• Fans and experts have yet to witness the new-era Chiefs

  • Not a single pad has been donned and serious practice has yet to begin for the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s simple, because as you listen to fans and experts argue on who and what the Chiefs will be, we haven’t witnessed the 2010 Chiefs.

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  • When listening to the radio or cruising the Web, don’t people tend to overthink it?
    Here’s my spiel, ready?
    Not a single pad has been donned and serious practice has yet to begin for the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s simple, because as you listen to fans and experts argue on who and what the Chiefs will be, we haven’t witnessed the 2010 Chiefs.
    This season I’ll call it like I see it, but until I get a good look at Todd Haley and the Chiefs, I’ll be fair. Mini-camp only took a minute and there’s plenty of ground to cover. Radio is radio and talking about the Chiefs is what makes the offseason fun. I get that, but here’s my point.
    Leave enough room to have an open mind. That’s it.
    And while you’re at it save some space for the Royals, too.
    OK, now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
    RECEIVERS: Quick! When I say Chief plus receiver what comes to mind? Drops, Dwayne Bowe, or a player like Terrell Owens?
    It’s no secret the Chiefs were lousy at catching balls in 2009 and led the league in dropped passes. Without Tony Gonzalez, somewhere behind square one is how far the Chiefs fell. Nobody doubted losing Gonzalez would hurt, but just how much, I had no idea.
    I was naïve enough to think the Chiefs had enough. I also hoped Haley, because of his reputation of helping Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald, would be great for Bowe.
    But like my daddy said, there you go thinking again!
    I haven’t fooled myself into believing Bowe is another Fitzgerald, but he was pretty good before Haley. Mouthy, but Bowe was ascending enough to overlook the gab. There’s no doubt that Bowe took a nosedive last season. Not blaming his fall on Haley, because last year “The Show” finally caught up with Bowe.
    What’s got people talking about Owens is the fact that the Chiefs pretty much stayed with the status quo. The Chiefs still feel Bowe can be “the” guy and Chambers gives the Chiefs a skilled veteran who can be productive. Chasing a rabbit, but it’s a moot point on Owens because he’s already said he’s not interested in playing for the Chiefs. Still, people aren’t sure of what the Chiefs have.
    So far I like what I’ve seen from Jerheme Urban. At 6-foot-3 and 207 pounds, he’s a big receiver, and like Haley has mentioned, his speed is deceiving and he’s fast enough to help the Chiefs. There’s potential with Urban to surprise.
    The Chiefs also hope rookie Dexter McCluster will add the sort of wrinkle that creates havoc. If he stays healthy McCluster will be a distinct upgrade.
    Page 2 of 2 - Another weapon is rookie tight end Tony Moeaki. He didn’t participate much in OTA’s, but should be good to go for training camp. I like him, and even though Leonard Pope may start, I don’t think it’ll be long before Moeaki helps Cassel. I’m not calling him another Gonzalez, but compared to what’s on the roster, he’s an upgrade.
    The thing to keep in mind about training camp and the preseason is that you never know who’ll spring to life. Besides, the Chiefs can’t drop that many again? Can they?
    LINEBACKERS: Defense! Blame it on the ’90s, but I love it.
    Two spots that have quite a bit of potential are linebacker and defensive back.
    At linebacker fans are hoping Andy Studebaker and Jovan Belcher become standouts for the Chiefs. During OTA’s, I personally talked to Studebaker and he impressed me with the way he practiced and the way he handled himself. Most importantly, he’s taking advantage of what Mike Vrabel has to offer him. Both Studebaker and Belcher have the attitude and work ethic to go far.
    Cory Greenwood and Cameron Sheffield are two more who could make an impression. Greenwood is an interesting player for the Chiefs. He played four seasons for Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, and was three-time all-star. He was also the third overall pick for the Canadian Football League. Greenwood is a player to keep an eye on.
    Mike Vrabel and Tamba Hali should do well enough on the outside, but there are questions about the inside. Could Derrick Johnson play inside? Johnson’s first obstacle is Haley, but while Johnson is great at coverage, he needs to learn how to be more stout against the run. He has the physical gifts, but Johnson is still trying to play up to his first-round billing.
    You can’t say enough about the addition of defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and linebacker coach Gary Gibbs. Besides Vrabel, the name I heard most with defensive players was Crennel. His knowledge of the 3-4 will help establish the defense, but with Vrabel, the Chiefs could piece together a better linebacker unit this season.
    I’m particularly excited about the Chiefs secondary, but will get to that more next week. There are players on the roster I feel who will begin to give fans the feel of something headed in the right direction.
    Already there are predictions of finishes. I even read one that had the Chiefs winning their division, but do your best to hold back the reins. More time grasshopper, but the important thing is the Chiefs are taking positive steps forward.
    Good day, Chief fans!

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