The Kansas City Chiefs open training camp Aug. 1 at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri. Here's a closer look at the Chiefs' camp, which wraps up Aug. 19:
Top storyline: The Chiefs must get more from the sluggish passing game. The pieces appear to be in place for the Chiefs to be more productive when they throw the ball. They added Jeremy Maclin, who not only provides the legitimate deep threat they lacked the past season but also is a wide receiver who runs well after the catch. Tight end Travis Kelce, after having a big debut season as a part-time player, was promoted to the starting lineup, so he should contribute even bigger numbers. But much also depends on improvements from the offensive line, which often didn't afford quarterback Alex Smith the time to throw deep passes the previous season, and Smith's willingness to go down the field with the ball. Last year, he again had a low interception rate, but one of the tradeoffs is the Chiefs were last in the league in pass plays of more than 25 yards. The Chiefs have encouraged Smith to be more aggressive in his decision-making.
Position battles to watch: The Chiefs finished offseason practice still searching for starters on the right side of the offensive line. Jeff Allen will get first shot at the guard spot, but the Chiefs could also give a look to Zach Fulton, Paul Fanaika, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and second-round draft pick Mitch Morse. If Allen doesn't win the job, he could oust Donald Stephenson at right tackle. The Chiefs have several candidates to sort through at cornerback, including first-round draft pick Marcus Peters and third-round selection Steven Nelson. In addition to the No. 1 corner, Sean Smith, the Chiefs have three corners who started at least one game the past season, in Phillip Gaines, Jamell Fleming and Marcus Cooper. Gaines was particularly impressive in offseason practice.
Veterans to watch: Running back Jamaal Charles' numbers last season were down dramatically from 2013, mainly because he went through one nagging injury after another. The injuries could have been a sign his body is breaking down after several seasons of heavy wear and tear. Linebacker Derrick Johnson missed all but the season opener after tearing his Achilles tendon last year. He's back and looked strong in offseason practice, but he has more to overcome than the injury; Johnson will be 33 in November. The Chiefs are showing a lot of faith in wide receiver Albert Wilson, who will be a starter when camp begins. He's only 5-foot-9 and was an undrafted rookie last year who played sparingly until the season's final few games.
Rookies to watch: The Chiefs have made a habit of drafting a year ahead of a major need, and so it was with their first-round pick, cornerback Marcus Peters. The Chiefs have enough depth at this position that it's OK for Peters to play a minor role as a rookie, as their past two first-round picks have done. But with Sean Smith in the final season of his contract, the Chiefs will need a No. 1 corner in 2016, and the expectation is Peters will be that player.
Bubble watch: Cornerback Marcus Cooper began the past season as a starter but played so poorly he was quickly benched, and by the end of the season, the Chiefs thought so little of him that he didn't even suit up for games. After drafting Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson, the Chiefs have depth at cornerback. There won't be roster room for Cooper unless he shows significant improvement.
Breakout candidate: Wide receiver Albert Wilson came on toward the end of the past season. He delivered two of the Chiefs' 20 receptions of 25 yards or more, even as a part-time player. His average of 16.3 yards per catch in 16 receptions made him far and away the Chiefs' leader in that category. It shows what the Chiefs thought of Wilson that despite a huge need at the position, they added no impact wide receiver other than Maclin.
For daily updates at camp, check out the Kansas City Chiefs' clubhouse page.