COMMENTARY | The Kansas City Chiefs executed a pointed agenda during the offseason to dispose of the bad taste left in their mouths from last season -- a season in which they finished with a league-worst 2-14 record.
A huge part of that plan was upgrading a pass defense that ranked 12th in yards allowed at 220.8 YPG, but tied for the NFL's fourth-worst total by giving up 29 touchdowns through the air.
Key mainstays in Kansas City's secondary include Brandon Flowers, Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis -- who will all play huge roles should this team improve on those totals. But it will be the additions of cornerbacks Sean Smith and Dunta Robinson that could help mark the type of jump expected out of this group.
Flowers insists that this particular collection of talent has the chance to become the league's best secondary.
"We going out there trying to have the best secondary," Flowers told NFL Network's "NFL AM" on Wednesday. "Sean Smith is a big corner that can bump and run ... we brought in Dunta Robinson, someone who can come in and cover, (and) also, Eric Berry is always roaming on the back end. If we put it all together, man, I think we have the pieces to be the best secondary in the NFL."
While it may seem like a daunting task to make such a huge leap in the rankings, the pieces are certainly in place and appear to complement each other well.
Smith is a big cornerback who can match up with the more sizeable wide receivers in the league, while Robinson's versatility could see him line up on the edge, the inside or at safety at times. Couple that with the fact that both Flowers and Berry are ascending players in this league, and Kansas City might just be on to something here.
The improvement shouldn't stop at the secondary, however, as the three levels of the defense work in unison to operate at its greatest potential.
Better and more physical play in the trenches at the point of contact results in a more consistent pass rush; and the more a defense can disrupt the opposing quarterback, it allows the secondary to do its job more efficiently as well.
This clearly works in reverse too, as having Flowers, Smith, Berry and Robinson on the field will create more opportunities for the rest of the defense to make plays as well -- with the likes of Justin Houston, Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson benefitting the most.
If Flowers' statement is accurate, look for the Chiefs to not only have one of the best secondaries in the NFL but to possess one of the top defenses overall.
Jeremy Sickel has successfully created and operated numerous websites, including Podcast to Be Named Later--where he is the co-host of the site's up-and-coming podcast. Jeremy's work can be read on Yahoo! and Bleacher Report, and he has also appeared on various sports talk shows around the country.
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- Brandon Flowers
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- Eric Berry