Football is officially back.
The HOF game officially kicked off the NFL season. Everywhere else in the league, teams prepare for their first preseason games coming up this week. With preseason game number one coming up let us take a look at the winners and losers of the Kansas City Chiefs’ training camp so far.
Zach Fulton: Fulton was the Chiefs’ sixth-round pick in the draft and has already proven his worth. It is not very often you see a guy that goes that late in the draft come into camp and receive the majority of first team reps at his position.
Right guard is firmly in Fulton’s hands right now as he continues to get the majority of the right guard reps. Keep an eye on Fulton as the preseason gets underway, it will be interesting to see how the late-round draft pick handles his first live game action. If he continues to impress and play well this will prove to be one of the biggest steals of not only the Chiefs’ draft, but of the entire NFL draft.
Eric Berry: Some of you will ask how on earth Berry has been a winner of training camp, and rightfully so. Berry is a winner strictly because he is back out there in full participation. Berry has now gone down twice at camp, with the most recent one giving quite the scare to everyone.
Losing Berry could drop this team significantly in the division. To see him back out there and not be limited in practice is great news any way you look at it.
De’Anthony Thomas: Most expected Thomas to come in and contribute on special teams right away and see some action on offense. The first year player has already overtaken Cyrus Gray for the 3rd string running back and everyone around camp is raving about this guy. There has been nothing but positive things being said. Thomas has came in with lofty expectations, and so far has lived up to the hype. Losing Dexter McCluster does not seem so important anymore.
Anthony Fasano: Most people, including myself have been on the Travis Kelce bandwagon, but it’s time to give credit where credit is due, Fasano has been great this camp. Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson has made it vocal how great Fasano has played as well. For a guy looking to be destined to a reserve role, a role that would still provide good playing time, Fasano has made it clear he will not be stepping aside for Kelce. The more competition the better, this is great to see from Fasano.
A.J. Jenkins and Junior Hemingway: These are two of the guys that needed to step up and prove themselves this camp, not be injured. Seeing both of these guys sitting out as much practice as they have does not bode well for them, especially in their goal of creating chemistry with Alex Smith. These two need to get healthy and then get back out there, their work is surely cut out for them.
Sanders Commings: Commings is destined for a reserve role this year behind Husain Abdullah, but not destined to be a reserve forever. Commings showed serious promise in his rookie year training camp, before injuries ruined his entire rookie season.
Coming into camp this year Commings looked to build on that early success and show that he was a safety of the future. Instead he got his ankles broken by Jamaal Charles, literally. This will require ankle surgery that will put him back for a number of months more, not a good camp for a guy that needed to prove something.
Weston Dressler: Dressler has to be getting concerned. On a team that is so desperately looking for a receiver to step up, Dressler just has not done it. I am on record saying to give him a little extra time due to the league switch and everything else. Dressler will need to make a splash in the live action preseason games coming up if he wants to move up the depth chart. Things are not looking good for the ex-CFL star.
Eric Fisher: The number one overall pick of the draft last year had a rookie season to forget. Fisher was not terrible, but coming in as the number one overall pick much more was expected. So far in camp he has not looked overly spectacular either, this includes him getting held out of one-on-one snaps in the pass-rush, pass-block drills. These are not things fans want to see from the starting left tackle; hopefully Fisher is able to play in the first game against the Bengals and can prove he is improved.
Training camp is well underway and some guys have began to separate themselves and prove themselves, while some guys stay stagnant or do not shed the reputation that has followed them throughout their careers. The Kansas City Chief’s need some of these “losers” to step their games up, because their is no question the quality of players they are. Jenkings, Hemingway, and Fisher all have the talent, they just need to put it together now.
One last side note, Jon Baldwin, ex Kansas City Chief whom was traded for A.J. Jenkins has been released from the 49ers. Let us hope Jenkins does not land the same fate as the guy he was traded for.