With all of the attention on so many of our rookies, we on Arrowhead Pride, as well as most fans and the major media, have primarily been focused on the offensive line, the defensive line, wide receivers and the secondary. The linebacking unit is the only unit on this team for which Herm hasn't Drafted. Shall we call it the Bill Belichek strategy? Or shall we call it a low part of the totem pole on a team full of needs?
Whichever way you take it, Gretz has a fantastic insider interview with Gunther Cunningham about the state of the thus-far struggling, shallow linebacking corps. This is an absolute must-read if you're concerned about the middle of the defense.
Two of the bigger revelations in the interview:
(1.) Demorrio Williams (who is playing the strong side with DJ on the weak, depth chart fans!) has been given better chances to rush the passer. He's even been lined up at DE in the two-minute defense, and apparently has devastated McIntosh in the process. Gretz has done nothing but rave.
(2.) Newly re-converted LB Oliver Hoyte has just made the 53-man roster. Of course, Gunther did not say as much, but Gunther has gushed about Hoyte's performance on special teams, which is the harbinger of who makes the roster if you're on the bubble. Scribble it onto your depth charts right now: Hoyte makes the team. Probably as a reserve special-teamer, but who knows? Apparently he's a camp favorite.
It's really hard to determine who's going to be on the final 53-man roster at this position when the smoke clears. Every single year during the Herm era, the Chiefs have taken a couple UDFAs at this position due to their special teams performance -- I expect this year's version to be the same.
So let's sort out the LB depth chart together, after the jump.
Here's the mothership's depth chart if you need it right now. It's unlikely the Chiefs will carry more than six. Durde will definitely be the foreigner the Chiefs retain for the practice squad, and there might be another player that survives on the practice squad as well.
Definitely in: OLB Derrick Johnson, MLB/OLB Donnie Edwards, OLB Demorrio Williams, MLB Pat Thomas
Good buzz: OLB Oliver Hoyte, OLB LeRue Rumph
Bad buzz: MLB Napoleon Harris
Foreign player: OLB Aden Durde
Lost in the mist: OLB Steve Octavien, MLB Weston Dacus, OLB E.J. Kuale
As of now at this obscenely premature hour, I believe Hoyte makes the team for special teams purposes alone. I also believe Rumph makes the team because I think Herm's a homer for guys he personally knows (Rumph was a close friend of Herm's son growing up). I believe that Harris will be among the three or four cuts we're likely to see in a week or two.
Who's going to be a prospective practice squad guy? What have you heard? Am I full of it on who might make the team? Fill me in, folks.