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Sunday update: Andy Reid wants a four-man rotation at outside linebacker

This is new.

Tennessee Titans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

After reviewing the film of the Kansas City Chiefs’ 27-20 loss to the Chicago Bears, head coach Andy Reid had an opportunity to speak with the KC media on Sunday.

Predictably, Reid was happy the Chiefs came out of the game healthy but did stress he needs to see the younger Chiefs play better. He also said they need to address the penalties, calling the game, “sloppy.”

But the most interesting nugget we learned from Reid Sunday was his plan for the outside linebackers—that being Justin Houston, Dee Ford, Tanoh Kpassagnon and Breeland Speaks. Kpassagnon looked especially impressive Saturday.

In a change from previous seasons, the Chiefs have been open to rotating the OLBs from side to side all throughout training camp and the preseason. But this feels new, too:

“Inevitably, you’d like to have four guys here you can rotate,” Reid said. “That's what you'd like, so you keep guys fresh and fast. Especially if one of them is a rookie (Speaks), I just think it’s important that they get play-time. I don’t want to sleght them at all. I know what the other two (Houston and Ford) can do. The other two are in pretty good shape right now. They’re coming out of this thing healthy, which is important, which has been an issue with both of them. They’re in a good position right now, and then the young guys got some reps that I think are so valuable right now.”

The Chiefs have traditionally used two outside linebackers throughout full games, but this could be a smart change given the ages of Houston (29) and Ford (27) and their history of fragility.

Behind the outside linebackers, the Chiefs have been working in cornerback Orlando Scandrick over the past week. Scandrick looked a bit lost on Saturday afternoon, especially on the Bears’ touchdown throw to Kevin White.

Reid is taking the development and adjustment of the 31-year-old Scandrick in stride.

“Orlando actually did pretty good job—he had the one play where he got double-moved in the game,” he said. “I thought he practiced well and I thought he played well other than that play. Listen, he’s staying aggressive, so he made some other plays and got the quarterback drawn off of it just by being aggressive on it. He made a nice tackle downfield, opposite field, which was good. He’s getting used to this, to the defense and all the calls and everything.

“He’ll be fine I think.”

The Chiefs will rest most of their starters when they play the Green Bay Packers in their final preseason game on Thursday night.

Additional notes

  • The Chiefs first-teamers, who won’t play Thursday, will mostly focus on Week 1 against the Los Angeles Chargers this week. Reid added those playing in the game will cram for the Packers, giving them a final fair crack at making the roster.
  • Reid wouldn’t reveal what the plan is with tight end Demetrius Harris, who will miss the Week 1 game due to suspension. You might see Harris in this game Thursday night when you probably otherwise wouldn’t in a different situation.
  • Reid was grateful that the Bears threw many different defensive concepts at Patrick Mahomes, who Reid thought handled them well. “For a young quarterback, that experience is great. You want that.”
  • Reid offered no additional updates on Allen Bailey, Eric Berry, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif or Steve Nelson.

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