It’s time to start the season of the sport that is most loved in this country. NFL Football season. The first preseason matchup consists of The Kansas City Chiefs against the New Orleans Saints. Kickoff is on Friday, August 9th at 8:00 PM EST.
The Chiefs, coming off a disappointing 2 – 14 season, have a lot of new players and personnel looking to make their debut. Some notable players are Alex Smith (QB), Eric Fisher (OT), and Akeem Jordan (LB). After not having much at the quarterback position, the excitement is building to see what veteran Smith can do with the receivers and running backs surrounding him. It would be great to see that familiar player Jamaal Charles catch a few passes and take off like we all know he can. Fisher at the outside tackle position should be a fun player to watch also. The NFL is quite different from college football and it will be interesting to see how the overall first round draft pick fairs against the professionals. At linebacker, Jordan has been impressive at training camp. He is effective and seems hungry to show new coach Andy Reid what he can do with the new defense. Other players of interest are the quarterbacks coming in after Alex Smith as well as the incoming rookie players making their debuts.
After the debut of Alex Smith in the first quarter, Chase Daniel will take the field in the second. Daniel played for the Missouri Tigers and had a very impressive career in college. Since, he has been a back up waiting for his time to shine. It is exciting to see what he can do out there for the Chiefs. Tyler Bray will be taking the head of the offense for the third quarter. Fresh out of Tennessee, Bray was an impressive offensive threat in college. It will be fun to see how he reacts to the larger players and faster pace of the NFL. For the fourth quarter we have Ricky Stanzi out of Iowa. Stanzi has not seen much action, but is a fan favorite in these parts. He was very successful in Iowa, but has yet to leave his mark in the NFL. Hopes are high for Stanzi, as he has a lot of people rallying around him.
The Chiefs have not seen a great tight end since the infamous Tony Gonzalez. Travis Kelce comes from Cincinnati and was a very impressive player in college. He brings to the table great hands and quick feet to get separation from the coverage. Kelce should be a good target for Alex Smith to hit and put some points on the board this season. Knile Davis is the running back from Arkansas selected in the third round. Davis had a great year at Arkansas in 2010 but was side lined by an ankle injury in 2011 and was not very impressive in 2012. Playing alongside Jamaal Charles should be a great learning experience for the rookie. Learning from one of the best running backs in the game is sure to boost some confidence.
The New Orleans Saints are coming off a 7 – 9 season in 2012. The Saints still have a bit of a smell with the whole Bounty scandal from a couple seasons ago, but seem to have bounced back from it. Some members of the Saints to watch out for are Drew Brees (QB), Mark Ingram (RB), Will Smith (LB). Brees, as always, is a threat to any defense, especially one using a new system that they may not be 100% comfortable with. Though Ingram has not been as impressive as he was projected to be, do not count this young man out. He is an explosive running back and can have any secondary chasing behind him in a matter of seconds. The Saints defense has a player named Will Smith that has been very impressive. Though he is not the Fresh Prince of Bel Aire, he is definitely a force to be reckoned with. Smith finished the 2012 season 5th in the NFL quarterback hits so watch out for him coming down on Alex Smith and the Chiefs Offensive Line.
The game looks to be a good one as the Saints may be out to show the world their loss to the Chiefs last year was a fluke. On the other hand, the Chiefs look to prove they earned that win by doing it again to start the 2013 NFL Preseason.
You can reach Tim White on Twitter @taw266