The Chiefs released a preliminary depth chart on Monday, and there were a few surprises, even excluding Dwayne Bowe playing with the third team offense.
For this team to be successful this season, there are a few key players who need to play well. Unfortunately for Chiefs fans, most of those players don't seem to be off to a good start.
Starting with the third overall pick this year, Tyson Jackson is going to have to play up to his potential for this switch to the 3-4 defense to work out.
Even keeping in mind that defensive linemen traditionally take longer than most to adjust to the NFL, Jackson must have at least as good of a season as Glenn Dorsey did last year to be considered a good year for a rookie.
Drafting Jackson as high as the Chiefs did was solely to ease along the switch to the 3-4 defense, and if he doesn't earn a starting spot, the Chiefs organization missed badly on another high first round pick.
Tank Tyler is another defensive lineman that needs to earn a starting spot. The released unofficial depth chart currently has Ron Edwards starting at the nose tackle spot, and he would barely deserve to be a rotational guy on a team like the Steelers. If this team is going to be good, Tyler has to step up his game and take that spot.
Tyler played some nose tackle at NC State, and has said that he "likes to be over the center," which is good, because that is exactly where he needs to be for this team to succeed.
He has incredible strength, getting 42 bench press reps of 225-lbs at the combine coming out of college, his technique is a little rusty though and needs to improve in order for this d-line to be worth anything.
Starting at receiver right now, the Chiefs have Terrance Copper, and Devard Darling. Who? Terrance Copper was an undrafted free agent picked up by the Cowboys in 2004, and has played with now four different teams in the six years after. Darling was drafted in the same year by the Ravens in the third round, and came to the Chiefs in 2008.
Both Copper and Darling are speed guys, and apparently have been playing well in camp. Darling would be a good number three WR, but it seems like he might win the starting role opposite Dwayne Bowe come season's start.
While this release of the depth chart has Dwayne Bowe with the third string offense, he'll most likely be back in the starting lineup by week one's game against Baltimore regardless of whether or not he deserves it.
This demotion is head coach Todd Haley's latest attempt to send a message to Bowe. Adam Teicher, of the Kansas City Star, has reported Bowe has been dropping a lot passes in training camp so far, and has been practicing with the second and third-string offenses for the past few days.
While Bowe may start opening day, if he doesn't improve his focus and fix the drops, Chiefs fans are in for another rough season.