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Pre-Camp Reads: Looking at DL Jaye Howard

Posted Jun 27, 2016

Over the next few weeks, we will be taking a closer look at players on the Chiefs roster

He was a member of the “Magnificent Seven,” which were the seven players picked up on the waiver wire by Kansas City Chiefs general manager before the start of the 2013 season.

Defensive lineman Jaye Howard, who originally entered the league as a fourth-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2012 out of the University of Florida, was given an opportunity to thrive in Kansas City after playing sparingly as a rookie for the Seahawks.

Four of those seven players—Howard, linebacker Dezman Moses, cornerback Marcus Cooper and safety Ron Parker—are still on the roster three years later.

After playing just 22 defensive snaps for the Seahawks in 2012, Howard has seen a steady increase in playing time over the past three years for the Chiefs, going from 48 snaps in 2013, to 437 in 2014 and then 750 snaps last year.

That increase in playing time also led to an increase in production, enough that Howard signed a multi-year contract extension with the Chiefs this past offseason.

The financial impact of getting that contract means everything to Howard, whose family grew after his first season with the Chiefs when his wife gave birth to twin sons in April of 2014.

“Throughout this whole process with me being in Seattle and coming here picked up off of waivers, they've been my motivation,” Howard said at the time. “My sons and my wife—just having them present in that moment meant a lot to me."

SEASON REVIEW

Howard signed that contract coming off the best season of his four-year career.

He saw a career-high in tackles (36), sacks (5.5) quarterback hits (9), tackles for loss (11) and fumble recoveries (2) in 16 games with 13 starts last season.

Perhaps Howard’s best trait is his ability to play all up and down the line of scrimmage in defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s defense. He played both right and left defensive end, as well as the nose tackle position right over the opposing team’s center in the middle of the trenches.

That versatility gave Sutton plenty of options to be creative in how and where he decided to bring pressure, but when Howard and company were challenged to stop the run with his fellow front seven defenders, they came through.

In third-and-1 and fourth-and-1 situations last season, Howard and company ranked No. 1 in the NFL in allowing a first down just 44.1 percent of the time.

Howard tied for the team lead with 11 tackles for loss last season.

HOW HE FITS

Howard rejoins one of the deepest and most talented defensive lines in the NFL, and they’ll have a new position coach as Britt Reid was promoted this offseason.

“We got a good coach in Coach (Britt) Reid,” Howard said. “He’s been someone I can talk to and he’s definitely helped me on the field. Just learning how to play with better technique.”

Current Look at the Chiefs Defensive Linemen

#

Name

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

Age

Exp.

College

97

Bailey, Allen

DL

6-3

288

27

6

Miami (Fla.)

96

Howard, Jaye

DL

6-3

301

27

5

Florida

95

Jones, Chris

DL

6-3

308

21

R

Mississippi State

93

King, David

DL

6-4

281

26

2

Oklahoma

99

Nunez-Roches, Rakeem

DL

6-2

307

22

2

Southern Mississippi

92

Poe, Dontari

DL

6-3

346

25

5

Memphis

94

Staten, Jimmy

DL

6-3

311

25

1

Middle Tennessee State

79

Ta'amu, Alameda

DL

6'3

348

 

3

Washington

98

Williams, Nick

DL

6'4

309

26

3

Samford

2016 OUTLOOK

Howard’s combination of size, strength and speed is a valuable asset to one of the strongest defensive line units in the NFL, and his return only further solidifies this group moving forward.

“We’re building something special here in Kansas City and I just wanted to be a part of it,” Howard said. “For me, being able to play along the line with Allen Bailey and Dontari Poe meant a lot to me. Those are great players and we work well together.

“We’ve seen it this past Super Bowl what Denver did on the defensive side of the ball. I feel like we can be just as good, if not better.”

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