OTA #3 Observations – Poe A Starter?

When the Chiefs No. 1 defense hit the field on Thursday for OTA #3 working inside at defensive tackle was first-round draft choice Dontari Poe. It was the Chiefs sub-defense, or a version of the nickel, and Poe was actually in to rush the passer.

And on the second play, Poe split the gap between C Rodney Hudson and RG Jon Asamoah and came roaring up the middle of the pocket, right in the face of QB Matt Cassel. The pass was thrown earlier than Cassel wanted to get rid of it.

If Poe can provide that type of middle of the pocket pass rush pressure along with playing stout enough to stop the run inside, then the Chiefs may have something here.

“If you remember, I told you when we drafted him that he had some pass rush ability and might be able to fit in on the sub,” Crennel said. “In the situation that we’re in right now, we’ve lost a couple guys, particularly (Wallace) Gilberry, who was our sub-rusher, so now we have to plug somebody in there. He’s got the ability that you might want to plug in there.

“I will not say that he has more ability to help us out pass or run. He has enough ability to help us out on both of them. It just depends on how quick he picks up on both and how he does on the field.”

Right now, Poe appears to be making the adjustment from college line play to that of the NFL.

“I know that he was able to get into the pocket and affect the quarterback,” Crennel said of Poe’s college career. “Even though he didn’t get the sacks and stuff like that, he was able to get into the pocket and make the guy move or something like that.”

Some other observations:

Watching the quarterbacks

Among the 3 quarterbacks on the roster, the guy who threw the ball best on Thursday was Brady Quinn. He appears to have solid mechanics in his drop and has smoothed out some rough edges that were visible in his motion going back to Notre Dame. Matt Cassel threw several nice passes, but he was high on his throws during much of the session. Ricky Stanzi was OK.

“I think they’re beginning to gain a command of the system and some of the checks that we have in place,” Crennel said. “They’re all doing well. Probably, Brady and Matt are a little ahead of Stanzi right now, but they’re all working at it. They’re a good group in that room, so we feel good about them.”

Already making friends with Cassel

One of the most impressive players in the first two OTA sessions the media was allowed to watch was TE Kevin Boss. In the long run, he may be the best free agent signee of the off-season for Scott Pioli. First of all, he’s a big target at 6-6; Tony Moeaki is 6-3. He’s also a smooth route runner and he’s got nice soft hands. He catches with those hands, which means there are seldom going to be any bad bounces off his body, the kind that go for interceptions in the middle of the field.

On Thursday, it was easy to see that Cassel was already looking for Boss as passing plays unfolded and he ran through his progressions.

Make no mistake that next to a solid running game, the quarterback’s best friend is a tight end that can get open and Boss has proven that throughout his career.

“He’s a big body and he’s played on winning teams,” Crennel said. “I’ve seen him block, I’ve seen him catch the ball, he’s got soft hands, so I think that he’s going to be a good addition.”

Here’s how the No. 2 defense lined up

Along the line were DE Amon Gordon, NT Anthony Toribio and DE Allen Bailey. At linebacker it was Andy Studebaker, Caleb Campbell, Cory Greenwood and Cameron Sheffield. In the secondary were Jalil Brown, Donald Washington, Kyle McCarthy and Javier Arenas.

For those keeping score at home

It’s only May, but here was the No. 1 kickoff coverage unit as they lined up Thursday: (from left to right) CB Jalil Brown, LB Cameron Sheffield, S Kyle McCarthy, WR Jeremy Horne, LB Cory Greenwood, K Ryan Succop, RB Shaun Draughn, WR Terrance Copper, CB Javier Arenas, LB Andy Studebaker and TE Jake O’Connell.

6 Responses to “OTA #3 Observations – Poe A Starter?”

  • May 24, 2012  - cychief24 says:

    Poe is what the defense really needed to go from Good to great.

  • May 24, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    The sharpest tools in Cassel’s pocket is a strong running game and 10-15 yard passes.

    The running game, from here, looks really good.

    The answer to ten yard pass plays are tight ends and slot receivers. From here they look really good.

    If Poe becomes that monster in the middle, I will take back every bad thing that I’ve thought about Pioli.

    And that’s a lot.

  • May 25, 2012  - KC_Fanactic69 says:

    Since long before the combine I had been looking at Poe. With his size & athleticism he can’t help but be a force to reckoned with up the middle. I was absolutely ecstatic when they announced his name as our #1 pick at the Chiefs Draft Party. If he can keep his head on straight & play up any where close to his potential I am betting he will turn an already good defense into a great one. He certainly has the tools, the teammates, and the coaches to do so.

  • May 25, 2012  - bhive01 says:

    We need these draft picks to stay healthy and get some playing time. I like that Poe is showing up to play. I think he’s got a lot to prove to the team and the fans and he seems to be up to the challenge.

    Sad that Quinn is throwing better than Cassel, but not surprising.

    Bob, could you elaborate more in the future about Stanzi’s progress? I’m wondering if he will develop into a better QB or if he’ll just fade into nothingness like Croyle did.

  • May 25, 2012  - aPauled says:

    Not a good sign that Cassel is throwing high…in shorts. That was happening early last season as well. Leads to picks and receivers getting laid out when the pads go on.

    All of the progress that was made in the O-Line, Running game and Defense could be offset by the biggest concern in the Chiefs line-up…QB play. Quinn may be a capable backup but he’s not a guy we want on the field much. This season is largely about Matt Cassel…and he needs to respond accordingly.

  • May 25, 2012  - Justin D says:

    What’s with all the walking wounded? They need a better stretching program to get these guys loose – especially the new guys need to be indoctrinated into the program early. They also need a Wiegman there to tell them “you have missed more practices already than I have in the last 10 years.” Take care of your body…

    I certainly hope Cassel can bring his game up, otherwise we are in for a long season.

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