KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 06: Reggie Bush #22 of the Miami Dolphins carries the ball as Jovan Belcher #59 of the Kansas City Chiefs defends during the game on November 6, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
You know the Kansas City Chiefs roster is getting better when there are more and more established starters on the team. Looking at this year's position battles is a great way to show that.
As we've said before, the Chiefs have very few position battles this summer. Each year GM Scott Pioli has been here I think we've seen fewer and fewer positions truly up for grabs.
Three of the four linebacker spots on this defense are set with Pro Bowlers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson and breakout star Justin Houston. The fourth spot is wide open. Belcher's been the starter for a few years but has never wowed anyone. Siler missed much of last year with an injury and could give him a run for his money at left inside linebacker. If Belcher/Siler can have big years, we could be talking about the best linebacker group in the entire league. And that includes San Francisco.
The Chiefs fourth best linebacker is a "key training camp battle". This team has come a long way.
Schrager also brings up just how good the Chiefs linebackers can be. Admit it -- you've wondered if the Chiefs linebackers could be among the best in the league. I know I have. You need Justin Houston to become a consistent force opposite Tamba Hali and you need Belcher and/or Siler to have career years. Even then, the 49ers linebackers are pretty incredible, but KC's defense is getting closer.
Two other highlights from Schrager's piece:
1. He writes: "Nobody's talking about what a difference Berry and Charles will make for this team."
I think the exact opposite is true. To the point where I wondered if Schrager is joking here. The return of the injured Chiefs is all anyone talks about related to the Chiefs these days. Every preview talks about the return of the injured guys. Every blurb in the national media includes a nod to the ACL crew. Even the Football Outsiders 2012 Almanac, which I just read today, uses the bulk of their Chiefs section talking about the return of Berry, Charles and Tony Moeaki.
2. Schrager writes: "It seems as though everyone's making the AFC West into a two-horse race, but I think Kansas City has a shot to win the division."
It was just kinda funny to see this and then directly below it see him pick KC to finish 3rd in the division.