Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones was just named to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl, which doesn’t even include his 2018 season — in which he racked up 15.5 sacks and got snubbed. During Jones’ Pro Bowl stretch, he has amassed 36.5 sacks, including 11.0 this year.
When Jones was asked what is the secret to his success, he quickly gave the credit to his teammates and coaching staff.
“I give it out to my D-line group man,” said Jones, “because without the D-linemen — guys push me to be my best every day. A lot of guys challenging me to b the best me every day— [without them] none of this is capable, so the D-line, my coach (Joe Cullen), coach [Steve Spagnuolo].”
As quick as he was to point out the role his teammates and coaching staff have played in his success, he was even quicker to point out that while being named to another Pro Bowl is an honor, it’s not the goal.
“[The] Pro Bowl, it’s a nice thing to have, but you know I don’t play for Pro Bowls,” said Jones. “I truly respect the honor to be voted by my peers for it, truly appreciative of it. But I don’t play for Pro Bowls man, I play for Super Bowls.”
The next step towards Jones reaching his goal of the Super Bowl comes this Saturday at Noon Arrowhead Time, when Jones and his teammates take the field in a frigid Christmas Eve showdown between his Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks.
The temperature at kickoff is supposed to be in the teens with a wind factor that makes it feel about five degrees colder. Jones had some advice for Chiefs fans who are brave enough to face old man winter and make their way out to the game.
“Bring coats. Oh, my god, it’s freezing,” said Jones. “I got my blanket in the car. I might just wear that under my shoulder pads during the game.”
But Jones also knows that no matter what the weather is, Chiefs Kingdom is going to show up in force.
“Kansas City fans are the most loyal— they’re going to show up in support. They’re going to be loud, they’re going to be excited— [But] yeah, this is going to be freezing. Oh my God, pray for us.”
Jones has two forced fumbles on the year — and the Chiefs would like to generate more. When Jones was asked about what the team can do to strip the ball from the quarterback's grasp more frequently, Jones said forcing fumbles can be tricky.
“Tthat’s all about positioning that you’re in, when you’re tackling quarterback, they’ve got so many rules and restrictions on protecting the quarterback, and roughing the passer is at an all-time high. So you’ve got to be very strategic on how you want to bring the quarterback down,” explained Jones. “Then adding the elemental of ripping the ball from him, that can be a whole another element.”
Jones was the victim of a bogus roughing-the-passer call earlier in the year, but he claims now that he is a reformed man.
“These days now, it’s about laying the quarterback down in a safe and preventable way, in this Christian-like football game and making sure you secure the tackle — nowadays, bringing the ball out, we try, [but] you know it’s very hard these days, especially depending on what angle you’re coming at, [and] how he’s fallen down and got to brace yourselves.
“So it’s tricky man, it’s tricky.”
Here’s to hoping Jones gets more than one opportunity to show his newfound love and gentleness to Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith on Saturday.