Anthony Pleasant needed four years to understand his role in an NFL defense. And in the classroom of Bill Belichick, Pleasant learned that stout run defense, not sacks, was the telltale sign of a quality defensive lineman.
Pleasant stresses that same focus to his players as the Chiefs’ defensive line coach. And he can sense that Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey–the Chiefs’ starting defensive ends–fully understand their roles as they enter their fourth season together.
“Our guys (Jackson and Dorsey) are the grunt guys,” said Pleasant. “It’s not a glorified position. In our 3-4, we want guys playing the run.”
Burning questions: Who wins the backup quarterback job, Brady Quinn or Ricky Stanzi? … When will Charles and Moeaki return to full health after 2011 ACL injuries? … How will first-round NT Dontari Poe perform in his first NFL camp? … How will newcomers Peyton Hillis, Eric Winston and Stanford Routt impact the Chiefs?
Fearless prediction: The new surroundings in Kansas City will be just what the doctor ordered for RB Peyton Hillis to show off the skills that made him a productive back in 2010. Paired with Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs will return to having one of the league’s top-five rushing attacks.
Fantasy nugget: It will be dificult to predict how Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis will share carries, with so much hinging on Charles’ health. But owners can be confident in selecting Hillis knowing he will get touchdowns. In his breakout 2010 campaign, Hillis had 13 total touchdowns (11 rushing, two receiving). In that same season, when Charles rushed for 1,467 yards, he found the endzone on the ground only five times.
Kansas City is like Buffalo. The Chiefs are a good team that had a bad year due to injuries and other issues. The Chiefs, like Buffalo, could be much better in 2012 than their ‘11 record indicates. Another loss makes it 4-9.