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Chiefs Training Camp: Linebackers

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Previewing the Kansas City Chiefs roster as we prepare for the 2012 training camp schedule. The outside and inside linebackers...

The linebackers:

Outside: Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Gabe Miller, Cameron Sheffield, Andy Studebaker, Leon Wililams
Inside: Derrick Johnson, Jovan Belcher, Brandon Siler, Caleb Campbell, Cory Greenwood

Probably the best position group on the Chiefs entire roster, offense and defense. Not many weak spots here. Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson are your unquestioned leaders of this group, both Pro Bowl players. Justin Houston is an up and coming player who started putting up solid stats near the end of the 2011 season. He could get better. Jovan Belcher, two-year starter at inside linebacker, and Brandon Siler, who was out all of 2011 with an Achilles' injury, will be competing for the starting job. We think Studebaker probably makes it and Miller, a draft pick, has just one season under his belt. Greenwood received a contract extension earlier this year so he's a good bet to return. From there, there are no guarantees.

Previously: Quarterbacks | Running backs | Receivers | Tight Ends

You can count on...Tamba being Tamba. At least 12 sacks in each of the last two years and at least 7.5 sacks in five of his six years in the league. Tamba's gonna get his.

The big question mark...Can Justin Houston develop? We saw glimpses last year of what hit looks like when a team has two very good outside linebackers. Houston was playing well down the stretch and Tamba was Tamba. If Houston can become a force, the Chiefs are going to have one of the best linebacker groups in the NFL.

Random notes:

  • Houston started 10 games last year
  • Houston had three sacks in Week 13, one sack in Week 14 and 1.5 sacks in Week 17
  • Jovan Belcher and Brandon Siler both have contracts that expire after this season