Chiefs could be lowly

Teams come out of nowhere and surprise in the NFL all the time, so I’m never floored when it happens. But when it comes to the 2007 Kansas City Chiefs, I think I’ll be floored if they manage to get just 9 or 10 wins and challenge for the playoffs, as they did last year.

They’re not going to have QB Trent Green on their roster, so forget about them getting strong play from the QB position over the long haul this year. I know veteran Damon Huard played well last year, but where has Huard been the last 10 years? Nowhere, that’s where. Huard could be something off a moot point anyway, since the team appears to be ready to give second year player Brodie Croyle every chance to win the starting job. I haven’t seen much of Croyle, and he does have the skills to develop into a decent starter (unlike many drafted QBs), but from what I’ve seen and knowing what I know about this team, it’s going to take him a couple of years.

On RB Larry Johnson, I’ve mentioned it many times how I think he has some dog in him. I’ve seen him run like a man, a beast, like everyone else has, but I’ve also seen him run like guy who just didn’t feel like playing that day. He’s a guy who at times is seemingly more interested in his social life and who he’s hanging out with off the field than his football exploits. Worst of all, he’s put the Chiefs in a tough spot in terms of his contract. You would think a 26-year old guy who has put up the incredible numbers he has the last two years would be a slam dunk for a new and lucrative contract. But I don’t think that’s the case with Johnson; I think the Chiefs have concerns making Johnson the highest-paid back in the league, and guaranteeing him a ton of money for the long-term. That’s not a good sign.

And, of course, this is a team that hasn’t added a truly elite wideout in damn near a decade. You have to go back to Derrick Alexander in 2000 to find a fantasy stud at the position, and he did it for only two years. Before that, we’re talking Stephone Paige in the late 80s and early 90s. The team did lock up TE Tony Gonzalez for likely the rest of his career, at least. Gonzalez show no signs of slippage, and when his career is over he’ll be viewed as the best receiving TE of all time, if he’s not already. But in 2007, we could be looking at a receiving trio of Eddie Kennison, Samie Parker, and Jeff Webb, who will be given a chance to start. And did I mention this team’s O-Line is a mess and will likely need a complete overhaul?

Johnson and Gonzalez could probably put up solid numbers if they were forced to run backwards every other quarter, but overall, I see a high probability of some serious mediocrity in KC this year.

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