Through out the three years of the Herm Edwards regime the Chiefs accumulated several top 100 picks as they moved towards a youth movement. Those picks turned in to players who have shown potential but have failed to play on a consistent level.
General Manager Scott Pioli saw this and has brought in veterans like Mike Vrabel, Bobby Engram and Mike Goff to go along with the current veteran nucleus of Tony Gonzalez and Brian Waters to try to provide an example to the younger players on how to get to that next level in their careers.
But no matter how many free agents the Chiefs bring in during the Pioli regime the previous three draft classes will make up a good part of the roster for the next three to four years. That means the Chiefs and more specifically new coach Todd Haley will have to take these players from “potential” and “ability” to winners like he did with the Cardinals offense last season. Five players in particular need to step up for the Chiefs to be competitive in 2009.
Dwayne Bowe: The D-Bowe show has been fun to watch the past two seasons but he has not helped the Chiefs win. For every spectacular catch D-Bowe has he comes right back with a dropped pass or a route that was poorly run, Bowe has the tools to be in the same class as any of the top receivers of the league but first he will have to learn how to be a primary target on third downs and make plays late in games.
Jarrad Page: Page has been a absolute steal for the Chiefs who plucked him in the seventh round of the 2006 draft. Forcing his way into the lineup early in his rookie season Page has proven to have a ball-hawking ability that looks like a poor man’s Ed Reed. The knock on page has been his lack of wrapping up when he tackles and getting fooled in coverage, this season the Chiefs need Page to step up, become a leader and cause somewhere in the neighborhood of five to seven turnovers.
Branden Albert: Branden Albert played a very solid left tackle for the Chiefs last season , he probably played the best out of any of the offensive lineman minus Brian Waters. This year they need him to step up and become dominant, the anchor of the offensive line. Albert needs to firmly entrench himself as the best offensive lineman on the team this season, The Chiefs cannot afford for Albert to take a step backwards.
Tamba Hali: The Chiefs will play a hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense this season very similar to what the Cardinals ran last season, Hali will resume his role as defensive end in the 4-3 but Hali may play a little OLB in the 3-4 due to his size. What Hali needs to do for the Chiefs is simply get back to being a productive player. Eight sacks his rookie year seven and a half his second season and only three last year. If the Chiefs are going to be successful in 09 Hali needs double digit sacks.
Tank Tyler: Tank may now be more important to the Chiefs defense than last years first round pick Glenn Dorsey. Dorsey lacks ideal size to play nose tackle in the 3-4 Tank Tyler has the ideal size and coming out of college Tyler was thought to have first round potential but off the field issues slid him into the third round. Tyler has been a little bit of a disappointment thus far in his career but now with a new coaching staff comes a clean slate, Tyler must step up in 09 and prove he can handle playing the nose.