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Steve Spagnuolo on Chris Jones’ return: ‘We like having him out there’

The long-awaited return of Jones after a contentious offseason pleased the defensive coordinator.

NFL: SEP 17 Chiefs at Jaguars Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Despite missing all of training camp, Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones picked up right where he left off last year in his season debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said that Jones’ return had an immediate impact.

“Chris is an All-Pro player, so I think he influences what offensive lines do,” Spagnuolo commended. “If anybody on either side of the ball, in any type of football, is going to concentrate assets to one guy, it should open things for other guys.”

Having missed camp and the season-opening loss against the Detroit Lions, Jones’ impressive Week 2 performance was a welcomed relief. Spagnuolo said he wasn’t particularly surprised by Jones’ notable performance but was more concerned about the possibility of an injury after missing so much of the preseason work.

“He’s always kept himself in great shape, so I really didn’t worry about that part,” Spagnuolo said, when asked if Jones’ physicality surprised him in his return. “We did fear the injury thing, just because your body’s not trained for what you have to go through on a Sunday, so that was always a fear. “

Before last week’s game, the Chiefs planned to keep Jones on a limited snap count to ease him back into the lineup. Spagnuolo said the coaches were closely managing Jones’ playing time and said the eighth-year tackle ended up playing as much as they had envisioned.

“I thought (defensive line coach) Joe Cullen and (assistant defensive line coach) Terry Bradden kind of managed it pretty good,” recalled Spagnuolo. “The numbers came out about where we thought they should; I think he was in the 30s somewhere with numbers of plays… and we’ll just see as we go forward, but we like having him out there.”

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