Insider Blog: Peeps to Watch

Posted Apr 2, 2010

Five under-the-radar players to keep your eye on this off-season

The first week of off-season workouts are in the tank. Many members of the Chiefs roster participated in the voluntary exercises, which is always a good sign. It’s also a sign that we’re looking at some heated positional battles for the upcoming spring, summer and fall.

The Easter holiday weekend is here, which means that the weather is getting nicer, baseball is about to start and spring football practices are in full gear at the college level. All of this points to the fact that NFL football is approaching faster than we realize (kickoff to training camp is only four months away, to be exact).

As we all pause this weekend to slow down a bit and spend time with family, it got me thinking about the Chiefs family. The new faces in Kansas City have been well documented and talked about over the past month. People wonder how many carries Thomas Jones will receive, whether or not Casey Wiegmann will win the starting role at center, if Ryan Lilja is the missing link to return this offensive line to the level we’ve come to expect over the past decade, or if Jerheme Urban can develop into a nice option in the receiving game.

All of those are great questions and will be storylines to watch as this offseason progresses, but with the comings and goings in free agency and the draft around the corner, those players who have already been part of the program seem to be largely neglected at this time of year. There are some very interesting players, who were on this team last year, that are worth keeping an eye on as we head further into off-season work.

Here are a few of the “peeps” that generally haven’t caught much buzz, but are one’s that I’ll be watching this spring…

  1. G Colin Brown – Exactly what do the Chiefs have in Brown? He represents a cloudy situation that will hopefully clear itself up as this offseason rolls forward. A fifth-round choice a year ago, Brown began his tenure with the Chiefs as a tackle before ultimately shifting to guard during training camp. Shortly into the stint at his new position, Brown tweaked a knee and went on the shelf for all of 2009.

Is Brown best suited as guard or as a tackle? Where does he fit into the rotation at the position that he settles into? There are a lot of locals pulling for the Mizzou alum, and there will be a lot of eyes evaluating this spring.

  1. CB Maurice Leggett – Leggett is here and working out at Arrowhead. If you remember, Leggett went on injured reserve with a shoulder injury after hurting himself while covering a punt against Pittsburgh last season. Leggett’s rehabilitation, however, isn’t the thing to key on this offseason.

Prior to the injury, Leggett looked to have undergone a positive position change in the defensive backfield. If you remember, Leggett started the season opener in place of an injured Brandon Flowers at cornerback, then shifted to his familiar nickel position, only to eventually find himself back on the sidelines. Just a few short weeks later Leggett was back on the field, but this time as a third-down safety.

Where will Leggett line up this spring? He seemed to be getting increased time at safety before going on injured reserve. With the Chiefs situation at safety, will Leggett be a player that the Chiefs coaching staff looks to once again in certain packages?

  1. DE Wallace Gilberry – With two top-five picks manning the edges of the defensive front, it’s easy to forget about Gilberry. He may fly under the radar, but what can’t be ignored is the fact that Gilberry turned in some big-time production, in relation to the amount of snaps he got each game. Despite being a 15-20 snap performer, Gilberry still led all Chiefs defensive linemen with 4.5 sacks in 2009.

Will Gilberry be able to take the next step this offseason? He’s only 25 years old and looks like he has a chance to develop into a reliable complimentary player on the font.

  1. S Reshard Langford – Nobody in Kansas City knows anything about this guy except for the Chiefs coaching staff and maybe a transplant Eagles or Vanderbilt fan scattered across the metro area. Langford is part of a wide-open position grouping and will get a chance to show his stuff this spring. He made the decision to join the Chiefs active roster from Philadelphia’s practice squad on Christmas Day.

Could this under-the-radar player turn out to be a nice Christmas gift for the franchise?

There is a reason why the Chiefs wanted to pluck Langford out of Andy Reid’s grasp in Philly. Hopefully Langford will give us some on-field insight this spring.

  1. DB Donald WashingtonPut Washington into the same category as Leggett. The Chiefs fourth-round pick in 2009 practiced some at safety towards the end of the 2009 season, but whose primary position is thought to be corner. He’s a bigger cornerback and seems to be loaded with athleticism. He was hampered by a late start last season due to the timing of graduation ceremonies at Ohio State.

You’d have to think that the Chiefs want to see more of Washington on the field next fall. Whether that is as a nickel, safety or cornerback remains to be seen. He’ll need to have a nice showing in the offseason program, into OTAs, minicamp and at St. Joe.

Enjoy the weekend and the change of season, but don’t forget to keep tabs that pack of five this spring.

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