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Chiefs in depth-building mode on defense, special teams

The Sports Xchange
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While the Chiefs' offense has struggled to get going in the preseason, the defense has made some strides as coordinator Romeo Crennel tries to piece together his starting 11 and then his sub-defense. The Chiefs appear to be headed in a direction where they will have more role players.

That's the role Rookie defensive Allen Bailey has settled into as part of the team's nickel defense.

On special teams, the Chiefs have been trying to find alternatives in the return game, something that will allow Dexter McCluster to concentrate on offense and Javier Arenas on defense. Third-year CB Quinten Lawrence has gotten most of the opportunities to claim that job in two preseason games.

PLAYER NOTES

-- Chiefs linebacker Brandon Siler is expected to miss the 2011 season with a torn Achilles suffered on the final play of Tuesday's practice.

Siler underwent surgery to repair the injury already according to his agent, David Canter, told the Kansas City Star.

Siler is a standout special teams player as well as a top reserve at inside linebacker.

-- RB Dexter McCluster got his most extensive playing time of the preseason in the loss to Baltimore. Working from the backfield, the spot where he's spent all of training camp working, he had four runs and three catches, producing 71 yards in a game in which the Chiefs' offense struggled overall. The Chiefs are still experimenting with how they'll use the 5-8, 180-pound second-year player.

-- QB Tyler Palko appears to have claimed the backup QB job with his performance against Baltimore. Palko was eight of 13 for 95 yards and threw a four-yard TD pass, the Chiefs' only visit to the end zone in two preseason games. The key for Palko was better pass protection than in the previous week's game against Tampa Bay. He was not sacked by the Ravens.

-- OLB Justin Houston really had a breakthrough performance against Baltimore and continues to force defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel to find new ways to use him. Houston had two sacks against the Ravens and two tackles, including an additional stop on special teams where he caused a fumble.

-- WR Steve Breaston is slowly working his way into the offense, but has had just one catch in the preseason. Viewed by many as a slot receiver based on his career with the Cardinals, head coach Todd Haley thinks Breaston is more of a split end type because of his ability to get away from press coverage.

-- WR Jonathan Baldwin will likely be out a month with a broken right wrist/thumb. The specifics of the injury remain unknown as the Chiefs haven't acknowledged that he was in a scuffle with RB Thomas Jones.

ROOKIE REPORT

--WR Jonathan Baldwin is out for the rest of the preseason due to the broken right wrist/thumb that he suffered in an altercation with teammate Thomas Jones

--C/G Rodney Hudson earned a few snaps with the No. 1 offensive line at guard against Baltimore and continues to work as the center on the No. 2 o-line.

--DE Allen Bailey has worked his way into the No. 1 sub-defense against the pass, working on the line with DE Wallace Gilberry.

--OLB Justin Houston had two tackles, two sacks and a caused fumble against the Ravens

--CB Jalil Brown struggled against Baltimore and had one tackle, but was hit with a 25-yard pass interference call.

--LB Gabe Miller went down in the Baltimore game with a left knee injury.

--QB Ricky Stanzi went 6 of 12 for 58 yards with an interception against the Ravens.

--NT Jerrell Powe had a pair of tackles, including one for negative yardage.

--FB Shane Bannon saw limited playing time against Baltimore.

INJURY REPORT

-- WR Jonathan Baldwin suffered a broken right wrist/thumb in a locker room altercation with teammate Thomas Jones. He'll miss the rest of the preseason and likely the regular season opener, if not longer.

-- TE Jake O'Connell suffered a right ankle injury in practice and left the field. O'Connell has seen a lot of time as the team's blocking tight end.

-- OT Jared Gaither continues to see limited practice time because of a right knee injury.

-- RT Ryan O'Callaghan has an undisclosed injury, but he did not play against Baltimore and continues to sit out practices.

-- LB Eric Bakhtiari continues to try to recover from a concussion suffered in practice. Bakhtiari did not play against Baltimore and hasn't taken part in practice since the injury.

FRANCHISE PLAYER

--LB Tamba Hali (tendered at $10.191M; re-signed).

TRANSITION PLAYER
None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--LB Charlie Anderson is a backup who barely got on the field last year; not a priority for '11 Chiefs.

--RB Jackie Battle developed into the Chiefs' short-yardage runner last season, with 10 special teams tackles.

--FB Tim Castille shared the fullback job, touching the ball 15 times on offense for 46 yards last year.

--QB Brodie Croyle still has not led the Chiefs to a victory in his 10 starts; it's time for a change of scenery.

--LB Corey Mays lost his starting job in 2010 and was a factor only in kick coverage with 12 tackles.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--WR Kevin Curtis sat out most of the 2010 season recovering from testicular cancer; Chiefs like his speed. Club has individually negotiated right of first refusal.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
None.

DRAFT CHOICES SIGNED

--WR Jonathan Baldwin (1/26); 4 yrs with 5th-yr option; terms unknown.

--C Rodney Houston (2/55): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--LB Justin Houston (3/70); 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--DE Allen Bailey (3/86): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--CB Jalil Brown (4/118): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--QB Ricky Stanzi (5/135): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--LB Gabe Miller (5/140): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--NT Jerrell Powe (6/199): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--FB Shane Bannon (7/223): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS RE-SIGNED

--WR Terrance Copper: UFA; terms unknown.

--CB Travis Daniels: UFA; terms unknown.

--LB Tamba Hali: FFA: $60M/5 yrs, $35M guaranteed.

--S Jon McGraw: UFA; terms unknown.

--T Ryan O'Callaghan: UFA; terms unknown.

--TE Leonard Pope: UFA; terms unknown.

--C Casey Wiegmann: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

ERFA/RFA RE-SIGNED

--CB Brandon Carr: RFA (tendered at $2.6M with first-round pick as compensation); $2.6M/1 yr.

--FB Mike Cox: RFA (tendered at $1.2M with no compensation); $1.2M/1 yr.

--DE Wallace Gilberry: RFA (tendered at $1.8M with second-round pick as compensation); $1.8M/1 yr.

--LB Cory Greenwood: Potential ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--S Reshard Langford: ERFA; terms unknown.

--T Barry Richardson: RFA (tendered at $1.8M with second-round pick as compensation); $1.8M/1 yr.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--WR Steve Breaston: UFA Cardinals; 5 yrs, terms unknown.

--T Jared Gaither: UFA Ravens; terms unknown.

--DT Amon Gordon: UFA Seahawks; terms unknown.

--NT Kelly Gregg: FA Ravens; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--RB Le'Ron McClain: UFA Ravens; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--S Sabby Piscitelli: UFA Browns; terms unknown.

--LB Brandon Siler: UFA Chargers; terms unknown.

--DL Jimmy Wilkerson: UFA Saints; $1.5M/1 yr, guarantees unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

--WR Chris Chambers (released).

--TE Brad Cottam (released/failed physical).

--NT Ron Edwards: UFA Panthers; $8.25M/3 yrs, $2M guaranteed.

--CB Maurice Leggett: Not tendered as ERFA/Lions; terms unknown.

--C/G Rudy Niswanger: UFA Lions; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--DL Shaun Smith: UFA Titans; terms unknown.

--LB Mike Vrabel (retired).

--G Brian Waters (released).

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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