The Kansas City Chiefs joined the rest of the NFL in making their final roster cuts and getting the 53-man roster for the September 9 regular season opener in place. What the Chiefs don’t have in common with the rest of the league is that their best player is not on the list. Outside linebacker Tamba Hali, due to his one-game suspension isn’t on the active roster, meaning the Chiefs will make the real final decision the day after the opener against the Atlanta Falcons.
There wasn’t a lot that could be characterized as a surprise in the final cuts. And let’s be frank—for all the media attention given to this, the players we’re talking about are highly unlikely to settle who wins or loses a single game this season, much less define year-long success.
What could be characterized as interesting and indicative though, is the preponderance of tight ends on the final Kansas City roster. With new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll hoping to implement an approach similar to that used by the New England Patriots, the Chiefs retained four tight ends. Along with starter Tony Moeaki and key second man Kevin Boss, the Chiefs kept Steve Maneri and Jake O’Connell.
The plan is to make greater use of the tight ends in goal-line and short-yardage situations. I’m somewhat skeptical, given that the reason for signing running back Peyton Hillis was to give greater support in these very spots. But the Chiefs do need to be physical and if Daboll wants to load up on tight ends in the backfield, I’m open to seeing how things play out these first few weeks of real football.
Those last two words of the previous paragraph say it all—real football is here. Four more days and the NFL starts for real and eight more days to seeing if the optimism for the Chiefs can translate to the field.
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