Kansas City Chiefs' Position Analysis: Safety
The Chiefs' seventh-round pick in 2006, Page saw limited duty in his rookie campaign and made the most of his playing time. He registered three interceptions, plus an additional pick off Peyton Manning in the playoffs, and showed definite flashes of becoming a playmaker.
In 2007 he became a starter in just his second NFL season. Coming off his showing as a rookie, though, his first full year didn't quite live up to the promise he showed early on. Page again finished the season with three interceptions, the same amount he had a year earlier when he didn't play half as much. Page's performance was still mostly solid, just unspectacular.
There may be a reason for that, though, as head coach Herm Edwards has revealed that Page recently underwent offseason shoulder surgery to fix an injury he'd been playing with for much of the year. To have turned in a decent effort in his first full season despite battling an injury may put Page's performance in a new light.
Injury or not, he's a shoo-in to remain a starter next year. Perhaps getting healthy will allow him to make more of the plays he seemed capable of as a rookie.
Like Page, Pollard took over as a starter last season after being drafted in the second round in 2006. His rookie season was spent mostly on special teams, where he quickly became a terror. He blocked two punts his first year, missing out on a third because the blocked ball passed the line of scrimmage.
He drew criticism during his first year as a starter for giving up some big plays, either because of poor decision-making or perhaps being a step too slow to stay close to speedy wide receivers. But he'll likely remain the starter in 2008 as the team hopes he can learn and grow from his first full season of action.
If he remains on the team, 2008 would mark the ninth season in Kansas City for Wesley, who was drafted in the third round back in 2000. He'd been a starter for his entire Chiefs career before being moved to the bench in favor of Pollard and Page last season.
Reportedly unhappy with the demotion, Wesley has been on the trade block for over a year. The Chiefs were said to be close to shipping him to both the Houston Texans and the division rival Denver Broncos back in 2007, but they ultimately decided to keep him around as a backup.
The team is apparently dangling him again, though, so Wesley may have played his final game as a Chief.
The former Kansas State Wildcat was drafted by Edwards in 2002 when Edwards was with the New York Jets. McGraw signed with the Chiefs last season as a backup safety, but he was more notable for his solid play on special teams.
He should be back with Kansas City in a similar role in 2008.
Depending on what happens with Wesley, the Chiefs may be in the market for a backup safety. And if a highly unlikely scenario were to occur where Miami's Kenny Phillips slipped to the second round of the draft, Edwards might find him too good to pass up. Other than that, though, the team should be quiet at the safety position this offseason.
Up next: special teams
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