With no practice today and less than a week before the first preseason game, I thought it would interesting to “take the temperature” of the fan base regarding the preseason games.
This time last year the Chiefs and the rest of us had a lot of questions. Would all of the vaunted draft picks truly pan out to be as good on the field as they looked on paper? Would Matt Cassel improve upon his embarrassingly poor 2009 season? When would we win our first game?
That last one was probably the most vexing as pre-season wore on. It would seem that most of us fans were dying for a win, sooner rather than later, and a win would finally be evidence that Haley and Pioli truly knew what they were doing. But with each passing week, the losses kept building and it was becoming exceedingly clear this team was going to be another disappointment.
At least, that was the opinion of most of us. Because it would seem the only folks who really put a lot of stock in winning preseason games are us fans. Sure, Haley would agree with whatever media pundit who asked if winning a preseason game was important to his team, but the reality of it was that he put far more emphasis on figuring out what he had in players than actually trying to win some games.
So the question this year is: how important is to win the preseason games? I'll offer up three thoughts after the jump.I submit that winning those games is never a bad thing but there are at least three things that I would think Haley and Pioli would want to focus on this preseason.
First, I’m convinced they’ll want to see how well young Mr. Studebaker paid attention to the tutelage given him by Mike Vrabel. Can Studie step in and hold down the opposite side of Tamba? Or does the raw talent of Justin Houston show itself and, despite missing the first week of training camp, the Georgia native finds himself starting?
Second, will Haley play the starters longer than usual as some other teams are reporting? Without the benefit of OTAs and minicamps, is it important to play the starters just a bit more than usual? Will Haley want to get his starting offensive line more time to jell prior to the season opener?
Finally, and in my mind, the most important, will Romeo find the right defensive line rotation in these first four preseason games? Has Gilberry’s offseason bulk-up made him more of an every-down lineman? Does Kelly Gregg have enough left in the tank to hold down the nose while Jerrell Powe learns the speed and nuances of playing in the NFL?
There are still a lot of questions about this team and I believe Scott Pioli and his personnel team has done a masterful job of finding new talent for this team. With the success of last year’s draft class building on some of the core players left over from Herm’s team, there are few real holes to fill this year and it would seem that Pioli is diligently working to build a deep team that can withstand the rigors of a long NFL season.
So, AP, how disappointed will we be if we don’t win too many preseason games this year?