Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Negatives from first week of Chiefs camp
By Adam Teicher
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs resume training camp at Missouri Western State University on Wednesday after taking a one-day break. While they’re off, we’re looking back at the first week of camp. Earlier, we examined some of the camp’s positive developments. Here are some of the top disappointments:
1. Lingering injuries. Left tackle Eric Fisher and tight end Travis Kelce are important players for the Chiefs. They are counting on Fisher to protect quarterback Alex Smith's blind side and Kelce to energize their passing game. Neither has been a consistent participant in practice after having surgery that caused each to miss at least the team portion of offseason practice. Fisher’s surgically repaired shoulder appears to be bothering him even when he’s in the lineup. Kelce’s balky knee caused him to sit out a day of practice. These ominous developments will threaten the Chiefs’ season if they continue.
2. Upheaval in the secondary. The Chiefs’ best cornerback, Sean Smith, is working with the second team, behind starters Ron Parker and Marcus Cooper. Meanwhile, at safety, the Chiefs have precious little in the way of experience behind starters Eric Berry and Husain Abdullah. The leading candidate to be a backup safety, Sanders Commings, hasn’t practiced because of an injured foot. Fortunately, the Chiefs have time to work out some of their issues. But they need to get busy.
3. Depth at offensive line. The Chiefs don’t have much experience among their starting linemen. Center Rodney Hudson, at 25 and heading into his fourth NFL season, is the veteran. But four of the starters were drafted in the third round or higher. The fifth starter could be rookie Zach Fulton at right guard, and he looks advanced for a sixth-round draft pick. So the line should be fine if the Chiefs can stay healthy. But trouble looms if the Chiefs have injuries here. Just how desperate their search for a third tackle is came to light when starting right tackle Donald Stephenson injured his ankle. Things don’t look much better at the interior positions.