What can Chiefs fans expect to see from Conner this season?
Pierson: “Being around Chamarri for four seasons was a pleasure. We knew we had an ‘alpha’ in the room. He was a quiet guy who led by example — but always knew when to speak up... He’s a Swiss Army knife who can fill any hole in your secondary... He was a guy who stepped in and always said, ‘Whatever you need me to do, Coach.’ He was always willing to move positions and play special teams. You’re getting a guy who’s going to come to work every single day ready to learn — and play with a lot of effort.”
How do you envision his coverage skills transferring to the NFL level?
Pierson: “I think with reps, he’s going to be able to compare to some of the prolific nickel safeties in the league... There’s a learning curve there for every NFL player, but he has the tools to be a good safety — a good free safety or strong safety. His ability to play around the line of scrimmage and his willingness to cover away from the line of scrimmage is going to prove valuable for that defense. The game has changed so much that you need to have that extra tackler on the defense... Being able to put multiple safeties on the field without having a liability in coverage is an advantage.”
Can you tell us about his significant role on special teams at Virginia Tech?
Pierson: “The staff that we have now understands the legacy that we have at Virginia Tech on special teams. We play starters on special teams — and if you are a starter on defense you’re going to play on at least 1 or 2 special teams... Chamarri embraced that role and covered a lot of kicks. He made a lot of big plays in the punt game. Over his career, he’s probably played equally as many special teams reps as he has defensive reps. He understands the priority in the kicking game and how it can win or lose your ball games. We take special teams very seriously at Virginia Tech. He understands that’s an avenue to getting on the field — and earning a spot on the roster may take special teams reps.”
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