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Dixon’s AP mailbag: Keith Reaser, Carlos Hyde and Derrick Johnson

Let’s see what questions you have about the Chiefs this week

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Welcome to Dixon’s Arrowhead Pride Mailbag, where I’ll do my best to answer your questions about the Kansas City Chiefs — and anything else that’s on your mind. If you have a question, you can hit my profile page to e-mail me, or ask me on Twitter.

While you’re at it, please follow me on Twitter, too.

On to your questions:

What are the chances of former AAF player Keith Reaser making the final roster?

— Todd

Thanks for asking, Todd. Full disclosure: I’m a Reaser fan, so take my response with the appropriate grain of sodium chloride.

If your question were about any former AAF player besides Reaser, I’d say the chances were about as good as a typical undrafted free agent or former NFL practice squad player.

In other words... not so great.

Former AAF players — pretty much by definition — are players who didn’t make it in the NFL. But sometimes it was through no fault of their own. In my view, that’s the case with Reaser.

I believe that without the quad injury he suffered last summer — which led to him being released from the Chiefs with an injury settlement at the beginning of the season — he would have made the 53-man roster in 2018. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach spoke of him enthusiastically and often, and he performed well in the two 2017 Chiefs games for which he was active.

So because we know Veach is a fan — and general managers tend to go above and beyond for players they see as diamonds in the rough — I’d say that for a former AAF player, Reaser’s chances are pretty good. I’d give him a 50% chance of making the roster.

Carlos Hyde was upset with his playing time in Jacksonville. Do you think he will have a chance in a heavy RB group like we have?

— Adam

Thanks for your question, Adam.

I’d say Carlos Hyde will continue to be unhappy. Hyde is a decent running back, but not a great one. And as I have previously written, while it took a game or two for head coach Andy Reid to figure out how to adjust his offense after Kareem Hunt’s sudden and unexpected departure, Damien Williams ended up being a pretty productive primary running back for the Chiefs last season.

Now that the Chiefs have acquired Darwin Thompson in the draft, picked up another exciting, undrafted prospect in James Williams (of course his name is Williams!) and have also added Marcus Marshall to a mix that already included Darrel Williams and J.D. Moore, it’s hard to see where Hyde fits.

All of that could change in training camp. Once the team is in pads, there’s always a chance Hyde will impress the coaches more than we expect, and find a role backing up Damien Williams for a season or two. But as things look right now, Hyde looks like an offseason signing to provide depth insurance.

Why aren’t the Chiefs getting any respect in the top 10 offense lists coming out?

— Jesse

This is nothing more than the typical lazy, top-level analysis we tend to see from the national media. From where they sit, the Chiefs are still reeling from the loss of Kareem Hunt. From their vantage point, any games Tyreek Hill might miss in 2019 will be games the Chiefs could easily lose. And whether we want to admit it or not, it’s unlikely that Patrick Mahomes will once again throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in 2019. Regression to the mean is a real thing.

Honestly... we shouldn’t hold this against these writers. We follow the Chiefs. We are intimately acquainted with every move the team makes and with what happened as a result of those moves. They aren’t because they can’t be — it’s simply impossible to follow every NFL team with that level of detail. If you asked me to evaluate whether the Miami Dolphins will have a top-10 offense in 2019, I could do a few minutes of research and give you an answer — but I promise you that a writer for our SB Nation sister site The Phinsider would find fault with my analysis. And they’d probably be right.

We know that Damien Williams did just fine when Hunt was released. We saw that. We know that if he has to, Mahomes can be effective with second-line receivers. We’ve seen that, too. And if Mahomes throws for only 4,500 yards and 45 touchdowns in 2019, the Chiefs will still be one of the top offenses in the NFL.

So if I were you, Jesse, I wouldn’t be too worried about those offensive rankings.

Thanks for asking.

Now that he has retired, what is your favorite Derrick Johnson moment?

— Brian

Thanks, Brian.

I posed a similar question for the poll in Wednesday night’s tailgate. I voted for the time that Johnson single-handedly blunted an Oakland Raiders drive with four straight tackles at the goal line — an amazing moment.

But more than half of Wednesday night’s respondents voted for “All of them.” I can’t disagree.

Johnson was a special player for the Chiefs. I spent a lot of time holding a microphone in front of his face, and I found him to be one of the most thoughtful and intelligent Chiefs players I ever had the pleasure to be around. Like Chiefs Hall of Fame linebacker Willie Lanier, he is one of those rare players: a kind, gentle man who can unleash a torrent of aggression on the field. The NFL needs more like him.

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