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Chiefs Vs. Texans Pre Game Gab

The first preseason game is upon us and the Chiefs have generated much excitement this off season, first with the exodus of former general manager Carl Peterson and head coach Herm Edwards which was long overdue in the eyes of most Chiefs fans. Scott Pioli and Todd Haley were brought in as their replacements and with Piloli came new quarterback Matt Cassel. These three men combined have restored a faith in Chiefs fans that the losing is soon coming to a end and the winning history of Arrowhead will be renewed. This will be no small task to be sure as the Chiefs have a combined record of six wins and twenty six losses in the past two seasons.

The big trio get their first test on Saturday, when the Houston Texans come to town. This will be Todd Haley’s first game as a head coach making him the youngest head coach in Chiefs history and while a majority of last years team returns there have been several key off season additions. Haley made it clear very early in the off season adjustments to the roster would be made with his now famous quote to Brian Waters “ I could find twenty two guys off the street who could win more than two games”. It turns out the guys he had in mind were players like Matt Cassel, LB Mike Vrabel, LBs Zach Thomas, Monty Beisel, WRs Bobby Engram and Amani Toomer, G Mike Goff, S Mike Brown and C Eric Ghiaciuc who make up a majority of the 2009 free agent class.

Nobody keeps track of who won what preseason game after the regular season starts and there has never been any direct correlation found between pre season wins and losses and regular season wins and losses so throw the score out the window when the Chiefs take on the Texans. The Chiefs roster carries more questions than answers and the most important thing for the Chiefs to walk away from Arrowhead stadium with is answers not a victory. Several players have switched positions , the best receiver is currently third string. The starting line backing unit went from practice squad players to ancient which may prove to be just as ineffective, the quarterback is unproven and for the third straight season the Chiefs will open the season banking on a rookie kicker to save their kicking woes. If the Chiefs get answers to these question marks the game will be a success.

Keys to the Game

Find out who fits’ in the 3-4 and who don’t: Glenn Dorsey, Turk McBride and Tamba Hali have all switched positions. Alex Magee and Tyson Jackson were both drafted to take peoples job, add all that up and the front seven will look very different than it did last year personnel wise. Their may be no competition more heated than the battles going on inside the Chiefs front seven, players are clinging to their roster spot while others are trying to grab a starting spot. All the movement on the line means some people just won’t fit in the defense, the coaching staff must identify these players quickly so they can start to build some continuity in the front seven.

Let the starters play: Coach Haley has said Matt Cassel could very well play in to the half way mark of the second quarter as he tries to establish some familiarity with his teammates in game situations. There is no point in leaving Cassel in there if you don’t leave the rest of the starters in as well. If the Chiefs pull Brian Waters and Mike Goff after the second series who will protect Cassel? And how can Cassel develop chemistry with probable starters Amani Toomer and Dwayne Bowe if the Chiefs are going to start the game with Terrance Copper and Taurus Johnson……… I get Todd Haley is trying to humble Bowe, why not start the game with Toomer and Bobby Engram who Cassel will spend a majority of the season throwing passes to?

Go back to training camp injury free: Undoubtedly the most disastrous thing that could happen to the Chiefs in this first preseason game is to lose a player to injury, with all the new faces this team needs time to gel together and if a player can’t practice his teammates can’t get a feel for him. Even losing a player who is claiming a backup spot could spell trouble for the Chiefs who are looking for depth as well as starters players like Andy Studebaker and six foot six line backing project Vince Redd won’t be able to show if they are diamonds in the rough if they can’t get on the field.

Weather Report: Temperature at kickoff will be a humid 85 degrees with partly cloudy skies and a 40% chance of thunder storms through out the game.

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