The first three days of training camp don’t amount to much in regards to answers and gaining steam toward what could be a Super Bowl run for any NFL team. In Kansas City, the Chiefs hope to be players in 2016 but they’ll open camp with three looming questions. Ones that the head coach gave very vague answers too that open up some additional camp fodder for the Chiefs nation.
Eric Berry – Will the NFL’s best story in 2015 sign his franchise tender before Week 10 of the regular season. Berry was very unhappy the Chiefs did not offer him the long term contract he desired. However, the Chiefs were skittish in regards to guaranteeing the majority of his contract, and were in the right not to do such a crazy thing.
However, Berry is a player the Chiefs defense needs to become an elite unit in 2016. If he’s not on the roster it’s unlikely KC can compete in the AFC West this season. The prospects behind an absent Berry are still unknown, unproven and far too risky to envision without Berry in the defensive backfield.
Justin Houston – For those listening to yours truly back in March when it was revealed he needed another knee surgery, you heard that it was possible Houston could miss most of the 2016 season. That’s an incredibly difficult pill for the Chiefs to swallow considering a year ago they gave Houston a $101 million contract.
The rumblings on the severity of his surgery, added with the fact he had no business suiting up in the Chiefs playoff blowout in Houston, remain a mystery only the X-Files could solve. Had the Chiefs been conservative with their assessment of Houston heading into the post season, he’d be joining the rest of his veteran teammates this weekend.
For now, it appears Houston at best will return at some point this season. When that actually occurs might not be until the Fall weather turns very icy cold.
Jamaal Charles – It’s likely Sir Charles will be full speed once the regular season kicks into high gear in September. Until then, Kansas City’s medical staff should learn their lessons from the Houston saga. Until Charles is 110% he should not play in any pre-season games.
Still the use of Charles is the big question that Head Coach, Andy Reid, must solve before the regular season begins. Charles along with Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware are the best trio of running backs on any NFL roster.
The issue for Reid is that he’s been trying to force feed a passing game behind an average offensive line and a conservative quarterback, Alex Smith, since his arrival three years ago. However, with the three horsemen at his disposal, one would think he’d junk the offense and return it to a more KC like smash mouth approach that would utilize his team’s offensive strength.
Time will tell if that’s the approach he takes for 2016.