In order to fill the loss of Brandon Carr and replace Stanford Routt, who had a disappointing run with the Kansas City Chiefs, general manager John Dorsey immediately signed cornerbacks Sean Smith from Miami and Dunta Robinson from Atlanta.
The Kansas City’s cornerbacks are currently led by Brandon Flowers. Javier Arenas and Jalil Brown saw a lot of playing time last year, and could be part of the team by the time the Chiefs form their 53-man roster after training camp.
The Chiefs also have Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis as projected starters at the safety positions next year.
As always, teams will need their players to stay healthy. But in 2013, it is crucial that the defensive backs in Kansas City avoid missing games due to injuries and suspensions.
In today’s passing-centric NFL, teams must not only have quarterbacks who can throw over or come close to 5,000 yards, but also an offense where quarterbacks have reliable wide receivers and tight ends to throw to.
The schedule has yet to be released but the Chiefs know they’ll be facing a lot of top-notch pass-catchers this season.
Below are some of the notable wide receivers and tight ends Kansas City will go up against.
Steve Johnson, (TE) Scott Chandler
Josh Gordon, Greg Little
Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, (TE) Jason Witten
Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Trindon Holliday
Andre Johnson, (TE) Owen Daniels
Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, Darrius Heyward-Bey
Cecil Shorts, Justin Blackmon
Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, (TE) Brandon Myers
DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, (TE) Brent Celek
Malcom Floyd, Danario Alexander, (TE) Antonio Gates
Nate Washington, Kenny Britt
Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan
In the list above, nine of the 20 players caught over 1,000 receiving yards while others came close. Despite the tough challenge ahead, Kansas City can pass the test in 2013 with the help of its playmakers on defense.
The Chiefs biggest strength is its defense. Kansas City sent three linebackers to the Pro Bowl in January, including outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston.
The biggest key to success for Kansas City’s defensive backs is having Hali and Houston apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Ever since Houston became the primary starter opposite of Hali midway through his rookie season in 2011, the Chiefs have been able to provide dominant pass rushers from both ends of the linebacking corps.
Kansas City’s defensive backs will collect a lot of interceptions if Hali and Houston continue that dominance and force opposing quarterbacks to throw ill-advised passes. The pass-rushing and the defensive backs will be the key in helping the Chiefs bounce back and be more competitive in 2013.
The Chiefs have a good coaching staff in linebackers coach Gary Gibbs and defensive backs coach Emmitt Thomas, who were the only coaches retained from the previous regime. The Chiefs added former Packers cornerback Al Harris as an assistant secondary coach while Bob Sutton serves as the defensive coordinator. With the right coaching staff and the right players, the Chiefs' defense should be able to handle the group of pass catchers that they face this season.
The rest will be up to the offense to put the team ahead and win games.