I've been thinking about the great Chiefs of old recently. The Derrick Thomas's. The Will Shields's. The Len Dawson's. The Bobby Bell's. To a lesser extent, the Tony Gonzalez's (as in he's not that old). People who are in the Hall of Fame, had their numbers retired, or will in a few years. So who will be the next great Chief that's currently on the roster. Yes that means all you Berry lover's out there can say Eric Berry. The names that come to my mind are Jamaal Charles, Tamba Hali, Eric Berry, Brandon Flowers, Dwayne Bowe and Matt Cassel
Jamaal Charles is probably the most talented player currently on the Chiefs roster. Last season he became the first and only player to rush for over 1100 yards on 200 or fewer categories. He also now owns the Chiefs single game rushing record with his 259 yards, 2 TD, performance against Denver in the season finale last season. One of the very few cons of Charles is his size; 5'11, 200 lb. A bit small for RB who is going to get pounded by big 6'4, 265 lb, LB's like Shawn Merriman. Having a small size does allow him to be lightning quick and nimble. Provided his shoulder holds up alright he should have a good long NFL career
Tamba Hali has proven to be one of the few recent 1st round defensive picks that have turned out pretty good for the Chiefs. Names like Derrick Johnson, Ryan Simms, Tyson Jackson have not exactly become famous in Kansas City. Tamba Hali gives the Chiefs a Dominant pass rusher who made Denver Pro Bowl LT Ryan Clady look terrible in both the Chiefs/Broncos matchups in the 2009-2010 season. His 8.5 sacks last season shows Chiefs fans what he is capable of.
Chiefs fans can't get enough of Eric Berry. An Ed Reed clone that the Chiefs so desperately needed after Mike Brown. He can blitz. He can intercept the ball. The only thing he can't do it seems is find a way off the homepage of AP. He has got Chiefs nation excited and could very well be the next Ed Reed. Only time will tell.
Brandon Flowers, the one bright spot in the Chiefs secondary in 2009. He has recorded 7 interceptions in his first two seasons. If that's not impressive, his first 2 interceptions came against the great Brett Favre. He is arguably the Chiefs best overall player and goes into his third season with Chiefs fans anticipating more improvement from this star in the making. With Hall of Fame CB, Emmitt Thomas, being his secondary coach, their is nothing but high hopes for Flowers.
Dwayne Bowe has teased Chiefs fans with his up and down performance's since he was drafted 23rd overall in 2007. Bowe showed much promise in his first two seasons as a Chief; recording 70 reception for 995 yards and 5 TD's in his rookie season and 86 receptions for 1022 yards and 7 TD's in his second season. An interesting note on his 2008 stats, He recorded the same amount of receptions as Jerry Rice did in his second season. Just saying is all. In 2009 he finished with 47 receptions for 589 yards and 4 TDs while being suspended for 4 games due to violating the league's performance enhancing drug policy. Drop balls have been his staple but he has shown incredible amounts of talent including a 164 yard game against San Diego in his rookie season. Todd Haley won't let Bowe fail the team.
Now the most important man out on the field, the QB Matt Cassel. A lot of how well the Chiefs do will come down to him. He showed the league incredible amounts of talent in 2008 when he started in place of Tom Brady. Cassel completed 327 of 516 for 3,693 yards and 21 TD's and 11 interceptions. Quite a bit of talent from a 7th round pick. In 2009 he didn't quite live up to expectations, going 271 on 493 for 2,924 yards and 16 TDs and 16 interceptions. An interesting stat is that Cassel also got sacked more in 2008 than he did in 2009. 47 times in 2008, 42 times in 2009. So apparently you don't NEED to keep Cassel protected for him to be as good as he was in New England. For now he is the Chiefs QB. However another dissapointing season in 2010 might see Scott Pioli and Todd Haley looking at a new QB. He needs to lift this team up.
So out of those players will go on to greatness and which ones fill fail. My opinion is that Matt Cassel will go on to have a Trent Green style career in KC. Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles will go on to break the Chiefs recieving and rushing records respectively. While Hali and Flowers will go on to Pro Bowl careers. I don't believe in creating future possibilities for rookies I haven't seen play at the pro level, So i'll let you know around November where I think Berry is going.
What say you? Who is the next "Great Chief"?