5 Things We Learned from Kansas City's Training Camp so Far
As Kansas City continues training camp in St. Joseph, Mo., fans anxiously wait for the team's preseason debut this Friday against New Orleans. Fans have waited too long this year to see a Chiefs team take the field with a new coach and a new quarterback. The wait is almost over.
With a new coach and quarterback, lots of things change within the team and a lot can be learned from the team through training camp. This week, the Chiefs will go into New Orleans on Friday and try to carry over what they learned from practice to games.
In this slideshow, I will go over what the team has learned from training camp so far this year.
The Team Is Very Optimistic
Teams always have an optimistic mindset going into a season. But none have the optimism that Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson has.
Pederson recently made headlines for saying that he thinks Alex Smith is the best quarterback in the league.
Smith has certainly improved the past couple of seasons in San Francisco, but he still has a long way to go before being labeled as the best. Even though Chiefs fans are ecstatic for the upcoming season, they'll be honest that Smith isn't the best in the league.
Nonetheless, the Chiefs don't need the "best" quarterback in order to succeed. The Baltimore Ravens managed to survive in the playoffs and eventually hoist the Lombardi Trophy with Joe Flacco under center, who is not viewed as the best quarterback in the NFL.
Last year, the Chiefs struggled moving the football and reaching the end zone. With Smith, the Chiefs will improve as an offense and find much better success overall.
Rico Richardson Has Been the Biggest Surprise and Might Make the Team
Rico Richardson has been the biggest surprise in training camp so far this year. Being an undrafted player, Richardson's name is unfamiliar to many.
What makes Richardson different from the other young wide receivers in camp?
He's been the fastest player in training camp so far. He's also developed a good connection with Chase Daniel in training camp and wants that to translate into success in preseason games, which will be a big deciding factor on whether or not some of the players will make the team.
Richardson, the reigning Southwestern Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year, will have a chance to showcase his skills this Friday in his hometown at the Superdome when the Saints host the Chiefs.
The Chiefs Will Be a Pass-Heavy Team
But will the team find itself running the football?
The Chiefs spent a couple of days with the quarterbacks and rookies without practicing any running plays.
Yes, the team was without Jamaal Charles during that period of time and it would be crazy of Reid to completely abandon giving Charles the ball on the ground. But it is likely that we see very little of the running game in 2013.
So Far, Tony Moeaki Seems to Be Struggling
The Chiefs released their first depth chart this year and it has already raised some eyebrows. Perhaps one of the biggest surprises revolves the tight end position, which has Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce ahead of Tony Moeaki.
Moeaki sat out all of OTAs and has had an injury-plagued career. How much of that is effecting his performance in training camp? So far, it appears to put him on the edge when it comes to trying to make the team.
But it is early. Moeaki has an opportunity to improve and help the Chiefs in some exhibition games this month.
Tyler Bray Is Ahead of Ricky Stanzi
Another surprise on the depth chart comes at the quarterback spot. Although it's the third spot, it does hold some value.
Many Chiefs fans were excited when Ricky Stanzi was drafted by the Chiefs in 2011. He continues to receive praise from fans, even though he has yet to throw a regular-season pass.
Tyler Bray jumped ahead of Stanzi on the depth chart and looks to make an NFL team after going undrafted this year. There has not been a lot of noise coming from Bray in training camp this year, but there will be a lot of things said about him after Friday's preseason game. Whether or not they are positive comments will all simply depend on how he does in his first pro football contest.