Andy Studebaker, Kansas City Chiefs

Positive signs come from Philly game

Hello. My name’s Jason Tarwater. One of the reasons I decided to do my blogs on Monday was primarily to break down the Kansas City Chiefs games during the season, share what I thought.

However, this week, I’m going to be a little late with it, but still. This will be the M.O. for this particular blog, just to give you a head’s up of what to look for.

Looking at this past Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, I’m fairly optimistic. And I’m much more optimistic than I was for any other game this preseason.

And it all has to do with one thing – the defense.

Anyone who watched the game clearly knows how well Andy Studebaker and Demorrio Williams were rushing the passer. The two combined for four of the five sacks for the Chiefs. I was particularly impressed with Williams who – though he was the Chiefs leading tackler last year – was fairly quiet last year. If he can add “solid pass rusher” to his resume, then that will be a big lift for this team.

With Studebaker, I still don’t see him starter yet. With Tamba Hali as the team’s best pass rusher and Mike Vrabel as the “coach on the field” – particularly in the scheme of defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel that Vrabel called a “carbon copy” of the one he was successful in during his years in New England – I don’t see Studebaker finding time as a starter yet. However, I do love the guy’s motor.

When you run a 3-4 defense like the Chiefs do, you need to have good linebackers. Hopefully, the linebacker play continues to improve under new

Another thing I took from this game – at least as far as positives – RB/WR/KR Dexter McCluster.

When watching this guy in OTA’s and minicamp, there was one thing I saw. Dude is a playmaker. Flat out. I will never forget him burning his good friend and roommate Kendrick Lewis so badly that the inside of his shoe exploded. I wouldn’t have believed it, but he showed me. It was one of the wilder things I’ve seen.

The Chiefs success on offense will not totally depend on their ability to get the ball in the hands of McCluster, but it will be a decent indicator. I even loved that Assante Samuel lit him up, and he jumped right up and was ready to go again. With a guy his size, you always worry about him taking hits like that and how he’ll recover. He seemed to do fine.

When paired up with Javier Arenas on kick returns, the Chiefs should have one of the more exciting kick return tandems in the entire NFL.

Those were the glaring positives. One other positive is that Cameron Sheffield‘s injury doesn’t seem to be as bad as it looked originally. He was released from the hospital Saturday, according to reports, and had movement in his extremities.  However, I haven’t yet heard when to expect him back from this neck injury. I would be shocked to see him play before the season opener – if even that soon.

I always say the final score in a preseason game doesn’t fully matter. As evidenced Friday night, the Chiefs scrubs let that get away. The most important thing isn’t winning. The most important thing is staying healthy.

After watching Maurice Leggett and Sheffield suffer injuries in back-to-back weeks, I would be surprised to see any of the Chiefs starters remain in the game after the first quarter Thursday night.

With the opening of the “new” Arrowhead, plus the highlights from Friday, there is definitely a lot to get excited about going into Sept. 13. Plus, I have a buddy who’s a San Diego Chargers fan. He’s a little worried. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

2 Comments Say Something
  • I am beginning to become more optimistic in the Chiefs 2010 season.

    As I've mentioned before, I barely pay any attention to pre-season football, generally only watch game 3 in the Chiefs pre-season, and nothing at all from other NFL teams.

    The Chiefs D seems to be slowly progressing, and maybe I'm wrong, but I think I saw a glimmer of hope in Cassel's play…. What do we have to do to make him get rid of the ball quicker?

    From everything I've read, and judging from off-season transactions and the NFL draft, nobody in the AFC West took a step forward.

    The division seems to be wide open… Unfortunately, unlike years past, the main reason is because the AFC West is one of the worst divisions in the NFL, not the best.

  • Quite simply, get better receivers who get open quicker. I’d rather him take a sack than throw a pick.

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