NOT TO SAY opening week of NFL play for Washington State alums was uneventful—Erik Coleman did shine…
Darling ahead in race for second WR spot
Thus far in training camp, Darling has been starting drills with the first-team offense. Webb is the next receiver to cycle through, and while Maurice Price and Kevin McMahan have received a few token reps with the starters, it's not been enough to mean anything.
Darling, who previously played for the Baltimore Ravens, is relishing his opportunity to get a fresh start in Kansas City.
"Every man in life just needs an opportunity," said Darling. "I just thank the Lord for blessing me with this opportunity and for everyone in the Chiefs organization for giving me this opportunity. I'm just going out there trying to get better every day, that's my number one goal."
Despite the fact it appears Darling has a step or two on Webb in the race for a starting spot, he's not letting up.
"Every day is a competition," said Darling. "This is the NFL, so I mean, nothing is guaranteed, so you just got to come out here and compete every day…I'm a big play receiver, now I'm trying to bring a consistent player. That's how you stick around in this league is consistency."
Franklin's reps with the first team have come in three wide receiver sets. He's also playing in the slot with the second team. Last season at Missouri, Franklin was the senior leader on a talented corps of receivers. This season, he will be a rookie member of a receiving corps that's struggling to get better.
While Franklin is probably the best athlete the Chiefs have at the wide receiver position, aside from perhaps Bowe, and he had a fantastic college career playing in a great offense, he isn't disappointed that he hasn't been considered for a starting position. Instead, he views playing the slot position as a challenge.
"Anyone can go outside and play the outside," said Franklin. "It takes a lot of speed to play the inside. They (the coaches) feel like I have the speed and the size to get in there and bang, and continue to get up field fast enough."
Getting up field fast enough may be the most important aspect of Franklin's game. What we've seen thus far in training camp, and the rest of the offseason, has given the indication that the Chiefs will be running a lot of short, under the coverage routes and more bootlegs than Kansas City fans are used to.
With an emphasis on the power running game and short passing routes, someone is going to have to stretch the defense. Franklin may be that guy, but he still has much to learn.
"There's still a lot," he said. "There's a lot out there for me, and learning this playbook is the most (important). It's just a thick playbook. It's not like college where you have selected plays, so for me it's going to take a lot of me doing a lot of individual studying, and getting in with the quarterbacks and doing extra."
If the first game of the season started tomorrow, Darling would likely start on the right side with Bowe on the left and Franklin in the slot. However, though Darling apparently has a lead, his grip on a starting job may not be a strong one. Neither he nor Webb has really done anything to win or lose the job.
Unless one of them shines in next Thursday's intersquad practice with the Minnesota Vikings, or in the preseason, the battle for the number two wide receiver spot could carry into the regular season.
WarpaintIllustrated.com Recommended Stories
Peyton Manning Breaks All-Time TD Record
Peyton Manning emerged alone atop yet another category in the NFL record book tonight vs the Niners, as he tossed touchdown #509 under the national spotlight of Sunday Night Football (NBC). (Photo…Read More
LenDale White escorted out of the Coliseum
Former USC and NFL running back LenDale White added tons of drama to what was a relatively quiet Homecoming weekend for the Trojans.Read More
Video Tip: The 1-Minute Golf Swing
Here’s a way to watch football and improve your golf swing at the same time. In your living room (or on the range), practice the one-minute golf swing, as shown in this video. Set the timer on your…Read More
Dr. Roto Video: Week 7 Recap
Dr. Roto, like many others, can't believe Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (pictured above) passed for over 300 yards and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. First time that's ever happened…Read More
Windy Weather Whitetails
As soon as those winds fall off, get into the stand! I always tell people you can't kill them if you aren't out, but if you want to try and pick an opportune time – this is it.Read More