KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dontari Poe was no insignificant factor in the Kansas City Chiefs offense the past two seasons. The 345-pound Poe, a nose tackle by trade, was given a role in the backfield on some goal-line plays and provided three touchdowns, two on runs and one by throwing a touchdown pass during a Christmas night win over the Denver Broncos last year.
Poe is gone, having departed recently for the Atlanta Falcons as a free agent. The Chiefs are presumably going to need a replacement for him in the personnel groupings they refer to as Hungry Pig.
Fellow defensive lineman Chris Jones lobbied publicly for the role at times last year as a rookie. This week, seeing the opportunity with Poe gone, Jones again announced his interest in becoming the Hungry Pig.
"I'm the best athlete for this position," the 310-pound Jones said as the Chiefs gathered for the start of their offseason workout program. "Unfortunately we don't have a 345-pounder anymore so we've got to look (to) the more skillful, the more athletic, the more shifty type of guy. Not to toot my own horn but that's me. I've done told coach (Andy) Reid about it a couple of times. He just laughed about it. I just don't know if he takes me serious or not. I'm going up there with a straight face. Everything I say, he thinks I'm playing, I guess.
"It's just a matter of time. Cam Newton, Dak Prescott, Tim Tebow, I said I was going to be that. It's just a matter of time. You've got to wait. You just can't rush greatness, baby. I'm going to be out there doing a little Cam Newton, dropping back."
After Poe threw his touchdown pass -- throwing is a generous term because his form was more akin to that of shooting a basketball than tossing a football -- Jones was happier about it than Poe, even though he was standing on the sideline at the time.
"I keep on telling Alex (Smith), we are coming for his position, man," Jones said then. "We aren't playing with him. We are not playing. We are quarterbacks. I keep on telling everybody. We are just big quarterbacks. We have the softest touch."
Whether or not Jones is the Chiefs' next hungry pig, he still has a bright future playing on defense. Jones, the Chiefs' second-round pick last year, played well as a rookie and his playing time should increase in the fall.
He'll have to succeed without the veteran Poe, a player he looked to for guidance last season. He often followed Poe's lead on things such as diet.
"I used to watch what he'd eat," Jones said. "He used to eat four eggs, oatmeal, cut up half a banana and put it in the oatmeal. I didn't like it but I still ate it because Poe ate it.
"I used to be his shadow."