Kansas City Chiefs: Takeaways from May 21 OTAs

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Kansas City Chiefs: Takeaways from May 21 OTAs
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Image edited by Brett Gering

Head coach Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs returned to the practice field on May 21, which marked the team's fourth day of organized team activities (OTAs).

Throughout the first wave of sessions (May 14–16), the defense consistently pestered its offensive peers—the tides have begun to turn. 

But that's not to say that the defense was overshadowed; more like the balance of power has teeter-tottered to a stalemate. 

 

Offense Making Up Ground

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Smith (11) and Chase Daniel (10) at Chiefs OTAs.

Andy Reid arrived at KCI with packed bags, lofty ambitions and a highly touted West Coast offense. He soon grabbed headlines by adding former Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress to his staff—designating him as a "spread game analyst." Recently, Reid enlisted the services of Chris Ault: the mastermind behind the pistol scheme. 

This isn't your grandfather's offense (nor Brian Daboll's, for that matter). A handful of practices barely allow the players to scratch the surface. 

But backup quarterback Chase Daniel affirmed that the inexperienced playmakers are rounding the learning curve, claiming in an article in the Kansas City Star, "There were no, ‘What?’ calls in the huddle to us or 'What does this mean?’ You can tell our guys are studying."

 

Donald Stephenson Pulls Guard Duty

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
If Stephenson cracks the rotation, it may be at guard.

According to the Kansas City Star's Adam Teicher, offensive tackle Donald Stephenson split time at both guard positions.

The transition sells two notions: Donald Stephenson has proven to be too valuable an asset not to utilize, and Jeff Allen has ceased to effectively make his case.

The move sprouts a host of additional questions concerning Allen's development. Last season's second-round selection was consistently bullied by bull-rushers in 2012. 

 

Defensive Aggression

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Houston will look to top his team-leading 10 sacks from 2012.

The Chiefs forced a measly total of 13 turnovers in 2012—tied for last in the NFL. That won't be the case under new defensive coordinator Bob Sutton. 

In 2013, the Arrowhead faithful can expect to see a gambling man's defense.

Pro Bowl outside linebacker Justin Houston noted the difference to KCChiefs.com's Reid Ferrin, saying, "There are a few changes. Some of the calls, and the way our big guys play up front. They’re attacking more, instead of reading."

Sutton's piranha-like mentality bodes well for two linemen in particular: Dontari Poe and Tyson Jackson.

At the 2012 combine, Poe strutted off the field as a mobile mountain. However, he faced adversity while reading and reacting throughout his rookie campaign. 

Jackson recorded three sacks—more than he tallied in his previous three seasons—within a four-game stretch last season. And the aforementioned takedowns stemmed from his deployment in sub packages (i.e. pass-rushing scenarios). 

Playmakers can't showcase their talents if they're not put in a position to do so—Bob Sutton appears to agree.

 

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Brett's Email: gering.brett@gmail.com

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