Tonight's the night. The Kansas City Chiefs finally take the field again when they host the Arizona Cardinals at Arrowhead Stadium for the first preseason game of the year.
We've got six things to watch for tonight, starting with your boy Jon Baldwin.
Show us what you got, Jon Baldwin
The star of KC Chiefs training camp, Jon Baldwin returns to the field against the Cardinals. With Dwayne Bowe gone, Baldwin has become one of the keys to the Chiefs offense. He's looked really, really good in training camp making highlight catch after highlight catch. I predicted the hype on Baldwin would move to another level this year.
Can he do that in the game, too? That's the big question. So far, he's been facing his own defensive backs. On Friday we'll see him go up against someone else.
As a preview, check out Baldwin against the Cardinals in camp practice.
ACL crew, you can show us what you got, too
The Chiefs ACL crew will be taking the field in a game setting for the first time in 11 months. Tony Moeaki went down in the final preseason game last year, Eric Berry was out in Week 1 and Jamaal Charles' ACL tear came in Week 2. 2011 was a tough year for KC Chiefs fans.
The health of those three is paramount to making 2012 a better year. The Chiefs will probably take it easy with those guys tonight. I can see a series or two for them, perhaps a handful of touches for Charles. Crennel has been cautious with them at times, choosing to hold them out when they switched surfaces at training camp.
Tonight, we see them back in action. And it will be glorious.
By the way, check out how many times we've mentioned "ACL crew". Wow...If JC breaks off a 20-plus yard touchdown run, we retire that term immediately.
Which QB comes off the bench first?
Well, we actually know the answer to this question -- it's Brady Quinn. Romeo Crennel tabbed him the No. 2 quarterback, for now. That depth chart could change next week but on Friday night you can expect to see Quinn in the game before Ricky Stanzi.
The backup quarterback is one of the most intriguing position battles this year and there's no clear leader. Just because Quinn will enter before Stanzi on Friday night, doesn't mean it'll be the same in the regular season.
Photo credit: Denny Medley | USPressWire
How many snaps for Dontari Poe?
The hype was probably a little bigger the week of the draft and things are starting to come back to reality now with Poe. The reality is that he's a rookie defensive lineman and these things take a while. I'm just like ya'll -- I wanna see him play.
But I think we should temper our expectations on him, at least for tonight. I can't see him playing much more than a couple of series', to be honest. Maybe, hopefully, I'm wrong. We'll see.
Photo credit: Denny Medley | USPressWire
Peyton Hillis, please truck-stick someone
I missed him running over a player during training camp this week. To make it up to me, Peyton, you can do it again tonight. Please truck-stick someone.
Who wins a job tonight?
No one will secure a job solely based on tonight. There's a lot that goes into the decision. But there are a few under-the-radar players I want to see in action tonight, starting with Josh Bellamy. Most people that go up to training camp will ask at some point who this No. 8 is. He's stood out at times during camp and seems like the undrafted free agent most likely to make the roster. The buzz on Bellamy has been around for a while.
Another player I want to see is Brandon Bair, second year defensive end. I love the way he looks on the field. He just looks like a 3-4 defensive end. Will his play match up to that? The Chiefs kept him on the active roster last year for a reason. Both starting defensive end jobs could be up in the air next season with Glenn Dorsey's contract expiring and Tyson Jackson due an unreasonable amount of money. This is Bair's opportunity.
Jalil Brown is my final Chief who could continue to establish himself tonight. He's been one of the stars of training camp because of the step he took from year one to year two. The lockout last year wiped out his offseason and he's taken full advantage of his time off this year. With Brandon Flowers potentially not playing, does Brown get the nod?