From the FanPosts. Sortable Chiefs roster here. -Joel
Before the Chiefs' announced their initial 53-man roster, Ryan over at KC Chiefs Blog had a great post about what Andy Reid's initial 53 man roster has looked like the last six years with the Eagles.
Here is an analysis of his initial 53 man roster with the Chiefs.
The roster is heavy on the pass-catchers. Reid has averaged 7.8 WR/TEs on his initial 53-man roster over the past six years. This year he has nine (!!!): six wide receivers and three tight ends. He hasn't carried three TEs into the season since 2008. We know Reid likes to throw the ball, and with Tony Moeaki being released that leaves Dwayne Bowe as the only reliable pass catcher left. I can only assume Reid is hoping his quantity of pass catchers turns into some quality during the season.
Conversely, the Chiefs are light on the offensive linemen. It seems like, though it probably isn't the case, that the Chiefs plethora of pass catchers contributed to a dearth of offensive linemen. The past six years Reid has had nine O-linemen, and in four of the last six years he kept 10. This year he only has eight: Branden Albert, Eric Fischer, Jon Asamoah, Jeff Allen, and Rodney Hudson (presumed starters), and Geoff Schwartz, Donald Stephenson, and Eric Kush (presumed backups). The Chiefs are pretty thin here and injuries will obviously be a big concern during the season. It will be interesting to see if Reid trades a wide receiver for an offensive lineman at some point. (For example, if Dexter McCluster and Donnie Avery both turn into reliable targets for Smith he may feel comfortable cutting someone like Junior Hemmingway or AJ Jenkins.)
There aren't any surprises in the backfield. Reid has kept three running backs and quarterbacks the past six years, and only one fullback. Those same numbers hold true with this team, with three running backs (Jamaal Charles, Knile Davis, and Cyrus Gray) and a fullback (Anthony Sherman). The quarterbacks aren't a surprise, but I think the circumstances of this team are different than with his past teams.
Alex Smith is clearly a caretaker. He's not a superstar, and he'll never be spectacular. But he's consistent, he's accurate, and he won't lose you games like Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn will. While Chase Daniel didn't look good in the Green Bay game, he's the clear backup at this point. Tyler Bray did look good during the Green Bay game, and I believe Reid signed him with what he could be in three years down the road in mind.
The number of DL and LB are flipped. In Philly, Reid carried about 10 D-linemen and 6 LB into the season. This season he's taking 10 LB and 6 DL. This isn't really surprising, Reid ran a 4-3 with the Eagles and is going to continue the Chiefs' 3-4 scheme. It would have been surprising had Reid kept more than seven DL. (Disclaimer: rookie Josh Martin is listed as a hybrid DE/LB and wasn't counted in the specific position counts.)
The secondary is stacked. There are 10 cornerbacks and safeties on the roster, and they're all quality players. The secondary should be a strength on this team. This isn't surprising, Reid has had 9.5 DBs on the roster in the last 6 years.
The numbers on offense and defense are nearly identical. Reid has 24 offensive players, 26 defensive players, and three special teamers (Dustin Colquitt, P; Ryan Succop, K; Thomas Gafford, LS). I said earlier it would be interesting to see if Reid traded a pass catcher for an offensive lineman at some point this season, but he could just as easily trade a defensive player without sacrificing hardly any depth.
Some of these guys have to play special teams, too. Sometimes in looking at roster cuts we get too wrapped up in what position they are listed as playing, and forget that we need guys to return/defend kicks and punts. Dave Toub has made the Chiefs' special teams very, very good, and a lot of the guys on the roster were probably kept for their special teams abilities.
Overall, it's a balanced roster with no huge surprise cuts. I'm still worried about the Chiefs' offense. The problem is the general lack of playmakers at the skill positions. After Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles the Chiefs don't have any other reliable options. They're going to have to lean on a deep, talented defense and a great special teams unit to put the offense in good field position to score. As long as the offensive line is healthy and gels then Bowe, Charles and Smith should make this a league-average offense. The defense has top-10 potential, and the special teams should be one of the best in the league. The only major question with Reid's initial 53 man roster is the offensive line. They should gel nicely with a few games together, but with only eight men there isn't a lot of depth to cover if there is a significant injury. It will be interesting to see if Reid makes any moves to beef up the offensive line midseason, and where he cuts from to do so.