clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Keondre Coburn has a unique strategy for learning the Chiefs’ playbook

Kansas City’s rookie defensive lineman is taking his study habits seriously during training camp.

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs’ rookie defensive lineman Keondre Coburn understands that the first step to helping his new team claim another Lombardi trophy is mastering the team’s complex defensive playbook.

“I can’t help the team if I don’t know what I’m doing,” Coburn joked to reporters after Friday’s final rookie practice on the campus of Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri. “I think that’s my role first: to know the playbook so I can help the team in any type of way.”

The team’s sixth-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft — affectionately nicknamed ‘Snacks’ by his supporters at the University of Texas-Austin — is taking a bite out of the undertaking thanks to an assist from his new teammate Tershawn Whartron.

“Turk actually just helped me yesterday with a Quizlet he sent to me,” Coburn admitted, while thanking the rehabbing D-lineman for leading him through the initial days of head coach Andy Reid’s rigorous training camp.

“He came up with it his rookie year,” Coburn said of Quizlet, a website where users can create and customize unique study guides in preparation for exams. “It’s gonna help us out. It’s just [that] it’s new.

“I came from Texas for a long period of time — to now come here to the new playbook. Everything is kind of the same; it’s just different words and different schemes.”

Adjusting to NFL life can be tough for first-year players — but it all starts by grappling with the intricacies and language of a new playbook. That’s especially true when you play for Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and defensive line coach Joe Cullen.

“Joe wants [us] to know the whole defense, to be honest — Spags wants us to know the whole defense. I got called out yesterday in a meeting — and you know, it was a little shaky.

“But I have to know [the defense], because I’m on [the] defense. They expect me to know [everything] — [just like] I expect the defensive backs to know some of the things that I do. So [it’s] just learning like that: not to just take all the plays at one time, but put [them] in different categories to learn it the best way you can.”

NEW: Join Arrowhead Pride Premier

If you love Arrowhead Pride, you won’t want to miss Pete Sweeney in your inbox each week as he delivers deep analysis and insights on the Chiefs' path to the Super Bowl.