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Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo Identifies Areas of Improvement For Defense

Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo recognizes his defense wasn’t the best it could have been at the beginning of his first season at the helm of the Chiefs' defense.

Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo recognizes his defense wasn’t the best it could have been at the beginning of his first season at the helm of the Chiefs' defense.

In a conference video call with reporters on Tuesday, Spagnuolo said last year made him realize what his defense has to do to improve in 2020.

“Well, first and foremost … we need to begin the season better, in my opinion,” Spagnuolo said. "[Anthony Hitchens] and I talked about this yesterday … but we knew there were going to be bumps in the road early with regards to feeling out coaches, players and what we had, what they could do, the new system and the whole thing.”

As the season progressed, so did the defense. In the first six games of the season, the defense allowed an average of 24 points per game. For the rest of the regular season, they allowed 16.4 points per game while holding four opposing offenses under 10 points.

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When the lights were the brightest, the Chiefs’ defense played the best. In the playoffs, the Chiefs allowed 24 points per game in their three games.

“We went through some rough patches but really because of the assistant coaches we have, we just kept pounding the details over and over and over and over, and the guys [were] embracing it and not getting frustrated with all the walkthroughs we had and all the reps that we took,” Spagnuolo said.

The Chiefs took a step in the right direction in 2019 as last year’s defense ranked seventh in the league in points allowed compared to 32nd in 2018.

Going into his second year as Chiefs DC, Spagnuolo said he hopes the kinks are already worked out heading into Week 1.

“My hope is that we’re past that and it would be really nice if we could come out of the blocks and play good defense at the beginning of the season and not wait. I think we maybe felt like it was seven or eight games before we really got in the groove.”