Late Thursday morning marked one of those NFL circumstances that only happen once in a while – a new player accepting a contract while the team is still in practice. At 10:29 a.m. Arrowhead time, ESPNit’s adam schefter alerted the masses: defensive end Carlos Dunlap was a leader.
Less than 30 minutes later, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo took the podium for his first official press conference of the 2022 season.
“I know there are discussions about us signing a player,” Spagnuolo said cautiously. “I don’t know if there is pen to paper at the moment so I won’t be going there. I had the opportunity to speak to him last night. It was a good visit and then I’ll let coach (Andy) Reid deal with it. Ok guys? And I’m sure we’ll have a chance to talk about this player in the future.
That’s when friend of Herbie Teope site of The Kansas City Star cleverly followed by a hypothetical signature of Dunlap.
“You’re going to do this to me, aren’t you?” you will do this?” Spagnulo laughs, before answering. “I’m always happy to add tall, tall guys, aren’t I? Who have experience, who have played in the league.
Dunlap comes in at 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds — and he’s been playing in the league since 2010.
“But I’ll be honest with you,” Spagnuolo continued, “I know something about the player from afar. Right? But until we get him here and figure out where we can best use him – and that’s exactly what I told him [Wednesday] night we talked.
As Spagnuolo gets to know Dunlap in the coming days, the 12-year-old veteran can take comfort in being greeted by a familiar face. In his own presser Thursday, defensive tackle Chris Jones revealed the two worked together this past offseason in Miami.
“I always said to him, ‘I’d like to play with you, do you know what I mean?’ said Jones. “Guys like Carlos Dunlap, Justin Houston – guys who set the standard when I was in the league. You know, I watched some of their movies when I first came to the league, so it’s always a pleasure to be around this type of character guy.
A major part of the Chiefs’ trade for Melvin Ingram midway through last season was what it would mean for Jones – and how the Chiefs could return him to his native defensive tackle position. Ingram got into the mix and Jones returned to his comfortable spot which made for better play.
Ingram choosing the Miami Dolphins over the Chiefs surprised Jones – but he likes what Dunlap can bring to the table.
“Experience is one of the things,” Jones, 28, said of what Dunlap brings to the Chiefs. “We have a young [defensive line] group this year, quite young for me – I’m like one of the older guys in the group. I think [he can] bring a lot of experience, a lot of wisdom to the group. He can also influence the group with his leadership ability. We would love to have it.
Spagnuolo agreed with Jones as he described his defensive line room.
“A bit young, no? A bit young and experienced, but I think we have good options,” the defensive coordinator said. “I think it will be one of those years where it takes us three, four, five games – hopefully as we win – where we figure out where everybody goes and who should do that and who should play.
“I just think it’s one of those years with all the new faces.”
And on Thursday, the Chiefs added another to the mix.
If you don’t see the above integration (Apple iTunes), click here. The press conferences are also available on Spotify.
- Did not train (due to injury): CB Rashad Fenton (shoulder) OL Lucas Niang (knee) OL Prince Tega Wanogho (leg)
- Limit: S Justin Reid (undisclosed) – the Chiefs noted that Reid was doing “good” after practice.
Tweet of the day
Our John Dixon compiled everything tweets from Thursday here. here is tweet of the day:
Veteran DE Carlos Dunlap signs one-year contract worth up to $8 million with KC Chiefs, his agent @DrewJRosenhaus confirmed.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 28, 2022
This tweet didn’t originate in the Chiefs’ camp — but since it’s the one many Chiefs fans have been waiting to see since the start of the offseason, it’s our “tweet of the day.”
quote of the day
Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo – after discussing how much he might need to cut defense given the new faces in the roster: “I hope I don’t have to answer that question again. Are we done with this one?
The Chiefs return to the practice ground Friday for their second practice open to the public. Practice begins at 9:15 a.m. Arrowhead Time. Here is the complete program. Every team member will be available to sign autographs after practice as Head Coach Andy Reid speaks to the media from the podium.