The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem — and that’s something new defensive end Frank Clark made sure he addressed after training camp Monday.
“Just being brutally honest: it wasn’t here on the defensive side last year,” Clark said frankly. “When you look around, you see in total defense you ranked 31st in the league, you know, that doesn’t make anyone proud. As a fan, as a coach, as a player, you shouldn’t be proud.
“We coming here with a whole different type of attitude,” he continued. “We’re coming here to win, we’re coming here to compete and we want to be the best.”
Among many changes on the defensive side of the ball, you have the addition of Clark — who was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks and is the new owner of a five-year, $105.5 million contract — plus safety Tyrann Mathieu, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and a nearly complete overhaul of the defensive coaching staff.
Kansas City’s defense looks completely different than it did last year — and according to players and coaches, it feels completely different, too.
“They have us thinking a little bit as far as moving around trying to disguise a lot of stuff and guys are just out there competing,” said wide receiver Sammy Watkins. “Coach has those guys moving off a different energy, out there competing and I think that’s the best part. We can make each other better.”
Andy Reid shared those same sentiments, emphasizing how much Clark has changed the defense’s attitude.
“He loves to play and that’s the part that you love about him,” Reid said “You loved it — even when he was the opponent — the way he went about his business. Now that he’s on your team, you love it even more. That makes you better. It is infectious, all the way across. Both sides of the ball. It’s a great thing.”
Clark’s brutal honesty didn’t stop at pointing out last year’s Chiefs defense. He also admitted that training camp in Kansas City is completely different than it was with his former team — which might turn out to be a good thing.
“(There’s) nothing like an Andy Reid football camp — I’ll tell you that,” Clark said with a chuckle. “It’s very competitive. The reps are high-intensity, and we literally condition as we are practicing and that is one of the main things. It was kind of similar out there in Seattle with coach Pete Carroll out there — but here, it is a whole different world. This isn’t Seattle.”
While it might have been nice to hear that there are similarities between the way the legendary defense in Seattle and Kansas City’s new defense prepare, there’s a chance that the Chiefs can find a unique form of success they can call their own.
The start of the season is just around the corner, and Clark vowed that the defense will be in shape and prepared for the season.
“We are going to be ready for sure,” he said. “This is a different defense. We are going to be ready for sure.
“I am not going for that.”