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The 5 best Kansas City Chiefs position battles in the preseason opener vs. Cincinnati Bengals

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Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) of Time Warner Cable Metro Sports gives his take on the best Kansas City Chiefs position battles ahead of Thursday night's preseason opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images

The Backup Quarterback Spots

Chase Daniel vs. Tyler Bray and Aaron Murray

The three-way battle is a popular one in camp. Will the Chiefs go with four quarterbacks? Who gets cut? Or does somebody get traded? The preseason games will show three keys that practice cannot: 1.) How they respond when they take a hit 2.) Step up in the pocket and make a throw 3.) decision-making under pressure.

Training camp has shown the following:

  • Daniel still has accuracy issues without being under pressure.
  • Bray has improved on his decision-making but has accuracy issues on some throws.
  • Murray is still trying to figure out the offense and lacks consistency in his accuracy.

The No. 2 Corner

Ron Parker vs. Sean Smith

Parker received the call to the first team shortly after Sean Smith's offseason arrest. The Newberry alumnus has not relinquished the position since. Parker has fought hard during camp to be in good position and have solid presses.

Smith on the other hand has struggled during camp. He has missed jams at times. He has been in trail position against receivers he should not be trailing. The veteran headed into his sixth season needs to ramp it up or he will remain behind Parker.

Wide Receiver Group

Kyle Williams, AJ Jenkins, Albert Wilson, Frankie Hammond, Weston Dressler, Mark Harrison

The collective group struggled last season at creating separation. This year that hasn't been a problem for Kyle Williams, Albert Wilson and Frankie Hammond. When they face unfamiliar opponents the real test begins. It's one thing to beat a teammate you have become comfortable facing. It's another to consistently beat any player you go against.

The final two or three spots are going to be a battle. All of these players will see reps throughout the entire game. This is a battle you can watch the entire time; not just a series or two.

The Shootout

Ryan Succop vs. Cairo Santos

Andy Reid has compared the kicking battle to a World Cup shootout. The two have been exciting to watch during camp. All eyes in the media tent are on these two every time they kick.

Santos on his range: "With no wind, or indoors, 60 [yards]. If I have the wind to my back, I think 65. I can go into the wind around 50."

Santos has had a routine with each kick at camp. He is very precise and methodical in how he approaches a kick. The Tulane alumnus also kicks with a noticeable thud on the football. Succop has looked shaky at times in camp in my opinion. He has missed some routine field goals he normally makes. Santos routinely booms kickoffs to the back of the endzone. Succop is typically shorter. This is another intriguing battle to watch every game.

The Right Guard Claim

Zach Fulton vs. Rishaw Johnson vs. Ricky Henry

One-by-one:

  • Fulton has forced his way up to the top of the depth chart. He looked stiff as a board on tape but in person he has better flexibility.
  • Johnson has struggled since the pads came on. He has been bull rushed by a majority of the defensive line. He doesn't have the re-anchor you would hope for in a starter. He also has issues at taking the proper angle on blocks to cut off the opponent.
  • Ricky Henry has seen reps with the first team offense in the past week. The Nebraska alumnus has shown a solid punch and a good base on his blocks. He can give the offensive line depth at the guard position.