Kansas City Chiefs fans are becoming fans!
We’ve been through a long offseason, and it’s finally time for the team’s first preseason game. On Saturday, the Kansas City Chiefs He plays Chicago Bears The first little taste of the new offense and the new defense.
After significant changes to this year’s roster — assistant general manager Mike Borgonzi announced earlier in the week that the Chiefs have brought in 50 new players this offseason — there are still some position battles.
Here are the ones I’ll be watching this weekend:
At least now it looks like Andrew Wiley has secured the right tackle spot opposite Orlando Brown Jr. The first battle of the right tackle we predicted didn’t quite materialize, with Wiley going strong after deciding to spend the entire season preparing for the film.
But the roles of reserves are more interesting. In free agency, veteran Geron Christian was signed to a one-year contract. Christian brings starting experience and has played in 38 games in his five-year career.
In Brown’s absence, Roderick Johnson took over the first team at left tackle. As a placeholder for the Browns, Johnson got valuable snaps in camp, showing his staff what he can offer. It’s been up and down for Johnson — rocking quarterback Carlos Dunlap on one play and then stomping Patrick Mahomes the next. Johnson needs good preparation to make his point.
Rookie Darian Kinard had everything expected to come in and battle Wiley for the starting role. Since the start of camp, Kinard has primarily been with the third-team offensive line. He’s a cost-controlled asset with plenty of talent but may need a redshirt year on the active roster.
Prince Tega Wanogho is playing right tackle with the second team. I think he’s a tantalizing dark horse candidate to watch.
— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) August 11, 2022
Finally, Prince Tega Wanogho is a forgotten man after starting his off season on the Unable to Exercise (PUP) list. He was on the active roster last year and has had time to learn from offensive line coach Andy Heck. Health was a concern for him throughout his career, but the talent was always there.
Typically, the Chiefs maintain four to five backup offensive linemen. I expect to stay four this year A number of tight ends, wide receivers and running backs are protected. That leaves two backup shooting spots, and the battle between Christian, Johnson, Kinnard and Wanogo is still up in the air.
The Chiefs have kept 10 defensive backs on the active roster in history. After the offseason roster, only three from last year will make the team this year in safety Juan Thornhill and corners L’Jarius Snead and Rashad Fenton. The other four locks include the Chiefs’ free agent acquisition, safety Justin Reid and rookie draft picks Trent McDuffin, Brian Cook and Joshua Williams. Williams spent most of camp holding down the first-team defense in Fenton’s absence.
That leaves three spots open for a highly competitive team.
CB Jaylen Watson got some reps with 1 in team drills. MVS covered in deep road.
Karlaftis is ready for Saturday.. He is already dropping back into coverage and popping receivers.
Nazi Johnson forced a coup against Jordan Frank.
— Harold R Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) August 11, 2022
Chris Lammons, Dicaprio Bootle and Zayne Anderson all bring special teams value and were on the active roster at some point last year. Rookies Jaylen Watson and Nazih Johnson both have the athletic profiles the coaching staff is looking for in the secondary, and both have taken reps at outside cornerback on the first-team defense at some point in camp.
And then there’s Lonnie Johnson Jr. and Deon Bush — both brought in from other teams this offseason to compete for bigger roles on the defense but find themselves battling for a roster spot after the draft.
Deep line defenders
The starting linebacker looks to be along with Nick Bolton, Willie Gay Jr. and Elias Lee all having good camps. Third-round draft pick Leo Chenal looks to be No. 4 — and I mean it. Can’t wait To see it physically in real games. But after that – I don’t know what the linebacker part looks like.
Darius Harris looks to be the backup MIKE linebacker, but he’s entering his fourth year after not being able to beat out Dorian O’Daniel or Ben Nieman in years past. Jermaine Carter Jr. was brought over from Carolina to push for playing time after starting every game last season, but has been quiet this preseason.
Cochran is 6’3″ and 236 pounds, pretty tall for a traditional LB. That said, he seems to stay very low when screening in the box, allowing him to move quickly horizontally and make effective, low tackles. pic.twitter.com/ejcl4jGKsK
— Ron Cope Jr. (@ron_cope) June 21, 2022
Undrafted rookies Mike Rose and Jack Cochran are interesting players to watch Saturday. They’re both pretty tall and have good length and feel in coverage, but they can’t really hit that in training camp, roll up and put offensive players on the ground. Both have the ability to play special teams and will have to see how they perform in the opportunities they get there.
Head coach Andy Reid won’t bring anything exciting on Saturday to cheer us on, but his players will have a chance to fight for roster spots.
We get real football and that’s all I enjoy. Bosses, fans we did. Let’s enjoy it.