The Chiefs will be installing a different offense after hiring former Browns and Dolphins coordinator Brian Daboll as the new play-caller in February, but the team is hoping to stay out of the trainer’s room more than anything else when it convenes for camp.
ACL tears to three cornerstone members — dynamic running back Jamaal Charles, strong safety Eric Berry and tight end Tony Moeaki — in the first two weeks of last season were critical factors in Kansas City’s diminished 2011 win total from the previous year, while quarterback Matt Cassel missed seven games after breaking his hand in November. Charles, Berry and Moeaki will all be eased into practices as a precaution, while starting free safety Kendrick Lewis may miss some time as well after tearing his pectorals in January. Assuming he shows up for duty, disgruntled wide receiver Dwayne Bowe will need to get up to speed in digesting Daboll’s system after sitting out all offseason workouts in hopes of earning a contract extension, but counterpart Jonathan Baldwin — the team’s No. 1 pick in 2011 — got rave reviews for his minicamp performances and can stake a claim to an increased role if he continues to progress in the summer. Getting an offensive line that will have two new starters — young center Rodney Hudson and free-agent right tackle Eric Winston — to come together will also be on the agenda, while the battle between ex-Chief Brady Quinn and 2011 fifth-rounder Ricky Stanzi for the backup quarterback job will be one to watch come preseason. This year’s first-round selection, defensive lineman Dontari Poe, is expected to be an immediate starter at nose tackle.