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Kendrick Lewis Hailed As Top 10 AFC Breakout Candidate By ESPN

The Kansas City Chiefs have significantly changed the defensive backs on the roster this season, and the team’s secondary should have a new look in 2012 — for better or for worse. While some changes were necessary due to Brandon Carr leaving in free agency, Scott Pioli used the offseason to also strengthen the entire unit.

Brandon Carr has been replaced with Stanford Routt in a swap of free agents. Abram Elam was signed to bolster both safety spots. Eric Berry is coming back from season-ending surgery. Dequan Menzie was drafted as a nickel safety and slot corner hybrid.

Yet so little attention is being paid to Kendrick Lewis through all of this. Brandon Flowers is the cornerstone and Berry is the impact safety coming back. Carr and Routt had their fair share of attention for the movement around it all, but Lewis is the silent young starter in the dark. The Chiefs signed Elam as a back-up to both safety spots, and it’d be great if Lewis could keep things that way. Gary Horton of Scouts, Inc. believes Lewis is in for a jump in his performance based on last season’s results.

“After safety Eric Berry went down in the first game last season with an ACL injury, Lewis was forced to take on a bigger role on the back end of this defense,” said Horton. “He responded well with 60 tackles and three interceptions. He did finish the season with a shoulder problem that led to surgery, so he needs to come back healthy. But for a young guy he has surprisingly good ball skills and instincts, and with Berry back they could really be a good safety duo.”

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