3 things I’ll be watching for tomorrow.
The 2023 NFL preseason is officially here. All 32 teams are now setting their sights on playing their players as they continue to set their rosters and prepare for Week 1. That doesn’t mean the final preseason games are not important, however. Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Chiefs will play their first preseason game against the New Orleans Saints and for me it’s exciting because one Chiefs football is back and I get to speak on what could happen. So with that being said, here are 3 things I will be watching for Sunday.
We have a real life football game tomorrow, y'all. pic.twitter.com/XtyeM7DMs8
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) August 12, 2023
Is Deneric Prince primed to be Chiefs RB1?
If not now, then soon. The undrafted player from Tulsa might not be the only ball carrier to gain yards this preseason, but he’s been the team’s most consistent chain-mover at the position throughout the offseason. Special teams coordinator Dave Toub has already named Prince is the main kick returner for Sunday. Last year, fellow running back Isiah Pacheco was in the same position which led to him becoming RB1 by the end of the season. Prince is in the same position and could exceed expectations better than Pacheco with an explosive debut. If Prince showcases his pass-catching and the ability to pick up blitzes, the job is his.
"To the parents of Deneric Prince we're sorry, but his name has been replaced." 🤣
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) August 10, 2023
Our underrated weapons without Tyreek Hill in 2023?
No Tyreek Hill, No problem. The emergence of rookie receiver Rashee Rice seems to be the make-or-break factor for the Chiefs’ receiving group. Despite being 5th on the depth chart, he has displayed the ability to be a star. Rice runs crisp routes and beats coverage with ease using his explosiveness in and out of breaks, and has a special ability to track the football. After the catch, the gifted receiver uses his speed and vision to become a home-run threat on every play. I’m looking at Skyy Moore in Year 2 who also runs good routes while excelling in the intermediate part of the route tree and has shown he can be a solid complementary receiver with the ability to get open at critical times. With limited usage in 2022, look for Moore to be a bit more productive in 2023 starting Sunday. The third and fourth receiving spot is open for grabs. Veteran receivers Justin Watson, Richie James and Marquez Valdes-Scantling look to solidify themselves in the rotation, along with second-year player Justyn Ross who perhaps has the upside to prove himself this Sunday.
10 days until we see Mahomes to Rice! How we feeling about these young WRs? Comment below! Video: @chiefs #chiefs #kansascity #kansascitychiefs #chiefskingdom #nfl #football #patrickmahomes #rasheerice pic.twitter.com/t089bV316q
— Fountain City Sports Media (@FCSportsMedia) August 3, 2023
How Will the Defensive Line Look Without Jones?
Despite Chiefs star defensive tackle Chris Jones not being at camp, the Chiefs’ defensive line should hold strong this preseason. Defensive line coach Joe Cullen is ready to lead a group of players led by second-year edge rusher George Karlaftis who is expected to be a better player in 2023. Karlaftis worked out with Chiefs legend Tamba Hali this offseason. The Chiefs added Charles Omenihu, and drafted Felix Anudike-Uzomah, B.J. Thompson and Keondre Coburn. This is a defensive line that gives Andy Reid and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo many options. With the depth and versatility the line provides, the Chiefs should be able to show why we are called Sack Nation. And with a radically-altered secondary, an upgraded pass rush will be key if the Chiefs’ defense is to replicate last season’s success.
— Sports Radio 810 WHB (@SportsRadio810) August 8, 2023