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Old 11-08-2013, 11:41 PM   Topic Starter
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Kathleen Gier:Chiefs defensive line coach sees Poe only getting better

Chiefs defensive line coach sees Poe only getting better
By KATHLEEN GIER
The Kansas City Star
Veteran defensive line coach Tommy Brasher has seen a lot of things in his 25 years of coaching football. But he’s never quite seen anything like this year’s undefeated Chiefs.

Brasher came out of retirement last season to join Andy Reid’s staff in Philadelphia. And when Reid was hired in Kansas City, Brasher decided to follow him here not knowing much about the group he’d be joining.

“It was a real bright spot for me,” Brasher said of the Chiefs’ defensive line. “After being out of the game seven years I didn’t have any idea what was here. I came in and the first thing I did was watch all 16 of the Chiefs’ films from last year and I developed a high opinion of these guys not only in their physical attributes, but the way they played the game and the way approached the game.”

He inherited a line that featured two players who had yet to live up to their potential as high first-round draft picks, second-year nose tackle Dontai Poe and fourth-year end Tyson Jackson, and a veteran in seventh-year end Mike DeVito.

Brasher said Poe specifically stood out because of his size and speed standing 6 feet 3 and 346 pounds.

“Dontari Poe is a very unusual physical person,” Brasher said. “He is a big, powerful man who has quickness and is very smart. He has a great feel for the game. I think he has a great future.”

Brasher has helped bring the best out of his linemen. Jackson has two sacks and 20 tackles and DeVito has made 19 tackles, but Poe leads the group with 4 1/2 sacks and 36 tackles. Brasher said Poe, drafted 11th overall in 2012, could eventually stack up with some of the best players he has coached, like Hall of Famers Cortez Kennedy and Reggie White.

“I think it’s a little early in his career to compare him to those guys, but he certainly compares favorably with the best I’ve ever coached at this point in his career,” Brasher said.

The Chiefs defense is ranked first in the NFL in fewest points allowed, eighth in total defense and third in passing defense after winning just two games last season.

“This week we didn’t play as well as we had the previous eight weeks and yet we found a way to win,” linebackers coach Gary Gibbs said of the Chiefs’ 23-13 win at Buffalo on Sunday. “We know we have some playmakers on defense and those guys have stepped up. They’ve stepped up big in the fourth quarter.”

The Chiefs held Buffalo scoreless in the fourth quarter while recovering a fumble for a touchdown and forcing two turnovers on downs and one punt.

Poe said they still have plenty to improve on, but for now, they need to carry on as is.

“We have to keep being consistent,” Poe said. “That’ll be our goal, to keep going and keep getting better as a team.”
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