Pro Bowl nose tackle Dontari Poe was so valuable to the Kansas City Chiefs last season he rarely came out of the lineup. Pass situation or run, first quarter or fourth, close game or blowout and Poe was on the field for the Chiefs.
That’s not strange for a linebacker like Derrick Johnson or a defensive back such as Eric Berry. But Poe goes well over 300 pounds and it’s unusual for a player of his size to see so much playing time.
Look for Poe to continue to get plenty of work again this season. The Chiefs failed to add a nose tackle of any quality, leaving them without a viable candidate to take his place, even for a handful of snaps.
“He’s a unique guy,’’ coach Andy Reid said. “You go in and do these conditioning tests and he’s 340 pounds or whatever he is. His body percent fat is zero. He’s goes out and runs these things and is the first guy out front with the big fellas. He’s one of those guys. He’s a unique character.
“To get him off the field you have to pull him off. He’s not one to tap out. That’s not how he goes. You monitor that the best way you can. We didn’t see a decline in his play as the season wore on. There are a handful of teams that do what we do where you play certain guys a high percent of the plays.’’
Those players usually aren’t defensive linemen. So it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Chiefs to search for a nose tackle capable of giving Poe some occasional rest.