While there have been a lot of trends this offseason in the NFL, a new one is emerging among player classification, so we had to assess – which Chiefs have the most dog in them?
Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus
Charles Robinson @CRob5769
Lead Writer – @ChiefsFocus
2021 was a year where several big splashes were made by young quarterbacks around the NFL.
Justin Herbert apparently became the most dominant quarterback in the AFC West while still not having made the playoffs.
Joe Burrow led the Bengals to a 10-7 record on a last place schedule to lead the Bengals to a Super Bowl berth. Lucky for him two of those victories came against the apparently washed-up Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, in which the KC coaching staff elected to shut down all brain function in the second half of each game, particularly the AFC Championship.
Mac Jones also, surprisingly, led the Patriots to a resurgent year after the Cam Newton experiment failed post-Tom Brady. Young Macorkle came straight from the Nick Saban frying pan at Alabama into the Bill Belichick fire in New England and performed admirably for a quarterback on a team brazenly committed to running the football. Who could forget his historic 2 for 3 for 13 yard performance in the Patriots signature win of the season at Buffalo?
Jones performance, and the reputation he’s developed with his teammates, earned him some high praise from tight end Jonnu Smith earlier in the week. Smith classified Jones in a way that is becoming more and more popular in the football world in 2022 – he said Jones has a lot of dog in him.
Dogs have been synonymous with aggression and manliness for quite some time now. In football terms, the earliest internet evidence that is well known for needing “more dogs” on a football team dates back to a now infamous 2011 press conference by former Coastal Carolina head coach David Bennett. In his presser (linked here), Bennett passionately tells the media that his team needs less cats, and more dogs. Perpetually true, on and off the football field.
Last year, Nelson Knapke of Bishop Luers high school in Indiana gave an interview where he described several of his teammates – some of the best on the team, presumably – as “dogs”. Emphatically. Let’s be honest, this kid rules.
In all reality, the dog comparison for football players does fit pretty well. There are obviously other animal likenesses that can be drawn on the field of play. “Heart of a lion” has been used time and time again as a label for guys who absolutely won’t quit, no matter what. Offensive lineman have often been classified as hogs, rooting back to the 90’s Washington R****ins. Many quick twitch players have been lauded for their cat-like reflexes, and in some instances these guys are even as fast as cheetahs.
However, as we all know cheetahs are more of a high-end hunter’s game. More often than not they will take the bait from the super-rich and end up as more of a wall ornament than an actual useful specimen. But if these captive cats get lucky, they may end up finding a stray duck to snatch every couple of Sundays.
But the Jones “dog” comparison got me thinking – who on the Chiefs has the most “dog” in them? The quick answer is essentially everyone on the roster. When you has sustained success like KC has experienced over the course of the last 6 seasons, you have to have a solid group of old dogs leading the pack, and be able to re-up with new litters of thoroughbreds every year. The Chiefs are certainly a team that isn’t close to a “rebuild” anytime soon, but they do tend to have to reload every offseason after key departures and roster shake ups. But they continue to end up at or near the top of the league. Why?
Because they’ve got dog in them.
It starts at the top with head coach Andy Reid. This man has so much dog in him that I’d like to scratch behind his ear and rub his belly. Coach Reid doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his personal resiliency – a byproduct of his dogness. Whether it’s bouncing back from a difficult end of his tenure in Philadelphia by coming to Kansas City and absolutely dominating the West, or overcoming some far more challenging hurdles in his personal life, Andy Reid embodies the dog mindset for this team.
But who are the biggest dogs in the lockeroom? This could get very, very long winded, so I decided to narrow this down to the two most dog guys on offense and two doggiest dogs on defense in Kansas City. I could make a case for everyone returning from last season’s roster as bone-afied (see what I did there?) dogs. 3-4 start turned into a 12-5 finish and realistically a couple blown play calls away from a third straight Super Bowl after the entire world had written you off? Dog.
Defensively the dog mindset is far more prevalent than it is on offense, in my opinion. The term “pin your ears back and go” is used a lot for defensive linemen and linebackers – terminology developed based off the the tendencies of…you guessed it…dogs.
You can’t have a list of Chiefs defenders who have dog in them without including second year linebacker Nick Bolton. Bolton has so much dog in him that they won’t even deliver mail to the team facility when he’s around. His nose for the ball is uncanny, much like that of a basset hound or bloodhound, and his pursuit is similar to that of German short haired pointer on the trail of a game bird.
Let’s not write our second defensive dog off because he had a little bit of a down year last year. He was injured – let’s not forget – and even the best dogs can be not-so-themselves when they’re nursing injuries. Frank Clark is a certifiable dog off the edge of the defense, and I believe he’s primed for a hell of a comeback in 2022. He’ll get to a QB by absolutely bodying them like a rottweiler, or getting after their ankles like a Maltese. The man is versatile and smooth and is coming into the season looking as lean as ever – perhaps more Doberman this year.
Offensively the first dog is easy – Travis Kelce is literally a human Labrador. Not only is his energy nonstop, his athleticism for his size is impressive. He’s loyal. His energy is contagious and non-stop, and if you’re having trouble picking your favorite player on the Chiefs – much like people have trouble picking out a breed of dog when they get into the market – he’s always a safe choice, just like a lab.
The second dog is a dirty, dirty dog. A bulldog. Trey Smith – you have the most dog in your in probably the entire NFL. The only kinds of dogs that do the things that Trey Smith does to people are in the pound, so the actual dog comparisons kind of stop here, but you know what I’m saying. The man just moves people out of his way, something by removing parts of their body or uniforms in order to achieve this, and has a nasty streak. While he may act more like a neglected dog – mean – he’s still got a ton of dog in him.
Of course there are more Chiefs with plenty of dog in them – Chris Jones, Creed Humphrey, Patrick Mahomes, Willie Gay, Orlando Brown Jr, L’Jarius Sneed – but again, we’re already at 1,250 words and if you’ve made it to this point in the blog you’re probably wondering how the hell you got here anyway.
Honorable mention to defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi. A dog on the field, and a friend of the dogs off the field. His contributions to the KC Pet Project have been significant and he’s helped get hundreds of dogs off the street in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Huge shoutout to the boy for that.