Now that there isn't the threat of missing any preseason games we can take a closer look at the preseason schedule for the Kansas City Chiefs. The preseason will be extremely important to the Kansas City Chiefs, like all teams, this year because of the lack of time to prepare as a team. Throw in the fact that the Chiefs have replaced a few key members of their team with younger, more inexperienced players like Justin Houston, who is currently the only Chiefs rookie draft pick that has not signed, and Jon Asamoah, who will fill in for Brian Waters on the offensive line.
It was reported yesterday by Josh Looney, Chiefs insider, that Asamoah was actually taking reps at right guard and Ryan Lilja had moved over to left guard. It's still the same guys it was going to be and it's still Asamoah that needs to step in and help solidify the 2010 NFL rushing champs. Getting Asamoah reps in these preseason games is going to be crucial for the success of the Chiefs rushing attack this season.
There are a few other key points about the Chiefs preseason that will go a long ways in determining their success early in the season. Matt Cassel and his new targets, Jon Baldwin and Steve Breaston, need to get as many reps as possible so they can develop some kind of a chemistry before the season begins in about six weeks. This shortened off season is tough for everyone, but when you're talking about two of the soon-to-be top targets for the Chiefs and Cassel only having a short time to get aquainted, everything needs to happen at a faster pace.
Preseason Week 1 - Kansas City vs Tampa Bay at Arrowhead Stadium - Friday, August 12th - 7pm CT
There will be a lot of talk about the young talent on both sides of the field for this game. In a recent ESPN article, the Bucs (1) and Chiefs (2) were listed as the top-two teams in the NFL with talented players under 25 years old. One of those players for the Bucs is a local Kansas Citian and Kansas State alum, Josh Freeman. The former Grandview High School standout will make his return to the Kansas City area as he leads the Bucs at quarterback heading into the 2011 season.
Preseason Week 2 - Kansas City vs Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium - Friday, August 19th - 6:30pm CT
The news that Kelly Gregg has signed with the Kansas City Chiefs adds to this matchup in the second week of the preseason. Gregg comes to the Chiefs after playing for the Ravens for the past 10 seasons. He anchored the nose tackle position for one of the most dominating defenses of the decade. Also returning to Baltimore is new Chiefs quarterbacks' coach, Jim Zorn. You might recall that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco wasn't too thrilled with Zorn leaving Baltimore. Although it is just a preseason game, the Chiefs will want a little payback for the beatdown they took in the playoff game against the Ravens last season.
Preseason Week 3 - Kansas City vs St. Louis - Arrowhead Stadium - Friday, August 26th - 7pm CT
The I-70 series is more than just a preseason game to fans. The Kansas City/St Louis rivalry has been going on for decades and the annual matchup between the Chiefs and Rams provides bragging rights for an entire year for the winners. They met last year in a regular season game that saw the return of Matt Cassel after his appendix was removed just two weeks before. It was probably the signature victory for the Chiefs that sealed their championship for the AFC west division. Sam Bradford leads a much-improved St Louis team into Arrowhead to a game that always feels more important than any other preseason game.
Preseason Week 4 - Kansas City vs Green Bay - Lambeau Field - Thursday, September 1st - 7pm CT
This will be the first of the two matchups between the Chiefs and Packers. They will meet again in the regular season on December 18th at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. The defending Super Bowl champions should be as strong as ever coming off a championship season in which they lost 13 players to the IR, including nine from the defense. But in the last preseason game there shouldn't be any injury concerns for the players that will play week one. Generally, the last preseason game is for the last couple of roster spots and a lot of guys who will be cut soon after the game. But it might be slightly different this season with the shortened time to prepare, maybe more of the starters play in the final preseason game.