Chiefs Defense Looking to Get Better With Age

William BakerContributor IMay 18, 2009

CINCINNATI - DECEMBER 28: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs for a touchdown during the NFL game against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 28, 2008 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Coming in to its 50th season in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs want to make this season golden with new general manager Scott Pioli and new head coach Todd Haley.

The Chiefs defense ranked 31st out of 32 teams in yards allowed with an average of 393.2 yards a game, a drastic drop from the previous season ranking 13th in the league with allowing 319.4 yards. Including allowing 54 points scored on them by the Buffalo Bills.

To combat that, the Chiefs are opting to go with the 3-4 defense strategy from the 4-3 defense. The 3-4 defense which consists of three down linemen and four linebackers, is a strategy currently used by teams most notably the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens—two of the top defenses in the league.

What the 3-4-defense strategy does is that it gives the four linemen in the back a chance to pick up on what the offense may try to do.

The Chiefs are hoping the 3-4 strategy will work in their favor to help stop the pass from opposing quarterbacks. The Chiefs ranked 29th out of 32 teams in pass defense.  It may be a struggle for the Chiefs to pick up right away, especially for their top two picks for the past two years, defensive end Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey, both from LSU.

Both players are used to the 4-3 system and probably will struggle early on. However, help is on the way via Linebacker Mike Vrabel. The 33-year old former New England Patriot, who was traded to the Chiefs this year, is used to the 3-4 defense because of the Patriots usage of it.

Vrabel’s versatility is an advantage for the Chiefs as well. While playing for Patriots, Vrabel started out as an outside linebacker for four years then was switched to the Inside position during that time.

With a new coach and new defense lined up, the Chiefs have their hopes set high. Last year was a year to forget for the Chiefs and its fans and with its 50th anniversary coming up, Chiefs want it to be a year that’s worth remembering.