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Examiner
  • Tim Crone: Chiefs give reason for optimism

  • After enduring a brutally hot summer and the Royals’ roller-coaster ride, it was a relief to return to football and particularly the Chiefs.

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  • After enduring a brutally hot summer and the Royals’ roller-coaster ride, it was a relief to return to football and particularly the Chiefs.
    I went to training camp in St. Joseph with a friend to take a look at the new additions to the Kansas City Chiefs. I also worked the Friday night preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals, and it was a victory, 27-17!
    Coach Romeo Crennel and his staff appear to be doing a lot of good things with the youngest team in the NFL. Coach “Rom” seems to have the touch with the young kids, with his Super Bowl rings and his vast NFL experience. The new offensive coordinator, Brian Daboll has some impressive weapons throughout the entire offense.
    If they stay healthy, they should improve each week. This is the most depth in offense the team has had in decades. Running backs Jamaal Charles, Peyton Hillis and running back/receiver Dexter McCluster complement one another. The receivers Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin, Steve Breaston and Terrance Copper have great potential. The position that has most impressed me though was tight end. Tony Moeaki, Kevin Boss and Steve Maneri looked exceptional.
    Every Chiefs fan has to love the improved offensive line. The addition of Eric Winston has helped this unit take a huge step forward. This guy truly is the “real deal!” Branden Albert, Ryan Lilja, Rodney Hudson and Jon Asamoah all look impressive on both the run and pass. Backup depth is good with both Donald Stephenson (Blue Springs graduate) and Jeff Allen.
    Of course, the obvious key to success for the 2012 Chiefs is with Matt Cassel at quarterback. He appears comfortable in the new offense. The backup quarterbacks Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi are the best the team has had in years. Special teams will have a new look with special teams coordinator Tom McMahon. However veteran punter Dustin Colquitt and veteran place kicker Ryan Succop have solid NFL experience. They still have young legs to add to the success of special teams.
    The real straw that will stir the drink is Crennel’s defense. The guys can flat out play. Barring any injuries they will be salty dogs, and I predict they will rank in the top five NFL defenses. The defensive line is anchored by Anthony Toribio and Dontari Poe. Starting defensive tackles/ends are solid with veterans Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson, and Amon Gordon, Allen Bailey and Jerrell Powe are much improved. Plus, Romeo’s strength – he may well be the best defensive line coach in the NFL.
    At linebacker, All-Pro Derrick Johnson is a stallion. Paired with him is steady Jovan Belcher. Add to the lineup Justin Houston (who has Pro Bowl potential) and already two-time All-Pro Tamba Hali. Players Cameron Sheffield, Cory Greenwood, Brandon Siler and Andy Studebaker will provide depth and special teams support.
    Page 2 of 2 - The secondary also looks solid with corners Stanford Routt, Brandon Flowers, Javier Arenas and Jalil Brown. Safeties are even better with Eric Berry, Kendrick Lewis, Abram Elm and Travis Daniels. It’s the first time the Chiefs have had three guys who may be one or two at their positions with Hali at outside linebacker, Johnson at inside linebacker and Berry at safety.
    Come on, Chiefs fans – get excited!
    n In my eyes, the most competitive Olympic athlete I have seen in years is  Misty Mae Treanor. That woman gets it. She goes by the hungry dog theory – “The hungry dog runs further and faster.”
    n The women led the way for the United States in this year’s Olympics. Great job, ladies.
    n My quote this week is from President John F. Kennedy: “Being courageous requires no exceptional qualifications, no magic formula, no special combination of time, place and circumstance. It is an opportunity that sooner or later is presented to us all.”

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