Five Training Camp Points To Watch With The Kansas City Chiefs

June 12, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli (left) and head coach Romeo Crennel talk on the sidelines during minicamp activities at the Kansas City Chiefs practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

With the Kansas City Chiefs ready to report to training camp less than two weeks from now, it's time to look toward 2012 and forget the disappointment of 2011. With a new crop of talent coming in and some stars returning to the lineup, the Chiefs are poised to make a run in the AFC.

Since the aforementioned training camp is approaching rapidly (July 28th for the veterans to be exact), it's always fun to look at some storylines headed into the summer. Here are my top five:

1) The ACL Crew

By far, this is the most important subject to watch. The trio of Eric Berry, Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki all are coming off of torn ACL's and are vitally important to the team.

The defense is expected to perhaps be a top-five unit in the NFL this season and with Berry in the fold, that certainly could become a reality. Charles is the focal point of the offense and is needed desperately by Matt Cassel and new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Not only does Charles provide a game-breaking runner, but he can catch the ball and give Cassel a safety valve on passing downs.

Moeaki shouldn't go underrated either. The Iowa product showed some serious ability in his rookie season and along with Kevin Boss, could form one of the league's top tandems at tight end.

2) Dontari Poe's Progress

How much of an impact will this kid make his rookie season? It's not fair to expect much out of a defensive lineman who is really just learning how to become a nose tackle, but life isn't fair. After years of being without a legitimate man in the middle on the line, Poe provides that and then some for this team with a 346-pound frame.

However, he plays one of the toughest positions to dominate right away and will need seasoning. If he can make even a moderate impact in 2012, the Chiefs have to feel great.

3) Brian Daboll's Offense

Kansas City looked lost on offense last year, much thanks (or absolutely no thanks rather) to Bill Muir and his play-calling. The Chiefs couldn't get anything going partially due to injuries, Tyler Palko and the abysmal scripts going into games.Now, they have a new man making the gameplan.

Daboll's resume should give everyone pause as to whether he's worth anything as an offensive mind in the NFL. He's never captained a group to finishing in the top half of the league, something that is unquestionably worrisome. However, he's also been saddled with the Browns and Dolphins, two teams that didn't have any talent to speak of compared to this roster.

With Cassel having to learn another system, this could easily be the biggest downfall to the season if things don't go according to plan.

4) Justin Houston's Development

Houston looked like a man among boys at the end of the 2011 campaign, racking up 5.5 sacks in the last five contests, including three against the Chicago Bears. The third-round pick looks like a steal and paired with Tamba Hali, could provide Kansas City with bookend pass-rushers to terrorize quarterbacks with.

It's key that Houston took the offseason seriously and really honed his skills. The man has already shown he can play the run and drop into coverage, showing off his all-around prowess. If Houston can take his game to the next level the Chiefs will be able to get ample pressure without having to blitz.

5) Rodney Hudson Running The Show

This might be the most overlooked storyline heading into 2012. Hudson is entering just his second year out of Florida State and is being asked not only to learn a new playbook, but call out the protections at the line. He's replacing a stalwart in Casey Wiegmann, who he hopefully learned from last year.

After getting very limited playing time as a rookie, Hudson is getting thrown into the fire and needs to hold his own. With Eric Winston being added to the line, big things are expected of this group immediately. If they can do the job up front, this offense has major capabilities.

Hey guys, I'm not much for self-promotion but I don't have much of an option with a very limited budget. As many of you already know, I've written an NFL preview magazine entitled Total NFL that is being distributed across the Northeast.

I'm selling the magazine for $7.99 through this link, with free shipping to anyone within the United States. It's 176 pages with five pages dedicated to each team, featuring 12 articles, predictions on everything, and a detailed breakdown of every draft pick of the last two years. Also, there isn't one advertisement to be found.

All payments will be handled securely via PAYPAL.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Arrowhead Pride

You must be a member of Arrowhead Pride to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Arrowhead Pride. You should read them.

Join Arrowhead Pride

You must be a member of Arrowhead Pride to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Arrowhead Pride. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.