One On One: Jason Dunn

Dunn can be a threat in the passing game.

Memo to the Kansas City Chiefs: Get Jason Dunn the damn ball. Now, I know the man can block. At 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds, Dunn was born to keep defensive ends and linebackers away from quarterbacks and ball carriers. But the thing is that defenses have gotten used to seeing Dunn close to the line of scrimmage, and they aren't respecting him in the passing game.

Dunn is not the prototype for a pass-catching tight end. He shouldn't have to be. He's still got the ability to be effective in the passing game, and the Chiefs should take advantage. At training camp last year, quarterback Trent Green threw Dunn a pass over the middle. Dunn deftly plucked the ball out of the air over his shoulder and turned upfield. The only player standing between him and the end zone was a single safety. Running full speed, Dunn didn't try to juke the defender. Heck, he didn't even change direction. Dunn ran right through the would-be tackler like he didn't exist, as if he was a figment of a spectator's imagination. He didn't even slow down.

Physicality. That's the element Dunn brings to the passing game.

"One thing that you don't want to do is to become predictable, and I think teams last year towards the end of the season started figuring out that (I'm) not going to go down the field," said Dunn. "Hopefully we're able to give them couple of surprises, and hopefully I can be a part of that in the passing game a little bit more. We're starting see more of the three tight ends coming in, and hopefully they get some passes downfield as well."

Jason Dunn? Deep threat? Terror of safeties across the NFL? Imagine the weapon he could be in the red zone. With that big body he could shield opposing defensive backs (and linebackers for that matter) from the football. He could be unstoppable. The only question is who'd lift him after touchdowns?

"That's definitely in my plan," said Dunn with a sly grin. "We'll have to see what the coaches think. With a big body in the red zone, hopefully I can get up against a defensive back."

"We'll have to see how the season goes and how many catches I end up with, and hopefully they might run me out on some deep routes," added Dunn with a roaring laugh. "Keep them off guard, you know, keep them honest."

The conversation turns serious when Dunn is asked about what it's like to have left tackle Kyle Turley next to him after having Willie Roaf on his hip for the last five years. I asked Dunn to compare the two. After all, he is an expert on blocking.

"Willie, surprising as it is, as big as he is, he gets around the corner pretty fast," said Dunn. "Kyle is a technician about what he does. Both of them are. They're both good left tackles, and Willie's one of the best in the game, and Kyle's definitely up there, too, on his way to being one of the best in the game. He's still effective with what he does."

"They're both aggressive, and that's what you look for in a left tackle, someone who's going to go out there and get after defensive ends, guards and linebackers. Their styles are kind of similar, but the difference is one guy's a technician and one guy gets around the corner. You might think it would be a role reversal, with someone smaller getting around the corner, but Kyle's technique's sound and he takes a lot of pride in that. Willie did that too. He did everything and he did it right."

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