The past two or three days have seen a lot of conjecture about what the Raiders’ acquisition of Carson Palmer means to the Chiefs. As a Chiefs’ fan, I can’t worry about what the opposition does off the field, or in games we are not involved in. That being said, Palmer simply lends legitimacy to the QB position in Oakland. Campbell was still a question mark; he was an improvement over Russell, but was he really “the guy”? The Chiefs were in a similar situation 3 years ago. Cassel was brought in to lend stability to a position manned by Brodie Croyle and Tyler Thigpen. In that regard, he has been successful. However, it is time for Cassel to prove that he is indeed “the guy” in KC. With JC out for the season, Cassel has to take the team on his back, much as Rogers did in Green Bay last year. Cassel will need some help, though. If Haley/Muir don’t adapt to JC’s loss, Cassel will be shackled. This year, the Chiefs must change their offensive plan form using the pass to set up the run, to using the run to set up the pass. Jackie Battle won’t have many 100+ yard games, but he can be effective if he can average 70-75 yds. per game. Jones will provide support for Battle. Basically, Battle & Jones must keep the opposition’s defense honest. McCluster will be most effective as a receiver coming out of the backfield. This should be the season when Cassel either wins over the vast majority of the fan base, or the fan base grudgingly admits that Cassel isn’t “the guy”, and that positioning ourselves in the draft to pick one of the top QB’s is a necessity.
Jon Baldwin must get into the game. It makes no sense not to use your most effective skill players. I’ve seen a couple of explanations (attributed to Haley, justly or unjustly) as to why Baldwin hasn’t been activated. One explanation is that he hasn’t got the experience to consistently be in the right place at the right time, and this could cause Cassel to throw to a spot, and Baldwin not be there. This makes no sense for Baldwin. If we had just acquired him from another team, it would make sense, but he has been with the Chiefs since camp began. He has been running plays in practice. He has been in offensive team meetings. If he doesn’t know the offense, he shouldn’t have been a first round draft pick. The second explanation bandied about concerns the roster spot, and the effect using an active roster spot for Baldwin would have on ST’s. Hogwash! If one position on the active game roster determines the effectiveness of our ST’s, then there is a whole lot more rebuilding to be done than we think.