Nick Bolton: It’s time for young Chiefs defensive players to step up

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Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said recently that the team is going to have to deal with growing pains after parting ways with starters like Tyrann Mathieu and Anthony Hitchens this offseason.

One of the players who will be trying to limit that pain is linebacker Nick Bolton. The 2021 second-round pick started 14 of the 19 games he played during his rookie season and said that “everybody around here has been instilling confidence in me to lead the team” during his second season.

Bolton, who switched to No. 32 after Mathieu’s departure, added that he’s counting on the team’s other young players to fill any void left behind by the departing veterans.

“I feel like it’s our time, our young guys, and not just me. Willie [Gay], Justin Reid, Juan [Thornhill] and the young guys on the defensive line. It’s our time to step up and lead as a group,” Bolton said, via the Chiefs website. “Nobody will replace Hitch or Tyrann Mathieu — those are special guys. There is a reason why they wore Cs, but it’s up to us to come in as a group and get guys in the best position possible to play.”

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said that Bolton has been “attacking it like crazy” this offseason and a jump in his second season would be a welcome development on the Chiefs defense.

Nick Bolton: It’s time for young Chiefs defensive players to step up originally appeared on Pro Football Talk