If that's the case, then it's probably a good idea, facing a stout Baltimore Ravens defense, that the Chiefs need to open up the offense. Cassel has to get comfortable with some of his new offensive toys. With the additions, of Steve Breaston, Le'Ron McClain, Jon Baldwin (if he plays - more on that in a moment), Keary Colbert, this offense has to find a rhythm for at least a series or two.
2. LB Justin Houston - I've talked about him a lot but in my view, he's the most important defensive player the Chiefs are going to put on the field Friday night. He's had a solid week of practice, has risen up the depth charts and is already moved himself into consideration for a starting role.
And that means, he's going to have to play better than Andy Studebaker and Cameron Sheffield. I just don't see the Chiefs defense rising to the occasion this season until they can find another sack master. That means Houston, who is best suited to do just that, needs to continue to elevate his game against the Ravens.
3. WR Jon Baldwin - From all accounts the Chiefs top draft pick had a run-in with the coaching staff. He was missing in action at practice on Wednesday and the rumblings suggest that his absence was not injury related.
Either way, the Chiefs knew what they were getting with this fiery high-flying wide receiver who has tons of talent. The kid just wants the ball. And he's not going to take a back seat to anyone. He believes in his abilities that much. So much so, he's not afraid to say what he thinks even if it puts him in the coaching doghouse.
And I have no problem with that. If he believes that his talents are that good and if he's thrown the ball that the Chiefs offense can win more games, then I suggest that the offensive coaching staff find a way to get him the ball. Let him back it up.
If he can, than this offense is going to be that much better.
4. FB Le'Ron McClain - You know he has to be licking his chops facing his old team tonight. He didn't play last week against Tampa Bay. And based on the fact the Ravens didn't even make an effort to retain his services this offseason, he has to have a chip on this shoulder.
That aside, he needs to get some snaps plowing the road for Jamaal Charles. These two guys are going to be the thunder and lightning of the Chiefs rushing attack this season. So why not display that fury against the Baltimore Ravens.
5. C Rodney Hudson - I've been banging the drum hoping that the Chiefs will turn the reigns of their center position over to Hudson now rather than infuse him into the offense at mid season.
I know that Haley isn't going to do that because veteran Casey Wiegmann will start opening day against the Buffalo Bills but to me Hudson is a far better choice. He's the future and I say throw him into the fire right now. Sure he doesn't have the starting chops or experience of the man he's understudying at the moment.
But he's more physical, stronger and he has to learn at some point. So why not now? If that scenario is going to take place, Hudson needs to play at least half the game under center tonight against the Ravens.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Will Todd Haley unleash his team tonight against the Ravens?
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