The Chiefs have yet to wear full pads for a single practice in 2010, but jockeying for positions on a roster chalk full of opportunity has already begun. Throughout OTAs we’ve highlighted some of the position battles that are to be had for this upcoming season, but mainly only those of high profile positions have made the rounds.
We’ve talked about the battles waging for roster slots in the defensive backfield – 15 players in total, many of who play multiple positions. It looks wide open.
We’ve also talked about the positioning for playing time amongst the wide receivers, particularly out of the slot position. Add the tight ends, centers and inside linebackers to the list as well.
Truth is, there are far more positions on this team classified as “up for grabs” rather than “safe” at the moment. While many of the positional battles mentioned above will be both well followed and well documented throughout the rest of spring and into summer, there are other positional battles lurking in the shadows that have generally gone overlooked. These are the battles that aren’t for starting positions, but that will go a long way in determining the final few roster slots on this football team.
Here are three positional battles that I find interesting, but remain off the beaten path.
Job: 3rd Running Back
2009 Review: After Larry Johnson was released last November, everyone behind him on the depth chart got bumped up a notch. Originally, the Chiefs opted to spilt carries between
Current Competition: The top two positions at running back appear to be set with Jamaal Charles and
Scenario #2 – The Chiefs opt to have a “slash” serve as the third running back, in addition to another offensive role. This would bring the focus towards OW (offensive weapon)
Job: 3rd Quarterback
Current Competition: This off-season the Chiefs went out and added
Also keep in mind that the dark horse here (as with every position group) is a late addition during or at the end of training camp. This is the way Gutierrez originally joined the club and was also the way that Thigpen became a Chief.
Job: 3rd Tackle
2009 Review: The Chiefs had a true sixth man on the offensive line in Wade Smith last season. It’s not often that your third tackle also represents your third guard and second center. As a result, Smith’s reserve role ended up seeing a total of nine starts between the tackle and guard positions in 2009. Wade is in Houston now, leaving sixth-man honors open for the taking. This year, it’s unlikely that one man will fill all five positions on the line as a reserve.
Current Competition: On paper,
Through the first two weeks of OTAs,
It’s never too early to talk about positional battles. The competition has already begun.