[Kansas City.com] The offseason began with the Chiefs harboring serious intentions about improving at wide receiver.
The Chiefs made some noise about going after several established players: Terrell Owens, Keyshawn Johnson, Javon Walker, Ashley Lelie. The first three passed them by, and it’s unlikely the Broncos will let the disgruntled Lelie go to a division rival.
So here they are, in the August heat of training camp, seemingly behind where they were last season. Marc Boerigter and Chris Horn are gone as free agents while the Chiefs added only a sixth-round draft pick, Jeff Webb, and a handful of rookie free agents.
That puts heavy pressure on 33-year-old Eddie Kennison to have his third straight 1,000-yard season, on Samie Parker to establish himself as a consistent threat and on Dante Hall to produce more big plays.
The Chiefs don’t appear concerned about any of the three letting them down.
“I’m not worried about it, Eddie’s not worried about it, and Dante’s not worried about it,” Parker said. “We know what we have here, and we know we’ll get the job done.”
The Chiefs are showing an extraordinary amount of faith in all three players. Kennison has quietly put together back-to-back career seasons, but he’s attracted more attention and publicity for his precamp demand for a new contract than anything he’s recently done on the field.
Parker, a fourth-round draft pick two years ago, has since tantalized the Chiefs with his speed. He delivered at times, but also frustrated the Chiefs with his penchant for untimely injuries and inconsistencies.
The Chiefs have been unable to spring Hall for many of the big plays he delivered as a kickoff and punt returner but won’t quit trying. Hall may not play more than he has in recent seasons, but the Chiefs would like to get him the ball more often than the 41 times he got it last season.
The Chiefs will need at least one of their younger receivers to make the opening-day roster. They have eight candidates, but only three are draft picks: Webb, Craphonso Thorpe (fourth round last year) and Jeris McIntyre (sixth round in 2004).
The most impressive through the first week of camp is Nate Curry, who joined the Chiefs as a rookie free agent last season. Curry was injured early in camp last year and never made it back to play in a preseason game.