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Could Chris Jones get more reps at defensive end?

Listening closer to Andy Reid’s comments from Jones’ contract extension press conference.

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

On the Wednesday edition of the Arrowhead Pride Laboratory, we examined Andy Reid’s comments from the Chris Jones press conference for his mega-deal to stay in Kansas City for four more seasons.

It’s worth at least pondering if Reid’s comments shed some light on their plans for him.

“This is so well deserved,” said Reid of Jones’ contract extension. “He’s done everything that he’s needed to do to become a top defensive tackle in the National Football League. He probably could be the same thing at defensive end on the outside as he is on the inside.”

What does it mean?

It may just be a throwaway comment from Reid, but it’s interesting that he would bring it up in his opening statement before a single question was asked. Before anyone freaks out about moving Jones away from the interior — this would likely be for a small percentage of snaps. In any situation remotely resembling a passing down, you would see Jones lined up inside, wreaking havoc on poor interior offensive linemen. The only time you’d potentially see Jones at defensive end would be base downs — early work in non-obvious passing situations.

Steve Spagnuolo has historically coveted bigger players at his defensive tackle positions and kicking defensive ends inside on passing downs to generate a rush. Perhaps the Chiefs are thinking about letting Jones play as an end to allow a bigger run-stuffing type defensive tackle onto the field on first down. Imagine a defensive front of Frank Clark, Derrick Nnadi, Khalen Saunders and Chris Jones, for instance. That’s a bulked-up group to run against on early downs.

With Jones’ skills secured for the next four years, the Chiefs can cast a long-term vision for how they’ll use him as part of Spagnuolo’s defense. One of the things I’m going to be paying attention to when the season begins is the weight of Jones.

Does it closely resemble what it was last year? Is he bigger to accommodate the early work at defensive tackle? Or does Jones lighten up to perhaps align in a variety of different spots along the front? How Jones weighs in will tell us a lot about the Chiefs’ plans for him this year and beyond.

He's definitively part of their future and it will be fascinating to see what Spagnuolo has cooked up for him now that they have locked him up for the foreseeable future.

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