Countdown to Chiefs Camp: Safeties

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Jan 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) reacts to a play during the first half in the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium. The Steelers won 18-16. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 15, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) reacts to a play during the first half in the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium. The Steelers won 18-16. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The countdown to Chiefs camp begins now. Over the next two weeks, cover32 Chiefs will have in depth analysis at every position heading into training camp. Jake Schyvinck and Braden Holecek dive into every battle and roster spot up for grabs.

In recent years in the NFL, safeties have continued to evolve defensive play in the game of football. The safety position is measured a little bit differently than other positions, as stats do not jump out as much, the level of physicality is on display and some of the better leaders on a team is a safety. Safeties usually take time to develop, but luckily for the Chiefs they have safeties who have been around the block.


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Show Me The Money

The first starter at safety for the Chiefs is arguably the best safety in the league. Eric Berry had played on the franchise tag for the Chiefs, but last winter the Chiefs rewarded Berry with a six year, $78 million contract. Berry has been a leader and a thumper for the Chiefs for a while now, and his play continues to improve. Berry had a special season in 2015, as he won Comeback Player of the Year after defeating lymphoma. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time. His two point return against Atlanta is an excellent example. Berry got the contract he deserved and will now most likely finish his career as a Chief.

Race For Second

The second safety spot is mainly a battle between two guys. Daniel Sorensen and Ron Parker have played regularly for the Chiefs the last few seasons. Neither guy’s playing time should diminish, but if there is only one starter the Chiefs would probably wait all of training camp to make the decision. For Parker, he has been used as more of a nickel and slot defensive back, where as, Sorensen has played more of the typical safety role. Both guys have excellent speed and use their eyes well reading the opposing quarterbacks. Parker is a cover man who does well sitting it an area, while Sorensen can close a gap more aggressively.

Role Players

Eric Murray more than likely will be used more on special teams, similar to last season. Murray has decent speed, yet his size is something that may eventually move him outside to the cornerback position. Murray will be a guy that needs to take advantage of his opportunities in camp, hard to tell how easy he will stick with the team.

Leon McQuay III was drafted this spring, in the sixth round. His height is something the Chiefs liked when he came out of USC. McQuay III is decent cover man, but has room to improve.

Safeties are a little harder to judge than other positions. These guys are underrated at times, but that may be the way they like it. During training camp, fans will mostly have to go off what the coaches are saying, rather than expect to see as much competition as the other defensive positions.

Braden Holecek is a writer for cover32 Chiefs. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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