Defensive Line going through changes


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Jan 22, 2006
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Defensive line going through changes
Bad back has Browning out of action, so Chiefs have added veteran tackle Burton.
The Kansas City Star
RIVER FALLS, Wis. | - A new face joined the Chiefs’ defensive line on Monday, an old one took a seat, and another was stuck again with the second string.

And coach Herm Edwards says don’t read anything into it yet.

Edwards said Monday that veteran defensive tackle John Browning will likely be out six weeks because of a recurring back problem. That means he may not be available for the season opener against Cincinnati, and it led the Chiefs to acquire journeyman tackle Shane Burton.

Burton, who last played with Carolina in 2003, was in uniform as two-a-days resumed Monday. He’s 32 and has battled knee problems for the last two years, but Edwards said Burton has a shot. So do about 12 other guys.

“For the defensive line,” Edwards said, “probably, at the end of the day when we start the season off, there’s going to be six of them running with the first team. You’ve got to understand that. Because we’re going to rotate these guys.

“They’re not going to play 60 plays. It’s impossible for them given what we’re asking them to do. We’re asking our guys to run.”

Browning has been battling back problems for much of his career, but he’s still managed to play 121 games for the Chiefs. For the first part of camp, he was working with the lower units.

That’s where former first-round pick Ryan Sims was again on Monday, with the second string, while newcomers Ron Edwards and James Reed ran with the No. 1 defense.

Edwards said Sims is working on consistency issues. He insisted Sims hasn’t been demoted.

“We have real high expectations for him, and there’s a certain standard we want him to play at,” Edwards said. “We’re going to try and help him do that, and he’s putting forth a good effort to do that.”

The Chiefs have revamped their defense, loading up with Pro Bowl talent in the secondary and at linebacker. The interior line has been one of the biggest question marks heading into the fall.

Like a couple of other recent acquisitions, Burton has a history with Edwards. He played for him in New York in 2001. Burton has made 49 starts in his career, collecting 294 tackles and 18 sacks. He also played in three postseason games.

“He’s a tough guy,” Edwards said. “He plays very, very good with his hands. He’s a very smart guy.

“It’s kind of amazing — the year I was there, he had like six batted balls. He does a great job of just rushing, getting his hands up in the passing lane and knocking down balls.”

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