With the Chiefs a few days into training camp, thoughts have been percolating and circulating throughout my dome. I have yet to make it up to St. Joseph, but plan on doing so very soon, and will let everybody know of my observations while up there, as long as Pioli and Haley's Third Reich team allows it.
~I'll start off with my overall goal of the year for this Chiefs team: I want a realistic shot at the playoffs going into the last quarter of the season. I want to play games that matter come December of this year. We don't even have to win those games, I just want them to exist. I almost can't even remember what it's like to watch meaningful games, and that's not a good thing. This goal is brought upon by the lack of meaningful football played the last two seasons (both seasons lost meaning after Week 2 home losses to the Raiders). Defiant numbers on this goal would depend on the conference's well being, but if I must declare, I'd say 6-6.
~I think this goal is very attainable due to how easy our schedule is. I spy only three games that it's hard to imagine us winning (@Indy, @SD, @Hous). And my Houston pick should prove my objectivity in that process. Our matchup with the NFC West brings very little to the table, and we get the best two teams at home (SF, Ariz). This easy path might lead to us sneaking into the playoffs. It might also lead to us getting slobberknockered in the playoffs. I'll take it!
~As far as individual players go, I'm predicting that Tamba Hali makes the Pro Bowl this year. Last year was his first year at a new position, and while 8.5 sacks isn't too shabby, a handful of others slipped out of his hands, and he drew numerous holding penalties that were leading to obvious sacks. Comfort in the position, the addition of Romeo Crennel, and capitalizing on last year's missed opportunities will lead to 13 sacks and the Pro Bowl this year.
~We have amazing youth in the secondary right now. Flowers and Carr are the staples (and both are only in their 3rd years!), with an incoming rookie class of Error Bearer, Kendrick Lewis, and Javier Arenas. These could be our top five players making up the secondary this year. There will be some growing pains in the immediate future, but if they reach their full potential, we could be looking at one of the league's best in a few years.
~I don't understand Jarrad Page's holdout. He's not good enough to hold out, nor is he good enough to be traded. A continued hold out from him will be a career ender. Could he possibly be thinking baseball?
~The idea of Glenn Dorsey not being good was greatly over-reported. People were so down on Dorsey for a couple of reasons. First, the lingering memories of past defensive line busts like Ryan Sims, Eddie Freeman, and Junior Siavii are too fresh in the mind. It felt as if everybody was just waiting for Dorsey to flop. Secondly, all the talking heads saying how NFL-ready he was coming out of college made his rookie struggles shine brighter. Then he had to endure a position change. He was vastly improved last year, and I look for the same improvement this year.
~I feel like our defense is one player away from becoming dominant. Unfortunately, it is a huge hole that needs filling. I am talking, of course, of the rush linebacker position opposite of Hali. I believe the other aspects of our defense are filled with the necessary components to begin striking fear in the minds of opposing offenses. Our biggest hope on our current roster is Andy Studebaker, making him a very important player going into this year.
Boom, this concludes the conglomeration of thought attained through the first week or so of training camp. More thoughts are sure to come over the next few weeks, and cannot wait to see our team take the field for the first preseason game on August 14th at Atlanta.
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