Burning Questions to Be Answered at Kansas City Chiefs' Training Camp
John Dorsey has taken over as the new general manager and has been able to recruit as well as draft a lot of talent to help improve the Chiefs after a 2-14 season.
But even with some changes, many questions remain and fans hope all of the work put in this offseason will improve the team and eventually make Kansas City one of the best squads in the league.
In this slideshow, we will present 10 key questions about the Chiefs going into training camp and the upcoming season.
Can Andy Reid make last season a long-distant memory?
There is no question that 2012 was full of misfortunes. Along with Kansas City’s two-win season, the franchise dealt with Save Our Chiefs campaigns, banners flying over stadiums before home games, Eric Winston lashing out on fans and the worst, the loss of Jovan Belcher.
Last year’s two-win season had few positives.
With Reid taking control of the team, fans want to see more wins and a positive outcome at Arrowhead Stadium. Reid’s name alone holds a lot of credibility. Fans can’t help but be excited for the upcoming season and see what Reid has to offer.
Since 2006, Kansas City hired Herm Edwards, Todd Haley and Romeo Crennel as head coaches. But all three had brief stints with the Chiefs.
This time, Kansas City hopes Reid is not just an answer, but a long-term solution to help bring the franchise back to relevancy, similar to what Hank Stram, Marty Schottenheimer and Dick Vermeil did.
Is Alex Smith Going to Help Solve Kansas City’s Issues on Offense?
Whether it was Matt Cassel or Brady Quinn, Kansas City’s offense could not operate. Kansas City’s excessive turnovers were what hurt the team and preventing it from competing.
But even in close games, such as one against the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens, a costly fumble at the one-yard line was the difference maker.
In Smith’s last 27 starts with the San Francisco 49ers, he committed just 14 turnovers, 10 of them being interceptions. Ball security is not a concern with Smith, giving fans reasons to feel optimistic that the offense will be more watchable under Smith’s watch.
What Will Dexter McCluster’s Role Be?
When Dexter McCluster joined the Chiefs in 2010, fans and the media raved about his speed. But it hasn’t led to success on the field in the past three years.
With Reid’s offensive style and McCluster’s versatility, fans should keep an eye on McCluster in training camp and in preseason games to see how he is used on offense.
There is no question that McCluster’s speed can be a huge advantage and a serious problem for opposing defenses. If used correctly, McCluster’s role could be similar to Darren Sproles.
Will Dwayne Bowe return to his 2010 form?
Dwayne Bowe must be ready to live up to his five-year big-money deal. But he already has praised himself and his teammate, Jamaal Charles.
Bowe’s three touchdowns last year all came late in the fourth quarter when games were already decided in blowout fashion. Bowe not only wants to catch the ball in the end zone from his new quarterback, but he wants the ball in his hands in close situations to lift the team.
With a thin group of receivers in Kansas City, Smith will throw to Bowe’s direction quite a lot this season.
How will Jon Baldwin do after two disappointing seasons?
When Bowe was drafted, it was hoped that he and Eddie Kennison could form a strong wide receiver duo. But due to Kennison’s injury, it never happened.
When Jon Baldwin was drafted, the same was expected for he and Bowe. Like last time, it has yet to occur, but not because of injuries, but because Baldwin has not lived up to expectations.
In his third year with the Chiefs, Baldwin will play for his third head coach and third offensive coordinator, which can always be a challenge for players trying to make a mark in the NFL.
But in his third season, Baldwin should see different results with a better coaching staff and a smarter quarterback.
Can Tony Moeaki Stay Healthy and Help the Chiefs?
Tony Moeaki’s three-year career has been derailed because of injuries. He has the ability to make plays and help the offense move the chains. But the Chiefs are seeing more flashes than consistency.
Anthony Fasano has provided a lot of help for the Miami Dolphins, more than Moeaki has since joining the Chiefs. Alongside Moeaki and Fasano, Travis Kelce is a rookie who experienced success in college as one of the nation’s top tight ends.
The starting tight end spot is certainly a toss up and could go to Moeaki or Fasano because of their experience.
Smith had good chemistry with Vernon Davis in San Francisco and hopes to have a connection with a tight end in Kansas City similar to Davis.
Will the Chiefs be more competitive in games this season?
Out of Kansas City’s league-low of 18 touchdowns, seven of them were meaningless and came late in games. There were five games this year where the Chiefs were held scoreless or failed to find the end zone in 2012.
Kansas City scored 38 touchdowns in the last two years combined, while 19 teams in 2012 scored at least 38 times in the end zone.
In 2013, fans want to be able to witness exciting matches and touchdowns.
With Reid as the new head coach and Smith as the new quarterback, two of the biggest additions on the teams, those two moves alone might be vital in helping the Chiefs score more points.
Can Tyson Jackson continue to improve?
Tyson Jackson was productive in his fourth year than he ever was in his previous three seasons with Kansas City.
Midway through last season, Chiefs fans saw a different side of Jackson. He was more active in applying pressure and even came up with three sacks after collecting only two prior to 2012.
Jackson’s rhythm must now transform into consistency to help the Chiefs have a more complete 3-4 defensive unit. By then, Kansas City’s already-strong defense will get stronger.
Does Kansas City Have the Best Linebacking Corps in the League?
Outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston are on top of their game and form one of the strongest pass-rushing duos in the NFL. Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson has evolved into one of the top interior linebackers today after struggling early in his career.
Hali, Houston and Johnson all played in last year’s Pro Bowl as three of the six AFC linebackers were from Kansas City.
The Chiefs may be up there with the 49ers, who have NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis in their linebacking corps.
If Nico Johnson or Akeem Jordan can step up and make plays, the Chiefs could top the 49ers in this category.
Will Ryan Succop be more consistent?
Ryan Succop finished the season making three-of-six field goals, missing from 27, 43 and 33 yards out.
The Chiefs will face some explosive offenses this year, but they have a defense that can limit them. If this is the case, it is possible the Chiefs are involved in some low-scoring games. Besides turnovers, field goal misses could be crucial and the deciding factor in some games.
Therefore, it is important for Succop to be more consistent from short-range and pull through at the end of the game or in overtime. In his four years with the Chiefs, Succop has made four game-winning field goals in overtime, one each season.