This post is my analysis of 12 players on this team that have blue chip talent and putting them into categories that fit the description of their season. The Stalwarts are the consistent guys we have come to expect great play from week in and week out. The Suprises are 3 guys who I believe had break out seasons and continue on their progression will become stars in this league. The Slumps are guys that have shown flashes in the past, but for various reasons didn't preform that well this year. (two are sophmores) And the suspicions are heralded guys that have come hear and frankley have not preformed consistently, but still have hope to become something great in the future. Feel free to tell me if you disagree about the categories or if I left anyone out that might qualify. Also, I think the rest of players fall under stop-gaps, scrubs, and who the hell knows categories.
Brian Waters - this guy is our most consistent offensive lineman. I hope we don't have any complications with him wanting out or getting contract dispute in the offseason. We need him to hold the fort for at least a year while we develop a replacement.
Dustin Colquitt - this guy is for sure a top 3 punter in the league and arguably the best. With the offense as inept as it has been Colquitt has helped stop the bleeding at least by winning field position consistently.
Brandon Flowers - he has only completed two seasons, but Brandon proved he is for real. I love this kid, he is a complete corner and challenges almost every pass thrown his way. He got 5 picks this year and an incredible 25 passes defended.
Jamal Charles - Charles was a breath of fresh air when he took over for LJ at the half way point in the season. He gave us an actual rushing attack and proved he could do it with a less than perfect offensive line. Right now I think he is a top 3 running back in this league next to AP and CJ. And he has proven he can be a tough runner as well as a speed guy. He broke the franchise record for fastest to 1,000 yards per attempt and broke the single game rushing record. Honestly, he is probably the only thing this season that we could say gave us hope for greatness, not just being really good.
Tamba Hali - Hali had two good seasons first seasons for us, but many people attributed that to clean up duty for Jared Allen. He had a horrible season last year and people labeled the guy a bust. A lot of people didn't think he could adapt to the scheme change, but he has proved to be an effective pass rusher in this league. If we get someone to take the pressure off Tamba, like a pass rusher opposite of him, his sacks could sky rocket. Half of his sacks this year were off a legit pro bowler in Ryan Clady. Every team this year at least doubled him by chipping him or two TE sets. This guy will be the Liberian nightmare that we all hoped he would become.
Ryan Succop - I think we have all gained more oxygen to the brain this year because of this guy since we don't have to hold our breath everytime the field goal unit comes on the field. He had a great campaign this year hitting 25 of 29 and not missing a FG within 40 yards. Not mention he had great kick offs this year. This kid is going to relevant for years to come.
Brandon Albert - After last year I thought Albert was a star in the making. The kid preformed great despite not playing LT in college and missing almost all of training camp. He has more than doubled his sacks allowed this year than last season. I don't know if it was the weight loss, scheme change, or if he went against better competition. I think he is talented enough to bounce back and have a great year in 2011 and if worse come to worse he take over for Waters at LG and becomes a pro bowler in my opinion.
Dwayne Bowe - I think when we got Haley everyone thought Bowe was going to step it up to the next level to become an elite WR in this league. He had very respectable numbers his first two years, but we all knew he could do even better. I think he was set back this year obviously due his suspension and never being able to get on the same page with Matt Cassel. With them working together more and with less distractions I think Bowe takes that step next season to become a pro bowl WR.
Brandon Carr - This one is hard for me to judge since defensive backs are hard to assess on the television. But, it has been my impression that Carr has taken a step back this season. I could be wrong, but it seemed to me that Carr got burned a lot this season. Maybe its because of the scheme change or the lack of pass rush. He was a pleasant surprise last season and hopefully he is the long term answer across from Flowers.
Matt Cassel - There is no way to sugarcoat Cassel's season. It was underwelming. Now, I think he has the tools himself to be successful and I'm not labeling him a bust. And yes his WR corp didn't help him by dropping balls as well his offensive line preforming below par in pass protection. But, there are a few things that raise my eyebrows concerning Matt. First, he is limited in terms of arm strength. He can't throw the deep ball as effectely as some of the elite QBs in the league. Second, his timing is a little off. At times he either holds on to the ball too long and takes a sack or rushes a throw before the play develops. Last, he wasn't very accurate even considering the dropped balls. I expect him to impove, but he question is what is the ceiling for Cassel? In my opinion he doesn't have to be Brady because Brady wasn't Brady until that undefeated season. Even when Brady was winning superbowls he was considered a very solid, not spectacular QB. I that Matt Cassel proved in New England he can be that player and we can a win superbowl with him if we have a top 3 defense and offensive line.
Derrick Johnson - Man it seems like when your done with this guy he comes back and you fall in love all over again. I don't know what to make of DJ and I have no idea what plans the Chiefs have for him in the future. Is he just a rich man's Bobby Carpenter? A linebacker who offers a certain set of skills that doesn't translate to an every down player? If thats the case I don't us paying him top dollar to be that specialist who comes in on 3rd down packages.
Tyson Jackson - Obviously Tyson is only a rookie and he can hide behind that fact for this season alone. Jackson never really made an impact on this team this season and we spent the 3rd overall pick on him. I personally like the pick because I thought he could be the next Ty Warren. If he does become Warren than he was completely worth the #3 overall pick. Warren struggled his rookie season as almost all defensive lineman do. However, I at least thought Jackson was going to get more playing time than he did this year. I still have high hopes for him.
Glenn Dorsey - I think is a good player and didn't even have a bad rookie campaign. I just don't think he made the kind of impact that would put him in the suprise category. I know a lot of what he does goes unnoticed because he takes up blockers, but I'm waiting to see him disrupt the backfield more in the future. He definely took a step forward this season and I expect him to have a giant leap next year.