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Athleticism is Name of the Game Early in Chiefs Offseason

As fans are finally getting some looks at the new roster and how it might be shaping up, an interesting point is emerging: athleticism seems to be the theme. The new guys are all leaders and high character guys. Most of the draft picks had fantastic numbers at the college level. But it seems the guys making noise with the first unit thus far are the guys who can play sideline to sideline and up the ante in the athletic level of talent on the field.

There was no question last season that Derrick Johnson was the most physically gifted linebacker around, yet he often was not on the field. While the drama between he and Todd Haley might still linger, it seems that between the combination of Haley and new defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, DJ's talents are being appreciated and utilized. Jovan Belcher was known for good game speed coming out of the University of Maine. Both are finding themselves the recipients of playing time in the middle of the field, as Joel noted yesterday.

Then you find newbies like Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis playing in the secondary and you realize that the Chiefs have more speed and sheer athletic prowess on the field now than they have in a long time. Of course, intelligence, the ability to read the field, adjusting ability and experience are all valued commodities. The games have yet to be played. The pads have yet to be placed on the shoulders. And the depth charts aren't anywhere close to official, as Haley has noted again and again.

Yet it's interesting to see the early leanings away from experience or other qualities to just put some of the most gifted players on the field. Perhaps it's to see what can emerge when playing them all together. It might just be an early off-season experiment. Then again, it might be a sign that the Chiefs will move better on defense than anything we saw last season.

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