It’s also become clear to me that the Chiefs might take a step backwards defensively. Tamba Hali’s recently returned to practice, but his age is showing and he may not be healthy enough to contribute a full season.
The timetable associated with Justin Houston is completely unknown outside the walls of One Arrowhead Drive. Without them, the Chiefs’ pass rush is woefully unproven and quite possibly incapable of keeping this defense consistent with its 2015 performance. At press time, veteran outside linebacker Paul Kruger is an unrestricted free agent. While he has value on the open market, the Chiefs should have him on the next plane smoking to Kansas City.
The front half of the Chiefs’ secondary, save Marcus Peters, is still very much up in the air. Gaines also returned to action recently, but it’s tough to say if he’s recovered well enough to be a consistent starter opposite of the NFL’s 2015 Defensive Rookie of the Year. The best way to protect those cornerbacks is for the front seven to continue applying the pressure we’re used to seeing from them.
Bolstering this team’s pass rush should be a priority for general manager John Dorsey. Given Kruger’s past success and experience in the 3-4, don’t be surprised if he pays the Chiefs a visit in the coming days.
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