Kansas City Chiefs: What We've Learned in Training Camp so Far
The Kansas City Chiefs will leave St. Joseph, Missouri briefly as they return to Arrowhead Stadium for their first preseason game of the year. The Chiefs are three days away from their first game, but we've learned a lot about the team before their first exhibition game.
The Chiefs have had some good and bad moments in camp so far. This slideshow will showcase the biggest learning lessons so far from Chiefs training camp as the team prepares for its first preseason game.
John Dorsey Will Sign Alex Smith and Justin Houston to Extensions
John Dorsey proved early in training camp how serious he is when it comes to the business of wanting to win. When Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles held out for a new contract, Dorsey quickly gave Charles an extension.
Charles only missed one day of camp and reported right away.
But what about quarterback Alex Smith and outside linebacker Justin Houston? Will Dorsey sign those two Pro Bowlers anytime soon?
Smith and Houston were both quiet on the topic of getting a new contract in order to avoid from letting it distract the team from preparing.
The team needs Charles, but it will also need Smith and Houston, as those two also played a big hand in the team's success in 2013.
It might not happen anytime soon, but expect Dorsey to sign those two players at some point by the end of the season or before 2015 free agency opens up.
Dwayne Bowe's Presence Will Be Important for 2014
It is no secret that the Chiefs have a thin group of receivers. Casual football fans probably won't be able to name a Chiefs wide receiver after Dwayne Bowe.
Bowe surprisingly propelled his game play in the playoff match against the Colts when he had eight catches for 150 yards, surpassing his regular-season highs in both categories.
The Chiefs' leading receiver in catches, yards and touchdowns was Charles, a running back.
After landing a new contract from the previous season, the Chiefs would like to see Bowe play like an elite receiver consistently.
Jamaal Charles Will Have a Little More Help This Year
The Chiefs did not bring in many big-name players on offense. However, one rookie might surprise a lot of NFL teams this year.
De'Anthony Thomas is already getting a lot of attention because of his speed. He's been compared to Darren Sproles, who is very active in the passing game as a running back.
Charles was responsible for 37 percent of the team's offensive production last year. Thomas has some similarities to Charles and can play well as a slot receiver or coming out of the backfield. If Bowe can be consistent, Thomas becomes another big threat for Smith to use on offense.
Tamba Hali and Justin Houston Will Carry the Defense
With no key recruits this offseason through free agency, the Chiefs must rely on returning players along with rookies.
The Chiefs lost Brandon Flowers earlier this summer, letting him go due to salary-cap issues. The team later suffered a casualty at defensive back when Sanders Commings broke his ankle at camp. Commings has not been ruled out for the season but is expected to miss either all or most of the year.
With very few viable defensive backs, the Chiefs are fortunate to have an elite group of pass-rushers. Houston and Hali created a lot of nightmares for opposing quarterbacks last year and are expecting to be even better with the addition of rookie Dee Ford.
Outside of Eric Berry, the Chiefs don't have a defensive back who can make an impact on their own. The cornerbacks and safeties will rely on the pass-rushers in order to have a good year.
There Is Serious Competition in Camp at the Kicker Position
Ryan Succop has had a roller-coaster career since arriving to Kansas City in 2009. Succop has made 81 percent of his field goals in five years with the team.
Then-Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli signed Succop to a new deal before the final week of the NFL season in 2011. Succop was given a five-year extension worth $14 million. Ever since he got the new deal, Succop has made 50 of his 63 attempted field goals, splitting the uprights only 79 percent of the time.
Andy Reid is aware of Succop's struggles, and one training camp storyline includes Cairo Santos pushing Succop. By the time training camp is over, the Chiefs could have a new kicker if Santos pleases the coaching staff with his performance in preseason games.