The Kansas City Chiefs are nearly finished with training camp and at the halfway point of preseason.
There are some Chiefs that have showed up in a big way through the last month. Here are the guys I thought had the top performances from the start of training camp through the first two preseason games.
1. WR Dexter McCluster
That should really read WR/RB/QB/KR/PR/OW (offensive weapon) because those are the positions McCluster has practiced at.
He's primarily seen time as a receiver but in the first preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons, he ran the ball on five of six plays at one point so I think the Chiefs are at least curious how he'd do (he did well).
McCluster has been the 'Newcomer of the year' at Chiefs training camp. Early on, he was the talk of the town as his quick jukes and fast style of play got fans excited. In training camp, where you're not really being tackled, McCluster looks very good. In two preseason games, he's flashed some of what he'll be able to offer the Chiefs and helped move the ball.
He's definitely an asset and was able to show that halfway through the preseason.
2. OLB Tamba Hali
Yeah, yeah the stats won't show it. Tamba only has one tackle and no sacks.
But what the stat sheet won't tell you about is the pressure he puts on the quarterback. It won't show you teams using an extra blocker on Hali. It won't show you the energy he brings to his teammates.
I'm a big Hali fan because he goes about his business and doesn't seem to care what the perception of him is. He doesn't talk to the media and didn't do anything flashy during camp but he was consistent. He was energetic on mundane training camp plays and I think that practice attitude helps him as one of the Chiefs top two defenders.
3. WR Dwayne Bowe
In a year when a lot of folks are looking at him to see how he'll respond, Dwayne Bowe deserves some credit for showing up in shape, ready to play and with a good attitude.
One of the Chiefs challenges has been getting away from the D-Bowe Show, and while he flashed that at times in St. Joe, he was much more quiet and focused on the play at hand.
Bowe was probably the top performer of the first week of training camp before cooling down a bit. He didn't see any balls thrown his way in the first preseason game but corralled three in the second preseason game. Bowe's ranking could fluctuate if he has two more preseason games like his first one, though.
At times in the last year it seemed Bowe would rather duck the questions, hide and move on. But give him credit for showing up strong in the first half of the preseason.
4. S Eric Berry
This isn't so much about what Berry has done on the field. He hasn't necessarily done anything exceptional but he has been solid.
And that alone is important because of the pressure that was placed upon Berry right when the Chiefs selected him with the fifth overall pick.
He hasn't let the Chiefs down through the first half of preseason. He was quickly put onto the first team -- something it seems no one else would get without competition -- and fit right in. He's fast, has shown sure hands with a few training camp interceptions and, if given the opportunity, could have lit a few guys up.
What I'm liking best about Berry so far is his versatility. In practice and the games, the Chiefs have often brought him up to the line of scrimmage to help in run support. The next play he'll be in coverage.
As Todd Haley has said, none of it seems too big for him right now.
5. WR Jeremy Horne
Yeah, you gotta include one of the "no-name" guys on this list.
Horne is one of the Chiefs undrafted free agents and right now appears to be the one most likely to land a roster spot.
He was pretty quiet the majority of time in training camp. The first few weeks he would come up with a play now and again but nothing that made us take notice.
Then in the days leading up to the first preseason game, he started to develop a rapport with Tyler Palko on the third team. In the first preseason game, the Chiefs opened the second half with a bomb to Horne. He had a step on the defender and, if the ball was on target, it could have been a big, big play.
On Saturday night, the Chiefs put Horne in with the first team (he caught a touchdown pass) which I think speaks volumes to what the Chiefs think of him. Here's an undrafted free agent going in with the starters halfway through the first quarter.
He'll have to be on some special teams where he'll likely make his biggest impact but Horne has a chance to be one of the few (or only) undrafted free agents to make the team.