The Kansas City Chiefs kicked off OTAs yesterday at 1 Arrowhead Drive.
Charles Robinson @CRob5769
Lead Writer – @ChiefsFocus
The third phase of organized team activities (OTAs) are underway for your Kansas City Chiefs as of yesterday. While it’s no doubt exciting for the coaches and players to get back onto the practice field to start implementing the 2022 system, gaining familiarity with new (potential teammates), and getting their football legs back under them, for us on the outside it is still a slower time of the year from a “things to talk about perspective”.
Of course you will have your outlets that will put out links to tweets or other social media posts that you’ve already seen, summarizing them for you with just a handful of emojis and a blog post that probably should have been a tweet. It’s the NFL bloggers equivalent to the meeting that could’ve been an email. I’ve always found it interesting that some blogs with tens of thousands of followers feel the need to show you a tweet that you likely saw as one of Patrick Mahomes 2.1 million twitter followers, but I digress. Content is content no matter how basic, I suppose.
This blog, in fact, will be pretty basic. We’re not here to give you a look behind the curtain at OTAs – we don’t know who looks like they’re out of shape, who came back shredded, or how much zip Mahomes has on his ball at the moment. I have to assume Mahomes is still zippy, and Juju looked pretty shredded from the photos and videos I’ve seen so far. Outside of that, I’ll take it from the team’s official twitter account as to how every looks and is doing.
But let’s reach for some storylines, shall we? It is a huge offseason for the Chiefs, coming off of an AFC Championship home loss to Cincinnati and an offseason where each team in the AFC West, Buffalo, and Cincinnati appear to have all improved on paper. Denver brought in Russell Wilson and Randy Gregory. The Chargers signed two high dollar defensive free agents. The Raiders got Davante Adams and Chandlers Jones. The Bills signed Von Miller and the Bengals rebuilt their terrible offensive line.
While KC has a completely remodeled defensive unit, that’s not a bad thing. The Chiefs replaced aging players with young talent on defense, and on the offensive side of the ball have a more complete receiving corps than they had a year ago.
The biggest bullet points for Chiefs Kingdom to look out for over the next couple of months as the team gets into and through OTAs and into Training Camp in August are pretty obvious. With so many new pieces surrounding a core of players (Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Chris Jones, and Frank Clark) that have led both sides for several years now, it will be all about how they mesh in the coming months to create the final product that will be the 2022 Chiefs. 90 guys on the roster right now will turn into 53 over the next 90 days, and some of those 53 figure to not even be under contract with the team at the moment.
- How will the new receivers gel with Patrick Mahomes?
Juju Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, Skyy Moore, Corey Coleman, and Justyn Ross join Mecole Hardman, Josh Gordon, and Daurice Fountain in a Chiefs wide receiver room that all of a sudden looks less top heavy and more balanced. How will these guys mesh with Mahomes? Several have been working with PM15 in the offseason, and the ones who have not are on the field with him now working on timing and ironing out who will be slotted at which position on the field and the depth chart. Also, how sick was Justyn Ross’ catch yesterday? The answer- so sick.
- What does the 2022 linebacking group look like?
We know Nick Bolton and Willie Gay, Jr will be on the field. Will the third man in the rotation be rookie Leo Chenal, or will veteran free agent signee Jermaine Carter Jr emerge as a darkhorse fan favorite in 2022? Both will bring a different skillset to the Chiefs defense, these next few months will determine who accents Gay and Bolton the best and sees a majority of the snaps early in the season.
- How will the front 4 improve on a disappointing 2021 campaign?
Many fans were in complete disarray when Brett Veach let Melvin Ingram walk, but we have to consider that the Chiefs selected George Karlaftis as the leader of the next generation of Chiefs pass rushers in the first round of the draft. His chemistry with Chris Jones, Frank Clark, Derek Nnadi, and the rest of the Chiefs front four will determine how much the Chiefs will improve from a disappointing output total a season ago. There’s also a chance that there could be some new faces in the mix in this group that aren’t there at the moment come training camp (or after).
- How will the young, rebuilt secondary come together?
This group is 2 parts exciting, 1 part terrifying. With Trent McDuffie, Joshua Williams, Bryan Cook, Jaylen Watson, Nazeeh Johnson – all rookies – and Justin Reed and Lonnie Johnson new to the team, the secondary looks a whole lot different in 2022 than it did in 2021. Which is probably a good thing. We know that the Dan Sorensen burnt toast and Tyrann Mathieu “business decisions” are gone – what we don’t know for certain is what we have now. It will not only be interesting to see who gets into the starting lineup from this group of players. It will be interesting to see who makes the team. But, as many wise men have often pointed out, competition breeds excellence.
Those are only a few of the storyline we’ll all dive into over the course of the next few months. More will undoubtedly pop up as we go. We’re in the business of giving you insight with what we know and what we can dissect from a football stand point – not just repost tweets with the eyes emoji as the entire body of our blog. We don’t care how far Tua can throw the ball, we care about what’s happening at 1 Arrowhead Drive.