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Breaking Down the Defense by Position

Once the weak link of this squad , the defense has been built up by Herm Edwards through the draft and now will be asked to be the side of the ball that keeps the Chiefs in games this year. There were very little surprises except for the release of second year corner Tyron Brackenridge. Tyron played well last year as the nickel back but was beaten out for the fifth spot by Maurice Leggett. This is now Herm’s Defense most of the players on this side of the ball were drafted or handpicked by Herm. The Chiefs were just outside the top ten in most categories on defense this could be this young defenses breakout year.

Defensive line: Turk McBride , Tamba Hali, Tank Tyler, Glen Dorsey, Alphonso Boone, Brian Johnston,, T.J. Jackson, Ron Edwards

The most positive aspect of this line is the fact that none of these players are holdovers from the Dick Vermeil era. All of the starting unit was drafted by the Chiefs within the last three drafts and all by round three or earlier. So the line will be young and full of potential. They will need it as they will try to compensate for the loss of Jared Allen. The duo of Tank Tyler and Glen Dorsey on the inside will make it hard for opposing defenses to run the ball. The key to this unit will be if second year player Turk McBride can build on his amazing preseason and become a consistent pass rusher.

Linebackers: Derrick Johnson, Donnie Edwards, Napoleon Harris, DeMarrio Williams, Pat Thomas, Erik Walden

While linebacker has been a cause for concern with the coaches mostly due to injuries. It may actually be a strong point of this team. The Chiefs have four linebackers that started for NFL teams last year in this group not including Pat Thomas who started all of the preseason games at mike backer. The only question here seems to be who the Chiefs will start in the middle? Donnie Edwards has experience there. Pat Thomas was thrown in there by necessity and Napoleon Harris was last years starter, but has been in Herm’s dog house. Any way you slice it this unit will be one of the fastest in the NFL and has experience to go with it.

Cornerback: Patrick Surtain, Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr, Dimitri Patterson, Maurice Leggett

Besides Pat Surtain this unit has zero NFL experience, Flowers is the cornerback that will be the starter opposite Surtain and will be tested early in every game this year. Quarterbacks love to throw at rookie cornerbacks but don’t expect Flowers to fold. He does not lack confidence and is not scared to run with the big time receivers as he proved in the Arizona game running with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin step for step. Brandon Carr will be the nickel back and the first corner off the bench for the Chiefs. The Chiefs will rely heavily on corner Pat Surtain to share his experience in this league mentoring these young players.

Safety: Bernard Pollard, Jarrod Page, DeJuan Morgan, John McGraw

This year will be the make or break season for third year players Page and Pollard both have shown flashes of brilliance and both have shown a propensity to get burnt on occasion. If either player lets their play slip in the least rookie DeJuan Morgan will be ready to come in and take their spot as Morgan can play both safety positions. John McGraw is listed on the official depth chart as the back up free safety but in all reality, barring injury McGraw will only see the field on special teams. That is not a bad deal for the Chiefs, McGraw is a excellent special teams player.

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