Last Years Record: 4-12
Wins: Redskins, Raiders, Ravens, Broncos
Losses: Ravens, Raiders, Eagles, Giants, Cowboys, Chargers (2x), Broncos, Bills, Browns Bengals
Biggest Playmaker: Jamaal Charles
RB, Texas, Drafted #73 , 3rd year
Charles had a great second half of the year in 2009. Statistically, only RB Chris Johnson put up better numbers. He ended up with an amazing 5.9 yards per carry along with 7 TDs and 40 receptions. With Charlie Weis as the new offensive coordinator, those numbers should only increase this year.
Impact Player: Dwayne Bowe
WR, LSU, Drafted #23, 4th year
Bowe has the potential and talent to be a pro-bowler, he proved that in his first two season where he accumulated 156 receptions and 2,017 yards receiving. Last year Bowe was suspended for four games for violating the leagues substance abuse policy and was in coach Haley’s dog house for most of the season. Chiefs fans are hoping they will see the old Bowe this season.
Biggest Offseason Addition: Thomas Jones
RB, Virginia, Drafted #7, 11th year
I believed that Thomas Jones was one of the biggest free agent players on the market. Yet many teams passed on him because of his age (32 years old). Keep in mind that for the first four years of Jones’ career he never had over 150 carries. In his last five years he has been a workhorse for the Bears and Jets. He has had over 1000 yards rushing in the last five years and his most recent two years were the best of his career. So to me it does not make sense that Jones did not garner more interest. He should be a big addition to the Chiefs and should create a very good two back system.
Biggest Offseason Loss: Mike Brown
SS, Nebraska, Drafted #39 , 10th year
The Chiefs had low expectations for Brown last year, a guy that has talent but was often injured. Brown ended up starting all 16 games, having the second most tackles on the team with 103, and racking up three interceptions and two sacks. The Chiefs will be replacing Brown with a very talented rookie in Eric Berry, but his presence will still be missed.
Biggest Draft Steal: Javier Arenas
CB, Alabama, Drafted #50, Rookie
Arenas was part of Alabama’s stingy national champion defense. Arenas is only 5’9”, but makes up for his lack of height with great athleticism and instincts. He is also a dynamic punt returner, who broke many college records. Arenas should find his a way onto the field for the Chiefs.
Biggest Draft Reach: Dexter McCluster
RB, Ole Miss, Drafted #36 , Rookie
Dexter McCluster reminded me a lot of Kevin Faulk, a little undersized to be a full time running back but perfect for 3rd down draw plays, catching the ball out of the backfield and occasionally lining up in the slot. The Chiefs reached out to him in order to make him their new slot receiver and ended up passing on proven college wide outs Arrelious Benn, Golden Tate, and Damian Williams. I think McCluster could end up being a good player, but I don’t think he was worth the 36th pick overall and I do not know if the Chiefs are going to be using him in the right way.
Offseason Grade: C
Going into the offseason, the biggest need for the Chiefs had to be their offensive line. Having a good offensive line to protect a young QB like Matt Cassel is extremely important to his development and keeping him healthy. Last year they let up 45 sacks and Cassel did not look nearly as comfortable as he did in New England.
X-Factor: Defense playing up to their potential
The Chiefs defense is filled with talent and top picks. They have filled their team will highly touted first rounders: DE Tyson Jackson drafted #3, DE Glen Dorsey drafted #5, S Eric Berry drafted #5, LB Derrick Johnson drafted #15, OLB Tamba Hali drafted #20. All of whom are under the age of 30. If their defense can put it together they could be very scary.
Name You Should Know: Chris Chambers
WR, Wisconsin, Drafted #52, 10th year
Chambers was once a star in the league for the Dolphins, catching 11 TDs in a season two times. He completely dropped off since 2006 but re-emerged last year playing nine games for the Chiefs and bringing in 45 receptions for an impressive 16.2 yards per reception. I would not be surprised to see Chambers have a break-out year for the Chiefs.
Rising Star: Brandon Flowers
CB, Virgina Tech, Drafted #35, 3nd year
In only his second year Flowers emerged as one of the best players on the Chiefs, picking off five balls, forcing two fumbles and having a very impressive 23 pass breakups. Flowers should be someone we see playing in pro-bowl games in the coming years.
Offensive Outlook: C+
Charlie Weis and Todd Haley have very impressive track records on the offensive side of the ball so you have to like your chances with them as coaches. I also think that Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles could be one of the best tandems in the NFL. Unfortunately for the Chiefs there are some big questions marks with the offensive line and QB Matt Cassel.
Defensive Outlook B
There is so much talent on the defensive side of the ball for the Chiefs that this has to be the year that they become a top defense, right? We will see what happens.
Special Teams Outlook: A
Adding Javier Arenas and Dexter McCluster can’t hurt in the return game. Ryan Succop had an impressive rookie year and will only get better. Dustin Colquitt is one of the top punters, if not the top punter in the NFL.
Projected 2010 Record: 10-6
The Chiefs are a young team with a lot of potential. They are one of my favorite teams and I think there is no question we will be talking about them in the playoffs very soon. If they can play up to their potential they have the talent to make the playoffs. With Weis helping out Cassel and Jones and Charles in the running game, I think their offense will be fine even with a bad offensive line. Their defense should surprise some teams this year. I pick the Chiefs as my surprise team for 2010.