5 Things We Learned from Kansas City's OTAs
The Kansas City Chiefs completed their organized team activities last week and will conclude their spring practice schedule later this week with mandatory minicamp. Throughout OTAs, the Chiefs have received a lot of attention from the media, locally and nationally.
With Andy Reid as the head coach and Alex Smith taking over as the quarterback of the team, the Chiefs are establishing a new identity. With a new staff in place and some new players on the team, the Chiefs tried out a lot of new things in OTAs.
The Chiefs used this spring to focus hard and turn the franchise around and put them in a winning direction.
1. The Chiefs Will Use the Pistol a Lot This Year
Chiefs fans should be familiar with the pistol, which was used in Kansas City during the 2008 season. They can expect to see the franchise bring back the pistol, but also expect better results.
Rather than Herm Edwards calling the shots and Tyler Thigpen run the offense, the Chiefs will have Reid as their head guy while Smith takes the snaps.
But the biggest difference this time around is that the Chiefs hired Chris Ault, the creator of the pistol offense. As a consultant, Ault can instruct the team on how to run the formation and how to defend against it.
Smith ran the pistol in OTAs and fans can expect to see the team use the formation quite a lot in games this season.
2. Tony Moeaki's Job Could Be in Jeopardy
Tony Moeaki has a lot of potential and could be a top-10 tight end in the league. But injuries have set him back, preventing him from playing at his best.
The new regime took notice of that and recruited a couple of tight ends this offseason.
The Chiefs signed Anthony Fasano from Miami on the first day of free agency and drafted Travis Kelce from Cincinnati in the third round. Moeaki is still on the team, but has to do a lot to make sure he has a spot on the roster.
Reid said last month that Moeaki is not expected to participate in any activities until training camp.
With his history of injuries and the competition brought in, Moeaki has a lot of work to do in this year's training camp to make sure the coaching staff like what they see in him. If he struggles, he may be released sooner than expected.
3. Branden Albert Wants to Stay in Kansas City
It was hard for Branden Albert to sit back and watch the Chiefs select Eric Fisher with the No. 1 pick. Albert feared that he could have been traded and rumors of him being sent to the Dolphins were hot.
But all of the talk about Albert going to Miami has vanished.
The 28-year-old participated with the Chiefs in OTAs this year. Despite some uncertainty, Albert was able to set his emotions aside and work with the rest of the team.
With Albert doing so, it seems more likely that he spends 2013 in Kansas City rather than another location.
4. The Fullback Spot Is Up for Grabs
Anthony Sherman, Braden Wilson and Toben Opurum are all competing against one another for the fullback spot. Sherman was with the Arizona Cardinals last year while Wilson and Opurum were in college, guaranteeing the Chiefs a brand new fullback this year.
The Chiefs trimmed their roster when they let go of Patrick DiMarco and Ryan D'Imperio earlier this offseason.
Sherman has the slight advantage because he's been in the league for a couple of years as most fans want either Wilson or Opurum to get the job since they played college football in the Big 12.
5. The Kick Returner Spot Is Wide Open
It is likely that the top three candidates to take back kickoffs and punts are Shaun Draughn, Dexter McCluster and Devon Wylie.
McCluster was an active special teams returner his first two years in the league, but has not been able to come through. Draughn was the most active returner last year and struggled to produce while Wylie has a lot of experience in college.
There was not a lot of buzz in OTAs about the special teams unit. It is hard to say whether or not Reid has a good idea of who his returner will be. More likely than not, Reid will know for sure after training camp is over.