Kansas City Chiefs Players Who Need to Step Up in Week 2 of Preseason
After a Week 1 preseason win over the Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs fans are thrilled. It is the first time they have seen football since Jan. 1. Seeing their football team at Arrowhead Stadium is what they needed, and on top of that, the Chiefs came away with a win, 27-17.
Fans should have been pleased with what they saw. At the same time, fans would like to see more from certain players who either struggled or were quiet in Friday's win.
Look over this slideshow and let me know if you agree or if there should be anyone else that belongs here.
QBs Brady Quinn and Ricky Stanzi
The running backs certainly took over the spotlight Friday night. Outside of Matt Cassel's performance and exit from the game following two drives, the quarterbacks were quiet. Brady Quinn went 7-of-13 passing for 81 yards with no touchdowns and one interception while Ricky Stanzi struggled with 2-of-7 passing.
The backup quarterbacks should know they have a strong offensive line blocking for them. The Chiefs didn't allow a sack in Friday's win and should expect another strong effort from the blockers up front. Therefore, we should see Quinn and Stanzi do a little bit more this week against the St. Louis Rams.
WR Jon Baldwin
Jon Baldwin did not have a single catch in Friday's exhibition match against the Cardinals. His only activity in the game was his inability to contain a pass from Cassel, but even that play was nullified due to a penalty on the Cardinals.
Baldwin's chemistry with Cassel is important as the two played just four games together in 2011. Baldwin missed the first five games of the regular season due to a thumb injury while Cassel suffered a season-ending hand injury and missed the remaining seven games.
Look for Cassel to try to connect with Baldwin a couple of times before head coach Romeo Crennel pulls his starters out in their second preseason game.
TEs Kevin Boss and Tony Moeaki
Baldwin was not the only pass-catcher who went without a catch this past weekend. Tony Moeaki and Kevin Boss spent most of their time blocking with few opportunities to catch the football.
Moeaki is returning from an ACL tear while Boss was signed this offseason. The two tight ends look to help each other and help the offense improve in 2012. Cassel would like to get back to working with Moeaki again and also get an understanding of what it is like to have Boss on his team.
NT Dontari Poe
Dontari Poe, Kansas City's No. 1 draft pick, got his feet wet with his first professional preseason game. Coming out of Memphis, Poe looks to have a strong football career in Kansas City and play the same defensive technique.
Poe had a quiet debut in Week 1 of the preseason and it would be nice to see him turn the tables in the second week.
OLB Tamba Hali
Don't take this the wrong way.
Tamba Hali does not need to play in the preseason with something to prove. Chiefs fans all know who Hali is and what he is capable of; quarterbacks know him even better.
The reason Hali is placed here is simply because he was one of only two Pro Bowlers for the team last season and it would be nice to see him come away with a sack this preseason. Sacks and turnovers are how defensive players earn their paychecks. Seeing Hali put the quarterback down, with the ball in his hand, would be great to see.
Hali came away with a big pass-rush Friday night after John Skelton was under pressure and was forced an interception to Abram Elam.
S Eric Berry
Eric Berry is listed here for similar reasons as Hali. Fans would like to see something from Berry since he is returning to football after missing most of last season.
Berry suffered an ACL tear and was sidelined for the rest of the games while not passing the five-minute mark of the 2011 season.
PRs Dexter McCluster, Javier Arenas and Devon Wylie
The Chiefs have not had consistent play in the return game since Dante Hall was returning kicks and punts.
Devon Wylie is the early frontrunner after taking advantage of a couple of blocks and his speed to gain 32 yards and tacked on 15 additional yards with a penalty. Outside of Wylie's punt return, the Chiefs did not do much on special teams.
There is still no indication of who the top returner will be by the time the regular season is upon us. Crennel and special teams coach Tom McMahon will want to continue to rotate their players and figure out who gives them the best chance to succeed before the real games kickoff.