The Chiefs are a hot mess on the defensive side of the ball this season, how should they rebuild the defense?
With all of the questions surrounding the Chiefs, the defense has been the biggest one. They are the worst-ranked defense in the league in most categories and have not been able to stop a cold let alone a competent offense. But there have been bright spots, they have pitched back-to-back second-half shutouts and have been able to stop the run pretty efficiently over the past two weeks. When people have talked about the Chiefs’ defense, many have turned to the “blow it up” argument with the defense, is it the right mindset?
Well…. kind of.
The personnel for the Chiefs is not great but there is a LOT of talent on this roster and most of it is young. The first step would be assessing the talent on the roster and seeing what is working and what is not working. I’m not saying they should blow up the defense, they should reset it. So here are my steps to reset the Chiefs’ defense.
1. Cut/do not resign most veteran talent
A lot of the veteran talent on the Chiefs defense has not been solid, they have not played well or have had moments where they look lost. This is more squared at two players; Daniel Sorenson and Frank Clark. They have been terrible and are highly replaceable with cheaper options, either in the draft or free agency. Both have made incredible plays for the Chiefs in the past two seasons and were key in the Chiefs reaching back-to-back Super Bowls, but they have not made a contribution to this team this season.
Sorenson was the worst-ranked defensive back when he was starting for the Chiefs and has been targeted all season. Frank Clark hasn’t been healthy all season and hasn’t been able to get any pressures against event the most average of offensive tackles.
I’d also not bring back Anthony Hitchens, Mike Hughes, and Alex Okafor, all of these players are easily replaceable with young talent/ better veterans. I understand this is a lot of turnover, but this is what is needed to help fix this defense.
2. Re-sign Tyrann Mathieu
The best pure defensive back in the game needs to be paid, and the Chiefs need to make this move if they want to stay competitive in the AFC West, let alone the AFC. Mathieu helped to bring the swagger back to the Chiefs’ defense as they got their first championship in fifty years. He is going to be a member of the Chiefs’ Ring of Honor and will probably be seen as one of if not, the most important free agent signings in the history of the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs need him as the leader of the secondary and the emotional leader of the defense. The front office needs to get this deal done. He’ll be necessary as the Chiefs’ leader as they head into a younger team and he’ll be the veteran who can help get these younger guys moving.
3. Draft/sign defensive players who bring value
Most Chiefs fans right now are worried about who the Chiefs can trade for, but there is no reason for them to trade draft capital for a rental for a team that can’t be fixed by a single player. They need a giant restructuring of their defense and losing a mid-to-late first-round pick for a big player is not worth it at this moment, especially with a draft where there are plenty of great defensive players.
The Chiefs have a lot of young talent and should build around said talent. The weak link of the defense is the front seven, they need to heavily invest in improving the defensive line/edge rushers so they can generate pressure. There will be plenty of guys who will bring value to this defense, players like Von Miller, Chandler Jones, Dante Fowler, Stephon Gilmore, Emmanuel Ogbah are all free agents. I don’t think you radically overhaul the defense with free agents, but you need to bring in players who are valuable at their positions.
The Kansas City Chiefs are a championship team and need to create a defense where they are competitive and this season has really shown that a competitive defense makes everything better.