The Kansas City Chiefs seem to have some depth in the defensive backfield, especially at safety.
The KC Chiefs have a good problem through the first month of practices. Four versatile safeties are vying for snaps on the Chiefs defense.
Currently, the Chiefs’ depth chart lists Ron Parker as the starting strong safety and Husain Abdullah as the starting free safety, according to KCChiefs.com. That leaves the Chiefs with safeties Eric Berry and Tyvon Branch as the first off the bench.
And knowing defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s tendencies, all four are going to play a lot.
The good news is the depth chart, in this situation, seems to be a formality more than a position battle. The strong and free safety labels are becoming less meaningful as teams look for guys who can do everything, and that’s what the Chiefs seem to be after.
It’s a solid set of safeties overall. Parker and Berry are truly hybrids, they can play at both strong and free safety.
According to SI.com, Parker inked a 5-year, $30 million contract with the Chiefs this offseason. He proved himself as a do-it-all safety last season, especially after Berry was diagnosed with lymphoma. Parker broke up 12 passes, forced one fumble, added a sack and combined for 114 tackles on one of the league’s toughest defenses.
He’s 28 years old and primed for another solid year, his third full season in Bob Sutton’s defense.
Abdullah will likely stick to a free safety role, but he certainly wasn’t just playing centerfield last season. He posted career-highs in tackles (71) and passes defensed (10) and added an interception.
While Branch is more of a classic hard-hitting strong safety, he’s shown the ability to cover the middle of the field. He came out of college as a cornerback and ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
He’ll be asked to do more than hunt heads, and he’s capable of that. He’s an effective blitzer and he’s proven to be a playmaker around the ball. If he’s healthy, there’s always a spot on the field for that.
One or two of them could be cut from the final roster, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see these guys on the field at some point this season.
Commings was drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He’s played in two regular season games.
He’s another versatile safety/cornerback guy, but he has to stay healthy for the Chiefs to get a good look at what he can do.
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