KCCD Editor: Jinx Allessio
Expectations for the Chiefs’ defense are higher than ever entering the 2012 NFL training camp. The Chiefs are coming off a year where they finished in the top 12 in the NFL in yards and points allowed. Numerous unique situations occurred that when dissected prove that not only were the Chiefs better than those ranking but open the window to those high expectations. Combined in the first two games the Chiefs gave up 782 yards and 89 points. The defense was just atrocious in those games. Over the course the final 14 games gave up an average 17.57 points per game. You project that over the course of a full season you that would leave the Chiefs 5th overall on the year. (It may be hard to project that but it puts into perspective how far behind the 8-ball the Chiefs D was).
In the first game of he 2012 season the Chiefs lost arguably their best player in Eric Berry. He had a very productive rookie season and was due to break out and start climbing the throne for the best safety in the NFL. In addition to that lose several rookies and 2nd year players say significant playing time. That can hold a defense back but also set the table for improvement depth wise and for future seasons.
Entering training camp several areas need to step up to deliver on the lofty expectations. The Chiefs to make the next step in to a premier defense in the game need to improve their pass rush, and up the middle run game. Two developments that occurred over the last 10 months that will immediately help, Justin Houston’s drastic improvement and the drafting of Dontari Poe.
The front 7 of the Chiefs defense will have many interesting battles through out training camp, but before you address those battles the Chiefs need to determine if they will run a 1:1 ratio for base and subpackage sets. The NFL has clearly become a passing league and the secondary, barring injury has plenty of depth. Once the ratio is determined it will be easier to decipher who will be the ones to make the final cut.
Their are a few locks that make the team to represent the front 7 but the names that need to be focused on are Gabe Miller, Dexter Heyman, Brandon Bair, Ropati Pitoitua. You will see plenty of article mentioning them on KCCD through out camp.