Re-signings And Familiarity Thrust Chiefs Atop AFC West p. II

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The Chiefs have taken over the top spot in the AFC West because of a few of great acquisitions, or upgrades… and because they’ve re-signed players who they’re advantageously “familiar” with… and because of the not so adroit off-season moves of their primary division opponents this off-season.

First, let’s finish looking at the Chiefs players who were re-signed. Then we’ll look at the Denver Broncos off-season moves to see what a train wreck it’s been for them. Lastly, we’ll take a look at the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders off-season wranglings.

WR Junior Hemingway was in my doghouse last year. Call him Mr. Look-ma-no-hands Hemingway. His drops came at crucial times and contributed to at least one loss and one is entirely too much. However, by bringing him back and giving him another shot furnishes an emerging player with the chance to further develop his abilities while Coach Reid is taking advantage of Hemingway’s knowledge of the system. I’ve been a Hemingway fan in years past. Hopefully this is a breakout year for him and he’ll take advantage of the confidence and opportunity he’s being given.

TE Demetrius Harris is part of the grand plan. Travis Kelce has risen far enough for the Chiefs to release Anthony Fasano making him the #1 TE, which consequently makes Harris the #2 guy. At 6-7 and 251 Harris, and with basketball skills in his make-up, offers a much different challenge for defenders to cope with. He also makes the Chiefs two TE sets a monster truck collision over the middle. One that the Chiefs plan on winning most times. Harris needs to play more consistently when given his chance, which he’s going to get plenty of this year.

Josh Martin and Kelcie McCray rank #1 and #2 on Special Teams among all Special Teams players in the NFL by PFF. Bringing them back, based upon that alone, is enough to justify Dorsey’s decision. Kurt Coleman, now in Carolina, was #3 in the league, which goes to show how special, Special Teams coach Dave Toub really is.

Add the players above to the 25+ list of starters and second teamers already under contract on the Chiefs roster, and it’s clear to see that a huge part of John Dorsey and Andy Reid’s plan was to re-sign and return as many players as were deserving from 2014. What should be noted, which may have gone mostly unnoticed, is the list of players they have not brought back for one reason or another. Players like: OG Mike McGlynn, OG Jeff Linkenbach, WR Donnie Avery, WR A.J. Jenkins, OT Ryan Harris, FS Kurt Coleman, DT Vance Walker, CB Chris Owens, and WR Dwayne Bowe.

An important reason to keep an eye on the Chiefs RE-familiarization process is that it may just be the edge they need to win their division race this year. When you examine all the changes taking place in Denver, it’s hard not to notice just how many obstacles they are up against to repeat as AFC Western Division champs. Especially the obstacles they’ve placed in their own way. Let’s take a look at a few.

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