Wilson In Chiefs' Plans

Senior Writer
Posted Jun 9, 2007

While many believed that tight end Kris Wilson was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs a few years ago to eventually replace veteran Tony Gonzalez, the former University of Pittsburgh product has a better shot to play fullback this year.

Kris Wilson reportedly has not separated himself from either Gonzalez or Keith Willis at tight end during the Chiefs offseason workouts, so he has emerged as a top candidate at fullback with Ronnie Cruz.

"I'll play wherever they need me to play,'' Wilson said. "And while I was at Pitt, I moved around a lot. So, I can be an H-back, fullback, tight end or split out.''

Wilson was drafted by the Chiefs with intent to have an H-back type of role. He is an explosive player, who blocks well, catches well and runs the ball with speed and power. This could be the Chiefs' opportunity to add that extra dimension to the offense, moving Wilson around to create mismatches all over the field. When he came to Kansas City, former offensive coordinator Al Saunders had Wilson learn the tight end, fullback and wide receiver roles in the offense, so Wilson has already gotten a head start.

Chiefs fans got a taste of the player Wilson could be early in his career when the club moved him around, and he excelled in that H-back role. Wilson's motions confused defenses, and he often sprung open for big plays in the passing game. Then he broke his leg, and the Chiefs have made him primarily a tight end since then. But it will be interesting to see if offensive coordinator Mike Solari brings that philosophy back.

Cruz, the other fullback candidate, spent last season backing up Tony Richardson. Cruz is more in the tradition of Chiefs fullbacks, where like Richardson and Kimble Anders before him, he was basically a big running back. The Chiefs love converting bigger halfbacks to fullbacks. Cruz is like a younger version of Richardson. He's a ferocious blocker and can run the ball well and may be better suited to line up in front of halfback Larry Johnson.

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