Kansas City's 6 Biggest Preseason Disappointments so Far
With two preseason games in, the Kansas City Chiefs have learned a lot about their team as the coaching staff continues to evaluate while beginning to figure out what the 53-man roster will look like.
Going into the preseason, there were expectations set for players, and some were set to certain standards. But some of those players have struggled and have underperformed this preseason.
The Chiefs have had a hard time putting together successful drives on offense so far in the two preseason games they’ve played.
In this slideshow, I will go over six players, all of whom are on offense, who have had a disappointing preseason so far.
QB Chase Daniel
John Dorsey’s biggest and only downfall in his first offseason as the general manager the Chiefs was overpaying Chase Daniel. Daniel signed a three-year deal worth $10 million, which is far above average for backup quarterbacks.
For a player who is set to make a lot of money, Daniel has to be considered a disappointment in Dorsey's eyes.
While Daniel did complete all six passes last Friday against the San Francisco 49ers, he hasn't produced well as a backup quarterback.
Daniel has been sacked five times this preseason and hasn't seen much success with the offense he's been given to work with in the preseason.
If Daniel ever has to fill in for Alex Smith due to injury, suspension or poor play, he has to perform better than he has against the Saints and 49ers.
RB Cyrus Gray
As a rookie last year, Cyrus Gray made some noise in the preseason but has been quiet this year. While Gray isn't going to be the starting running back nor the primary backup to Jamaal Charles, he could see some action in Andy Reid's offense this year.
In Week 1 against the Saints, Gray had just four touches for six yards. Last week against the 49ers, Gray had a yards-per-carry average of 2.8 off of six carries and dropped a pass on third down.
While Charles is the starting running back, Gray, along with Knile Davis and Shaun Draughn, provided they all make the team, will see more time on the field during the season than some people may expect.
WR Jon Baldwin, Traded to San Francisco
Jon Baldwin has had a disappointing career with the Chiefs since being drafted two years ago in the first round. He's collected just 41 catches for 579 yards and two touchdowns.
Just recently, Baldwin, who was projected to be the No. 2 wide receiver on the team, was traded to San Francisco.
While there were reports and talk from the media about Andy Reid praising some of the players on the roster, there didn't appear to be a moment where Reid expressed to the media how excited he is to coach Baldwin.
The Chiefs did grab A.J. Jenkins, and although he has a little bit of familiarity with Smith, he has to learn a whole new offense in a short amount of time.
This puts a lot of pressure on Dwayne Bowe.
WR Dwayne Bowe
A quiet preseason for Bowe does not mean his starting spot on the team is in jeopardy.
However, after earning a new contract and speaking optimistically about how he will lead the league in receptions and touchdowns, it would be nice to see a little bit of Bowe. He's only been targeted once and has gone quiet this preseason.
Yes, it is just the preseason, but it never hurts to see your top wide receiver get a little bit of action with his new quarterback before the games count for real in September.
With starters generally getting a lot of playing time in the third preseason game, this would be a perfect opportunity for Bowe to build chemistry with Smith on the field outside of practice and during a live game.
Now that Baldwin has been traded, the pressure is on Bowe to lead the receiving corps.
TE Travis Kelce
Rookie tight end Travis Kelce has been a pleasant surprise since he started ahead of Tony Moeaki on the depth chart. Kelce had a standout career at Cincinnati and was one of the top tight ends in the nation in college football last year.
So far with the Chiefs, Kelce has gotten some praise.
Reid went as far as comparing him to Jeremy Shockey and considered him another threat in the passing game. But so far in the preseason, Kelce has been the opposite of that.
Kelce dropped a pass near the end zone against the Saints and dropped another pass last week against the 49ers. Like others, especially as a rookie, Kelce has two more games left to try to improve on his drops.
The Chiefs still have some time to figure out who their starting tight end will be against the Jacksonville Jaguars on opening week. Whoever it is, Smith will be throwing to them quite in lot in an offense that is built for tight ends to get a lot of catches.
T Branden Albert
Branden Albert's performance against the Saints was not very encouraging. He gave up sacks and struggled picking up the blitz.
Albert, who was seeking a new contract during the offseason, could have been forced to play a different spot on the offensive line after the team drafted Eric Fisher with the No. 1 overall pick. But Albert got his wish and stayed at left tackle while Fisher was given the right tackle spot. But last week, Albert couldn't keep defenders away from the quarterback.
While fighting for a contract, Albert must be able to block some of the top pass-rushers in the league and will be given that challenge throughout the season.
For now, Albert will be tested against the Steelers, who are known to be one of the top defensive teams in the league.