Kansas City Chiefs preseason primer

2006 season recap

Playoffs ... then bust
First-year head coach Herman Edwards led the Chiefs to the playoffs on the strong legs of running back Larry Johnson -- and then some, giving Johnson an NFL-record 416 carries. But those legs seemingly gave out in the playoffs as the Chiefs running attack was smothered by the Colts in an AFC wild-card game.

Key camp questions

Can the offense produce with uncertainty at key positions?
Larry Johnson is thinking about his contract and the Chiefs don't have another back waiting in the wings like they did during Priest Holmes' tenure. Uncertainty at the running back spot would be scary considering they also must turn to a new quarterback to start in place of departed Trent Green.

Can the Chiefs rebuild a once-dominant offensive line?
Kansas City has lost two future Hall of Fame linemen in the past two years -- Willie Roaf and Will Shields. They addressed this need with a mid-level free agent (Damion McIntosh) and a sixth-round draft pick (Herbert Taylor). Will that be enough? Head coach Herman Edwards loves to run the football, so Chiefs fans should have their answer about the offensive line pretty early during training camp.

Can Dwayne Bowe be the franchise receiver the club has long been seeking?
Big-time wide receivers and Kansas City go together like Paris Hilton and the Academy Awards. The Chiefs have been seeking a star wide receiver since the Otis Taylor days. Bowe could be that player, which would help take some pressure off tight end Tony Gonzalez.

Key position battle

Damon Huard vs. Brodie Croyle
With Green in Miami, the Chiefs will choose between promising second-year signal caller Croyle and the veteran Huard. Edwards is mum going into camp, but it's safe to say Huard has an edge after he started eight games last season and registered 11 TDs against only one interception. Croyle, meanwhile, has seven career pass attempts.

Rookie spotlight

Tank Tyler
Tyler had some off-the-field troubles prior to the draft that caused him to drop down to the third-round. But Tyler does have first-round talent, which should help the Chiefs stop the run.

Player on the spot

TE Tony Gonzalez
With all the various questions surrounding the Chiefs offense, Gonzalez remains a consistent, reliable force. The biggest question might be just how much the 31-year-old Gonzalez has left in the tank. If last year is any indication, he would have plenty after catching 73 passes for 900 yards and five touchdowns.

Fantasy focus

Brodie Croyle
Green's departure has opened the door for Croyle to take over the reins. While he does have some definite long-term upside, Croyle lacks experience (no NFL starts under his belt) and possesses little to no value in most seasonal drafts.

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