Many positives came out of the Kansas City Chiefs’ 27-17 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Among them was a milestone achievement by edge rusher Carlos Dunlap, who recorded his 100th career sack during Sunday’s game.
"I feel like a big weight has been lifted off of me" @Carlos_Dunlap, a.k.a. Mr. 100, got the mic during Sunday's dub! pic.twitter.com/Oh2ZbiUg80— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) November 17, 2022
It was a significant accomplishment for the 13-year pro, who joined the Chiefs with 96 career sacks after spending most of his time with the Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks. Defensive line coach Joe Cullen spoke glowingly about Dunlap’s contributions to the team as well as praising him for achieving the milestone while never letting it come before the success of the team.
“Absolutely, Carlos (Dunlap) has done a great job,” Cullen told reporters during his Thursday press conference. “He came here for really an opportunity to be in an organization like this and have an opportunity to win everything (a Super Bowl). He’s really contributed but that’s a milestone. My hat’s off to Carlos — he’s worked hard.
“I was really happy for him, and he was striving for that. It was a personal goal but never one where he put that before the team. You knew it was going to happen if he kept doing what he was doing, and I was really glad for him.”
To put Dunlap’s accomplishment into perspective, there are only 41 players to ever record 100 or more sacks in the history of the NFL. He is now among the eight active NFL players to be a part of that list — one that includes Von Miller, Cameron Jordan, Justin Houston, Chandler Jones, J.J. Watt, Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn. Cullen gave a sense of how important the milestone was for Dunlap as he got closer to his 100th sack during Sunday’s game.
“When you have 96 (sacks) coming into another year — to get that milestone, it’s like 500 home runs,” he explained. “A hitter has 497, he’s getting another year, he’d like to crank another three. But we talked about that, and he obviously wanted to get to that goal. Then obviously strive to win a championship and help the team win a championship.”
Besides the on-the-field significance of accomplishing this goal, it was made even more special for Dunlap as Cullen notes that he tributed the milestone to his late father, who died tragically in a car accident earlier this year.
“I know it was a goal and I know when Carlos first came, he had to go to the grave site of where his dad was buried and that was something in his heart that he wanted to do,” Cullen said. “That’s personal to Carlos, but I know the impact of promising his dad that obviously led to him wanting to get that goal and he’s been close in other games.”
To close out his time with the media, Cullen discussed Dunlap’s impact on the field and details how his relentless pass rush has been a revelation for the Chiefs’ defensive line.
“Well one, he has a real sense of — like Terrell Suggs is the same way — staying alive on his rush,” Cullen observed. “Sometimes, it’s not about beating a blocker one-on-one, just blowing right by and you got to fight through the down. The coverage the other day was outstanding, and it led to him and Chris (Jones) getting a couple sacks in there.”
“Then just staying alive, working his hands,” Cullen continued. “If no one wanted to counter back inside, he always stays alive on his pass rush. You never see him just get blocked and stop. He’s always working to get to the quarterback. Sometimes he doesn’t always beat the guy clean, but he impacts it. He knows when to counter back at the level. That’s something from afar I’ve always really admired about Carlos.”