I just picked up my cousin (who made us late, but I won’t go to far into that) and was getting myself all ready to see something I’ve been thinking about since the last second of last years Chiefs season ticked away…..a new season getting closer!
I was expecting a few thousand people to be there to watch the boys in red just practice, but as I approached the stadium from I-70 I looked and saw a wonderful scene in front of my eyes, and I should not have been surprised, the best stadium in the NFL with the best fans in the NFL treating this day like a normal game day in KC, and we all know how we do that, better than any other teams fans in the NFL.
I got to the parking lot and parked next to my family that was already there, we were tailgating and began our usual conversations on how the Chiefs will do this year and who they have on the team. As my cousin and I were bashing Az Hakim we began to prepare to enter the stadium, from the looks of the parking lot there were many more people there than I thought there were, but once the final number was announced I was so proud to be a Chiefs fan, over 15,000 fans on a hot, Saturday afternoon decided that nothing was more important to see than the Chiefs!
I entered the stadium and began to walk down the aisle and felt that itch I get all the time when I enter Arrowhead, it was anticipation, and it was being satisfied for the day. All the red around the stadium was a beautiful sight, and seeing all the players on the field running around getting loose was a great feeling as well. This was Arrowhead, and this is where the diehard Chief fans want to be everyday of the year!
As the team was going through their drills I saw so many good things, but of course you could not help but notice and keep a constant eye on the thing the Chiefs need the most, DEFENSE!
How great was it to see defensive players flying around to the ball and swarming the ball carrier no matter where he was. The Chiefs number one overall draft choice this year, Derrick Johnson, was very impressive, his speed alone will make up for a lot of things he does wrong this season, he looks like the real deal.
The secondary was a particular sore spot last season, but the arrivals of Pro Bowler Patrick Surtain patrolling one of the cornerback positions, and another former Miami Dolphin named Sammy Knight in control of the safety spot gives any Chiefs fan a reason to look forward to the upcoming season.
The major negative of the afternoon was seeing Julian Battle be lost to an injury before the season even began. Battle was having an outstanding offseason thus far, enough for coach Vermeil to name him a starting corner at that time, but now Battle will have to work on rehabbing his injury before he can worry about getting his job back.
Other than Battle’s injury I was very pleased from what I saw from the defenses efforts, and practicing against one of the top offenses in the NFL will never hurt a thing.
Speaking of offense, what else can you say about the Chiefs offense other than wow? Well I did think of another word for them while I was watching them practice, and that was “age”. The Chiefs offense is easily one of if not the best in the NFL, but the guys on that offense are getting gray hair faster than they can go on a two-minute drive. The offensive line is the area where I’m the most concerned, no matter how above and beyond better they are than almost every other line in the league.
Willie Roaf and Will Shields are at the top of their games, but they are also knocking on the door of the end of their careers. Trent Green is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but being in his mid thirties makes everyone a little nervous. These guys are the heart and soul of the Chiefs, and they are fan favorites, let’s just all hope that the injury bug stays away from Arrowhead Stadium all season.
I know I’m not the only one who can’t seem to not think about the Chiefs on a regular basis, thinking about what they will do this year. But knowing that I got a little preview this year helps out a lot. I want to thank the greatest owner in the NFL for giving his teams fans a chance (free of charge I might add) to see what all the offseason work has produced so far. Thank you very much Mr. Hunt.
See you all at the stadium this year!