That's what fans will see this time next week. Not the finished creation, but most of the puzzle. No more fake vanilla. September 9 it'll be the real ice cream.
Expectation started high. It was like creating a wish list thumbing through your favorite magazine. In my mind I saw how it could work. My vision had an offense that'd be hard to stop. From Tony Moeaki to Peyton Hillis in my happy place the offense was nearly perfect.
Fans not sure now...
That was with the pieces still off the machine. That was before OTA's and training camp. That was before preseason and injuries. Prior to reality.
I took for granted everybody staying healthy. I assumed without Brandon Carr the secondary wouldn't miss a beat. Without Carr and now a hurt Brandon Flowers it's definitely not the same.
Also different is today's belief in the Chiefs.
"Our defense might end up a good one as the season progresses, but I'm very worried about the first game. Not just to lose, but to lose discouragingly big," said a Chiefs fan. "Our D-line didn't show signs of wreaking havoc. Yes, I'm told that's the style of 34 Romeo plays. But wait....without Tamba Hali Matt Ryan will have all day to throw, especially considering our D-line. The thought of Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Gonzo, against our depleted secondary stresses me to almost puking. This is gonna be one of those games when we see passes completed against our defense with scary consistency. The only way we have any chance to win this is if we can manage long time consuming run heavy drives that would keep the Atlanta offense on the bench for the majority of the game. Maybe that's why Daboll was emphasizing the run in the last preseason game so much. Tell me something hopeful!"
More fans are getting negative putting the Chiefs into the same category as the Kansas City Royals. You know, your typical Kansas City team. Fans still say KC didn't spend enough to add talent.
Fans locally aren't as confident in the Chiefs as the national media. Not all gurus but most experts pick Kansas City to win the division. They see on paper what many thought before preseason. When I am out and about most fans are cautious, some are far from optimistic.
It's changed quickly on what fans think about Kansas City.
There are basically two sides. Chief fans thinking playoffs and fans who say nothing's changed.
"Atlanta stinks and are a bunch of chokers," said a fan about Atlanta. "As well, Gonzalez will be burdened with much remorse and longing in his return to Kansas City, and will secretly meet with the Chiefs coaching staff at an undisclosed KC BBQ joint, giving them Atlanta's playbook that he wrote in succulent BBQ sauce on a napkin. Or, in channeling the ghost of Hank Stram, Daboll goes retro and plays the wishbone with Charles, Hillis and McCluster the whole game. Not remotely knowing how to defend such a formation, Atlanta's defense crumbles and the Chiefs set a single game NFL rushing record. Or, Cassel and McCluster form a symbiotic, telepathic bond, enabling them to be one single, fabulous football entity, perfectly timing every single route, providing the Chiefs offense with first down after first down, not punting once in the game, and dominating the clock and scoreboard. Or, Matt Ryan's head falls off right before the coin flip."
Preceding the bumps, bruises and preseason I think it was more of a collective positive about Kansas City. A more confident view, personally I've tempered a bit. I’m in a holding pattern careful to expect too much out the gate.
I'm still high on this team but my homer glasses see well enough to know I haven't seen everything. Kansas City isn't quite on their feet, not yet. Some is because of injury and the rest is the Chiefs still getting adjusted.
Realism shoved injuries back in my face exposing what Kansas City doesn't have behind their starters. That was the biggest bummer about the Green Bay game, seeing how the backups played and knowing as many as six defensive starters are hurt before the Atlanta Falcons.
The secondary is paper thin. Linebacker isn't so deep either and the defensive line looks about the same. Dontari Poe may change that, but right now the D-line is average.
Seeing how bad Kansas City was after their first string against the Packers had me questioning leadership. I remember Romeo Crennel saying how hard it would be to make cuts because of the talent Kansas City had. I didn't see that ability against Green Bay. I witnessed missed tackles, blown coverage and lousy play. Besides the first game of the preseason every game exposed the backups and sometimes the starters.
Just speaking my heart, but there's holes to fill and starters that need to step up.
Scott Pioli was speaking to the depth of this team in the offseason. He said it's not something you fix in one season, two seasons or even three seasons. It takes time Pioli said. I agree, but time also runs out.
I want to be so surprised and rocked back into my happy place against the Atlanta Falcons, but in my gut I understand Kansas City might not start like I had planned, at least not right away. These first few weeks are vitally important because of who the Chiefs face. Hopefully by week three Tamba Hali has everyone on their feet.
One thing about the future, it might look bad…maybe even good, but you can't predict it. The Atlanta game hasn't happened yet, that much I do know.
Good day, Chiefs fans!