Kansas City Chiefs: What we learned from minicamp

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 6: Head coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs looks to the sidelines just before the Tennessee Titans run the last play of the AFC Wild Card Playoff Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 6, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 6: Head coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs looks to the sidelines just before the Tennessee Titans run the last play of the AFC Wild Card Playoff Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 6, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Chiefs have wrapped up their minicamp. Up next is training camp in St. Joseph after a small break. Here is what we learned from minicamp.

There are plenty of question marks surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs. How will Patrick Mahomes perform in live action? Will the defense be able to overcome the loss of Marcus Peters and seasoned veterans such as Tamba Hali and current Oakland Raider, Derrick Johnson?

These two questions are the main ones circling every media outlet. The excitement and hype surrounding the 2018 Kansas City Chiefs have been unmatched for decades. Many believe the Chiefs won’t miss a step with a new quarterback under center. Some believe they will be better than they were in 2017, which was pretty good. Then there are those that feel like Kansas City will finish last in a division they’ve won two years in a row.

Overcoming the defensive losses

Out are Marcus Peters, Derrick Johnson, Tamba Hali, Bennie Logan, and Ron Parker. In are Kendall Fuller, David Amerson, Anthony Hitchens, and Xavier Williams. Returning from injury is Eric Berry.

That last man mentioned is an enormous addition. Berry means so much to the defense and does so many things for the defense, all at a high level. Berry being on the field is like having 12 men against 11. He makes a difference.

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The loss of Marcus Peters is no doubt a huge loss for Kansas City. He is arguably the best cornerback playing football right now. Derrick Johnson is one of those guys that everyone thought was on his last leg and was no longer a huge contributor on defense in 2017. Now that he is gone, those same people believe his absence is too big a loss to overcome. Go figure.

Tamba Hali had one tackle last season, as great a Chief that he was, his absence is obsolete. Ron Parker and Bennie Logan will both be missed, but there are bodies that could ease the loss of those two.

Kendall Fuller is by far the biggest addition to the defensive side. He is one of, if not the best nickel corner in the league. He is on a defense that experts say have no talent. David Amerson is an upgrade from a couple other cornerbacks that are no longer on the team, like Philip Gaines.

Hitchens replaces Kevin Pierre-Paul, which should be at the least an even trade, and Xavier Williams will battle rookie nose tackle Derrick Nnadi from Florida State for playing time.

This offseason Steven Nelson is getting quite a bit of attention and had himself a decent minicamp. Amerson has been doing some good things as well, and Fuller may just be the most underrated player going into the 2018 season.

The biggest thing we learned from minicamp is that this defense is pushing, riding, and depending on each other. Bringing them into a natural close-knit group.

Can Patrick Mahomes handle the pressure?

In week 17, Patrick Mahomes beat a Denver Broncos team made up of mostly first string guys, with second and third string options. After being taken out with a healthy lead, only to see it be erased thanks to multiple errors from his replacement, he returned and led the Chiefs to victory in the closing minutes.

Will he make mistakes? Sure. Will he learn from those mistakes? It sure appears so. With so many weapons to choose from, Andy Reid and Brett Veach have made this transition as easy as they can possibly make it. He can make wicked throws from all over the field, sneak the ball through multiple defenders, and throw deeper than anyone in the league. On an offense with the best deep threat in the league. So you tell me how he’s going to fail.

Mahomes is still wowing his teammates with the things he is able to do. He has had his bad days and his good days. He’s been challenged in minicamp and handled it pretty smooth according to Reid. This bodes well for both the defense and the offense. You can watch for yourself what Andy Reid had to say here, at the newly renovated kcchiefs.com.

Overall overlook

The Chiefs are healthy. Those players who were injured coming into camp are all on schedule for training camp. Every single player showed up for both the minicamp and OTAs. This means the team is bought into what they are doing with this franchise.

The defense is looking to play smart. They seem to be on a route of confusing offenses, with every player playing from different spots on the field.

The offense is going to score a lot of points this season. Sammy Watkins may be the best offseason sign since Joe Montana. The Chiefs have never had a pair of receivers like they do right now. Watkins has picked up the offense quickly while playing in each receiver spot.

The rookies seem to be progressing fine, with multiple position battles coming in training camp and the preseason. Breeland Speaks looks like a veteran already, Nnadi will have his fair share of playing time. Armani Watts and Dorian O’Daniel should make the team easily.

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Time will tell. They have yet to put pads on. So far the Chiefs look really good and ready to hit. The biggest takeaway for myself personally, this team is very, very close. They play together on and off the field. The Chiefs are a team with a nice, family feel.