ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t waver from their commitment to starting cornerback Ron Parker in their return to training camp at Missouri Western State University. Two days after Parker was burned for a long pass and a touchdown and penalized twice during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Parker was still in the starting lineup, with veteran Sean Smith running second-team.
“He’s got to be like any player, especially being out on the edges," defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. “You need to have a short-term memory. You need to learn from whatever happened to you out there. He needs to play that particular route better."
Meanwhile, Smith intercepted a pass in his first play as Parker’s replacement against the Bengals and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown. Though the differing levels of play between Parker and Smith weren’t enough to prompt the Chiefs into a lineup change, Sutton indicated such a move might not be far off.
“There’s far less separating them than it might appear," Sutton said. “I hope they make it a hard decision. That would be the best thing for us. That would be great."
Smith started 15 games for the Chiefs last season, plus the playoff loss to Indianapolis. Parker was a backup except in the season-ending game against San Diego, when the Chiefs rested many of their starters.
“You want it to be a battle," Parker said. “You want it to be a competition."