If you've read about the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason then it's fairly clear that they've made significant upgrade.s Last year they were working with lots of changes, new faces and little expectations.
In 2010 however the expectations have risen. That's due to the folks that the Chiefs have brought in.
I went back and looked at the depth chart at this time last year compared to the current one. There are quite a few differences on the offensive side of the ball.
Here's a look at the changes in the first team offense from 2009 to 2010.
2009 first team (2010 first team)
C Rudy Niswanger (Casey Wiegmann): It's hard to call this an upgrade or downgrade because Wiegmann could decline fairly quickly because of his age.
RG Mike Goff (Ryan Lilja): This is clearly an upgrade. Goff was expected to be an average to solid starter last year but wasn't very good until he was put on IR. Lilja is younger and healthier so he's quickly an upgrade.
RT Ikechuku Ndukwe (Ryan O'Callaghan): Again, it's hard to call this a major upgrade. I think O'Callaghan is better, sure, so it's an upgrade but there's still some work to do here.
TE Sean Ryan (Leonard Pope): This is definitely an upgrade. Pope is a better blocker and pass catcher than Ryan. Plus he understands the system more.
WR Mark Bradley (Dwayne Bowe): With Chris Chambers in the fold, Bradley is technically being replaced by Bowe. Even with Bowe's inconsistencies, this is a big upgrade.
FB Mike Cox (Tim Castille): We're not even sure Castille will start and Cox is still on the team so this is a wash at this point.
RB Larry Johnson (Thomas Jones): Ideally, Jones is an upgrade but at the same time you can't just ignore that he's 32 years old. He carried the ball a ton over the last five years. I'm saying as of right now Jones is better than LJ but he's far from guaranteed.
If you look at it individually, there are a lot of upgrades on the offense and there are reasons to be optimistic. Ultimately, what matters most is whether the 2010 version of Matt Cassel is better than the 2009 version of Matt Cassel. Quarterbacks control so much of a team's success but you can't blame the Chiefs for a lack of trying when it comes to putting talent around him.