The Chiefs will square off against Seattle at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium in their first preseason game. Here are five things to keep an eye on.
1. How does Tyreek Hill look in live action?
Hill, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound speedster from West Alabama, has been the star of organized-team activities and training camp. The Chiefs’ fifth-round pick has consistently been the fastest player on the field, and his ability to track the football downfield and make tough, contested catches was underrated during the predraft process. Still, many a training-camp star has fizzled once the lights came on and the actual games started. Keep an eye on Hill to see whether he’s the real deal.
2. How accurate will Nick Foles be?
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Foles has already risen to No. 2 on the depth chart ahead of Tyler Bray and Aaron Murray, despite being in town for about a week. He’s still working on polishing his mechanics, and he’s battled with his accuracy in his first six practices as a Chief, but his experience as a starter in this league still makes him an ideal backup for Alex Smith. Keep a close eye on Foles’ mechanics and command of the offense.
3. Tyler Bray vs. Aaron Murray
Bray has consistently gotten reps ahead of Murray this offseason, and with the addition of Foles, it appears one of them will be the odd man out of the quarterback rotation. The Chiefs’ No. 3 job won’t be won in practice — it will be won in games. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has said many times that he’s eager to see how the young quarterbacks fare against a live pass rush, which they’ll finally see this afternoon. Which one will rise to the occasion?
4. How does the edge rush look?
Justin Houston continues to rehab a knee injury, while Tamba Hali has essentially been resting his balky knees all camp. That’s left Dee Ford and Frank Zombo as the top edge rushers during camp, with other vets — like Dez Moses and Andy Mulumba — working behind them. Hali will likely be ready for Week 1, but if the Chiefs’ pass rush is going to be respectable, Ford needs to rise to the occasion.
5. How will the corners fare?
Marcus Peters, the reigning defensive rookie of the year, is entrenched at one spot, but the offseason departure of Sean Smith left a void at the other corner spot. Phillip Gaines and Steven Nelson are the odds-on favorites to replace him, while veteran Marcus Cooper remains in the mix. There are also two young, talented corners behind them in D.J. White and KeiVarae Russell. None of the five players battling for playing time have done well over the course of a full 16-game season, but someone is going to have to step up for this team to reach its potential.