KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chris Jones is seventh in the NFL in sacks the last three seasons with 32, all but one of which comes from his primary position, defensive tackling.
But under the recent offseason practice, it has Kansas City Chiefs has toyed with the idea of trying to bolster their dormant passing speed by moving Jones to a new position, defensive end.
“He’s an impressive player inside,” said defense coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. “We all know that … Hopefully we get something on the edge. When someone changes a position, the first part is of course the mental part of it. Chris works on it. It’s important when you change one It’s just not so easy to find a whole new place.There are some different things with a defensive finish.
“He wants to play out there a bit. We’ll move him in again when we have to.”
Since the start of offseason practice, the Chiefs have not allowed Jones to answer media questions and discuss the potential change of attitude. But a step toward the edge would not be entirely new to Jones. Last year, Jones played 616 snaps at tackle, 42 snaps at the end. In 2019, he played 513 snaps on the interior, 82 at the end.
All of his 16.5 sacks over the course of the two seasons came from an inside position. Jones’ pass-rush winning rate last season was roughly the same inside or out, 20.3% as a tackle and 20.9% as a finish. His winning percentage in 2019 with a larger edge sample size was 19.2% as tackle and 12% as finish.
“Maybe it comes down to who we play and where we might be able to find a weakness and reveal that weakness in the five offensive linemen,” Spagnuolo said. “We just have to get him used to playing the two spots right now and find out the rest of it.”
Chiefs’ pass rush production fell last season. They had 32 sacks, down 13 from 2019. Jones had 9 sacks in 2019, 7.5 last year.
Putting Jones on the edge is a way for the Chiefs to possibly awaken their pass-rush. But they only felt confident in doing so consistently after signing another defensive tackle out of season, Jarran Reed.
“That signing right there was a really good few and I think it will pay off for us in a really big way this season,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid. “It gives us some flexibility in what we can do with Chris, so I like that addition. You’re talking about a Pro Bowl caliber player and just hooking up with him, and not much has been said about it. I’m excited to see him when we kick this thing off. ”
But Reed gives them an inside pass-rusher at the top level and the freedom to move Jones outward. Reed had 19 sacks over the last three seasons Seattle Seahawks, including 10.5 in 2018 and 6.5 last year.
“We’re really trying to figure it out to be pretty honest with you and it will take some time,” Spagnuolo said when asked what Reed brings to the defensive line. “I just like the way he handles himself here in training. He’s serious about football, he knows when to take it easy. Right now in the short time I’ve had with him, I really love the personality. , attitude and what he gives us as a football player. ”
Reed said last week that when he was with the Seahawks, he was far from admiring Jones’ play.
“His game is immaculate,” Reed said. “It explains itself how he plays. One of the best there is in the league and of course we all see each other and everything he has done. I can understand why. He puts in work and he works hard every day.
“When you’re the caliber of a player, you have to be able to move all the time on the defensive line, and I actually like that. [part], stays with [tackle] and he remains one [defensive end]. “