The Chiefs’ veterans are reporting to training camp in St. Joseph on Tuesday, and players from every NFL team will have reported by day’s end.
With camps beginning, national NFL writers and broadcasters have been sharing their thoughts on the AFC West and the Chiefs.
Here is a look at what’s being said.
NBC Sports’ Peter King posed one question for all 32 teams, and he asked if Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes can make up for “some holes” on the team.
Here is part of what King wrote: “Andy Reid’s not used to patching so many things in camp—though he did have to reinvent his offensive line last year. After the trade of ultimate weapon Tyreek Hill to Miami, it’ll be up to Mahomes to make the Mecole Hardman/JuJu Smith-Schuster/Marquez Valdes-Scantling/Skyy Moore combo platter work. Then there’s the burgeoning contract issue with left tackle Orlando Brown, who may not be in camp.”
Fox Sports analyst Mark Schlereth, the former Broncos lineman, joined “The Rich Eisen Show” and was asked about the AFC West offensive race. Schlereth gave the Chiefs the edge but sees the Raiders as the biggest threat. I had a humorous comment about the Chargers.
The Athletic’s Ted Nguyen wrote a story with the headline, “Who will win AFC West? Projecting various paths for the QB-driven division.”
Here is an excerpt: “Defensively, the Chiefs lost edge Melvin Ingram and cornerback Charvarius Ward. They used their two first-round picks to replace both players. With the 21st pick, the Chiefs selected Trent McDuffie from Washington. Because McDuffie doesn’t have elite size or speed, some thought he would play nickel, but he will reportedly get a shot to play outside first. Ingram provided the Chiefs with a much-needed physical presence when he was acquired via trade midseason. To replace him, the Chiefs drafted George Karlaftis out of Purdue with the 30th pick. Karlaftis is a physical, power rusher that only had five sacks in his final college season. Karlaftis doesn’t have to finish with a high sack total to make an impact. Ingram only finished with one sack as a Chief, but he was disruptive, good against the run, and allowed Chris Jones to stay inside. McDuffie and Karlaftis are young but they’ll be playing integral roles for a team with championship aspirations.”
The Chiefs’ chances without Tyreek Hill was a topic of conversation on ESPN’s “Get Up.” There was also a little talk about the Chiefs running the ball more.
CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr asked three questions of each AFC West team. One query was whether this would be left tackle Orlando Brown’s final year with the Chiefs.
Here is what Kerr wrote: “Brown and the Chiefs were close toward this being a non-issue, but couldn’t come to terms on an extension that would have made him one of the highest-paid left tackles in the league. Brown will play under the $16.6 million franchise tag this season as a result, even though he hasn’t signed the tag yet.
“If Brown holds out, Lucas Niang is the top candidate to take over the left tackle spot with Andrew Wylie pushing him for the starting job. Rookie Darian Kinnard could also be in the mix, but he’s better suited for right tackle. That is less than ideal for the Chiefs, who have one of the best offensive lines in football when Brown is on the field. Brown wants to be paid like he’s one of the premier left tackles in the league, and he has the opportunity to show the Chiefs he’s worth more than what Kansas City offered him in 2022.
“The Chiefs could franchise tag Brown again this offseason and re-enter talks, but Kansas City can’t let this be a distraction for 2022. They have to hope Brown doesn’t hold out, or else they are back to square one in finding a franchise left tackle — which Brown is ready to assure he is.”
Kevin Patra of NFL.com wrote a story with the headline, “2022 AFC West training camp preview: Storylines for the Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs and Raiders.”
Here is a snippet: “Clyde Edwards-Helaire is slated to be the lead (running) back, but Kansas City’s offseason moves suggest his workload could be lessened. KC brought in Ronald Jones, who has proven a solid early-down ball-carrier. The Chiefs re-signed Jerick McKinnon, who shone in the postseason and is a dual-threat back. Were the backfield insurance moves if CEH deals with another injury-plagued season? Or does Andy Reid plan on using an extensive rotation in 2022?”