One of the story lines that most Kansas City Chiefs fans are following during training camp is the development of first round pick, defensive tackle from Memphis, Dontari Poe.
It wasn't long after Poe was drafted that Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli came out and said one of the things they loved about Poe was his versatility to be able to play in the Chiefs base defense, as well as the sub-set defense. Considering they spend about 50% of the time in both of these defenses, it's important to have some players that can play in both schemes. It's that versatility that should serve Poe well as he's already taking first-team reps in walk-through's at training camp in the sub-set defense, playing next to Allen Bailey along the defensive line.
Most Chiefs fans will tell you that it takes a few years for defensive lineman to properly mature into NFL players. Especially those entering 2-gap schemes like Romeo Crennel and the Chiefs defense currently use. Chiefs fans can recite these defenses for giving defensive lineman time to develop because they've seen it with Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson in recent memory, and they've been conditioned to understand that it takes some time to see that return on your investment.
It might be smart of the Chiefs to plan on bringing Poe along slowly because one of the things he has going for him right now is an elite combination of strength, size and quickness. If you try and throw too much at him at once and you get him thinking, it could slow him down. Thus taking away one of the things that makes him so special.
If the Chiefs can throw just enough at him from day-to-day that he maintains his quickness and explosiveness, then he'll be on the right path.
I personally figured that as a rookie that Poe would really show flashes of what he could do while playing most of his time in the sub set defense. By bringing Poe in on 3rd down you're simply asking him to get after the quarterback, free from a lot of thinking and more about strength, size, quickness. Which obviously suits him well.
Dontari Poe held his ground in 2 on 1 drill making sure the Guard didn't get 2nd level.
When it comes to the part of the game that tends to take younger defensive lineman longer to develop, maybe Poe is further along than we might think as well. This tweet from Nick Jacobs of TWC Metro Sports in Kansas City should be exciting for any Chiefs fan right now. One good day of practice and maybe one good rep doesn't mean that he's 'made it', but let's not ignore good news either and so far Poe has been bringing Chiefs fans good news.