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Report: Dave Merritt hired as Chiefs’ defensive backs coach

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Other new names are sure to follow. This one is just the first.

New York Giants Training Camp Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

When Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach spoke to the media on Thursday, he was asked when we would know who was going to be on new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s defensive staff.

“Coach Reid and Steve are working through that right now,” Veach said. “I do think that in the next few days this will all be nailed down and that will be released here soon. I know that they’ve had a lot of conversations with a bunch of different candidates at different positions. Again, they’re still working through some of those things right now, so I’d hate to sit here and throw a number that would be inaccurate, but I do think very shortly this will be all ironed out.”

But some information is starting to leak out now.

According to a report from ESPN NFL reporter Field Yates, the Chiefs have hired former Jacksonville Jaguars assistant coach Dave Merritt as their defensive backs coach.

If you follow AP Nerd Squad member Matt Lane on Twitter, you got a hint that this might be coming late on Tuesday night, when Matt happened on to a curious piece of information on the Internet. Such a tidbit of information isn’t always reliable, but in this case, it looks like it was.

Merritt was with the New York Giants from 2004 through 2017, primarily as a defensive secondary coach. That was his role when Spagnuolo was the Giants’ defensive coordinator from 2007 to 2008, and when he was the DC (and eventually interim head coach) from 2015 through 2017.

After that, Merritt spent a season with the Arizona Cardinals, and another with the Jaguars — in both cases as a defensive secondary coach.

No word yet on what this means for the future of secondary and cornerbacks coach Al Harris or defensive backs coach (and Chiefs legend) Emmitt Thomas.