Is it time to stop the jokes about our 3-4 DEs? It has become a popular thing to do since the Chiefs switched to the 3-4 and drafted Tyson Jackson with the 3rd overall pick. Talking about the wasted top five picks, talking about Dorsey being out of position, talking about trading Dorsey, talking about Jackson being a huge bust as a #3 pick, and most of all talking about how the alleged role as a “block eater” in the 3-4 defense is just a cover so that these two guys don’t look so bad.
Most agree that the KC defense is on the verge of becoming an elite unit. However, when we talk about the Chiefs defense it is always the linebackers (Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, and the emerging Justin Houston) and the secondary (Brandon Flowers, Brandon Carr, Eric Berry, and even Kendrick Lewis) that get all the love. The general view is that our defense is excelling despite our defensive line, not because of it.
But now comes this interesting tweet from the insightful people at ProFootballFocus:
Interesting number – KC duo of Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey are 1-2 in the NFL for 3-4 DE stops.
Well, that may be all well and good, but they still aren’t sacking the QB. This “that’s not their job” nonsense is just something fans and maybe the GM say to make excuses for them. When have you actually heard the man who runs the defense say that’s what their job is?
Oh, wait a minute, how about this from Romeo Crennel’s season ending press conference?
The thing about our defense is that I know everybody wants the third pick or whatever to be the sack master, the run stopper and all that, but in our defense, our lineman, they make it happen for Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali and Justin Houston so I tell them just make the plays you are supposed to make and many of those plays occur in the running game and everybody, they’re not all excited about a guy making a tackle at the line of scrimmage.
So not only are they making more stops then any other 3-4 DEs in the NFL, but they are doing a good enough job of occupying blockers that 50% of the Chiefs’ starting LBs are going to the Pro Bowl and a third was named the Chiefs rookie of the year.
Not too shabby for a “draft bust” and a guy “playing out of position.”