By CHRIS RASMUSSEN
With the Royals season over, its time to focus on another team under construction that's playing in another stadium under construction. The Chiefs are in the midst of their O.T.A.s, an NFL acronym that stands for "Organized Team Activities," a chance for a team to show off to fans and the media by practicing in shorts while not simulating anything resembling a contact sport. Meanwhile, the coaching staff receives valuable practice in deflecting questions with opaque responses using as many clichés as possible.
What have we learned?
1. Larry Johnson: "OTA" is also an acronym for the Orthopedic Trauma Association, an organization that might clarify Larry Johnson's foot injury to the Chiefs' coaching staff. Everyone seems in good spirits concerning the Chiefs' star running back's health, although they didn't want to risk anything by having him practice on artificial turf, making him questionable for Week Four's match-up in Atlanta.
2. Who Plays On The O-Line? The status of Larry Johnson's future sideline tirades have not been determined, with only
two offensive line starters returning from the previous season. Rookie Branden Albert is the probable starter at left tackle, a position he did not play in college and a position critical for ensuring the well-being of, well, the entire offense.
3. Brodie Croyle: Croyle has looked terrific in O.T.A.s. It helps, of course, when one doesn't face a pass rush, not a realistic expectation for any Chiefs quarterback this season.
4. Who replaces Jared Allen? Glenn Dorsey certainly appears to be Allen's replacement as potential game-changing defensive force, dominating veteran Brian Waters in early match-ups. Who becomes the pass-rushing defensive end? At this point, Tamba Hali is the favorite, but rookie seventh-round pick Brian Johnston impressed over the weekend. Neither Hali nor Johnston signs a DUI citation with Allen's panache, however.
Allen's restaurant is gone, traded, most likely, for a Bennigan's to be named in the off-season.