Who's hot and who's not? (Don't call it a comeback DTR, I've been here for year-sz Version.)
As an equal opportunity poster, I felt obligated to give the Offense their due, and make a guesstimate of the Offensive depth chart. For those of you who seem to be horizontally challenged, please set your SBNation to Wide. There was a ton of stuff in this chart, and you will have trouble viewing it all in the narrow format. I have to admit, I had a lot of fun making these charts, and trying to decide upon where guys fit, or how they are performing, by trying to gleam bits and pieces of information from all the wonderful folks here at Arrowhead Pride. Amazingly enough, it seems as if the starters on our Offense are already set. Most of the roster prognostication deals mainly with depth, and the wide receiver group. The wide receiver competiton is probably the best position group battle of the bunch. Check out Connerman's nice take on the state of the WRs. They definitlely have more questions than answers. And as always, Shout Out if you see it any different...
I must start with the Quarterback position for two reasons: it is the most important positon on your football team, and this position has our most prized offseason acquisition in Matt Cassel. I have felt the rumblings of the staunch Thigpen supporters in many a comment on AP, but quite frankly, how can you NOT be excited about Matt? I am not saying that he is a world beater yet, but he is by all current accounts a great leader, hard worker, and a very accurate passer. Bones is great, but there was many a game last year that I looked upon my TV in disgust as a Thigpen pass went sailing high. Tyler is athletic and plays with a ton of heart, but some clipboard seasoning might do him some good. Brokie is still a capable #3 if he can overcome the injury bug. Along with Ingle Martin, this is one of the deepest position groups on the offense.
The tailback position is not the strength it once was, but it is solid and has a few different types of running backs that we can utilize. LJ is apparently "stuck" with us, because we can pay him the most money. But that's ok because we can use him well in our new offense. We will pass to set up the run, and this should bode well for Johnson as he should see some big holes in opposing defenses late in games. Charles will definitely see more work in a Reggie Bush like role this season, and Kolby Smith is an adequate fill-in RB if he can stay healthy. But I think that he will be pushed for his roster spot this season by Javarris Williams. Williams was touted as a dark horse who could surprise at the next level. I would not be surprised to see him win the #3 spot because of his versatility, and the fact that he is one of Pioli's guys. As for Jackie Battle, last year he was slightly on the radar because he did so well in training camp. Well, he is running with the first team again, but what should we take from that? Probably nothing. Savage will likely only earn a roster spot if he can beat out Quinten Lawrence at the returner position.
The fullback spot has had little press so far this season other than the blurb about Mike Cox bowling over some defenders. That is good to hear, because I am not sure that Mike's history with Offensive Coordinator Chan Gailey will be enough to keep his spot on this roster. I think it will, but I found it interesting that the Chiefs traded back up to draft Tight End Jake O'Connell. I think they view him as an H Back type player that is versatile enough to play multiple positions, which is completely in-line with the Pioli philosophy. Williams also has the size to get a look here, which also increases his shot at the 53 since he could play both FB and TB. The Chiefs are not likely to keep more than 5 total RBs so...just saying. This might be one to watch.
The offensive line seems to be set at starter with McIntosh, Goff, Niswanger, Waters, and Albert. But the only acsending player here is Albert. Niswanger is young, but he will be challenged by Ghiaciuc and Wade Smith. I think Wade Smith did a good job filling in last season when Jones was injured, and it says a lot that he is playing with the 1st team at Left Guard while Troubled Waters is MIA. Goff is a welcome addition, but he will not likely be in KC for very long. McIntosh is our starting right tackle for now, unless young guns Richardson and Brown can push him for playing time. You can tell by all the sideways arrows that most of these guys could go either way. I am really hoping that this is the season that we see at least one of our young lineman assert themselves and win a starting spot on this line. Edwin Harrison, Tavaris Washington, Barry Richardson, Brian De La Puenta, Herb Taylor, ....somebody?
The wide receivers will be battling it out for the next 2 1/2 months or so, and I am looking forward to this as much as any other roster battle on the offense. I think we can all say that Bowe's spot as #1 is already assured, and Bradley and Engram should fall in right behind him. But neither one of them is without risk. Bradley's troubles have always been his lack of availibililty on the football field, and Bobby Engram is reaching the magical age of 36, where all receivers get a 6th gear so they can still get open. Uh, sure they do. I will say that Engram is a quality receiver who never let me down in Fantasy Football two years ago. That has to count for something? I would then slot Devard Darling and Jeff Webb as the 4th and 5th receivers on the roster, followed by Copper, Jones, Lawrence, Johnson, and Wright. Somebody also has to be Engram's heir apparent to the slot receiver, so a lot of these guys will get a look there. Best chance to break into the 53 as a WR: Copper or Jones. I think Lawrence makes it as our returner.
Considering that most of the starter spots are already spoken for, I am a little surprised there is so much to discuss in regards to the '09 Chiefs offense and the state of the depth chart. But the real success of this unit, like it or not, is riding on the arm of #7. Make no bones about it.