The Kansas City Chiefs defense is getting a much-needed piece of their unit back this Sunday with the return of All-Pro Chris Jones. A much-needed aspect of their game plan over the years is the pass rush, and it was missing during the Week 1 loss to the Detroit Lions.
Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has thrived for years with his aggressive blitz packages. He has counted heavily on the defensive line to apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks, and Jones’ return should make that job more manageable. Spagnuolo spoke with reporters on Thursday as the team continues to get their star defensive tackle back into the mix.
“We were saying this when he wasn’t here that the one thing we knew that when you know, hopefully, he did get back, we knew he’d be in shape,” said Spagnuolo. “That’s just not his, you know, he’s not a he’s not the big fat guy. You know, like, some of the big guys are in the worry about that. I mean, he’s Listen, he’s the real deal. He’s blessed with some talents. So, he looks like he’s in good shape. To me”
Jones missed training camp and the preseason before returning to the team this week on a new one-year deal. He maintained his fitness away from the group but will gradually acclimate to the game plan.
“There are probably things that we might add when he’s not there,” Spagnuolo said. “We might feel like we need some different things, and when he’s there, maybe we don’t have to do that’s probably a better way. And we had to do a little bit of that last week; we had to find other ways to generate some pressure. I thought Mike Danna did a nice job inside on that one play. The coverage was really good.
“We had a double on their star receiver and got executed. A good example of everything executed the way it was supposed to all 11 guys is that we ended up getting a positive play, but, you know, Chris will get right in the fold with the things that we’re doing. There’ll be some things in there, obviously, that we have always had in for Chris (Jones) that we wouldn’t have had last week.”
The Chiefs’ defense effectively held the Lions to 14 points but failed to put consistent pressure on Jared Goff. The lone Kansas City sack came from Mike Danna as the reworked defensive line, still missing Charles Omenihu due to suspension, should get a boost on Sunday.