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Charlton looks primed to break out in Chiefs defensive line rotation

Is signing with the defending Super Bowl champs Taco’s final chance to prove he’s not a first-round bust?

Back in early May, the Kansas City Chiefs signed former Dolphin and Cowboy DE Taco Charlton to a one-year deal. Charlton cleared waivers after being released in Miami. The opportunity with the Chiefs may be his last chance to prove he was worth a first-round pick in 2017. The former Michigan standout says that he is going to give Kansas City everything he’s got.

“My foot is on the gas for this one,” Charlton said after signing with the Chiefs. “I’m not saying I gave my full effort everywhere I’ve been. All [previous] situations, things came to an end and it was kind of mutual. It wasn’t really much of a surprise. … I was feeling kind of out of position a little bit in the past. This year, I feel like I’ll be comfortable and use my talents to the best of my ability.”

Former college teammate and now current teammate Frank Clark took to Twitter when news broke of the new defensive end coming to Kansas City,

“I feel like a lot of people are doubting Taco,” Clark told reporters after the signing. “And for the first part of his career, it hasn’t been to the standard that I’m sure he would want it to be. He’s had some great highlights and he’s done some good things in this league, but he has yet to do what I know he wants to do. Me and him being close friends we have a lot of talks and we talk about a lot of things and he’s been my bro since Michigan days. I spent a significant amount of time with him there. Actually, I call myself a leader and everything I’ve done. At Michigan, I made a lot of mistakes but on that football field, I did my share of leading those guys. One thing I did in that position room was changed the way the position was being played, the rush in, and Taco followed suit. He listens and he does great things. I’m just excited. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do. Like I said, I want to turn him into a legend. First, just show him my work ethic. Show him how we do things with the Chiefs. It’s a certain standard that Coach Reid has us mounted to. There are certain things that you have to be able to live up to here. We’re the champs. We’re defending our ring and there’s going to be some standards that he has to live up to coming into that room.”

With Frank Clark playing alongside, Taco could have his best season yet and his new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo feels that the change of scenery will help him develop.

“We were really fortunate last year when we got Emmanuel Ogbah,” Spagnuolo said. “He surfaced in the system, played good football and now he’s at Miami. Emmanuel and I have talked about this a lot, a change of scenery for him was really good. So, I think the hope, certainly, is that maybe Taco can do the same thing.”

Charlton will be mixed into the rotation at DE with Clark, Alex Okafor, Tanoh Kpassagnon, and Breeland Speaks. The Chiefs also selected Mike Danna in the fifth round of this year’s NFL draft.

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