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Kansas City Chiefs 2010 Season Preview: Defensive End Edition

Believe it or not, defensive end is one of the positions at which the Chiefs are deep. They've got a pair of top five picks as the starters, and a third round pick as well as the second leader sacker in 2009.

Here's a rundown on one of the Chiefs most sturdy positions heading into 2010.

Glenn Dorsey

There's no doubt he's the starter for the entire 2010 season. He's entering year three and his second as a defensive end. I think overall the coaching staff is pleased with the progress he made last year after getting off to a rough start showing up to training camp out of shape.

Dorsey is working with his third defensive coordinator in as many years but has promise. He'll build on what he did in 2009 to have a better year in 2010.

From the average fan's perception, he'll probably never live up to the hype that's surrounded him since the Herm Edwards-led Chiefs made him the fifth overall pick in 2008 but he could be a building block moving forward.

Tyson Jackson

He had a tough season in year one, which was to be expected. Defensive linemen usually take a little while to develop and Jackson is no different.

He had never played in the 3-4 until 2009 so expect him to improve based on familiarity alone.

The coaching staff has had good things to say about his work ethic which is another good sign he'll improve in 2010. Jackson is far from being dominant (or even solid, to be honest) but he's putting the time in necessary. He's working with Romeo Crennel, one of the best in the business and a long-time defensive line coach, so there's little doubt in my mind he'll see improvement in 2010.

Wallace Gilberry

He was a pleasant surprise in 2009. Gilberry was second on the team with 4.5 sacks in a position that usually doesn't see a lot of sacks.

He's a tad undersized entering 2010 in the 275 pound range but he's shown enough mobility to get to the quarterback and that's something the Chiefs haven't seen the last two seasons.

Gilberry is sticking around. He may not overtake Dorsey and Jackson but he does play an important role in nickel situations, which happens quite often in a league that saw 10 quarterbacks throw for over 4,000 yards in 2010.

Alex Magee

A 2009 third round pick, Magee didn't see a ton of time in 2009. Like the other guys, he gets a slight pass because defensive linemen take some time to get going.

But Magee was Scott Pioli's second draft pick with the Chiefs and they do expect him to play a role. Like Gilberry, he's more likely to be in a reserve role.

If Magee can develop, defensive end has the potential to be one of the deepest positions on the Chiefs.

Bobby Greenwood

Greenwood has a long road ahead to make the 2010 Chiefs roster. He wasn't drafted and is playing behind two first round picks and a third round pick so it'll be hard for him to see much action.

At this point, he may be camp fodder but the Chiefs have a way of rewarding players that work their tails off and Greenwood stuck with the team last year. Don't expect much from Greenwood moving forward because of the talent that's ahead of him.

Jeffrey Fitzgerald

He's pretty much an unknown at this point. The Chiefs signed him as a rookie free agent this past offseason. At 6'4" and 280 pounds, he may be a tad undersized but should be sufficient for training camp. He'll have to surprise some folks to find a spot on the team.

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The guys to worry about in this group are Dorsey and Jackson. They're getting paid a lot of money and have a lot of expectations. The Chiefs future success is largely dependent on the development of the defense and specifically Dorsey and Jackson. Pioli has been clear that defensive ends in a 3-4 are important pieces to the puzzle.

The Chiefs are also building a nice set of reserves in this department. Gilberry was a pleasant surprise in 2009 and Magee was drafted high so the Chiefs see something in him and expect him to play a reserve role moving forward.