2009-2010 NFL Season Preview: Kansas City Chiefs

Derek PeifferCorrespondent IJuly 21, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 14:  Larry Johnson #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs tries to break a tackle against the San Diego Chargers during the first half on December 14, 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs lost 22-21.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

2008 Record: 2-14, Fourth AFC West

Head Coach: Todd Haley; First year

Key Additions: QB Matt Cassel, LB Monty Beisel, LB Mike Vrabel, G Mike Goff, C Eric Ghiaciuc, LB Zach Thomas, WR Bobby Engram

Key Losses: TE Tony Gonzalez, LB Donnie Edwards, G Adrian Jones, CB Patrick Surtain, LB Pat Thomas, QB Damn Huard

A very busy team this off-season, the Kansas City Chiefs almost can't do worse than they did in the 2008 season.

After a 2-14 season, the Chiefs made numerous changes, including bring in three former Patriots. (Including the GM Scott Pioli)

The season-long problem in Kansas City lies at the quarterback position, or lack there of. The Chiefs never had consistency from the field general in 2008, but that is sure to change.

The Chiefs made it their business to go out and acquire former Patriot, Matt Cassell.

After Tom Brady went down after a few plays into the season opener against, oddly enough, the Chiefs, Matt Cassell took over the reigns. He did not disappoint.

He threw for nearly 3,700 yards, totaled 21 touchdowns, only 11 interceptions, all awhile completing 63% of his passes. Not bad for a guy who hasn't started since high school, huh?

The Chiefs sure think this will carry over as they just gave Cassell 6-Year, $63 Million contract last week.

He won't have the talent level he had in New England, but Dwayne Bowe is a big target, and is emerging as a solid deep threat at the wide receiver position. The loss of Tony Gonzalez is sure to hurt though.

Free agent acquisition Bobby Engram will need to step up and produce at the second receiver position in order for Cassell to succeed.

The other not so bright spot was the non-existence of Larry Johnson.

Johnson, who had a brilliant 2006 year where he had 416 carries, 1789 yards, 17 touchdowns, hasn't come within 100 yards of reaching the 1000 yard plateau.

Many attribute this lack of success to the 416 carry beating he took during that 2006 season. If the Chiefs look to compete, Larry will have to pick it up and return to his old form.

Derrick Johnson solidifies the defense for the Chiefs, but now he has some even more solid back-up.

With Johnson anchoring the linebackers, Mike Vrabel, Zach Thomas, and Monty Beisel, even while aging, will make this corps one of the tops in the league on paper.

That doesn't always translate however.

They will need to generate a strong outside pass rush and look for the secondary to step up.

2008 fifth overall pick, Glenn Dorsey, will need to play to his potential in order for the Chiefs to succeed on defense. They will also look to Tyson Jackson, this years third overall pick, to sure up what was a soft defense in 2008.

They have a young secondary anchored by Bernard Pollard, and the talent exists, but it needs to be expended on the field.

Season Prediction: 4-12, 4th In AFC West