Andy Reid Cites Leadership for Defensive Success

Fresh off another victory on Sunday, coach Andy Reid talked about the leadership from his defensive stars

The Kansas City Chiefs, winners of five of their last six games, defeated the New York Jets 24-10 Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.

Led by the defense, the Chiefs have shined throughout this stretch of games.  

They rank No. 2 in the NFL in scoring defense, giving up just 17.3 points per game. They also currently rank No. 1 in the NFL in pass defense, giving up an average of just 199.4 yards per game.

Part of the reason for that success is the play of outside linebacker Justin Houston, who currently leads the NFL with 12 sacks.

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Reid said he's been impressed with the way Houston has conducted himself as a leader this season.

"I've seen it at practice every day," Reid said of Houston's leadership. "He puts a lot of pressure on himself. He also puts it on the players around him, but he has a personality where he's funny. He can kind of keep it loose. He knows when to crank it and when to loosen it up.

"He's developed a good feel for that."

Houston is consistently one of the last players to leave the practice field for the Chiefs, going through his regular routine of hitting the bags after practice, something fans got to see every day at training camp.

According to Reid, the rest of Houston's teammates understand the kind of work he puts into his craft and that the success out on the field is just a reflection of the work he's putting in day in and day out.

"They see his work at it," Reid said of Houston's work ethic. "[Houston] and Tamba (Hali) are constantly doing work in between when the one offense is out doing their practice part of it and the one defense is on the sideline.  

"The guys know and Justin (Houston) will probably tell you he learned a lot of that from Tamba, the way Tamba goes about his game."

Reid said the work ethic of Hali was a good example for Houston when he arrived in Kansas City.

"Tamba's a relentless worker too so it's always good for a young guy to see that," Reid said. "A lot of the credit goes to Tamba too with being able to teach Justin and then for Justin to stay with it and continue to take it to another level."

Photos from the Chiefs week nine match up against the NY Jets

On Sunday, the Chiefs also saw the return of three-time Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry, who hadn't played since Week 2 against the Denver Broncos.

With the Chiefs defense playing a lot of sub-groups against the Jets, Berry saw 74 percent of the snaps for the Chiefs defense in his first action in more than seven weeks.

Injuries to cornerbacks Chris Owens and Jamell Fleming kept them out of the game and Berry saw more action at safety, so fourth-year player Ron Parker, who had moved from cornerback to safety just a few weeks ago, mixed in at a few defensive back positions on Sunday. 

"He played corner, he played nickel and he played safety [Sunday]," Reid said of Parker. "That's pretty good for a young guy to do. He gives you a lot of flexibility there."

Overall, the Chiefs defense shined in the areas coach Reid will constantly point to as crucial to their overall success.

"I thought we did a nice job defensively on third down," Reid said. "The Jets were 4 for 12 there and then we were able to hold the Jets to zero points in the second half, which was very important."

Reid also mentioned the play of inside linebacker Josh Mauga, who spent four years with the Jets before signing during the offseason with the Chiefs.

"(Josh) Mauga doesn't get a ton of credit for what he's doing right now," Reid said. "He's leading the team in tackles and led the team in tackles [Sunday] with 10."


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