On Friday night, the Chiefs new staring tandem, Smith and Brandon Flowers, were able to face one of the NFL's premier quarterbacks the Saints, Drew Brees.
Last year KC's defensive secondary never was able to overcome the loss of cornerback, Brandon Carr, who left the team in favor of a rich contract with the Dallas Cowboys. But with Smith in the fold this year, Flowers has a strong corner on the opposite of the field that should help the Chiefs defense be more productive on the field than it was a year ago.
You really can't say much about the 2012 Chiefs defense. Simply put, they just weren't all that good. One thing that killed them was a propensity to make mistakes.
"That was one of the things we wanted to harp on this year – we don't want to beat ourselves, make the other team beat us. I think that will take us a long way," Flowers said after Sunday's practice.
This season under new defensive coordinator, Bob Sutton, Flowers and company appear to have a better flow on defense. And if the first quarter of Fridays first exhibition game was any indication of things to come, good things are just around the corner for Flowers and company.
"It's great," Flowers said of the chemistry building in camp. "We put in a lot of time and a lot of hours in the film room. Even when we leave the film room we are always talking about how we are going to play coverages. Every day we have to keep getting better and better and keep building."
And by doing so, that means the Chiefs can begin the process of learning how to win. Though the Chiefs lost 17-13 to the Saints in game one of the preseason, there were some positives. But as the Chiefs get ready to make their 2013 Arrowhead debut on Friday night versus the San Francisco 49ers, Flowers wants to win.
"At the end of the day, you always want to win. If you only play a quarter, you want to win that quarter; if you play the game, you want to win the game. Each team is going to go out there and give it their all like it is the regular season; we just aren't on the field for four quarters. We definitely want to go out there and execute because that gives us momentum for the season going forward," Flowers stated.
Against the Saints KC's defense didn't peal off too many layers of their 2013 defensive blueprint. But that doesn't mean you couldn't see hints of what this defense might look like when Kansas City opens the regular season at Jacksonville against the Jaguars. And that has Flowers very excited.
"We love the scheme, attacking the quarterback, putting pressure on the quarterback, getting him off the spot. As a DB, that helps us out a lot. The ball might get held one or two seconds longer, which gives us time to recover – or it might be a sack. It's definitely helping; we are attacking the quarterback more and more. If we keep giving the offense different looks, it will take our defense a long way." he said.
Now how far Chiefs defense can distance themselves from their miserable 2012 output, remains to be seen. After all, we still must decipher the codes of KC's three remaining practice games and all of Flowers teammates have to get up to speed with Sutton's new defensive playbook.
"It's challenging – the terminology is different, the whole scheme is different – but that's why we're in meetings all day. That's why we're in the dorm – so we can talk about it in our room. That way we can get our chemistry down so we don't have any excuses in the regular season," Flowers said.
If the defense is going to rise the NFL charts and be counted on to make stops in the fourth quarter in 2013, excuses can't no longer be tolerated in Kansas City.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Can Flowers and company get up to speed on Bob Sutton's playbook?
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