Kansas City Chiefs fans were quick to take a liking to linebacker Nick Bolton when the team drafted him in 2021, but none could have predicted that he would play such a crucial role for the team during their Super Bowl LVII win.
Now entering his third professional season, Bolton is a tested veteran and the keystone in the middle of Kansas City’s defense. He spoke to reporters on Monday as Phase I of the offseason program began, explaining his expectations for the 2023 season. It appears the Chiefs’ coaching staff will be asking just a little more of him as the team looks to defend its championship title.
Asked specifically about where he saw growth in himself last season, Bolton made it clear that his rise to leadership in Kansas City’s defense was one of his most cherished accomplishments.
“I think my leadership role is ever evolving,” He explained. “It’s kind of just one of those things that just keeps growing as we keep going and I’m loving it. So I feel like that’s the next challenge going into this year – I’m trying to up my level of communication (and) leadership – that’s one of the biggest thing I know that’s going to be needed for this season.
“And also, man, just being around the guys, being around your brothers is something you miss. You don’t really realize until, boom, it’s over with and you just got to experience a couple of months by yourself, and you miss those guys. So, getting back in the building with those guys, man, it’s going to be fun. I’m excited for when we get back in the building.”
Clearly, Bolton’s enthusiasm to get back to work with his teammates is a good sign for his trajectory as the team’s defensive leader. Kansas City will need him to make good on every ounce of promise that he has shown in 2023 if they intend to remain the reigning Super Bowl champions for another season.