The Top 5 Under The Radar Stories For The 2009 Kansas City Chiefs
So just to be up front, I'm not stating that these are "top secret" story lines just ones that maybe aren't getting national attention.
1. Chan Gailey Will call plays to start the season, not Todd Haley.
On Monday, Todd Haley announced, at least to start the season, Chan will call the plays.
Todd is leaving the option open to take the duties back later in the year if he feels it's needed.
“That was my dilemma,” Haley said. “It was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life, designing the offense and calling the plays. Selfishly, I’d love to go out and call the plays.
“This wasn’t a decision that was made quickly,” Haley said. “I put a lot of thought into it. Chan will call the plays as I see it right now. This is all part of the learning process of trying to get it right. That’s where we’ll start from, and I would say that’s the way we’ll go into the season.”
Chan Gailey is a respected and successful offensive play caller in the NFL spending last season as offensive Coordiantor of the Chiefs with prior NFL expirence with the Dolphins,Cowboys and Steelers.
Chan seems to have an uncanny ability to adept his offense talent to like he did with Kordell Stewart in Pittsburgh running the "slash" position and last year with Tyler Thigpen and the "pistol" offense in K.C. as well as running successful offenses with drop back quarterbacks.
The NFL teams for which Gailey coached reached postseason play eight of the last 9 years in the league, and 11 of his 15 seasons overall.
2. Can Jamaal Charles unseat Larry Johnson as the starter at HB?
Jamaal has been quoted as saying that head coach Todd Haley told him he knows he can beat out LJ for the starting position.
So it has been reported Mr. Charles went on a special diet during this off-season and not only hit the weights but added a little as well. Jamaal said, "They want me at 208, I'm at 207 right now, so I'm going to get there and stay there".
As far as beating out teammate and friend Larry Johnson for the starting Job. Jamaal says,
"I like Larry," "We are friends in the locker room. And I'm going to be a good teammate, but I plan to take it from him. I think my coaches realize they need me. They are going to have to give me that chance. I have fresher legs and our offense plays to my advantage. I think they are going to use me a lot like Marshall Faulk."
3. Can the Chiefs find a diamond in the rough on the O-line?
It's not headline news that the Chiefs need to get better play out of their offensive line this season. But it's how they are going to go about it.
Starting with new GM's Scott Pioli's days in Cleveland, Bill Belicheck and him have always agreed on what kinda of player they wanted.
What does this have to do with Kansas city you ask? Pioli is going to do things the Patroit way and that way is this. Look at the roster of the Patroits Super Bowl teams, it is littered with undrafted free agents and late round draft picks on the Offensive line.
The Chiefs take 15 O-linemen with them to River Falls, Wisconsin and Training camp (most at any position). They need to find a few good men outside of the few veterans that deserve to come back to Arrowhead stadium in Kansas city and lineup this fall that can become starters and make a significant contribution to this team, now and in the future.
4. Special Teams
I think there is going to be a renewed emphasis this year placed on Special teams. Haley has already mentioned it, saying, "It starts with Special Teams" Three time Super Bowl winning head coach Joe Gibbs recently said in an interview on NFL Network that he always emphasized his special teams first and Dick Vermeil who spent time in Kansas City and won a SB in St.Louis also was a strong supporter of spending a lot of practice time on special teams. Which leads us to my #5 topic
What is more under the radar than the kicker position?
Incumbent: Connor Barth. Only played in 10 games last season after initially being released after training camp. Was 10 of 12 on FG's and 24/24 on XP's.
Challenger: Ryan Succop. Mr. Irrelevant, the last draft pick of the entire 2009 NFL draft.
Ryan is a graduate of South Carolina where he was known for his strong leg, kicking a career long 55 yard field goal and had 69 touchbacks on 169 career kickoffs in college. Ryan can also sub at Punter for Dustin Colquitt in case of injury as Succop punted for 2 season in college grossing 42.3 yards on 85 punts.
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