The Top 5 Position Battles Going into Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp
2010 NFL Training Camp is the next stop on the Kansas City Chiefs' road to success, with a successful free agency and draft position battles start to heat up.
When you look back at the 2009 season you look at players you wished played a lot more. For example: Derrick Johnson, Jamaal Charles (before Larry Johnson was cut), and safety Dajuan Morgan.
Once training camp starts players start playing their hearts out for a starting job. This is a list of the top five position battles to look for in the Chiefs' 2010 training camp.
5. Nose Tackle: Ron Edwards vs. Shaun Smith
The Chiefs had a shaky experience at nose tackle in the 2009 season trading Tank Tyler a few games into the season and going with Ron Edwards the rest of the season.
Despite Ron Edwards starting 14 games in 2009 he shouldn't have he didn't contribute much at all to the Chiefs' new 3-4 scheme and was awful in run support.
The Chiefs brought in one of Romeo Crennel's former defensive tackles in Shaun Smith. A mean dude who always wants to just kill someone like when he punched his former teammate Brady Quinn right in the face.
It will be interesting to see who the nose tackle will be especially without drafting one in the 2010 draft. But I would really like to see Shaun Smith start at nose tackle just to see something different.
4. Kick Returner/Punt Returner: Javier Arenas vs. Dexter McCluster
The Chiefs have not one, but two second round picks looking for the return duties: cornerback Javier Arenas and receiver Dexter McCluster.
With McCluster not taking all the return duties his senior campaign Javier Arenas was an All-American and his returning skills helped him get that title. But, McCluster says he can still return kicks. We'll see about that with two speedsters going head to head it will be an exciting battle.
You never know, Arenas could be the kick returner and McCluster could be the punt returner, but likely one will have both duties.
I don't know who to pick on this one. I would like to see McCluster do the work, but Arenas has more return experience.
3. Strong Safety: Jarrad Page vs. Dajuan Morgan
Assuming if Eric Berry starts at free safety questions still remain who he will be playing next to at strong safety.
There is one big problem though. Jarrad Page still hasn't signed his tender so it is an even bigger question if he will be back. Before Page got injured in 2009 he was dominant at safety, picking off 4 passes and racking up 85 tackles in 2008.
If Page is healthy and ready to go in 2010 I would love for him to start again, but I would really like to see highly anticipated safety Dajaun Morgan play some.
Morgan was the second best safety in the 2008 draft and has yet to make an impact. If Page signs his tender I would choose him. If he doesn't then Dajaun Morgan is my guy.
2. Inside Linebacker: Derrick Johnson vs. Corey Mays
I was really surprised that Derrick Johnson didn't start every single game in the 2010 season, especially with Corey Mays taking his spot—a player who doesn't do much at all on defense.
Whenever Derrick Johnson went in the game he was incredible. He had 3 interceptions, each 40+ yards and 2.0 sacks. Todd Haley must be blind because Derrick Johnson is a play maker sitting there on the roster waiting to be called—exactly what the Chiefs need.
The other two starting inside linebackers were Corey Mays and Demorrio Williams, two players that didn't make any big plays at all in the 2009 season. I just don't get it. I like Demorrio Williams loads more than Corey Mays simply because he can tackle.
So the battle will likely go between Corey Mays and Derrick Johnson, I think Derrick Johnson is outstanding compared to Mays, but its Todd Haley's choice.
1. Center: Rudy Niswanger vs. Casey Wiegmann
The Chiefs made big news with the signing of their former center Casey Wiegmann this off season.
Wiegmann started for the Chiefs for many seasons before playing with the Broncos for two seasons and was a Pro-Bowler in 2008. The Chiefs have gone with Rudy Niswanger at center for the past few seasons and he has been extremely inconsistent.
I would really like to see Casey Wiegmann start right next to former teammate Brian Waters again, but the question is: Does Wiegmann have anything left?