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Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Positional Battles

The Kansas City Chiefs are less than three weeks from the regular season opener. Here's where the starters stand.

The Kansas City Chiefs open the regular season in less than three weeks on Monday Night Football against the San Diego Chargers. Between now and then, there will probably be some tweaks to the roster. Most of the starters are basically known at this point but there are still a few positions up for grabs.

SS: Eric Berry has started here from day one. There's no legitimate threat for his job.

FS: Jon McGraw will likely start the season but at some point Kendrick Lewis is going to make a case for the job. He's already been doing that in training camp so expect to see him show up on the field behind McGraw at times until he takes the job.

CB: Brandon Flowers will occupy one of the cornerback positions. If he's hurt, it'll be Maurice Leggett or Javier Arenas filling in.

CB: Brandon Carr has a firm hold on the other cornerback spot. His camp hasn't been as solid as Flowers' but there's no one behind him nipping at his heels.

CB: This will be the nickelback position which appears to be Javier Arenas'. He's been the number one nickel in most practices and I don't see that changing. It's a good fit for him because he'll return kicks as well.

OLB: Tamba Hali will be on one side. He's arguably the best defensive player for the Chiefs so don't look for him to be coming out very often.

ILB: Derrick Johnson has been listed as the first team weak side inside linebacker for two weeks now. He's been splitting time with Corey Mays. This is a position that's still very much up for grabs.

ILB: Jovan Belcher has been on the first team along with DJ over Demorrio Williams at the strong side spot. Like the weak side, this will be one of the final battles determined.

OLB: Mike Vrabel will start here but don't look past Andy Studebaker. He did a solid job in relief of Vrabel last year. Plus, the Chiefs have been putting Vrabel on the inside in nickel packages which opens a spot on the field for Studebaker so he'll see playing time in 2010.

DE: Tyson Jackson suddenly isn't guaranteed a spot. This week the Chiefs have started playing Wallace Gilberry on the first team at times which is a bit surprising. If they were going to do that, why not start earlier in camp? I don't think Jackson will lose this job but I do see Gilberry getting more playing time there.

NT: This is Ron Edwards job at this point. Derek Lokey has consistently been on the second team at nose tackle while Shaun Smith has moved back and forth between defensive end and nose tackle. This was thought to be an interesting position battle before training camp but Edwards never let it go.

DE: Glenn Dorsey has a firm hold on the other defensive end spot. Maybe he's not playing like a fifth overall pick but he is a solid contributor that will start.


In review, here are the positions still up for grabs in my opinion: FS, ILB (2) and DE.