The Kansas City Chiefs will depart for training camp in just over three weeks. For the first time in two decades, it won't be in River Falls, Wis. Instead, the Chiefs will be heading to the brand spankin' new facility at Missouri Western State University.
As the Chiefs enter camp, here are the top five story lines we can expect to be talking about.
5. Conditioning, conditioning, conditioning
Last season, by far the biggest storyline in training camp was conditioning -- or, more accurately, the lack thereof.
The Chiefs came into camp fat. There's no other way to put it. The majority of the stories surrounding camp were about the Chiefs conditioning. Todd Haley has continued to point out that, as a team, the Chiefs lost over 700 pounds last year.
He also says that's something that should only happen once. We'll find out this year if that's the case.
4.Getting rid of the dropsies
Perhaps the biggest problem for the 2009 Chiefs was the receivers -- specifically, receivers dropping the ball. The Chiefs led the NFL in drops and Dwayne Bowe led the entire NFL, despite being suspended for four games.
Todd Haley comes from an offensive background as a former receivers coach, so this is a major issue for him. He focuses in on receivers, so you know this drives him crazy.
Most importantly, this would help Matt Cassel. Quarterback is the most important position on the field and right now Cassel's confidence may be weakened because of the receiver drops. If you cut the Chiefs 50+ drops last year in half, Cassel's completion percentage would be around 60 percent, which is the minimum a good quarterback wants to hit.
3. Derrick Johnson's future
Will DJ win the starting inside linebacker job? Will he be a part of the Chiefs in 2011 and beyond?
These are key questions. DJ is working on a one-year contract and has said he's looking forward to his next contract. He obviously wants to maximize his next contract, so playing this year is critical for him.
There have been questions of his practice habits so a solid month of training camp would go a long way to securing a starting role for him in 2010.
2. Todd Haley and his new coaches
Todd Haley and the Chiefs hired Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis in 2010. Crennel is expected to handle the defense without a lot of interference.
Weis, like Haley, is an offensive guy. And Weis, like Haley, has a very strong personality. Though it's not expected to be a problem, there are definitely some questions about how the two will coexist.
Will Haley let Weis do his thing with the offense? How involved with Haley be? Will they be able to work together putting the offense in place?
1. Here come the rookies
The Chiefs drafted seven rookies in April and all seven will presumably be in camp (at some point). There are several positions up for grabs with the rookies.
Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis will try to become the starting safeties. Dexter McCluster wants to be lining up in the slot come September. Javier Arenas could be the No. 1 nickelback, and Tony Moeaki may start at tight end.
All those things could happen if they have a good training camp. For the Chiefs, it's a good thing and a bad thing. It's good because you want your rookies to see as much action early as possible. On the other hand, starting rookies means you don't have a whole lot of depth available.
These rookies first training camp will go a long way to determining their future in the NFL.