Chiefs-Raiders: DT Chris Jones credits DL coach Joe Cullen for top-ranked run defense

Through 4 weeks of the season, the Kansas City Chiefs defense leads the league with 65.8 dashing yards allowed in keeping with sport. The growth from final season — wherein the Chiefs ranked twenty first, permitting 117.6 yards in keeping with sport — comes despite 3 consecutive video games in opposition to elite operating backs.

The Indianapolis Colts’ Jonathan Taylor — final season’s league dashing champion — used to be held to 71 yards on 21 carries. Before that, the Los Angeles Chargers’ Austin Ekeler received simplest 39 yards on 14 makes an attempt. And on Sunday, Leonard Fournette of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers simplest carried the ball thrice in opposition to the stout Chiefs’ entrance — for a complete of minus 3 yards.

Chiefs defensive take on Chris Jones has surely what has made the variation: the presence of recent line of defense coach Joe Cullen.

“I’ve been in this system for four years — [and] that’s what’s changed: Joe Cullen,” Jones declared after Saturday’s apply. “Joe Cullen — his demeanor. Our sport plan, the best way he brings out the most productive people for my part and the line of defense crew, we harp on that.

“We take accountability to stop the run. That’s [a] high priority on our list. It gives us the ability to rush the passer once we stop the run. [We] force teams to pass the ball and do what we love to do most: get after the quarterback.”

Jones stated that Cullen has performed this with a various line of defense room that levels from Carlos Dunlap in his thirteenth season to rookie George Karlaftis.

“That’s a competitive group we have in there,” Jones noticed. “We’ve got a lot of guys who are competing for different things in our room. Joe Cullen brings the best out of all of us. He challenges us every day.”

Jones printed that a technique Cullen is doing this is via rotating management amongst all of the gamers.

“He has this thing that he calls The Wagon,” Jones defined. “Basically, you’ve were given to steer each and every drill [and] problem the gang. We’ve were given [defensive tackle] Khalen Saunders as The Wagon presently — and he’s doing an outstanding activity. That’s what it’s all about as a gaggle: being aggressive, difficult each and every different, ensuring we get the most productive out of one another.

“I think it’s a great challenge, because he puts it on one or two people to carry the group, lead the group [and] start every drill — making sure that person brings the energy to the group day-in, day-out.”

Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs

Photo via David Eulitt/Getty Images

The group will want that power after they the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday evening; their operating again Josh Jacobs is coming off a 144-yard dashing efficiency in opposition to the Denver Broncos in Week 4. Jones acknowledges the problem in entrance of his unit.

“Their record doesn’t reflect how good of a team they are,” he famous. “[Raiders head coach] Josh McDaniels is slowly opening up the playbook for them. We’ve got to try to stop — try to slow down —these guys.”

Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo additionally considers Jacobs a danger after his efficiency final week. He predicts the Raiders’ offense will take a look at to select up the place they left off in Las Vegas.

“It’s challenge after challenge after challenge,” Spagnuolo stated Friday of the operating backs his group has confronted so far. “We had Jonathan Taylor. We had Leonard Fournette. It’s now not going to switch.

“My wager is that on this specific sport arising, they’re going to make that a focal point. That again that Josh [McDaniels] has presently — he is aware of is in point of fact excellent.

“He got [Jacobs] cranked up last week, and I would imagine he would try to do the same thing. It’s going to be our job to see if we can get it one-dimensional. And if we don’t stop the run, the other stuff will get ugly, too.”

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