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Trent McDuffie says Chiefs’ defense will come together for Week 1

With the training-camp grind behind them, Kansas City’s rookie corner says the defense can concentrate on playing together.

NFL: AUG 07 Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs got into the preseason win column on Saturday, dealing the Washington Commanders a 24-14 defeat in Arrowhead Stadium.

During the week, head coach Andy Reid implied that his starters could play the entire first half — but after two possessions, there was no need to keep them out there.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes played in just two series, both of which ended with passing touchdowns to tight end Jody Fortson. The former MVP completed 12 of of 19 passes for 162 yards (and those two touchdowns) for a passer rating of 125.3.

On the other side of the ball, the first-team defense shut out new Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz and the rest of his first-team offensive unit. While the stats won’t show it, first-round rookie cornerback Trent McDuffie has played a major part in the starting defense’s success during the first two preseason games.

For a corner, it’s a good sign when quarterbacks don’t even throw your way — and that’s what happened in Saturday’s game.

“I definitely think we’re coming together,” McDuffie told reporters after the game. “Especially now that training camp is over — and, you know, those long days of grueling practices are kind of out the way. We can kind of come together now and start watching film together, start coming together as a group — and kind of learn the lingo and communicate so when the first game comes we’re already rolling. That’s a big emphasis for us right now.”

While there will obviously be growing pains for any first-year player, McDuffie said is ready to hit the ground running.

“At the end of the day — once the game comes on — there should be no more thinking,” he noted. “I feel like we’ve come a long way since OTAs in learning the playbook.”

One thought McDuffie probably won’t be able to escape is the moment he ran out the tunnel at Arrowhead. It might have been just a preseason game, but that didn’t stop the rookie from soaking it all in.

“Honestly, running out of that tunnel, it was chills,” said the cornerback. “Now, I can think about that first Thursday night game against the Chargers — and just how electric that stadium is going to be.”

But before then, the Chiefs have another Thursday home game: the preseason finale against the Green Bay Packers later this week.

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