With the Bucs playing the Kansas City Chiefs on Friday I exchanged a couple of questions with the guys from Arrowhead Pride, SB Nation's Kansas City Chiefs blog.
1. Can you name one under-the-radar, emerging star on offense who Bucs fans should pay attention to on Friday?
TE Tony Moeaki. He's entering his second year in the league but has quickly established himself as a reliable player. He had one of the best catches of the year last year against San Francisco with a leaping, one-handed touchdown so he's athletic, reliable and smart.
2. Can you name one under-the-radar, emerging star on defense who Bucs fans should pay attention to on Friday?
DE Wallace Gilberry. He was actually second on the team in sacks last year behind LB Tamba Hali. He'll be in on nickel downs and, even though he's unknown to the rest of the world, he really is a solid pass-rusher. Sort of an under-sized, but fast and athletic 3-4 defensive end.
The quarterback -- both pretty young guys. I'm a fan of what Josh Freeman is doing. Then the coaches with both Raheem Morris and Todd Haley in the early parts of their career. Chiefs GM Scott Pioli tends to be a little more conservative in free agency as does GM Mark Dominik (and I'm sure Bucs fans are saying, "Why aren't we spending money in free agency??" like some Chiefs fans). These are both good, young teams on the rise.
4. With Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles in the backfield last season, you guys had a really potent rushing duo, but Charles didn't seem to get as many carries as his production would warrant. Why are the Chiefs approaching the running game like that, and do you expect this to change this year?
I don't think it'll change a whole lot. The reason it was done is because Haley didn't want the Chiefs to overuse Charles and limit his effectiveness down the stretch. In hindsight, it was a good strategy as Charles ended up second in the league in rushing. I'd look for a similar set-up with the Chiefs this year, but with Charles getting slightly more carries this year, possibly more than 250.
5. What is your prediction for the Chiefs' 2010 season, coming off a division title?
I'm really looking forward to this year because the Chiefs are a team on the rise yet have one of the toughest schedules. This is a prove-it year. I'll change my mind on this but for now I'll say 9-7.