The Chiefs played two variations of the nickel against Manning in 2010 when the Colts grabbed a 19-9 victory over the Chiefs in Romeo Crennel’s first season as defensive coordinator. In that game, Crennel dialed up a unique game plan that called for his base defense to operate out of a 2-4-5 alignment.
Nickel cornerback Javier Arenas tallied more than 50 defensive snaps in that game while third safety Jon McGraw played every defensive snap alongside starters Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis.
In obvious passing situations, Crennel switched to a 2-3-6 alignment.
“So many other teams runs spread offenses, and you don’t see a lot of guys playing the same type of game that’s being played in the National Football League,” Pioli said. “That’s not the case here. The other thing is, with offensive linemen out of Iowa, Kirk is an offensive line coach. Think of all the great offensive linemen that have come through here. I’ve watched him develop players. He’s a great teacher of fundamentals and techniques. They will understand the things we’re trying to teach at the next level much quicker.”
It’s ironic, then, that the Chiefs have selected an Iowa player in each of the past two drafts and neither was an offensive lineman. Tight end Tony Moeaki was a third-round choice in 2010 and quarterback Ricky Stanzi was a fifth-round pick last year.
LSU defensive lineman Michael Brockers has already visited the Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins and the Tennessee Titans, according to a league source.
And he’s scheduled to visit the St. Louis Rams, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and the New York Jets.
Several teams drafting in the top 10 are believed to have Brockers under consideration for their first-round selection as he has drawn high grades from NFL scouting directors.