Just as special teams coaches around the league quickly became familiar with Tyreek Hill, offensive coaches are starting to notice Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones. The Chiefs 2016 second round pick started his first game last week and Colts coach Chuck Pagano was among those who thought Jones stood out on tape.
Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano took notice of the 6-foot-6-inch, 308-pound powerful and athletic defensive lineman causing disruption along the line of scrimmage while the Kansas City Chiefs defense prowled the field.
“Everybody’s like ‘Who the heck is 95?’” Pagano said in preparations for his team’s game with the Chiefs this Sunday in Indianapolis.
Jones stands out as a big, strong player on a defensive line full of big, strong players. His reach and his length is what is really unique. The Chiefs got their most extended look at Jones last week against the Saints when he started in place of the IR’d Allen Bailey.
“Yeah, I thought he had some good snaps,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid via quotes from the Chiefs. “Like with all the rookies, you’re going to have some snaps that you kind of go, ‘eh,’ on. As long as they’re going fast, hard and aggressive, you normally work through that.”
The Colts offensive line has allowed an NFL high 25 sacks. For a reference, Alex Smith has been sacked 14 times this season. Jones is going to see on tape a Colts line that can be exploited.
“He spends a lot of time at what he’s doing – that’s the part I like about him,” Reid said. “He wants to do the right thing every time. He’s in here in the evening, and comes in early and that whole deal. There were a couple rookie mistakes in there, but then, he had some good plays too. I think that’s what you get with most rookies.”
That the coach is calling him out (in a good way) for staying late at the facility is a good sign. Defensive linemen can sometimes get lost in the shuffle if they’re putting up big sacks but focus in on Jones for a few plays and you can tell he has the potential to be a problem for offenses. This should be a good week to show that.