Poe should be completely recovered from last year’s back injury during training camp and become more productive this year. He took a dip last year but his presence was still felt by offenses who tried to run the ball. Poe consistently faced double teams by centers and guards and his main duties called for him to plug holes and push the play outside to be eaten up by the linebackers.
This season Poe will again be called to plug gaps but his speed and burst should be improved by being healthier which will help him in passing situations. Poe may not get more tackles than last season but we should see more sacks. No one is challenging him for top dog in camp.
Not enough can be said of Howard and his desire to win. Many thought that come March, Howard would find himself on another team but he decided that his chemistry with his teammates and the success the Chiefs had in 2015 meant he could win with this team. Howard spent his time stopping the run and sacking quarterbacks which is everything you want in a defensive end. Against the Denver Broncos, Howard shined with 11 tackles and a sack over the two games.
Look for Howard to be the primary mentor of Chris Jones and spend the most time with him on the field. With Howard on one end and Jones/Bailey on the other the Chiefs should be able to limit the running games of every team they face.
This could change by the end of training camp. Bailey is a beast on the line and he showed it by getting 38 tackles, 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in only 12 games. Bailey’s calf strain during a practice drill derailed what could have been a career year and he will look to take that back this year. Waiting in the wings though is 2nd round pick Chris Jones who boasts some physical prowess of his own.
Bailey should start camp as the defensive end opposite Jaye Howard but by camp’s end both he and Howard should be sharing snaps with Jones. If his calf injury flares up at all again then it will be Jones who steps in and starts once the regular season begins.