Cornerback Sean Smith was listening to a question Monday when he heard the reporter mention the Chiefs had one of the best passing defenses in the league a year ago. This compelled Smith to make a small correction.
“The best,” Smith said with a smile.
The Chiefs were certainly among the best, as they finished second in passing yards allowed behind Seattle. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement, especially when it comes to forcing turnovers.
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The Chiefs recorded only six interceptions, tied with two of the league’s worst teams (the Jets and Jaguars), and even a confident guy like Smith will concede that they have to be better at taking the ball away from teams this year, something they’ve been working on throughout camp.
“We don’t want to hurt our own guys, but at the same time, when the ball’s in the air, we have to go attack it,” Smith said. “That’s the only way you work on it.
“No drill we do can get us ready for making an interception. The majority of the time, you don’t even know if the ball is coming to you because we’re always pressed a majority of the time, because we have to turn out heads and the ball’s right there.”
Cornerback Phillip Gaines said the Chiefs are also gunning for the No. 1 spot in passing defense this year, thanks to a ferocious pass rush.
“We definitely did a great thing last year finishing second in passing defense, but this year, we’re going to try to go for it all,” Gaines said. “We’ve got a lot of good pieces. That front seven is amazing. Between Tamba (Hali) and Justin (Houston), you can’t ask for any better pressure than that.”