5 Chiefs Players Feeling the Most Pressure Heading into Camp
These players have struggled to live up to expectations since coming to Kansas City. With a new coach and general manager, they may have one last chance to prove themselves.
Here is a list of Chiefs players who are feeling the most pressure heading into camp. As always, share your thoughts below.
WR Jon Baldwin
The Chiefs drafted a wide receiver in the first round in the 2007 NFL draft in Dwayne Bowe. Four years later, they went after the same position in the first round, drafting Jon Baldwin.
But after two years with Baldwin in Kansas City, Bowe remains the only productive wide receiver on the team.
Baldwin finished fourth on the team in receiving yards and sixth in receptions for the Chiefs in 2012. If Baldwin continues to play so far below his potential, he will be labeled a bust and likely be released after the upcoming season.
Although Donnie Avery was added to the receiving corps, the Chiefs don't have major competition for the No. 2 wide receiver spot. The Chiefs will need Baldwin to step up with new quarterback Alex Smith this year.
WR Dexter McCluster
Dexter McCluster might be the most popular player on this list. He caught a lot of attention while playing at Ole Miss and caught the most attention among any rookie after the first week of the 2010 season.
Since that week, McCluster's name has not been brought up very much by the national media.
McCluster is the most versatile player on the team—capable of playing running back, wide receiver and special teams returner.
With Reid being more of a pass-first coach, McCluster's role should be very interesting and Chiefs fans may like what they see from him this year.
C Rodney Hudson
For a second-round pick, Chiefs fans haven't seen or heard Rodney Hudson's name much. Granted he's just an offensive lineman, Hudson has only started four games with the Chiefs in the past two years.
After starting the first three games at center, Hudson missed the rest of the season due to injury.
This is a crucial season for Hudson. He has to prove he can stay healthy and block for Smith and the running backs all year. If he can do that, he'll save his career and perhaps stay in Kansas City for at least another season.
DE Tyson Jackson
When people criticize Scott Pioli for the poor job he did in Kansas City as general manager, the biggest issue brought up is his first draft pick with the Chiefs. In 2009, Pioli used the No. 3 overall pick on a 3-4 defensive end, who has been outplayed when going up against offensive tackles in games.
Last year, Jackson showed some promise late in the season.
Going into the 2012 season, Jackson had only two sacks in his entire career. But behind Pro Bowl outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, Jackson quietly finished third on the team in sacks with three.
But without Romeo Crennel as his defensive coach, will Jackson ever reach his potential?
S Kendrick Lewis
Kendrick Lewis excelled in his first two seasons under Crennel's guidance. However, 2012 was statistically his worst season.
Lewis played a career-low nine games in 2012 and went the entire season without collecting an interception or forcing a fumble, which he had successfully done in the two seasons before.
It is likely that he carries a new role in 2013, but Reid may give him a chance in the first couple of games to see if he can rebound.