So what we can surmise to this point in regards to this Chiefs football team, may lie in what we saw the last three weeks in training camp.
There were many. To begin with, most of the players came to camp in shape. The lone exception was the Chiefs remaining draft holdout, linebacker Justin Houston. However, he's quickly caught up in that regard heading into Ravens game.
General Manager Scott Pioli headed to St. Joe with only one major free agent acquisition, free agent wide receiver, Steve Breaston. Before he left camp on Wednesday, Pioli added defensive tackle Kelly Gregg, linebacker Brandon Siler, fullback Le'Ron McClain and tackle Jared Gaither.
And the good news is that the Chiefs remain committed to adding more short term veterans to balance out their roster deficiencies and add depth to this football team. That's why they remain interest in defensive tackle Tank Johnson.
Add all that with the signing of linebacker Tamba Hali and the Chiefs, on paper, are stronger, faster, better in most areas than they were in 2010.
However, the best aspect of training camp might be the fact the players had a quiet nature about them. And that told me that they didn't take last seasons success for granted. Furthermore it said they intend to defend their AFC West Title this year.
They aren't thumping their chests nor taking anything for granted. That's a sign of a maturing football team.
I'm still on the fence about the way in which Todd Haley conducted training camp. He's certainly taking some heat for spending far more time conditioning his players with repetitive drills rather than more spirited pad to pad contact.
It's risky and honestly it's something that probably makes much sense. Still the bad taste that lingers from their shutout against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is something that can only be washed away with a good showing in Baltimore against the Ravens Friday night.
Haley is under the gun this season. There isn't any dispute that he has to produce similar results in 2011 as he did in 2010. Thus he has to make all the right moves. And with his decision to run the offense this year, he has to learn from the mistakes he made his rookie season by wearing more hats that he can handle.
The other aspect that bothered me this year was watching a few players not giving out maximum effort. Most notably was 2009 first round pick, Tyson Jackson. The former LSU standout looks in great shape but just doesn't appear to have the heart for the game.
When I saw him push away defensive line coach Anthony Pleasant during a defensive line drill the second week of camp, that told me that he's not into football. I'm not sure what's really up or if he feels that he's going to be the odd man out for a starting role this season, but its safe to say that his desire for the game has to change.
He's going to be pushed by rookie Allen Bailey and in passing situations Wallace Gilberry will replace him at defensive end. It's really a shame that he hasn't developed and based on the recent cut of former Buffalo Bills high profile draft pick, Aaron Maybin, the Chiefs might be forced to do the same with Johnson.
But unlike the turnaround that Houston made from the start of camp, Jackson hasn't done the same.
And that's too bad, because the Chiefs could really use his talents.
Lastly I would have liked to seen Pioli add a veteran quarterback to back up Matt Cassel. Though I'm a big fan of Ricky Stanzi, I'm not too thrilled with Tyler Palko. Neither is ready to lead the Chiefs offense.
Stanzi because he's just not seasoned enough to take the offensive reigns. In Palko's case, his skill set isn't anywhere near NFL calibre. So if the Chiefs add another veteran player before the start of the regular season, my guess is that it'll be quality, experienced back-up.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Will Todd Haley's camp approach work for the Chiefs?
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