johnson available to solidify the middle of the offensive line gives the Chiefs some of their depth back that they lost when Jon Asamoah and Geoff Schwartz left. KC’s offensive line depth won’t be as good as last year, but it at least wouldn’t be as extreme of a drop off as was once feared.