Seven Kansas City Chiefs players who need to prove it

Kyle Rivas

The KC Chiefs have a lot of players who need to "prove it' after a surprisingly good 2013 season. Here are seven that need to step up entering the 2014 season.

OFFENSE

WR Dwayne Bowe: The Chiefs No. 1 receiver had a down year last season, months after signing a big multi-year contract. He has four years remaining on his deal but he needs to perform to see as many of those years as possible. D-Bowe needs to emerge as the 1,000-yard receiver we knew him in years prior to his new deal.

OT Eric Fisher: Is it too early to say it's a "prove-it" year from the 2013 No. 1 pick? Fisher is entering just his second season. But after having a so-so rookie year, the Chiefs are hoping he can step up to take control the way you would expect the No. 1 pick to. Fisher had two offseason surgeries and hasn't fully practiced this offseason so he has plenty to prove in training camp.

WR Junior Hemingway: This is his shot to claim the Chiefs slot receiver job. He looks like the top candidate for that position. After showing up in his limited opportunities last season, Hemingway has a great opportunity to seize control of that job.

DEFENSE

DE Allen Bailey: The same could be said for the other defensive end, Mike DeVito. Bailey comes in as a potential new starter at defensive end. After a reserve role the last few seasons, Bailey has regularly been running with the first team. This is finally his shot to show he can be a full-time player. Can he show he can do it?

DB Husain Abdullah: The free safety position was discussed just a liiiiiitle bit this offseason. Abdullah will get the first crack at taking that job in training camp. He had a terrific game in the playoffs against the Colts so there are hopes he can take command of that job. He is working on a two-year deal signed this offseason.

CB Sean Smith: The thing Smith has going for him is that there isn't a lot of competition for his position. He and Marcus Cooper are the top two cornerbacks. But that doesn't mean competition won't come eventually, especially after the Chiefs drafted Phillip Gaines in the third round. The Chiefs hope Gaines will develop into a starter one day, which could put Smith out of a job. Smith, obviously, is hoping to stave off the competition for at least the next two seasons when he is under contract.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K Ryan Succop: The Chiefs kicker since 2009, Succop is facing competition in training camp in the form of rookie kicker Cairo Santos. Succop is paid well, which is a good thing and a bad thing. Good because it's more money for him; bad because it's more of a reason to go with someone cheaper.

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