There have been a lot of changes this offseason for the Kansas City Chiefs. And the team’s defensive coordinator will have his work cut out for him.
The Kansas City Chiefs overcame a 3-4 start in 2021, finished 12-5 and won the AFC West for the sixth consecutive year. Andy Reid’s team had its problems hanging onto the football at times. But the good news was that after a sluggish seven weeks, the Chiefs regained their opportunistic touch.
After forcing seven turnovers in their first seven outings, Reid’s squad came up with 22 takeaways in their final 10 regular-season outings. Including playoffs, Kansas City was 11-2 in their final 13 contests – both losses to the Super Bowl-bound Bengals.
This offseason, there were quite a few notable defensive departures. The list includes safeties Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorensen, both who signed with the Saints. Linebacker Anthony Hitchens was released by the franchise. Cornerback Charvarius Ward inked a deal with the 49ers and defensive tackle Jarran Reed joined the Packers.
That’s quite a few changes for Spagnuolo’s unit. And when asked this week about those proverbial “growing pains” that come with a revamped unit, the coordinator was pretty blunt (via Ed Easton Jr. of ChiefsWire.com)
“There’s no question about that. Yeah, there’s gonna be a lot of new faces, there’s youth, the system’s new to a lot of the guys even if they’re not young. I’m going through an eyeball, ‘What should we do shouldn’t we do all the time.’ I’m throwing a lot at them right now and they’re probably talking that way — the volume is huge right now for a reason. You know, find out who can handle it, who can’t.
“We’ll never go into a game with all of this. So there’ll be mistakes out there that normally I don’t think we would make. There’s going to have to be some growth, you know, within the game, so to speak. There’s going to be — we’re going to have to live with some growing pains…”
That being said, Spagnuolo appears optimistic when it comes to overcoming those “growing pains.” I believe that, hopefully, we can overcome them. But I think that’s the only way we’re gonna get it to where we need it to go. Because you’re right. You just look at some guys are going to have to step up there and play.”