Red Zone

Chiefs search for more sacks from the middle of defensive line

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning fumbled the football in the first quarter after a hit by Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle Jaye Howard during a game last November.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning fumbled the football in the first quarter after a hit by Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle Jaye Howard during a game last November. deulitt@kcstar.com

With Justin Houston and Tamba Hali not in training camp due to injury, a spotlight shines on the middle of the Chiefs’ 3-4 defense to generate some pass rush.

It’s been a solid camp for the position group of defensive tackles and ends. Starters Jaye Howard, Dontari Poe and Allen Bailey have been superb. Chris Jones, the second-round draft pick from Mississippi State, has earned praise.

“We’ve been putting pressure on ourselves since day one,” Poe said. “It’s up to us to carry this team just as much as anyone else to see how far we can take it. It doesn’t matter who is in or who is out, we have to perform at a high level every day.”

The interior line accounted for 14 of the team’s 47 sacks last season. It might have to come up with a higher percentage with Houston’s return time uncertain.

 

Chiefs' 2015 sack leaders

LB Justin Houston7.5
LB Tamba Hali6.5
DE Jaye Howard5.5
S Ron Parker5
DE Allen Bailey4.5
LB Derrick Johnson4
LB Dee Ford4

Kansas City Chiefs defensive back Daniel Sorensen appears to be making an impact as Eric Berry's replacement. Nick Foles appears to have back-up quarterback slot.

Blair Kerkhoff: 816-234-4730, @BlairKerkhoff

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