Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo defends Daniel Sorensen: ‘It’s not about one guy’

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Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has come under plenty of criticism this season and it hasn’t let up with a 2-3 record through five games.

One big point of contention has been the free safety position, with eighth-year veteran Daniel Sorensen starting ahead of third-year second-round draft pick Juan Thornhill. Sorensen’s struggles this season have been palpable, so much so that fans feel the team needs to make a change. Through five weeks, Sorensen leads the NFL in missed tackles with 12. Against the Buffalo Bills in prime time, Sorensen surrendered two receptions on three targets for 114 yards and a touchdown.

Spagnuolo was quick to defend Sorensen, not allowing him to become the scapegoat for what has been the NFL’s worst defense through Week 5.

“First of all, it’s not about one guy,” Spagnuolo told reporters. “You started the question with an overall, we (the defense) haven’t been good. That’s a true statement, that’s a reality. To focus on one person, I don’t think, is fair. Did Dan (Sorensen) struggle a little bit last week? Yeah.”

Spagnuolo tends to feel that the plays Sorensen has made this season and for the team in the past have been overshadowed by those plays he hasn’t made.

“To answer your question about the more snaps and all that, a guy has a starting position, we think he’s been doing a good job with that,” Spagnuolo said. “Sometimes, when you have plays that to the eye of everybody in there look worse than the other ones, nobody sees the plays that he’s making when he’s covering somebody and they don’t throw it there. That has always been the case.”

It feels like a fair assessment for any player who is struggling. Yet, the fact that Sorensen has the second-most snaps (325) on defense this season behind only L’Jarius Sneed (326) also feels like a problem.

“I’m not going to go too deep into it, but I think Dan (Sorensen) has had a lot of good snaps for us,” Spagnuolo said. “Juan (Thornhill) will play for us as well. We’ll work through who is playing where, what we’re doing package wise.”

Spagnuolo wouldn’t reveal what those packages would look like because he didn’t want to give the upcoming opponent any competitive advantage. It would seem that he feels he needs to do a better job of putting Sorensen in the position to make plays. That might include some changes to his responsibilities moving forward.

Despite coming to the aid of Sorensen earlier, asked whether he’d consider making a change at the free safety position, Spagnuolo wouldn’t rule out the possibility.

“We’ll see how the week progresses,” Spagnuolo said. “But we’re always looking at that. We’ve looked at that every week, we’re always trying to put people in the right spots and put the players out there. That’s no different.”

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