Chiefs’ goal for pairing Jarran Reed with Chris Jones: ‘Wreak havoc’ – NFL Nation
A pairing of Jones and Reed in the interior of their defensive line should help both players see more one-on-ones.
“I’m here to relieve some of those double teams,” Reed said. “The goal is to come in and wreak havoc. We’re here and we’re ready to unleash.”
Reed and Jones, despite seeing a lot of double teams, have been two of the NFL’s top interior pass-rushers, albeit for different teams. Reed had 19 sacks — including 10.5 in 2018 and 6.5 last season — over the past three years for the Seattle Seahawks. Jones had 32 sacks over the past three seasons for the Chiefs, including 15.5 in 2018 and 7.5 last year.
Since 2018, Jones is second in sacks among defensive tackles behind only Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams. Reed is fifth after Donald, Jones, DeForest Buckner of the San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts and Fletcher Cox of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Chiefs are looking to improve a pass rush that was 20th in the league in sack percentage last season at 5.7%.
“It allows them hopefully to get there with four [rushers],” former New York Jets and Miami Dolphins general manager Mike Tannenbaum said of Reed’s signing. “[Reed is] an underrated player. He’ll be a great complement to Chris Jones. [Opponents] are going to double Chris Jones on almost every play. Reed will get a lot of one-on-ones. Frank Clark will. That’s a good front the Chiefs have. So I’m a huge believer in this signing. “
Tannebaum was the Jets’ general manager from 2006 through 2012, when they were in the AFC East with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Those teams often featured strong interior pass-rushing teams aimed at disrupting Brady. The Jets during that time twice reached the AFC Championship Game, once beating Brady and the Patriots in the playoffs on the way.
Later, with the Dolphins and again in the same division with Brady and the Patriots, Tannenbaum signed a top interior pass-rusher, Ndamukong Suh.
“We just felt like with Brady the best way to impact him was with a quick, interior pass rush,” Tannebaum said. “The thing about the Reed signing for the Chiefs is that it’s not about sacks. It’s about getting the quarterback off his spot.”
The Chiefs don’t have Brady, now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in their division or even on this year’s regular-season schedule. But a Reed-Jones combination might have helped against Brady and the Bucs in Super Bowl LV, when the Chiefs had problems generating pass-rush pressure.
Jones was the biggest target of opponents’ double-team blocks among Chiefs pass-rushers last season. He got the double team 160 times, 14th in the league. Reed saw 198 double teams for the Seahawks, fourth highest in the league.
Jones had a pass-rush win rate of 17.5% against two blockers, which was fourth best. Reed’s success rate was 6.1%. The league average was 7.9%.
“Jarran’s just a complete player,” said new Chiefs center Austin Blythe, who as a member of the Rams in recent seasons played frequently against Reed. “He can rush the passer, he can stop the run and he’s pretty athletic doing both of those things so I’m excited to be able to team up with him.”
Reed came late in developing his pass-rush skills. He had just two sacks in two collegiate seasons at Alabama and was known primarily as a run-stopper when he came out for the draft in 2016.
He had 1.5 sacks in each of his first two seasons with the Seahawks but said he learned from some of Seattle’s best pass-rushers.
“I challenged myself in practice every day,” Reed said. “My coach, Clint Hurtt, challenged me as well every day to just continue to get better. I watched Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, those type of guys who excelled in the pass-rush game and I took me some bits and pieces and worked every day in practice and just continued to work to get better and it started paying off for me on the football field.”