Here's a article written by one of our columnists over at Chiefs Coalition. I think it's a pretty good read. If you like to discuss it over at CC here's a link to the thread: http://www.chiefscoalition.com/Forums/index.php?showtopic=52123 Chiefs Preseason Game 1 Preview: Injuries at the quarterback position have forced the Chiefs to sign former St. Louis Ram and Michigan State Spartan Jeff Smoker. Both Damon Huard and rookie Brodie Croyle will miss Saturday night's game against Houston. Chiefs Haul Smoker To Houston For BBQ By Jim Allen Chiefs Coalition Columnist The last time the Kansas City Chiefs visited the Houston Texans, Chiefs running back Larry Johnson ran wild in front of a national audience on ESPN. The game served as a coming out party for LJ, as he rolled up 211 yards and two touchdowns en route to a 45-17 Chiefs' victory. As they return to Houston this Saturday night, (7 pm CST - CBS; replay Sunday 10 am CST - NFL Network) fans will get a first glimpse at the players that will help write the story for the 2006 edition of the Kansas City Chiefs. What you won't see is much of the first team, as they will be limited to a set number of plays and then reduced to visor duty for the rest of the game. What you will see is a lot of former CFL MVP and Chiefs rookie quarterback Casey Printers. The Chiefs will be without the services of injured quarterback's Damon Huard (foot) and Brodie Croyle (shoulder) this week. Due to those injuries, the Chiefs added former Rams' quarterback Jeff Smoker to the roster this week. Both teams also are getting used to new head coaches. The Texans hired longtime Denver Bronco offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak as the second head coach in franchise history. Like most teams in preseason games, the Texans expect to see extensive playing time for many rookies and young players. "We had some mistakes this morning by some young players as we start to polish up for Saturday night, but that's expected," said Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak about his teams' preparation for Saturdays' game. "I think they're really geared up to have an opportunity to play, and they're probably a little nervous. I'm going to try and settle them down before Saturday night." Houston is led on offense by quarterback David Carr, wide receiver Andre Johnson and running back Domanick Davis. They are joined this season by former Buffalo wide receiver Eric Moulds. With the starters likely to play a quarter or less, the Texans defense won't have to worry about Larry Johnson and company for very long. However, even a scaled down KC offense will be a good challenge for a Texans defense would make even Chiefs' fans cringe in horror. The Texans are looking to improve the defense with several additions, including new defensive coordinator Richard Smith and the first overall selection in the 2006 NFL draft, defensive end Mario Williams. What to watch for: Rookie Safeties There has been a real buzz in training camp over the play of the Chiefs two rookie safeties, Bernard "Bonecrusher" Pollard (second round) and Jarrad Page (seventh round). The two rookies will get extensive action against the Texans. "Page and Pollard are going to play more than our starters," said Chiefs head coach Herman Edwards. "They know that. You can't wear them out because they play all those special teams. That's what you worry about. They're never going to take their helmets off and they know that. That's why in practice we try to give the veteran guys more reps than the younger guys so they're not worn out when the game starts." Line Play One of the most interesting matchups will be the line play, as both teams are looking to get more consistent play from their respective linemen. While the Chiefs have been working hard in the offseason to improve the play of the defensive line, the Texans have been just as concerned about their offensive line, selecting former Pitt Panther OT Chris Spencer and Miami Hurricane OT Eric Winston in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft. When asked what he'll be looking for on Saturday night, Edwards responded, "Who controls the line of scrimmage at the end of the day? Who's going to control it? Are we going to control it or are they going to control it on both sides of the ball? That's where you build your football team. You build it in the middle. The linemen are in the middle and I want to see us control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. We've talked about being physical. You have to be physical especially when you go on the road. This is a road game for us and the first one we've had. We get to tackle and play. Herm continued, "I'm excited about watching some of our young players. Some veterans will get some. Some will get more than probably some people anticipate. You know what? In my estimation they need it." On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Chiefs will also be taking a long look at many of their new offensive linemen. Pro-bowl guard Brian Waters will be sitting out, and last year's starting tackles, Willie Roaf and John Welbourne are sitting at home. KC will look to break in Kyle Turley and Kevin Sampson at tackle, and Chris Bober will likely get the start at left guard in place of Waters. Jordan Black and Will Svitek will also see extensive playing time. For the Texans, this will be the first game for Mario Williams. He will be manning the left defensive end, across from Sampson. On the right side, former 3-4 linebackers (and college defensive ends) Jason Babin and Antwan Peek are battling to earn the starting spot. The Texans are also looking to light a fire under former first round pick (2005 - Florida St.) DT Travis Johnson, a disappointment in the 3-4 last year. It should be interesting to see if new attitudes and personnel will make the difference in the level of line play for both teams. Chiefs Wide Receivers The Chiefs have yet to determine who will secure the fourth and fifth wideout spots, and may not have much luck in determining that after this game. KC's starter, Trent Green, will play only a handful of snaps, while backups Huard and Croyle are out. That leaves Casey Printers, who has been inconsistent in camp while learning a new system, and an off the street pickup in Jeff Smoker, to handle most of the snaps. It's not all bad for the receivers though, as Houston is sporting a banged up secondary, including starter Phillip Buchanon, who is out with a hamstring injury. Game Notes In order to make a roster spot for Smoker, KC has released CB Julian Battle, a former 3rd round pick (2003). While possessing serious talent, Battle never seemed to find consistency, a staple of Herm's cover 2 backfields. The Texans new coaching staff will feature a familiar face for KC fans, as Houston's new defensive line is Bob Karmelowicz. Karmelowicz served in the same capacity the last nine seasons for the Chiefs, and will help the Texans' transition from a 34 defense to a 4-3 scheme. One of his biggest challenges will be to develop former 3-4 linebackers Babin and Peek as defensive ends opposite Mario Williams. Kubiak has rounded out his coaching staff with former Green Bay head coach Mike Sherman (Assistant Head Coach/Offense), and new defensive coordinator Richard Smith, previously the coordinator for the Dolphins defense in 2005.