The Kansas City Chiefs have a loaded young secondary that should only improve with each passing year, as long as the Chiefs keep them together (i.e. signing Brandon Carr long term). And the defensive front should also continue to improve as the faces change from journeyman defender Ron Edwards to Ravens' longtime stalwart Kelly Gregg and young players like Wallace Gilberry, Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson continue to improve. But it's the linebacking corps that has the most room to improve on the team given potential upgrades or development.
That's what makes the return of Cameron Sheffield something to watch through Kansas City Chiefs training camp as well as the regular season. He's a tough player who seemed to instantly make an impression on head coach Todd Haley and the KC coaching staff, yet an early injury took him out in a scary way -- in a head-on collision against Philadelphia in the third preseason game last year that took him out for the year.
"Sheffield was a guy that was coming on when he went down," Haley said today from training camp. "He looks like he’s progressed. It’s been a long off-season for him. That’s a lot of tough mental issues to go through when you’re not with your teammates. You’re there, but you’re not there."
Yet Haley also admits that Sheffield is ready to go. It's something the coaches see and something Sheffield has obviously been waiting on.
"It’s always tough for those guys and sometimes it breaks them, and sometimes it doesn’t," Haley said. "With him, you can clearly see that he’s ready to go. I would expect it to take a little time for him to get the rust off, but he would have a chance to potentially help us.
His last season at Troy, the Chiefs' fifth round choice of 2010 had 10.5 tackles for loss, including 7 sacks. He also had 26 QB hurries. It's that ability to disrupt a play in the opponent's backfield that has the Chiefs hoping he can shed any injury concerns and make good on the talent they saw in him a year ago.