I can't wait until the season. I am super excited for the new Chiefs. Here's why.
1. Alex Smith.
Say what you want, but we were all there at the tail end of 2011, that shit season where we honestly had to root for a team without Eric Berry and Jamaal Charles, with Matt ****ing Cassel under center, and still managed to go 7-9. That was a weird, difficult season, but we were all there for the Kyle Orton Experiment in the last three games. While Kyle Orton was no world beater, it was the only time since Trent Green was under center did I not cringe watching the offense walk onto the field. I just knew that Damon Huard, Brody Croyle, Tyler Thigpen, Matt Cassel, Tyler Palko, and Brady Quinn were going to find ways to lose games. But Kyle Orton, especially in the wake of the Packers upset, was serviceable and it kept the game very interesting. I happen to think Alex Smith is far better than Orton, and in the right system, he can be a Top 12 guy like he has been the past two years. And if I get to root for a team that actually HAS A CAPABLE QUARTERBACK, I simply don't know what I'm going to do.
2. Coaching staff.
I seem to always like the offensive systems implanted by our coaches. Herm Edwards favored a power run game with Larry Johnson, and I loved it (when it was working), and Todd Haley/Charlie Weis was gambling and aggressive, and I loved that too. I don't know if that makes me a homer -- I think it just means I really love football, but whatever. But I really liked the pistol when it was run by Thigpen, even if Thigpen had no clue what he was doing. The more I learn about its ability to capitalize off the QB as an athlete, and its difficulty in defending, the more I like. But our offense was bad, bad, bad last year because we had an OC who was probably the worst I've seen. Reid & company will hopefully install an offense that will stay for years, and keep defenses guessing instead of keying in on one or two things we're doing. This will legitimately change everything, as it will make our offense capable (if not dynamic), and our defense will step up now that they aren't just resting for three plays and a punt.
3. Offensive line.
I've started a thread on this
already. This offensive line gets me hard, and that's a True Fan thing to say but I ****ing love a good offensive line. There's literally no scheme we can't run because our offensive line will give us the ability to at least try it out adequately. Jeff Allen at left guard still spooks me, but Reid seems high on the guy.
4. Improved defense.
The name of the game is to improve yourself as much as possible, and the Chiefs have mostly done that across all three levels. In the secondary, we're now legitimately six or seven-deep. At linebacker, what was a weakness at inside linebacker is now a strength with an infusion of talent with Akeem Jordan and Nico Johnson. And I'm high on Catapano
. I think DeVito is an upgrade over Dorsey, and Poe's development is going to make him fun to watch.
5. Legit talent at TE.
The past two years of praying Jake O'Connell or Steve Maneri could develop faster are finally put to rest. Neither Kevin Boss or Tony Moeaki are fun to root for if you're fearing injury every single time they get hit. Anthony Fasano is not a flashy player but he is a solid contributor with good hands, which this offense desperately needs, and Travis Kelce is a slam dunk at tight end -- I think he'll be very good this year if he stays off the sauce.
6. We are better insulated against injuries.
Chalk this up to depth. QB and OLB are the only exceptions, as we're pretty thin there, but I like our depth at RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, ILB, and secondary. Hopefully Smith, Hali, and Houston stay healthy all year.
7. Easy schedule.
I think the Chiefs could make a lot of noise against this schedule. There's only like four games that I think are cannot-wins, and two are against the Donks.
8. Dontari Poe.
Already have a thread on this guy
9. Jamaal Charles.
Even when the team is 2-14, there are few pleasures greater than watching Charles glide through a hole. He is such a beautiful runner (NTTAWTT).
10. Nico Johnson.
I was high on this guy all draft season, and I love that he's a Chief. Right now it sounds like he's battling against Akeem Jordan for that other ILB slot, and I think he'll own it by the end of preseason. Nico is such a great field general and an excellent two-down thumper. He stood out to me playing at Alabama, and with the improved play along the DL this year, it would be hard not to expect him to thrive in Kansas City.