Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons proved that he may have been a little out of the loop on Thursday.
About five weeks after Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaq Barrett laughed about the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line ahead of their Week 4 matchup, Simmons made some eye-catching comments when he spoke to SiriusXM Radio.
“I know especially that our front four, when we go out there... I watch tape,” started Simmons, according to NFL.com. “So I’m looking at the offensive linemen that we have to play against, and I’m very confident that we can go out there and dominate them... Like I said, they know us, we know them. I’m looking forward to the matchup up front. Whoever it may be. [Joe] Thuney or Trey Smith at the guard position. But I’m very confident in our defense going out there and having a great day.”
To be fair, he was also complimentary of the Chiefs during the same interview.
“They have a good team. We know them. They know us,” Simmons said. “They haven’t changed. And honestly, we might be missing a couple pieces, but we haven’t changed, and the same with them. They still got Mahomes, they still got Travis Kelce. They want to get the ball to Travis Kelce a lot, and I mean, they got Mahomes back there, who is really a good player. Man, I live for games like this where no one expects us to go in and get a big win. I’m juiced up every game, but games like this just mean a little more to me, because I know what type of team I have, we have here in Tennessee.”
In Week 4, Barrett told reporters that he didn’t see much difference between the Chiefs’ current offensive line and the one from Super Bowl LV (yes, that offensive line), adding that he felt his Bucs defense could “impose its will” and have a “coming-out party.” That resulted in the Chiefs’ O-line arguably playing its best game of the season to the tune of a 41-31 win.
Asked about Simmons’ comments about the Chiefs’ O-line room, Brown sounded similar to how he did weeks ago when Barrett had something to say.
“It’s just an understanding that it’s football,” said of Simmons’ words. “Everybody’s got their own element, parts of their game that they need to motivate themselves and all those different things. As a unit, we take a lot of pride amongst ourselves in handling our job and doing what we need to do as a unit and as individuals. When people make comments like that, they’re heard, and we get it. Football is a competitive sport, but at the end of the day, we understand we’ve got to take care of business when the lights come on.”
Like Brown, Smith shrugged off the comments — even after learning that the second-team All-Pro defensive tackle mentioned him by name.
“Ultimately, we’re just going in to do our job, play every down and just keep playing the game,” said Smith, “pretty much just staying focused on the game plan, man. We’re not really worried about any outward comments. [We’re] focused on getting the job done.”
In two regular-season games against the Chiefs, Simmons accumulated four tackles as the Titans went on to win games in 2019 and 2021. Playing as a rookie, Simmons was left off the stat sheet despite 26 defensive snaps in the 2019 AFC championship.
He will come to Arrowhead having recorded a sack in each of his last three games — but the Chiefs’ offensive line has shown a gradual upward trajectory since what even it would consider an embarrassing Week 3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, who have since changed starting quarterbacks.
“The Colts game, I would say, for right now, was our bottom, and we know that we didn’t play well that game,” added Brown. “I feel like, since then, man, it’s been a gradual climb, consistently every single day at practice, every single week, every single game. Getting better and better overall. I could say the same for myself, which is one of the reasons I state that. You could say the same for everybody else in the room. Really, week by week, continuing to focus on your craft, focus on getting better within the system and really just stepping up to the challenge.”
Brown explained that is what the Chiefs will be focused on rather than any “bulletin-board material.”
“Once you kind of out there on the field, the lights are on, the gates are locked,” he finished. “It’s man on man. You’re face-to-face at that point — and what happens, happens.”