Breaking Down the Chiefs 53

At first glance it would appear that the Kansas City Chiefs 2005 roster is all but set. But that might not be the case as Kansas City is still in hot pursuit of some NFL veterans. With that said, plenty of question marks remain as to how many players the Chiefs will keep at each position.



The Kansas City Chiefs have made personnel moves at every key point of this off-season. When the NFL began its new year in March, the Chiefs cut defensive end Vonnie Holliday. In the first free agency period they acquired Sammy Knight and Kendrell Bell. They traded for Patrick Surtain and Carlos Hall.

The Chiefs drafted heralded linebacker Derrick Johnson from the University of Texas. On June 2nd the Chiefs cut wide receiver Johnnie Morton. This week the Chiefs have entertained two free agent wide receivers, Freddie Mitchell and Az-Zahir Hakim. Rumors have them soon entertaining cornerbacks Ty Law and possibly veteran Bobby Taylor.

As each one of these moves became known to Chiefs' fans, the fans began to add and subtract from their mental final 53-man roster. As we head closer to training camp the 53 man roster mental exercise will be a daily occurrence as reports come out of camp. To help fans with that analysis, let's take a look at how Dick Vermeil's Kansas City 53 man roster. I won't predict who will be on that roster, but we will talk about one or two of the moves or potential moves that could change the normal make up of the final 53.

Offensive Breakdown:
Quarterbacks (3)
Running Backs (3)
Fullbacks (2)
Wide Receivers (5)
Tight Ends (3)
Offensive Linemen (9)
Total Offensive Players (25)

The Chiefs signed FB/RB Robert Holcombe in free agency this off-season. Holcombe has the ability to play both the running back position and the fullback position. That versatility may allow the Chiefs to keep two running backs this year thus allowing an extra player at another position. That position could be wide receiver.

If the Chiefs do indeed sign Mitchell or Hakim, it is possible the Chiefs could carry six wide receivers. Eddie Kennison, Dante Hall, Sammie Parker, Marc Boerigter, and rookie Craphonso Thorpe seem likely to be locks for the final roster.

Defensive Breakdown:
Cornerbacks (5)
Safeties (4)
Linebackers (7)
Defensive Ends (5)
Defensive Tackles (4)
Total Defensive Players (25)

The Chiefs have moved Gary Stills from DE to LB. That move could simply change the DE makeup to four and the linebacker total to eight. However, if the Chiefs elect to keep 4 defensive ends and stay at seven linebackers that could open the door to keep a 6th cornerback. Given the porous nature of the Chiefs secondary in recent history; that may be a very good idea. If the Chiefs add a veteran CB in late free agency like Law or Taylor, as has been rumored, carrying a 6th CB would seem like a real possibility.

Special Teams Breakdown:
Kicker (1)
Punter (1)
Long Snapper (1)
Special Teams Players (3)

It seems that Dick Vermeil has tried every training camp to gain an extra roster spot by having a positional player handle the long snapping duties. However, once the final roster is posted, Vermeil has always posted Kendall Gammon's name on that roster. As one of the best long snapper's in the league and a pro bowler last year, this appears to be the first season that Vermeil has given up trying to gain that roster spot.

From now until the final cut fans will be mentally cutting from and adding to the final 53. As they do so, fans will need to remember that they can't keep eight wide receivers or ten linebackers; depth at every position won't allow it. There are only so many blanks to be filled with names. Until Vermeil gives us the final answer key, I'll leave it to the fans to fill in the blanks with names.

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