They were either slow to the ball, failed to make the tackle or even worse, were unable to keep receivers in front of them. But further, they didn’t have a single secondary player that could knock opposing receivers, backs or tight ends, on their backside. Now I’m not suggesting they hurt anyone but ringing a few bells isn’t a bad thing either.
A few years ago, Bernard Pollard, was one of those players. Granted he played Safety for the Chiefs but he lit opposing offensive players up whenever they came into his house. Commings heads into training camp next week not knowing if he’ll play cornerback or work side by side with veteran Safety, Eric Berry, this season.
Either way, the 2013 fourth round draft pick, needs to put his injury plagued rookie season in the rear view window. A pair of broken collarbones sealed his fate a year ago but he’s healthy again.
In my view, I’d like to see Commings work exclusively at safety. I know with the recent departure of veteran, Brandon Flowers, I’m just not sold that rookie, Phillip Gaines, will make much of an impact this season.
To be fair, both are basically rookies but Commings was here all last season and was able to work under Hall of Fame Cornerbacks Coach, Emmitt Thomas. That tutelage might be the difference to beginning the season as a starter and not back-up for Kansas City.
It’s well documented how I feel about Berry and his inability to make meaningful plays in the fourth quarter. I’m not sure he will ever do that but for now, he’s locked in at strong safety. For the moment, Hussein Abdullah has the beat on the free safety spot.
Commings in my view has the body to play both. He certainly has the speed and the hitting skills but he’s inexperienced. Considering he’ll face some of the NFL’s premier quarterbacks this season that might be asking too much for Commings at this stage of his career.
Still if this secondary is going to grow from their disappointments a year ago, somebody in this grouping has to stand and deliver. While I’m a huge fan of Abdullah, Commings represents the future.
So will he elevate his game to become one of the driving forces in the secondary? Time will tell but I would not bet against him. I’m not even sure why I believe in him so much. After all, in his only game a year ago at Denver, he made one jarring hit and he was done for the season.
However, something tells me his inactivity a year ago, the fact his body really didn’t take a beating, his time with the coaches and an entire off-season to work with the Chiefs coaching staff, tell me he’s going to make a name for himself in Kansas City.
As we saw in the post-season a year ago, it wasn’t the men up front that sealed victories defensively for playoff and Super Bowl victors, it was the play of the collective secondary.
Maybe with a healthy Commings the Chiefs have something more in which to build upon at the safety or cornerback position in 2014.
Next Up: Tyler Bray
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Can Sanders Commings make his mark on KC's defense in 2014?
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