Five regular season games and two game saving plays later, even the Chiefs brass have to be shaking their heads at Knight's ability to put himself in the right place when it counts the most.
This past Sunday, for the second time this season, Knight did what he does best. He made a play. Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell had lofted a game tying pass towards wide receiver Santana Moss, who had beat Chiefs cornerback Dwayne Washington, and was streaking towards the end zone. Knight read the play and hustled over to break up the play and turn the ball back to the offense to run out the clock.
Game set and match Chiefs defeat Redskins 28 - 21.
Knight has brought something special to this team. Yeah, he's a leader. Yeah, he's like a coach on the field. It goes deeper than that. Knight is clutch. Knight is a gamer. Sure, cornerback Patrick Surtain and linebacker Kendrell Bell were THE free agents of the offseason. Without Knight, the Chiefs could be 1-4.
"I think Sammy Knight has brought a lot to this football team and is a true pro," head coach Dick Vermeil said. "I'm echoing statements I've made a number of times. A very smart player, very aware player. If you watch him closely during a ball game you'll see him directing traffic out there, moving those young linebackers out front. He knows what we should be doing when they change formations on offense. He's like a coordinator on the field. He just plays well and good things happen when he plays.
Bringing Sammy Knight in was somewhat of a gamble for the Chiefs. The Chiefs already had a Pro Bowl safety in Jerome Woods, and to bring in Knight as opposed to making a play for a high profile defensive lineman, could have blown up in their collective face. Not to mention the fact that Knight had a reputation for being slow, and that maybe his best days were behind him.
"Someone said he's not fast enough to make plays, but he made them didn't he?" Vermeil gushed. "Doesn't matter. He had 35 interceptions and they said he wasn't fast enough to make plays."
Knight is proving to the Chiefs and everyone else that he may be the premier safety in the AFC. He's brought a new attitude to the Kansas City Chiefs' defense, and his hard-nosed, hustle style of play is starting to permeate through the defense. It was evident in the Chiefs' play on the field, and it's evident when he talks to the team, like he did last Saturday.
"I just talked about being accountable to ourselves and accountable to each other, especially when people are in the right place and trying to limit big plays. It's a new defense and it's still going to take time, but I think we're improving week by week. I think that we show flashes of greatness and then we fall back. It's just up to us to get that consistency and continue to grow."
Led by Knight, the Chiefs probably will.
Sammy Knight Shows the Way
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