The previous Kansas City Chiefs regime indicated that one of the priorities for their 3-4 defensive ends was taking up blocks for the linebackers and not necessarily pass rushing. Perhaps those priorities are changing now that the Chiefs new regime has a season of tape on their defensive line.
The Chiefs replaced Tyson Jackson with Vance Walker this offseason and one thing that's come up is that Walker has shown more pass rush ability than Jackson has in his career.
On the other side of the line, Mike DeVito has changed his diet in hopes of tightening things up (that's what she said) and changing, as he says, some of those love handles to abs. The point being that DeVito, who is known as a good run defender, wants to stay on the field on more passing downs.
KC Star reporter Terez Paylor noted in Monday's press conference that DeVito wasn't able to play very often in the playoff loss because the Colts had three receivers on the field, which meant DeVito came off the field.
"There was some statistic that I just heard that playing against teams," DeVito said, "they ran 11 personnel 70 percent of the time last year during the season." Those are downs he usually wasn't on the field.
"That's on me," DeVito continued. "I have to get right. I have a specific thing that I'm good at but the way the games are being played I need to work harder so I can contribute and get my butt out on the field."
Very interesting thoughts from DeVito, but also very rational. Teams are passing more often these days so you better be sure you can contribute on passing downs. That's why a possible three-down defensive lineman might be appealing to the Chiefs in the draft (/ducks).
"For me, it's about changing some of my diet," DeVito said, "physically how you structure yourself. I've seen guys that can discipline themselves with nutrition have really made a big difference. When we got done, being so mad about that [Colts game], I already started thinking about how I can fix this so I can help and provide more for my team. The diet was one thing I looked at and I said I'm going to focus more on my diet. Trying to turn my same weight into better weight so I can move around better, be a little shiftier and have quicker hips."
DeVito developing more of a pass rush would only help the Chiefs. Teams were able to take the Chiefs defensive ends off the field when they ran with three receivers, which happened a lot in the Colts game. Often it was Allen Bailey and Poe instead of DeVito and Jackson because of that.
DeVito also said he swapped out bacon and eggs for fruit shakes. Sacrifices like that would be my downfall as an NFL defensive linemen (and the whole being only 190 pounds thing).