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This Chiefs vs. Patriots preview with Mike DeVito offers some good insight

I listened to a really good podcast with Matt Chatham and former Chiefs DE Mike DeVito that you should listen to as well. Chatham played in the NFL with the Patriots and Jets so he knows both teams and especially the Patriots as their preseason sideline announcer. They both know a little bit about the Chiefs defense as they played under Bob Sutton.

Go to about the 54-minute mark here or in the player above to hear DeVito’s segment. (The whole thing is worth a listen, to be honest) They talked about the Chiefs-Patriots 2016 playoff game and how the Patriots had been banged up before that game so the Chiefs weren’t quite sure what to expect from the Patriots offense which made it difficult to game plan for them.

They also talked about what the Chiefs can do on defense to slow the Patriots (or hope they can do) and I really enjoyed DeVito’s thoughts on the Chiefs defensive line.

I took a few notes on what they said and wrote them down below. Check it out but listen to the segment when you get a minute.

  • Dee Ford can be a key to the game. In the last game, the Chiefs were rushing four and dropping a linebacker in coverage. Dee Ford is athletic enough that he can actually play some coverage so he could come into play there. (I am still having nightmares of Justin Houston running 40 yards downfield covering Antonio Brown in January)
  • “If you can rush four against Tom Brady and keep your coverage intact that’s the best strategy,” DeVito said. That means Houston, Ford, Chris Jones and the Chiefs pass rushers need to win and win fast.
  • He said that Allen Bailey reminds him of Malik Jackson, the former Broncos defensive lineman who signed a big money deal in Jacksonville.
  • DeVito talked about what a disruptive force Chris Jones is as a pass rusher. He pointed to his long arms. The Chiefs didn’t have that type of pass rush up the middle the last time they played the Patriots. Stop Brady from stepping up and you’ll make him uncomfortable. That said, DeVito also mentioned that Brady is so frustrating to play against because he gets it out so quick.
  • DeVito is known as a run stopping defensive lineman and he said he is jealous of Chiefs nose tackle Bennie Logan because he is so big and has such great technique. This could be important with the Patriots being able to run the ball.
  • Speaking of that, DeVito and Chatham talked about the Patriots being a different offense today than they were even two years ago. They run the ball more now. The Patriots were third in rushing attempts last year (but 25th in yards per attempt ... hmm). DeVito said you’d be tempted to go into your base personnel with them running it more but that’s probably not the right call. You have to stay in nickel and dime because you fear Tom Brady more than you do their running game. What this does mean is that the Chiefs nickel and dime defense has to be able to stop the run, too. This will be one of the biggest keys to the game and it’s an area where the Chiefs really struggled last year. Here’s to hoping Derrick Johnson’s return makes the difference.
  • DeVito said the difference with the Chiefs and other teams he’s been with in his career is how athletic their defense is. He said everyone is so, so athletic that it really stood out to him (again, a run stopper).

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