Everything is new in Kansas City. A new coach, a new quarterback, a new left tackle and a new culture with one of the NFL’s most-historic teams.
The Chiefs, off a 2-14 season, need a little more than a new look, they need a new lifeline of sorts.
The AFC West improved over the offseason (well at least San Diego and Denver did) and the team in Missouri needs a little more than new faces to prove they have changed, too.
They just need to win.
With Andy Reid at the helm and a new outlook, could this be the team that ascends to the top of the AFC West or for a wild card berth after a disappointing 2012? Possibly.
With the end of OTAs and mandatory minicamps, here is what we have learned about this team.
Terrell Owens, No Chance - Although he is familiar with Andy Reid’s offense and has worked with Reid in Philadelphia, a spot on the roster is highly unlikely. Owens has been on sports talk radio and made comments in the media stating he thought Minnesota and Kansas City would give him the best opportunity to play in the NFL this season. So far, opportunity isn’t knocking and neither franchise seems interested.
Jamaal Charles, Year II - In his second season removed from an ACL injury, could the Chiefs see an even better Charles running the football? Team officials hope so.
According to Yahoo! Sports, “The fact that the running back was able to produce at such ahigh rate just one year removed from an ACL injury is remarkable. But how Charles performs in 2013 will be monitored much more closely--especially how he will be used in Reid's West Coast offense (WCO).”
It’s Alex Smith’s Show - Andy Reid’s West Coast Offense needs a passer who can get the ball to the open receiver and manage the game. Enter Alex Smith. After working in machine-like fashion in San Francisco, an injury sidelined him and ended his tenure in San Francisco.
Smith is perfect for this offense and a new beginning. If he can work the offense like he did by the Bay, the Chiefs will be in fine shape. “For me, you’ve put in all this work, working out, football on the field throwing, so to take six weeks off and not continue that, it would be a shame with all the gains that we’ve made," Smith said on kcchiefs.com.
"You’re constantly working out every day. We’re going to keep throwing. I’m going to continue throwing. When you can, yeah, you spend the rest of your time with your family, and get it in because once the season starts, I’ll be here a lot more than I’ll be at home.”
Discipline is a good thing - Head coach Andy Reid, according to kcchiefs.com, said he is happy with the work of the rookies in camp so far this off season.
“Before the players began their offseason workouts, coach Reid envisioned what he'd like to see happen, heading into the season.”
So far, those expectations have been met.
"They’ve all been here, so, it’s been very productive. We can bring them back a little bit earlier, but I’m not doing that. We’re good with what we’ve gotten done with them.”
Dwayne Bowe wants to lead the league in receptions - There isn’t a lack of confidence from the top receiver on the Chiefs’ roster. In a story written on Kansascity.com, Bowe stated quite frankly he was going to lead the league in receptions. I like the confidence, but I am not sure
it is not going to happen.
He also believes the team will be much better offensively. “When we get in full gear and pads and close to the season, it’s going to be a show to watch,” he told reporters.
Eric Fisher is only draft pick unsigned - The Chiefs moved quickly to make sure their players they drafted were under contract and in camp.
The only one that has not put ink to paper is Top overall draft pick Eric Fisher.
Arrowheadpride.com reported that as of June 6, “Third round pick Travis Kelce and fourth round pick Nico Johnson have agreed to terms on their rookie contracts making them the sixth and seventh Chiefs 2013 draft picks to sign. The lone remaining unsigned draft pick is No. 1 overall Eric Fisher.”
Fisher, the left tackle from Central Michigan, is expected to project Alex Smith’s blindside and help open holes in the running game.
Branden Albert must come back strong - If there is one player who must make an impact with this team, tackle Branden Albert must make some noise in a good way.
Albert, who appeared to be out in Kansas City in the offseason, tried to land a deal with other NFL teams, including the Miami Dolphins. That deal never materialized and Albert returned to Missouri.
He and Eric Fisher must be on the same page. There is a chance these two could be great bookends that make the Chiefs’ offense better.
Clark Hunt likes the off season moves - KCChiefs.com interviewed Clark Hunt, the team owner and asked him about his thoughts on the off season and the upcoming season.
"It's been great to see the guys make some progress every week, the practices were very fast-paced; there's a great energy about the team, both on-the-field and off and I think, really, everybody from the coaches, through all 90 or so players are excited about where the Chiefs are headed in 2013,” Hunt said.
Hunt was also impressed with the work of the quarterback, Alex Smith, as well as the fact the team looked completely different from last season’s 2-14 team.
The secondary could be awesome - Sean Smith, Dunta Robinson and Eric Berry. Pretty good stepping stones in the Chiefs' secondary. For a team that was weak in the back line last season, these three could make a real difference.
"We have a lot of new faces. We have a lot of key guys coming in, like myself and (Chiefs CB) Dunta Robinson in the secondary; this defense is very special,” Smith said on KCChiefs.com.
This team could be really good - A new head coach, new management, and a new quarterback. They are all signs of progress. This was a team that lost a step and it showed. But the cupboard wasn’t empty. The defense could be improved (Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson). I personally like this team for eight wins.