The Chiefs’ defense got its first taste of how the re-emphasized defensive holding and illegal contact rules will be enforced in their preseason opener against the Bengals last Thursday, and let’s just say the results were … interesting.
In all, the Chiefs were whistled for defensive holding five times and illegal contact once.
“I think you’ve got to adjust to it because of the new rules,” Chiefs secondary coach Emmitt Thomas said. “There will be a lot of flags thrown.”
The re-emphasis of the rules, which prohibit defenders from grabbing receivers or putting their hands on them beyond 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, will obviously reward offenses. But it also will reward defenders with the speed and technique to stick with receivers without grabbing.
The Chiefs’ current group of cornerbacks aren’t necessarily known for their blazing speed, but Thomas said he expects them to adjust to the rules accordingly, nonetheless.
They certainly seemed to do fine in Wednesday’s practice, racking up two interceptions in team drills and numerous deflections and they seemed to get the best of the offense.
“I just think that once the season gets started, we’ll get acclimated to their calls and the way certain officials call the games and we’ll be able to adapt,” Thomas said. “But that’s part of the process.”