The Kansas City Chiefs are enjoying their first day off since coming into training camp last week. Thus far, the veterans have taken part in five practices with the rookies and quarterbacks totaling eight.
Luckily, the Chiefs have been able to stay healthy for the most part, with only minor injuries happening. On the field, we have seen some surprising developments, both good and bad from both sides of the ball. Let's take a look at a few of them:
1. Ron Parker is not going anywhere
I have to admit, this is starting to stun me. Originally, I thought Sean Smith was on the second team because of his DUI this spring. Now, I'm starting to think Parker might really be winning this job. If he does, that is great news for Kansas City.
Smith is a good corner, which means Parker winning this job signifies that he's even better. The Chiefs need depth at this spot and the emergence of Parker would be a major deal. Parker was not used much in coverage last season, mostly coming in as a blitzer (save the last game of the regular season when backups started). In fact, Parker played only four snaps in the playoff game and blitzed on each of them.
Parker must have really been working in the offseason.
2. Offensive line depth
If the five starters up front don't stay healthy, the Chiefs are going to have a serious issue. The offensive tackles have promise but they also have questions.
I have more faith in the interior backups. While Jeff Linkenbach and Eric Kush are far from elite, I believe both have enough talent to hold the fort for a few games if needed. The same can be said for Rishaw Johnson, who I expect to be the second-string right guard. Speaking of right guard...
3. Zach Fulton is getting it done
Fulton came to the Chiefs as a sixth-round pick out of the University of Tennessee. At first an afterthought, Fulton seems to have a legitimate chance to land a starting job.
If Fulton develops into a capable starter, general manager John Dorsey deserves credit. Drafting an immediate starter in the sixth round not only gives you a nice, young player, but also a starter for cheap. Whether Fulton or Johnson starts against the Cincinnati Bengals on Aug. 7 is worth monitoring.
4. The safeties need a safety net
Eric Berry is, for my money, one of the best safeties in the NFL (insert disagreeing comments below). He can stop the run, cover a tight end and blitz. This year, Berry will have Husain Abdullah starting across from him instead of Kendrick Lewis, perhaps giving the Chiefs less sleepless nights.
However, Bob Sutton likes to play three safeties at once. Even if Sanders Commings is healthy, is he any good? If he isn't healthy, who is stepping up to take his role? Who would step up to replace Berry or Abdullah? Malcolm Bronson seems one of the first up in that situation. Safety is another "must stay healthy" spot.
5. Young receivers battling it out
Everybody knows that Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery are locks to make the roster, with Junior Hemingway a virtual lock. After that, there are three spots up for grabs with A.J. Jenkins having a good grip on one of those.
Frankie Hammond Jr. is somebody who has really shined at camp, making plays with his speed. Mark Harrison has made some of the nicest catches thus far, high-pointing the ball by using his 6'3, 230-pound frame. Then there is Albert Wilson, an undrafted rookie who was drawing raves from special teams coach Dave Toub. Weston Dressler is also in the mix, although his camp has been underwhelming to many.
Preseason games are largely for bubble players trying to snag a spot on the 53-man roster. The receivers group will be a fascinating watch.