We are 10 days away from the start of the Kansas City Chiefs training camp—10 days away from actual, real life, required football activities. 10 days away from over-analyzing every piece of information, depth chart and video that makes its way onto this website. And if we’re lucky, we’re 10 days away from midnight workout videos.
We’re about to have something tangible to get excited about again.
This week at Arrowhead Pride, we’re going to cover all the things that we are looking forward to the most, and for me, I’m most excited to watch the group that Chiefs fans everywhere are worried the most about: the cornerbacks.
In typical fashion, I couldn’t let the opportunity to discuss beer go by, so on top of what I’m expecting to see from the Chiefs CBs, I’m going to discuss the floors and the ceilings of each player with a beer from a brewery in the Kansas City area.
Keep in mind: everybody’s got different tastes, and some may not agree with a specific style. Let’s get to it!
Brewery: Torn Label Brewing Company
Ceiling: Funky Monk
Floor: Alpha Pale
Analysis: The Chiefs biggest acquisition on defense this offseason, Kendall Fuller, comes in with a mountain of expectations heaped on top of him. After two years in Washington as a slot corner, Fuller is expected to play both inside and outside for the Chiefs and goes into training camp as the starting corner opposite Steven Nelson.
Fuller is well regarded throughout the league, but he’s not played as a boundary corner in the NFL, so there are still questions about what the Chiefs are getting from their investment. At worst, he’ll likely be a solid starting corner in the league, like Alpha Pale is a very solid beer. At best, he’s a different take on Bob Sutton’s typical cornerback style (a Wild Ale, if you will), and one that works out remarkably well.
Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company
Ceiling: Saison Brett
Analysis: The established veteran of the squad, the secondary arguably hangs in the balance of Steven Nelson’s health. A highly-touted press corner coming out of college, Nelson has struggled with injuries in his time in Kansas City. However, he’s arguably been the Chiefs’ best press corner and definitely the best slot corner for the past two years. He goes into training camp as the Chiefs’ starting corner opposite of Kendall Fuller, and his versatility inside and outside will keep him on the field in every situation. If he continues to struggle with injuries as a boundary corner, the Chiefs will likely get some average play mixed in with games missed. He’ll be enjoyed by many while he’s on the field, but his “shattered glass” moniker will just prove itself to be true. However, if he stays healthy, the Chiefs might be looking at a guy that is arguably the best corner in the city over the course of the season.
Brewery: Martin City Brewing Company
Ceiling: The Poitier Brand Barrel-Aged Tripel
Floor: Old Glory Pilsner
Analysis: If Kendall Fuller holds the hopes and dreams of Chiefs fans and the cornerback position, David Amerson is the Chiefs fan’s whipping boy for the offseason. A former second-round pick of the Washington Redskins, Amerson saw a career resurgence in 2015 after being picked up by the Oakland Raiders, but regression and injuries left him the odd man out in Oakland, leading to a one-year deal in Kansas City. Going into training camp, Amerson sees himself fighting for the boundary corner position in the Chiefs’ sub-package defenses when Kendall Fuller or Steven Nelson move inside to cover the slot. If Amerson can show some hints of his 2015 performance in training camp, the Chiefs’ secondary could have high-end potential, like a big Barrel Aged Tripel. However, he’ll have to buck the trend of four years of poor play and nagging injuries to produce on the field in 2018.
Brewery: KC Bier Co
Ceiling: Wunder Pils
Analysis: While normally there wouldn’t be much hype coming into the season from an undrafted free agent, Arrion Springs got lots of praise from the coaching staff in OTAs. A 2018 UDFA from Oregon, Springs has shown flashes of being a smart corner that could play some significant minutes for the Chiefs this year. With the starting Chiefs corners having significant questions, it might be sooner rather than later that we see Springs on the field. In training camp, he’s one of the players I’m most anxious to watch. If he can show the ability to pick up the playbook quickly, he could grab some early minutes and his ceiling (like KC Bier Co.’s) could be a major surprise for people outside of Kansas City. At worst, I think the Chiefs will have a smart corner on the roster with low risk.
Brewery: Crane Brewing Co
Ceiling: Amber + Brett
Floor: Beet Weisse
Analysis: The Chiefs’ sixth-round pick in 2018, Tremon Smith, is a small-school prospect with good college production and lots of athletic ability. A former wide receiver, Smith switched to defensive back at Central Arkansas and became an FCS All American. In OTAs, Smith routinely flashed his ability, breaking up passes and gaining much praise from the organization. Training camp should continue to show whether he can translate his skills and keep growing as a player at the next level. As it all clicks in for Smith, we could see a ridiculously high ceiling, similar to that of a Brettanomyce-cultured beer. At the worst, the team should see production as a special teams player with a chance to make an impact as a cornerback in a couple years.
Brewery: Cinder Block Brewery
Ceiling: Black Squirrel
Floor: A crumpled can of English Cherry Cider
Analysis: A former third-round pick of the San Fransisco 49ers, Will Redmond would have gone higher if he hadn’t been for an ACL injury that ended his senior year of college. Since then, Redmond hasn’t been able to stay healthy. The Chiefs signed him to their practice squad in 2017, and the organization has mentioned him as a candidate to watch in the 2018 season. Training camp should show if Redmond is healthy enough to contribute for this year’s squad. If he can recapture some of his college ability, his ceiling is ridiculously high—a ridiculously-awesome Russian Imperial Stout-level of high. However, if he’s unable to show his ability to regain his form, he will likely be an easy cut for Brett Veach.
Brewery: McCoy’s Public House
Ceiling: Belgian Tripel
Floor: Peach Wheat
Analysis: That’s right, Keith Reaser. Maybe you forgot about Reaser this offseason. He was signed to the Chiefs’ practice squad last year and was active the Week 17 game against the Broncos, where he had two pass breakups and a sack, acquitting himself well enough. Veach went out of his way this offseason to mention him as a potential contributor in 2018. His ceiling may not be as high as others on this list, but he’s not one to easily forget about if he plays to his potential and may wow you with what he can produce, like McCoy’s. And well, if he doesn’t, this is another easy one to watch out the door.
What say you, Chiefs fans? What beers would you use to describe the ceilings and floors of the 2018 Chiefs cornerbacks? Which cornerback are you most interested to see in Training Camp?