Dwayne Bowe has landed, but Kansas City played Friday like it didn't matter. The Chiefs looked good. Not just smooth, but had attitude.
I liked what Eric Berry said before the game. Berry said the players realize how good they can be, but that's all it is. Until they do something it's just talk.
How long has it been since you could say you were impressed by a Kansas City Chiefs preseason game? Where the performance actually matched the hype? I'd say a long time.
"How long has it been since I've watched a preseason game where I didn't say..."well it's just the first game of the preseason, hope they look better in the next"...a long time," said a Chiefs fan. “I'm glad I didn't have to say it this time."
Today feels good. It's just one preseason game, but a big step for fans wanting to forget 2011.
Optimism came fast and furious Friday night, being in the press box it was hard to keep up. I'm not sure I've heard fingers type so fast; even a false fire alarm couldn't move the media. It was like steak to Kansas City fans stuck eating TV dinners.
It taste good, felt good, and I slept so much better last night. Hope burns that much brighter at One Arrowhead Drive.
"We're going to come in and look at it in the film room tomorrow, but we wanted to get out to a fast start," said Jamaal Charles after the game. "That's what we did. We want to continue that through the season and make sure we have a fast start."
Fans are super excited about 2012 and just liked many hoped Kansas City responded the right way. Like Charles said, Kansas City needs momentum for the regular season.
With the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers, and Baltimore Ravens in their first five games Kansas City needs forward thrust. Kansas City's last half of the schedule is one of the leagues easiest, so what the Chiefs do initially could make the real difference in winning the division and where they sit for the playoffs.
"We've had a very good camp so far," said Matt Cassel after the game. "We've been working hard. I think the offensive line, the receivers; the running backs have embraced the challenge of learning this offense and it showed it tonight."
Sure, it was against the hapless Arizona Cardinals but that's how better teams are supposed to fair against lesser talent. Kansas City took care of business and looked impressive doing it.
Fans deserved some bling and they got it.
Who I liked most…
Peyton Hillis: Hillis was what I wanted him to be. Totally awesome! His pose in the endzone came game one of the preseason. It couldn't have been any more perfect. Initially his first carry of one yard scared me, but largely Hillis looked like the beast I hoped he'd be.
Hillis easily becoming fan favorite
Instantly thoughts of what Hillis can bring to the offense danced in my head.
"Exactly. That's what I was hoping for when we signed him because he has shown that he has the ability to be a good runner, he can catch out of the backfield and he can block as well," said Crennel in response to being asked if Hillis play was what he expected. "I thought tonight he showed us a little bit of that – his ability to get through the line, run through tackles, has great vision on making his cuts. He's a good addition to the team."
I can't say expected it, but I sure hoped for it. It was a great game from Hillis.
Dexter McCluster: I'm really a fan of McCluster. Each time he caught the ball Friday I’d turn to the guy next to me and cynically ask who that was. Oh yeah, the guy who has no place on this team. I thought Dexter absolutely shined.
Steve Maneri: This guy is showing up. With three catches for 69 yards, I have to take notice. Maneri came to Kansas City from New England last season as an offensive tackle, but has slimmed down and made the switch to tight end. You won't find much on him on Wikipedia. He was an undrafted free agent in 2010 for the Houston Texans and then claimed by the New England Patriots off waivers.
Now he's with Kansas City and making plays. Some of the best have been undrafted. The first couple to come to mind is Tony Richardson and Priest Holmes two of the best for Kansas City.
I think Maneri is a Scott Pioli guy.
"I'm just doing the best I can to follow the routes and try and get open and make a catch," said Maneri. "I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses, and I'm working on those every day."
Overall, I liked the offensive line. Not a single sack was allowed by the offensive line. The Kansas City defense had seven sacks against Arizona, but not one sack was given up by Kansas City.
People are excited about the players, but Kansas City made several coaching changes. Jack Bicknell Jr. is the new offensive line coach. Bicknell assisted a Giants offensive line that paved the way for a 21-17 Super Bowl XLVI victory over the New England Patriots. Special teams looked good; Tom McMahon joined the Chiefs from the St. Louis Rams. McMahon had his St. Louis unit ranked in the top-5 in the NFL.
Several times last night players credited Brian Daboll for his smart play calling.
There were many things to like about Friday's game. The Chiefs are practicing hard, working hard and it showed
RAC is different, this team is different, and they're eager to disprove last season.
Good day, Chiefs fans!