ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs have five inside linebackers who have started games for them in the past two seasons. But, not counting the presence of veteran Derrick Johnson, they’re still searching for help at those positions.
They made that clear with the recent trade with the Seattle Seahawks for Kevin Pierre-Louis. The Chiefs gave up another inside linebacker, D.J. Alexander, but they viewed him as more of a special-teams player than a defender.
That’s not the case with Pierre-Louis.
“We like him as a linebacker," coach Andy Reid said. “If he can help us on special teams, that’s OK, too. We want to keep building the depth at that position, the competition.
“He’s done special teams. When he’s had opportunities to play [defense], he’s done well. They’ve got a strong linebacker corps [in Seattle]. I think this gives us some depth, or at least an opportunity to. Let’s see how he does. We liked him coming out [of college]. We look forward to getting him in here."
Pierre-Louis hasn’t practiced with the Chiefs. He arrived at training camp too late on Friday after the trade. He said he wasn’t permitted to practice Saturday because Alexander had yet to pass his physical with the Seahawks.
In addition to Johnson and Pierre-Louis, the Chiefs have veterans Ramik Wilson, Justin March-Lillard, Terrance Smith and Josh Mauga at inside linebacker. They also drafted Ukeme Eligwe in the fifth round.
That’s a crowd, so there’s no guarantee Pierre-Louis will make it to the regular season with the Chiefs. He played 34 games in three seasons with Seattle but started just one.
But perhaps a switch to Kansas City’s 3-4 system will help. He played in the 4-3 with the Seahawks.
“I’m a fast guy," Pierre-Louis said. “I’m active. This defense is very active. They get a lot of turnovers. They do a good job on defense. I’m definitely going to be able to fit in and showcase my skill set."