Chris Jones relishing position shift on Chiefs' defensive line

Jacob Lang
St. Joseph News-Press
Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones (95) celebrates a win over the Miami Dolphins last season. Jones said he is happy with his progress in making a switch from the interior to defensive end for the 2021 season.

After becoming a mainstay in the Kansas City Chiefs defensive front over the last few seasons, Chris Jones is finally making the transition to his preferred spot on the line. 

"I came in the league originally a D-end, it was just unfortunately we had guys that excelled at that level when I came in, as Justin Houston and Dee Ford," Jones said. "So I waited my time, and thank God, it finally happened for me." 

Jones began working extensively at defensive end during the team's minicamp two weeks ago. Now as the team looks ahead to next month's training camp, fans can expect Jones to play more in the new spot alongside his role in the middle of the line. 

A two-time Pro Bowler and two-time second-team All-Pro, Jones has been one of the Chiefs' most productive players on the defensive front. Over the last three seasons, Jones has compiled 32 sacks playing on the interior. 

With a move to the outside, Jones said he will need to continue working on his technique. 

"I've got to get that adjusted and I think I'm transitioning well," Jones said. "It takes a little time, but I think it's been very productive during the OTAs and veteran minicamp and we're going to try to transition to training camp and continue to improve." 

With Jones moving to the end, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said it gives the team a lot of flexibility with the amount of talent on the defensive front. With players like free agent signee Jarran Reed coming in to help on the interior, Reid said the move will help play to Jones' strengths. 

"I know he likes getting out there to rush the passer," Reid said. "He's looked pretty good doing it here in shorts, so we'll see how it works out with pads on." 

With Reed suiting up next to him for the first time during minicamp, Jones said he's been impressed by the Alabama product's work ethic. 

"I'm honored to work alongside a guy like Jarran Reed," Jones said. "With him being in the mix, I think it not only can help improve this line but help improve this defense." 

With his strengths as a pass rusher, Jones said he thinks he will flourish on the outside. 

"I think there are more advantages on the outside because of the fact you can't really double-team," Jones said. "You can chip, but you're not really getting as many double-teams as a three-tech(nique) would in this defense, so I'm excited about that." 

Jones said he's excited to contribute on the defense, no matter where he's playing. With his versatility, he said he's comfortable wherever he lines up. 

"I don't mind rushing left, right – I'll stand up and rush from the middle as a linebacker if I have to," Jones said. "I'm just excited to learn this position, learn the drops – Cover 3, Cover 2 drops, man drops. So, I'm still learning and progressing well." 

The Chiefs are scheduled to begin training camp in St. Joseph on July 28.