Catching Up On The Kansas City Chiefs Positional Battles

TAMPA FL - AUGUST 21: Safety Tanard Jackson #36 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tackles tight end Leonard Pope #45 of the Kansas City Chiefs during a preseason game at Raymond James Stadium on August 21 2010 in Tampa Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

The Kansas City Chiefs are nearing the end of training camp. They're back in Kansas City and practicing this week to prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday night.

Here's a quick look at where we stand with a few of the positional battles we were looking at heading into training camp.

Center: Rudy Niswanger vs. Casey Wiegmann

Niswanger played on the first team for the majority of training camp. Wiegmann saw first team snaps at times but for the most part it's been Niswanger.

This is a difficult position to judge because Wiegmann doesn't necessarily need a ton of snaps. He's been in the league for a while and the Chiefs know what they have with him.

Inside linebaker: Corey Mays/Demorrio Williams vs. Derrick Johnson/Jovan Belcher

Well, they stayed together in pairs for the most part. The Chiefs switched them around for a bit but the majority of the time they came in together and the Chiefs didn't split them up.

They've split first team action pretty evenly throughout camp. I would argue that DJ and Belcher should get the nod since the Chiefs went through 16 games with Mays and Williams starting last year. DJ and Belcher offer something new on a defense that didn't do very well last year.

Safety: Jon McGraw vs. Kendrick Lewis

When healthy, this has usually been McGraw's position. He went down last week and Lewis stepped in. I found it interesting that McGraw still made the trip to Tampa, FL with the team, even though he was injured. That's unusual but I think the Chiefs wanted his presence on the sidelines.

Lewis is clearly the future here and has shown signs that he can handle a big load from the start. I'm sticking to my guess that McGraw opens the season on the first team.

Running back: Thomas Jones vs. Jamaal Charles

Who knows how this one will shake out. Jones has been on the first team and gotten the majority of the snaps. Both Todd Haley and Scott Pioli have said each player understands their role so we shouldn't get too tangled up in who actually starts.

These two will split carries in 2010 but we still don't have an idea of how much.

Nose tackle: Ron Edwards vs. Shaun Smith/Derek Lokey

It's been the Ron Edwards show for the most part. He's been on the first team for pretty much all of camp. Shaun Smith moved from nose tackle to defensive end at times late in camp while Lokey was pretty consistently behind Edwards.

Tight end: Leonard Pope vs. Tony Moeaki

Not much of a battle. Moeaki looked solid early on but then was injured and hasn't been as involved. He missed the first preseason game and didn't log any stats in the second game.

This is Pope's spot moving forward.

Defensive end: Tyson Jackson vs. Wallace Gilberry

This is a new position battle that wasn't even on our radar to start training camp.

I'm guessing that Jackson comes out of this the starter. Even if Gilberry is the better player, I wouldn't want to face the fans when the third overall pick is benched in year two.

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