For a large man who enjoyed eating barbecue, Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe seemed to have the best of both worlds by growing up in Memphis and moving to Kansas City for his professional career.
Poe wanted to be a smaller man for his second NFL season, though, and that meant it was time to ratchet up the willpower and resist the charms of the fine pitmasters in both towns. He succeeded at what he called “the hardest thing I’ve had to do since I’ve been here,” and dropped between 15 and 20 pounds off his frame.
“I eat a lot of eggs in the morning, eat a lot of protein, grilled chicken, grilled fish, stuff like that,” Poe said, via Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star. “I’m trying to cut out the beef and the pork and stay away from the fried foods. And stay away from the barbecue.”
The weight loss appears to have paid off for Poe. Covitz called Poe “near-unblockable” in Chiefs practice and reports that he’s been staying on the field for all three downs because his added quickness allows him to rush the passer as well as hold up against the run. Mike Mayock of the NFL Network was at a recent Chiefs practice and echoed the rave review for Poe’s play.
Nothing really counts until there’s an opposing player in your way, but the prospect of a leaner and quicker Poe joining the Chiefs defense is yet another reason to think last year’s 2-14 record will look nothing like the Chiefs’ final mark this year.
That’s good news for Kansas City, as is the fact that there will be a little more barbecue available with one less person in the city eating it.