Area sports fans are getting geared up for the Chiefs 2019 football season. The two home exhibition games were well-attended for a very boring preseason. Now that the final exhibition game is in the books, it is time to strap the helmet on, start Red Fridays and get the excitement going for a very promising year.
The exhibition season has proven one thing, and that is Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs players are focused and prepared for a Super Bowl appearance. Andy Reid has kept fans at bay so the players can focus on the next game and aware that football season is a process.
The offense needs to dominate every game in order for the Chiefs to remain a contender. The makeup of the offense takes on the personality of the coach and quarterback. With Reid and Mahomes, you are waiting on every play to see if it goes to the house.
The offensive line goes into the regular season healthy and experienced with playing time together. The move to bring Jeff Allen back as a backup in all offensive line positions was a top-notch move. The return of De’Anthony Thomas is also just what the doctor order following the loss of wide receiver Marcus Kemp for the season. Thomas is a great speed guy who can be a gunner on all special teams, and he can return both kickoffs and punts. In addition, he can be a fifth receiver and has been used as an emergency back when injury occurs.
It looks like the Chiefs will carry six to seven receivers and all of them able to add great speed to both the offense and special teams. Look for rookie receiver Mecole Hardman to play a big role in this year’s offense.
The running back situation looks very interesting, but the team will probably only get to keep three running backs. Damien Williams will be the starter if healthy and rookie Darwin Thompson looks special. If he stays healthy look for him to be a big surprise this season. The third spot will be filled with either Darrel Williams or Carlos Hyde. It is possible that the team may carry four running backs who also will have to play a big role on special teams.
The Chiefs will likely carry only two quarterbacks with the hope to get Kyle Shurmur on the practice squad. Shurmur has played smart and played well in the preseason. Reid would like to keep three tight ends but the injury to Deon Yelder may mean that just Travis Kelce and Blake Bell start the season.
Defensively the line is going to be good. This year’s team will be much better in stopping the run. Frank Clark is a stud who can defend the run well and is one of the best rush ends in the league. Look for the Chiefs to carry seven defensive linemen.
The linebacker situation will be interesting to watch, and you may see some surprise cuts in this area. The team will keep at least seven linebackers, and a lot of them will be key players on special teams.
The safety position is much better than last year with Tyrann Mathieu, rookie Juan Thornhill, Daniel Sorensen, Jordan Lucas and Armani Watts. The one area that is still weak is cornerback with Bashaud Breeland getting hurt. Kendall Fuller and Charvarious Ward should start now, and the Chiefs will try to keep at least three or four more, but no one stands out as solid. They may attempt to pick someone up who is cut from another team.
Special teams coach Dave Toub is the best in the business. He has more speed on this year’s team than probably any he has ever coached. The punter is one of the best in the NFL with veteran Dustin Colquitt. Kicker Harrison Butker should be great with his superior range.
Reid and GM Brett Veach have put together a solid coaching staff. It is time to play. The only concern for Chiefs fans is possible injuries and no can control that. Chiefs fans, hang on and enjoy the season. It will be fun to witness.
• The quote of the week comes from American manufacturer Charles Simmons: “Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working 24 hours a day for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.”
– Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.