Chiefs feel good about Dontari Poe

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- One of the first impressions I have gotten from the Kansas City Chiefs' training camp is that Dontari Poe hasn’t been a disappointment to the team.

There have been some indications that the No. 11 overall pick in the April is behind the curve or hasn’t lived up to expectations.

The truth is, Poe has been in the Chiefs’ training camp for less than three weeks. The early returns are not dire, according to several folks with the team I have talked to. The team is actually pleased with the progress the massive defensive tackle is making.

I think a part of the issue is that Kansas City coach Romeo Crennel is being measured with his words about Poe. Make no mistake, however, Crennel hasn’t been critical.

Crennel’s theme when asked about Poe’s progress is that he has a lot to work to do. It’s true. He is a rookie. Rookies have a lot to work to do. Remember, Crennel is an old-school coach. He comes from the Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick mold. These guys have never been known to pump up players just to do so.

Rookies have to earn praise. That’s the approach Crennel has always taken. He always will.

But the key to Crennel’s words about Poe is that he is working hard and he wants to improve. For a player who was questioned about his motivation, that is a positive sign. We don’t know if Poe will be a good player or not. It’s only August 14. But rest assured, the Chiefs have zero buyer’s remorse on Poe. They think he is on pace to become a productive player.

He just isn’t one yet. Nor is any rookie in the NFL.