Chiefs Film Room: Goodbye, Trevathan and Jackson!


Last week, I used this space to gush over the job John Dorsey did in first few hours of the free agent frenzy.

However, not everything that happened during said frenzy gave us cause for celebration. There was the whole, “let’s make an example out of the Chiefs” tampering penalties brought by the league, a piece of our outstanding safety depth bolted, and then we lost our top corner to a division rival on, what I believe to be, a deal Dorsey should’ve matched. So yeah, inevitably, there were some parts to free agency that weren’t fun. But you know what was fun? Seeing the Broncos lose two key cogs of their defensive juggernaut!

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Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan are two very talented football players, no doubts about that. So seeing them bolt for the Jaguars and Bears, respectively, was incredibly welcome news. Now, you may be wondering, “why are we going to look at two former Broncos in the Chiefs Film Room?”

Well, the answer is twofold – first, this is a major case of addition by subtraction from the Chiefs point-of-view. These guys brought it every single game and made life difficult for the Chiefs offense in 2015 (as we’ll see). Second, Rod Streater didn’t play a meaningful snap in 2015, and only suited up for three games in 2014, leaving the amount of material available for a film study sparse, to say the least.

Now that your inquisitive mind has been satiated, let’s jump into an enemy edition of the Chiefs Film Room featuring Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan.

Danny Trevathan

While the outside linebacker tandem of Miller and Ware received the lion’s share of the glory in 2015, the duo of Marshall and Trevathan in the middle really solidified the Broncos front seven. Trevathan, in particular, is what teams desire in a modern-day inside linebacker – athletic enough to cover most tight ends and running backs pretty well, and physical enough to attack downhill in the run game.

This latter point is where Trevathan’s play stood out when I re-watched his two games against the Chiefs.

Trevathan (59) right ILB /

This play occurred during our traumatic Week 2 meltdown at Arrowhead. Trevathan does well of flowing with play while keeping himself square to the ball-carrier. He also shows great patience before committing to the point of attack, and is subsequently rewarded by avoiding the pile-up at the line. When Knile is forced to cut back, Trevathan diagnoses it and proceeds to completely stone Knile in his tracks.

While the above play is standard fare for a solid inside linebacker like Trevathan, this next play perfectly sums up why I’m not going to miss seeing #59 in 2016. Keep an eye on Eric Fisher and the guy he attempts to block.

Chiefs /

I hate to say it, but Trevathan made the much improved 2015 Fisher look like the much maligned 2013 Fisher on this play. Brushing off a block from a left tackle like it’s nothing, and then proceeding to make the stuff on a running back is one heck of a play. It’s comforting to know that we won’t be seeing much more of that when we take the field against Denver in 2016! John Fox is a wise man for bringing Trevathan into the fold at Soldier Field.

Malik Jackson

The loss of Trevethan was big, which means the loss of the Jackson massive. It would be hard to argue that Malik Jackson wasn’t one of the top two or three players on the Broncos defense over the course of the entire 2015 season. The guy wreaked havoc all game long by consistently generating interior pressure on quarterbacks and blowing up run plays at the line of scrimmage.

Chiefs /

Malik Jackson is the defensive lineman on the right (obscured by the upright) and he absolutely abuses my fellow Canuck, LDT. While he doesn’t record a pressure or a sack on this play, he instinctively gets directly in the passing lane after tossing aside his man, and causes Smith to hold on to the ball for too long. Yeah, definitely not going to miss seeing that.

Jackson (97) right DE /

And the guy didn’t make things easy for our running backs either. Here’s a play where literally three Chiefs block/chip him when the ball is snapped. Jackson, undeterred, sheds his two primary blockers and chases Charles down from behind, holding him to a small gain. Now I’m not saying he’s worth the $90 million the Jaguars gave him, but when you have oodles of cap space, spending it on a guy who can do that isn’t the worst idea.

Danny, Malik, it was fun while it lasted, but I’m glad you both decided it was time to move on. I’d be lying if I said I was going to miss seeing you guys twice a season, because you both can flat out ball. Now if you’ll excuse me, Chiefs Kingdom and I have to make sure that everyone knows that our defense is, definitively, the gold standard of the AFC West. (It is, right? Right?!)