Aug 7, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Phillip Gaines (23) on the line of scrimmage during the second of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 41 – 39. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Then Corners: Brandon Flowers, Stanford Routt, Javier Arenas, Jalil Brown, Jacques Reeves, Neiko Thorpe
Now Corners: Sean Smith, Phillip Gaines, Marcus Peters, Jamell Fleming, Steven Nelson, Marcus Cooper
Then Safeties: Eric Berry, Kendrick Lewis, Abram Elam, Travis Daniels, Tysyn Hartman
Now Safeties: Husain Abdullah, Ron Parker, Tyvon Branch, Eric Berry, Daniel Sorensen
I’m actually going to break this into both cornerbacks and safeties (you know, because this post just isn’t quite long enough yet). Let’s start with the corners. Yes, the 2012 Chiefs featured Brandon Flowers in his prime. He was great and he’s still a good player for the division rival San Diego Chargers. The problem then was that after Flowers the corners on the 2012 team were a big old pile of hot garbage. There simply isn’t a decent corner among the remaining players. Neiko Thorpe is still on the Raiders active roster as a reserve safety, but the rest have found themselves on the NFL scrap heap.
The 2015 Chiefs feature a group of corners with a lot of promise. Sean Smith may be out for the first three games but last season he played at a Pro Bowl level. First round pick Marcus Peters looks like a future shut down corner and Phillip Gaines has shown promise as well. While Jamell Fleming may not get much attention he’s been a solid role player since arriving in KC and third-round pick Steven Nelson gives them yet another young developmental guy. The fact that they have a former starter in Marcus Cooper just hanging around for depth is a bonus. I think this group scores an easy win as an upgrade for Dorsey.
Turning our attention to the safety position things are a little closer. Both teams have Eric Berry as the “big name” but in very different circumstances. In 2012 Berry was the only good safety that KC had, but in 2015 as Berry completes his amazing comeback from battling cancer the Chiefs can basically consider any of Berry’s contributions an added bonus.
While Husain Abdullah and Ron Parker may not be All Pros, they are solid NFL starting caliber safeties which is more than you can say for Kendrick Lewis. Tyson Branch looked amazing playing with the second string this preseason and I don’t think it’s reaching to say he’s a better player than Abram Elam or Travis Daniels. Daniel Sorensen and Tysyn Hartman are basically a wash as special teams players. All around I think the safety position goes down as another win for Dorsey as an area upgraded.
Finally, the special teams.
Next: Special Teams