The Kansas City Chiefs are preparing for their first preseason game of the 2012 season this week against the Arizona Cardinals. Getting back on the field forces teams to put out an initial unofficial depth chart and the Chiefs are no different.
There are some very interesting surprises out of the chute, though it’s important to remember the depth chart the first week of August means very little when it comes to who will make the final roster.
Though it may not come as a surprise, the first thing I noticed was Jamaal Charles listed as the starting running back. After getting used to seeing Thomas Jones starting ahead of the league’s most efficient running back, it’s nice to see Charles starting out at No. 1, something he won’t give up if he stays healthy.
One early depth chart move that raised my eyebrows was new tight end Kevin Boss currently ahead of Tony Moeaki. Even though Moeaki missed all of last year with knee surgery, there’s no doubt he’s the best tight end on the Chiefs offense.
In the fight between good (Ricky Stanzi) and evil (Brady Quinn) at backup quarterback, it’s the former first round pick Quinn that gets the first shot at being No. 2. The two have alternated reps during training camp and while Quinn is the favorite to win out in this battle, don’t count out the feisty Stanzi.
As for the players Cassel, Quinn and Stanzi will be throwing the ball to, Jonathan Baldwin and Steve Breaston have grabbed the top spots, while the still unsigned Dwayne Bowe is looking up at roster long shots Brandon Kinnie and Jamar Newsome along with every other receiver.
The starting lineup on defense looks a whole lot like the one the Chiefs closed last season with. The two additions are Anthony Toribio at nose tackle and Stanford Routt at cornerback opposite Brandon Flowers.
On the defensive line, first-round pick Dontari Poe shoots right ahead of the disappointing Jerrell Powe at NT while Amon Gordon and newcomer Ropati Pitoitua complete the second team.
Javier Arenas, Dexter McCluster and Devon Wylie are listed as the Chiefs kick and punt returners.
There are countless reasons why Friday night’s game will be awesome, but seeing how closely head coach Romeo Crennel sticks to his “unofficial” depth chart is right near the top. Because dissecting things now is fun, but how the players are actually used on game day will give us much more insight into who will be making the final cut.