Spagnuolo turns to fundamentals to change Chiefs' defense

Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is changing the philosophy of the squad.

Posted: Jul 30, 2019 10:31 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)— Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is changing the philosophy of the squad.

"We're really hell-bent on just fundamentals, technique, the little things," Spagnuolo said. "They're probably tired of me saying the little things, but that's okay."

The Chiefs made several offseason moves to boost the defense and the new and old players are buying in. 

"Spags is a legendary coach and he came in and threw everything at us in the spring," Defensive end Frank Clark said. "He put the whole script out there and put it into our hands as the players and really invested our time into learning the playbook."

Chris Jones, who enters his fourth year with the Chiefs, is ready for the changes on his side of the ball.

"It's different," Jones said. "It's very different, but it's a good different. I feel like the sky is the limit for us. We have a lot of depth. We have a lot of guys that can make plays. We've got a lot of hidden talent that people don't know about. It's going to be very special, once they get the opportunity."

Jones is getting his first few opportunities to work in the new system after missing mandatory mini-camp and OTA's. 

"Chris is a little bit behind," Spagnuolo said. "He'd tell you the same thing, but I'll tell you what, I saw him the other night. We have a 9:35 staff meeting with Coach Reid and after that meeting, he grabbed Coach Daly to get some extra and that tells me he's a prideful guy and wants to learn it."

Will this defense be in top shape by Week 1? That's the plan, but Spagnuolo doesn't how aggressive or ambitious the unit will be out of the gate. 

"I've been through this first year thing a number of times, sometimes it's gone really good and sometimes it hasn't gone so good," Spagnuolo said. "It's going to be dictated by what the guys can do. I do believe that as you approach this thing, you better make sure that they're not thinking and they're playing."

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