Chiefs GM Scott Pioli had a nice spot with The Program's Soren Petro talking about the Chiefs quarterbacks and defensive front seven. While Pioli is generally careful not to share too much information he had a few interesting nuggets in the interview.
Let's start with training camp last year versus this year.
"This year there seems to be a little bit more stability and continuity in terms of what's going on. It's been 19, almost 20 months that we've all been here together and working together."
This is the general feeling around camp. Most of the folks I've talked to in St. Joe think the Chiefs clearly have it together a little more this season. Now do they have it together enough to win games? We'll see. You can only do so much in the offseason and I think Pioli probably agrees with that.
There was also some good talk on the Chiefs defense in 2009 and what might be done to correct some of those problems.
"Part of what we evaluated was not just some of the issues we had up front, but what was happening behind the front seven that contributed to some of our issues. So improving in some of that was a big part of it."
He pointed to the entire middle of the field as part of the problem, and not just the run defense. Eric Berry of course helps with that. As for helping with the run defense, Rodney Harrison predicted a few weeks ago (on Petro's show as well) that Romeo Crennel and the Chiefs will use Berry like they used him and he could break Harrison's 30.5 career sacks. That would go a long way to help the defense.
"We've got four first round draft picks in that front seven," he said. "Part of how you be successful in this league is player development. You pick good players, put them in a good system and put them in a system where they develop."
The Chiefs have Tamba Hali, a converted linebacker and Glenn Dorsey, a converted defensive end. Both changes came because of the switch to the 3-4. Hali's ahead of Dorsey at this point but both saw good jumps last year.
Pioli goes on to say that it's "absolutely correct" that most players, particularly defensive linemen, see the biggest jump from year one to two.
"Watching what happened to Glenn Dorsey between years one and two -- and I think there's going to be a dramatic jump to year three -- I feel pretty confident there's going to be a big difference in years one and two for Tyson [Jackson]. And guys like Tamba. He improved last year."
Given recent reports, it's interesting to see that Pioli thinks both of his defensive ends will take "dramatic" jumps next season.