The Kansas City Chiefs defensive line has a few question marks following Sunday’s preseason opener loss to the New Orleans Saints. The lack of pressure from the first team in their time on the field led to unanswered points from the Saints in their opening drives.
Chiefs defensive line coach Joe Cullen has dealt with an early personnel shuffle due to injuries, suspension, and Chris Jones’ holdout. The unit still features pass rusher George Karlaftis in his second season.
Still, the experience could be better on the line as they try to patch things up before Saturday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. Cullen addressed the ongoing holdout of Jones and revealed he’s still in communication with the 29-year-old during Wednesday’s press conference.
“I’d say this, Chris (Jones), in my opinion, was as good as, if not the best, … defensive player in the league last year,” said Cullen. “I do stay in touch with Chris. Chris is working hard. We’ll welcome him with open arms when he gets back here.”
Jones was dominant last season, tallying 15.5 sacks during the regular season and earning All-Pro honors. Cullen is confident in his current group of players but understands the importance of having a talent like Jones in the lineup.
“I talk to him about him staying in shape,” Cullen said after being asked for details on the conversation. “Eventually, this thing will get done, and he’ll be back here at practice and leading us.”