Some thought guard Brian Waters wouldn't make it this far into training camp without more squabbles, but he stepped up and has done the work. Good for him, because this football team needs another Pro-Bowl season from Waters if it hopes to compete within the division.
He's not played up to his standards since Willie Roaf retired, but right now you have to like the shape of the offensive line, even though there are still question marks.
Left Tackle (Branden Albert) – He may already rank among the top 10 left tackles in the game. He didn't get much run last year in the national media with most of the accolades going to Denver's Ryan Clady, but after losing a ton of weight before training camp, Albert appears to be in the kind of shape that will enable him to be more agile and dominate for 16 games.
Left Guard (Brian Waters) – We've already discussed how he put aside his issues with the team and reported to camp as a team player. Expect him to stand up and be a leader this season.
Center (Rudy Niswanger) - He didn't have a great game Saturday night. Though he's listed as the starter this year, he'll be challenged by Eric Ghiaciuc. But before we get too excited, both are pretty much the same player. Expect that both will play center this year, which might not be a bad thing. For the first time in awhile the Chiefs have depth at the position.
Right Guard (Mike Goff) – He may have been KC's best offseason free agent signing and has completely stabilized the right side of the line. He's not a right tackle, where the Chiefs really needed an upgrade, but he's added veteran leadership and will serve as a mentor to Colin Brown, who has moved to guard after playing right tackle at Missouri the last four seasons. Goff signed a two-year contract, one of the only free agents to get more than a one-year deal, so the Chiefs must feel he can play at a high level the next two years.
Right Tackle (Barry Richardson) – He may get the nod come opening day in Baltimore. His development this offseason allowed the Chiefs to move the aformentioned Brown to Guard. I've been a big fan of Richardson since the team drafted him in 2008. He's been a work in progress but he's bigger and stronger than incumbent starter Damion McIntosh. If the Chiefs want to take a risk, they'll resist starting McIntosh and give Richardson a shot at learning the position. It's a lot to ask from a guy who came into the NFL out of shape and bit wide eyed, but from all accounts he's having an excellent camp. Why not reward him?
In Other News
Nothing new to report on the Chiefs' pursuit of Brandon Marshall. We received no denials yesterday, so we believe our report has legs. What we've learned is that Marshall's name is also high on the list of the New York Jets. If New York is unable to land Marshall, they appear the front runner at the moment to trade for Dwayne Bowe.
It's unclear what the Chiefs will do with Bowe, who is still listed as a third-stringer on the new depth chart. There's no doubt Kansas City is still searching the league for more receivers.
Why is third-round pick Alex Magee still listed as a third-team defensive lineman? I think he's going to have a terrific season and he had a nice game against the Texans last weekend. The fact that Glenn Dorsey and Wallace Gilberry are in front of him may be another example of Haley's motivation tactics. I expect Magee to play well Friday night at Minnesota.
After dropping a pass last week, why hasn't tight end Sean Ryan been placed on the bench in favor of Brad Cottam? Cottam is the only real threat at the position who also presents a big enough target for quarterback Matt Cassel to dump the ball off to in short passing situations.
Ryan hasn't been impressive at all and the Chiefs may have been short-sighted after trading Tony Gonzalez to Atlanta to not acquire or draft another tight end. Rookie Jake O'Connell isn't ready yet. Cottam needs as many snaps as possible this year.
Tribal Voice: Kansas City Chiefs Blog
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