Kansas City Chiefs: Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown and Analysis

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Kansas City Chiefs: Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown and Analysis
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Defense was the driving force for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. The unit binged on sacks and turnovers early in the season, helping to key a turnaround from 2-14 to 11-5 in one year.

However, when injuries took their tollspecifically on edge pass-rushers Justin Houston and Tamba HaliKansas City's defensive excellence disappeared.

Without consistent pressure, the Chiefs' secondary was suddenly and routinely exposed.

It didn't help that opponents had second-guessed a scheme which had become predictable. Coordinator Bob Sutton favored single-high coverage concepts behind his array of blitzes.

But without his best athletes available to get after the passer, Sutton's undermanned defensive backfield made for easy pickings. Players such as former free safety Kendrick Lewis and rookie cornerback Marcus Cooper suffered horrid spells during the second half of the campaign.

Hoping to avoid a repeat of this Jekyll-and-Hyde defensive showing, the Chiefs retooled at key positions during the offseason.

General manager John Dorsey wisely used the team's top draft choice to get Sutton another dynamic, outside pass-rusher in the form of Dee Ford.

The rookie's presence should ensure the Chiefs don't fall into the trap of being overly reliant on Hali and Houston again. It also means Sutton now has another weapon to use to help craft some terrifying pressure concepts.

New bodies will also be available in the secondary, courtesy of both free agency and the 2014 NFL draft. However, Sutton will also have to incorporate a few cover men from last season's roster into more expansive roles.

Here's how the position-by-position depth charts look, along with some analysis about how the Chiefs will utilize their personnel once the season begins.

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