For a good portion of this fan's life, the Kansas City Chiefs were known first as a defensive team. My football memories of the 1990s are filled with Derrick Thomas' hands clasped above his hand in a safety signal, Neil Smith home run swings and Dale Carter running back interceptions.
Even though this isn't defense related, I'm going to throw in Steve Bono's record breaking run. You know, just because.
The winds shifted to the offensive side of the ball in the early part of the 21st century. In fact, the Chiefs did an about face. During the 1990s, the Chiefs defensive averaged about a top ten finish in points allowed and yards allowed. Since 2000, those defensive ranks have fallen into the lower third of the NFL.
Currently, the Kansas City Chiefs don't have much of an offensive or defensive identity.
The defense is solid but not great. Not yet anyway.
The offense has a few bright spots but also a lot of unknowns.
So, my question to you is, what are the strongest positions on the Kansas City Chiefs? And, will those strengths become pillars? Or will they crumble within a few years?
I'll resort to the blogger's best friend - lists - to get this conversation started. Here are my top three positions of strength on the Kansas City Chiefs:
1. Running back - The addition of Jamaal Charles suddenly catapults the Chiefs' personnel of the running game into the team's biggest strength. Larry Johnson is the #1 bruising back a Herm Edwards' team needs and Kolby Smith and Jamaal Charles are excellent compliments to LJ's style.
2. Linebackers - I don't really like putting linebacker as a major position of strength for the Chiefs but with so many unknowns on the team, this corp slides in. Derrick Johnson is slowly coming into his own since being drafted in 2005; Donnie Edwards is still an excellent player but won't be for much longer; and DeMorrio Williams and Nap Harris at least have experience, which is more than you can say for a lot of Chiefs positions.
The linebacker position appears to be stable, which is enough to make it on this list. I need to see much more from Derrick Johnson and just a glimmer of hope from Williams to be comfortable with this crew. Harris was unimpressive last year and left much to be desired.
3. Punter - You knew this was coming, right? Go through the roster and tell me what other positions for the Chiefs are stronger than punter. Dustin Colquitt falls into here sort of by default, but also because he's been one of the top performers at his position.
This was a pretty interesting exercise to go though if you do it objectively. We have a tenuous, at best, hold on our strengths.