About The First 53...

Posted Sep 3, 2011

10 quick hitters about the Chiefs 53-man roster

The Chiefs announced the first edition of the club’s 53-man roster shortly after 5:00 PM Saturday evening. In total, 25 players were waived and two were sent to injured reserve.

Here are 10 things that stand out to me about Kansas City’s roster.

1)      TE Tony Moeaki’s Season Is Done

Rumors started swirling early Saturday afternoon that Moeaki’s season would be over after suffering an injury in the preseason finale. Those rumors proved true when the Chiefs officially placed Moeaki on injured reserve.

Currently, the Chiefs roster three tight ends – Leonard Pope, Anthony Becht and Jake O’Connell. Pope and Becht are bigger tight ends, better known for their blocking, while most of O’Connell’s snaps have occurred on special teams.

It will be interesting to see if any waivers claims or free agent signings are in store at the position.

2)      WR Keary Colbert Completes Comeback Bid

After coaching tight ends as a graduate assistant at USC last season, Colbert makes the Chiefs 53-man roster. He edged out WRs Verran Tucker and Jeremy Horne, who were both on Kansas City’s active roster last season.

Here’s a feature written during camp about Colbert’s comeback bid.

3)      Just Seven Offensive Linemen

The Chiefs kept just eight offensive linemen last season. This year, the number begins at seven.

The five projected starters from left to right include: Branden Albert, Ryan Lilja, Casey Wiegmann, Jon Asamoah and Barry Richardson. Jared Gaither is pushing for play-time at tackle and second-round draft pick Rodney Hudson rounds out the group as an interior swing player.

Numbers are low at this position. If the Chiefs only carry seven offensive linemen into the Buffalo game, all will need to be healthy and part of the 46-man active list. Put this position on your radar over the coming days when more roster moves will occur across the NFL.

4)      Bair Beats The Odds

Last year, it was WR Jeremy Horne, LB Justin Cole and LB Cory Greenwood. The year before, it was OLB Pierre Walters and LB Jovan Belcher. This time around, only one rookie free agent was able to beat the odds and make the Chiefs 53-man roster. Congrats to DE Brandon Bair.

Bair’s work ethic helped him standout throughout training camp. His motor was always high. Here’s an interview we did with him for Chiefs LIVE!

5)      Who’s The Backup At “Mike” Linebacker?

When the Chiefs parted ways with Justin Cole and Micah Johnson, it left no depth behind strong-side starting inside linebacker Jovan Belcher.

Cole had been working with the second-team defense since Brandon Siler went on injured reserve last week. Demorrio Williams is a candidate to crossover, but the Chiefs played him on the weak side throughout his career in the 3-4 defense.

Cory Greenwood is also a reserve, but is more of a special teams player. He’s listed as the third-team “Will” linebacker behind Williams and Derrick Johnson. This is another position to watch as we move forward.

6)      Piscitelli, Washington Make Roster

During camp, Head Coach Todd Haley pointed to the reserve rank at safety as one of the most intense battles occurring throughout the roster. Behind starters Kendrick Lewis and Eric Berry, the Chiefs kept Jon McGraw, Sabby Piscitelli and Donald Washington.

Reshard Langford and Ricky Price were the odd men out. Both have been part of the active roster over the past two seasons. Langford has been a core four special teams player for the Chiefs and was one of the biggest hitters in camp.

7)      Three Quarterbacks

Not much of surprise here, but it’s the first time the Chiefs have kept three quarterbacks coming out of training camp since Haley has been head coach.

In 2009, the Chiefs kept four quarterbacks out of camp as Tyler Thigpen was on the trade block. Those QBs were Thigpen, Matt Cassel, Brodie Croyle and Matt Guiterrez. Last year, the Chiefs kept just Cassel and Croyle out of camp while Palko went to the practice squad.

8)      Seven Draft Picks Make Roster

Seven of the Chiefs nine 2011 draft picks made the 53-man roster. Missing the cut were FB Shane Bannon and OLB Gabe Miller. Miller hadn’t practiced in several weeks and landed on injured reserve. Bannon is practice squad eligible.

9)      Amon Gordon’s Stock Rises

Veteran DL Amon Gordon saw more and more play-time down the stretch with Anthony Toribio nursing an injury. Apparently those extra looks paid off.

Gordon is versatile and able to play both defensive end and nose tackle. He received a number of snaps over center against Green Bay. Gordon makes the team after being a late addition to the training camp roster.

10)   Chiefs Aren’t Done

One glance at the first edition of the Chiefs 53-man roster and appears likely that future changes are in store. Kansas City is light on the offensive line and at inside linebacker. The tight end situation comes into focus with Moeaki’s injury as well.

Stay tuned. Waiver claims will be awarded over the next 24 hours and veterans with four or more years of experience become free agents after their release. The practice squad will come out tomorrow as well.

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