The Chiefs signed veteran defensive tackle Danny Shelton on Monday. Shelton brings his experience to the Kansas City locker room and hopes to help fix the run defense
The Kansas City Chiefs got themselves a new defensive lineman and his name is Danny Shelton. Shelton has been on multiple teams over the past couple of seasons and had been a free agent up until this past Monday. According to Shelton himself, the Chiefs were not the only ones on the line for his services, the Jacksonville Jaguars were also interested in the veteran defensive tackle and he chose to go with Kansas City for one reason: to compete for a championship.
“It’s different for me, it’s a new experience,” said Shelton. “I’ve been in that Patriots, if you want to call it, organization for the past four years, so this is a new structure and a new feel, so I like it. I’m getting used to everything. I’m a bigger D-lineman, so a lot of guys see me as the run-fit guy. A lot of defenses now have more pass rushers. I’m honestly just going to be here to play wherever they need me and stay on my toes.”
Shelton seems like he’s going to be a nice piece for the Chiefs to have, he already wants to compete for his role and he cares about winning, and the Chiefs seem to fit the bill for him. The Chiefs have hosted the last four AFC Championship Games, and have played in two Super Bowls over that span. The Chiefs have only gotten one Super Bowl Championship in the Mahomes era, and helping to fix the defensive line will help their chances of winning another one.
But a championship is not the only reason for Shelton to come to Kansas City, during his press conference he mentioned the coaching staff’s reputation, saying that both defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and head coach Andy Reid were important to his decision.
“I (have) always been a fan of (Defensive Coordinator Steve) Spags (Spagnuolo) and how he runs things and (Head Coach) Andy Reid too so just the opportunity to be out here,” Shelton said. “Obviously, we got these high-caliber players on our team. Just to be around those guys, it excites me to be able to compete with them and hopefully learn something that I can add to my toolbox. Honestly, if coach puts me there, I’ll be ready.”
Danny Shelton will have to learn the playbook fast to get meaningful snaps in the preseason with the starters but his attributes bring new things to the Chiefs’ defense. He is a 6-foot-2, 345-pound defensive tackle who can take on multiple blockers on passing and running plays. Shelton is going to be an asset to Chris Jones and the rest of the defensive line with his athletic ability too, he can really move at his weight and is extremely strong.
He has been welcomed with open arms by his new Chiefs teammates, which has helped his transition to Kansas City. The only question the Chiefs still have to face with Shelton is how much will he play with how deep the Chiefs are at the defensive tackle position.
Chris Jones, Derrick Nnadi, and Tershawn Wharton are going to make the roster, so Shelton will likely push either Saunders or Stallworth to the practice squad. Although Danny Shelton has been a great run stopper, due to his size, he hasn’t been a great pass-rusher in his career. So he might not get a lot of snaps outside of run-stopper packages, which isn’t bad. The Chiefs have had issues with stopping the run over the past couple of seasons and Shelton can hopefully help fix this issue.
“S—t. That’s the job of the interior guy,” said Shelton. “You got to be gritty and just go to work. You’re not always going to have the pretty plays, pretty sacks, and all that — but you’re going to contribute to that sack. You’re taking two, you’re taking three, you’re taking that single guy and pushing him right into the quarterback’s lap.”
The Chiefs seem to have a use for Shelton, and he could prove to be invaluable against run-heavy teams like the Chargers, Colts, Titans, and Rams. Defensive line coach Joe Cullen and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will probably use him as the over-ball defensive tackle, either as a nose tackle or as the one technique. Shelton might not be a three-down starter for the Chiefs but he will bring a big body to help the new-look Chiefs defense.
Look for Shelton to play a little bit on Saturday, if the Chiefs let him, and watch where he lines up. It should be fun to see what he can do for the Chiefs defensive line group and he was a sneaky good signing by Brett Veach right before the season starts.