Anthony Hitchens: If we get run defense settled, we should be a top five defense

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It took some time for the Chiefs to settle into defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s system last year, particularly when it came to stopping the run, but they wound up winning the Super Bowl so the growing pains wound up being worth it.

The Chiefs would like another ring this year and linebacker Anthony Hitchens thinks the defense can pull more weight this time around. Only one starter from last year’s unit has left the team, which is a plus because Hitchens believes “it’s hard to play fast if you don’t know all the details” and the team has now learned the details of what Spagnuolo’s asking them to do.

“Once we get that going with the run game, like definitely not making any predictions or anything like that, we should be a top-5 defense. . . . I just think it’s more of the run defense than the pass defense,” Hitchens said, via the Kansas City Star. “Once we get that settled, complete and make it a defense, we’ll be good for years to come.”

Hitchens’ fellow linebacker Reggie Ragland is the one starter gone from last year. Second-round pick Willie Gay is a potential replacement and Hitchens believes he has “a lot of tools that you need to stop the run,” so the rookie could be in line for early playing time if those tools translate to the professional level.

15 responses to “Anthony Hitchens: If we get run defense settled, we should be a top five defense

  1. “Once we get that going with the run game, like definitely not making any predictions or anything like that, we should be a top-5 defense. .

    Isnt that making a prediction? Not hating I like the Chiefs and can not wait to beat them in the Super Bowl This season!

  2. Considering that a team’s run defense is about half of its overall defense, I would agree with him.

  3. The Chiefs D struggled early in the year but down the stretch the last 6 games of the regular season they were a top 5 defense.

  4. Hey Bellichek letting Miami score after Brady put
    .
    them up with 3 minutes to go.Fitz marched right down the field and

    cost us the bye that KC got.

  5. Same kind of statement I have made about Seahawks. Just stop the run, stop the pass & put pressure on the QB. If you just figure that out, you’ll have a top tier defense.

  6. Emmanuel Ogbah started 4 games, had over 400 defensive snaps.
    Reggie Ragland started 7 games, had 235 defensive snaps.

    That’s two defensive contributors who left the team after gaining a SB ring. Holes to plug up, going forward.

  7. Run defense is probably the most important for the Chiefs given that the best way to beat them is probably to control the ball and keep Mahomes off the field.

  8. cebert44 says:
    May 17, 2020 at 1:47 pm
    Hey Bellichek letting Miami score after Brady put
    .
    them up with 3 minutes to go.Fitz marched right down the field and

    cost us the bye that KC got.
    ————————-
    Belichick and that defense carried Brady. Was it legal? Probably not but that is still the case until Roger and Kraft break up.

  9. Can we all agree that the Chiefs fans on here have been the least obnoxious of any champion in 10 years? Thanks for being better.

    -Seahawks fan

  10. Umm Anthony…. we lost our best CB to Washington and the other one just got arrested for about 5 different crimes, and let’s not forget how horrible Ward is…. Run defense might get better, but if a QB fades back to pass, Defense is in trouble! Honey Badger can’t cover the entire field.

  11. The Chiefs should have a good pass defense again as only Fuller left. The best part of their defense is Mahomes. Mahomes and the offense are going to usually score 30-35 points so their run defense isn’t going to be needed as much. If the defense plays like they did at the end of the season last year, this will be a very scary team.

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