Center of Defense in the Fold

Dontari Poe

In a move not too surprising before training camp begins on Friday, the Kansas City Chiefs came to terms with their first round pick, Dontari Poe.

With many of the first round picks signed heading into the start of training camp, there was a brief concern that the Kansas City Chiefs negotiating tactics would yield the type of results that would see their first round picks hold out.

But that was more of the norm under the old regime versus the new one. Under Scott Pioli, he might be tough when it comes to the bottom line, but clearly understands the value of getting his top pick in camp on time.

Now that Poe is in the fold he can continue his maturation into a starters role. At the onset of OTA's, the wide eyed rookie from Memphis was a few steps behind. But by the time Mini-Camp ended, he seemed to have a pretty good grasp of the defense.

However, that doesn't mean Head Coach, Romeo Crennel, is going to give him a starting job. Probably the opposite. He's going to make the every down player earn his keep in the NFL.

Granted the Chiefs defense has a hole as wide as the great divide in the middle of the defense that only Poe can fill, it's going to take some time for him to fit into the role and rise to the level of expectations that so often come with a first round draft pick.

But Poe already has a leg up thanks in part to his willingness to attend all the teams offseason workouts without a contract. That's pretty brazen for a young player and it showed me that the reports he wasn't motivated or didn't work hard in college - was mostly made up by lazy reporters who didn't do their homework.

At Memphis, he was an every down player. Often he played three different positions along the offensive line. And late in games, he simply wore out playing on one of the worst defenses every assembled by a Division 1 football team.

But none of that matters now and with his contract signing on Thursday, Crennel and Defensive Line Coach, Anthony Pleasant, have six plus weeks to get Poe up to speed so he can open the season as the teams starting nose tackle.

In Other Chiefs Notes:
Needing depth on the offensive line the Kansas City Chiefs added offensive lineman Tony Ugoh to their roster. The former second round pick of the Indianapolis Colts has never been able to live up to the expectations of his lofty draft status.

In Kansas City, the former Arkansas Razorback, should have a golden opportunity to make the final roster short on experience and depth. With a plethora of young players anchoring the offensive lineman in 2012, Ugoh appears to be a solid fit in the teams youth movement.


WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
With Poe in the mix, how fast do you think he can jump into a starters role?


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