In late July, during his initial press conference at the Kansas City Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnolo was questioned about the leadership ability that free agent Justin Reed had brought to his defense.
The team decided to move on from its former leader, Tyrann Mathieu, allowing him to sign the New Orleans Saints while turning the page on Reid as his best safety. But Spagnuolo didn’t want to discuss Reed’s leadership, and instead decided to bring the safety back.
Justin is very similar [to Mahieu]Spagnuolo said. “I’m not sure now because [he hasn’t] It was in order as the place of Tiran was. I’m not sure anyone will get to that particular spot. But the man who stepped up was Juan Thornhill. I’m talking about it here from the point of view of communication and display management. He kind of took it upon himself, which is what Juan should be doing now in his fourth year.”
The Chiefs picked Virginia’s Thornhill with the 63rd overall pick in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He spent his rookie year and the following two seasons watching Matthew—both on the court next door to him and outside in boardrooms and movies.
“I think he learned a lot from Ty, so that helped him,” Reed said. “He’s taken that leading role there again. He’s an amazing kid. Very, very smart, and plays really hard. I think he’s up his game. He’s one of those guys that’s done that. I’m curious to see how he’s doing once we play the real game. It looks like he’s really upped his game. “.
On hearing the leadership’s statements, Thornhill made it clear that he hadn’t changed much.
“I don’t really feel like I’ve done anything different – just being more honest with the guys,” Thornhill said on Saturday. “Men come to me to ask questions, and they look to me to give them the right answer if they don’t have the right answer, so that’s the only thing I was doing: just trying to be a leader. For example, and if they had any questions, just ask me.”
That position helps, especially because the club drafted safety Brian Cook in the second round of this year’s draft.
“He’s an amazing guy,” said Cook’s Thornhill. “Funny guy, I see him as my little brother. I’ve seen a lot of clips of him in Cincinnati—and I can tell you by now, he’s definitely going to be a hitter.”
Thornhill explained that Cook spends most of his time off the field in a training camp with first-round quarterback Trent McDuffy.
“They hang out all the time — like when (Rashad) Fenton and I walked in, we were basically best friends at the same time, because they’re in the same class,” he said. “With them being together all the time, it will make them better. They study together and play together and that just builds the chemistry. When you two see them together, Justin Reed and I are the older guys out there, and get together? It’s amazing. That’s how you build The best chemistry in the field.”
He is proud of what he saw from the duo during the first two weeks of camp.
“I was once a beginner at some point,” Thornhill said. “I know it takes time to pick up that playbook because Spags’ defense, that’s no joke. I think the guys are doing a good job. It shows they are studying. They make a lot of playing on the ball. They don’t make a lot of mistakes on the field and that’s the main thing. They play with confidence. I love this group so much, and I’m excited for them.”
Thornhill made unexpected waves in mid-June when he announced that 2022 would be the All-Pro season. It’s more difficult to earn an All-Pro title than creating a Pro Bowl roster. While the Pro Bowl rating is based in part on fan voting, the first and second teams are voted on by 50 of the best football journalists across the country.
And when asked on Saturday about his self-confidence, he didn’t back down from his announcement.
“There’s a lot,” Thornhill began. “I feel like last year, I wasn’t confident in my ability due to the fact that I had a knee so I would say the knee is healthier, I have more mental clarity. I feel better everything around me. I just feel like I’m back to myself, and I Able to have this All-Pro season. So I’m definitely here to back up everything you said, and I’m not going to take that back.”
Thornhill had a great rookie season in 2019, the one that saw him top the list Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) Every team is a beginner. Unfortunately, his year ended in Week 17 when he tore the ACL in the final regular season game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Sometimes it takes years for players to recover from such injuries, and that seems to be the case for the fourth year of safety.
“I feel a lot better today than I did two months ago, so I’m still getting better every week,” he said. “I can definitely say that there is a big difference. Last year, I still think about it. I still have knee pain, and now I just play football without pain. I don’t even think about it, so it allows me to make more plays. If I was reading concepts instead of thinking on my knees, I would naturally do more plays, so I definitely feel a lot better.”
Thornhill moved well in St. Joseph, and his confidence in himself doesn’t end there. He loves what Reed, McDuffie, Cook, Fenton and some of the younger defensive players – such as Joshua Williams in fourth and Jalen Watson in seventh – bring to the table.
“The sky’s not the limit. We can get past that. I feel like we have a really good safety group. Players can play on the ball and we’re showing it every week. Players can step in, they’re ‘physically and like I said before, we’re going to be one of the most fearsome defensive back units in the world.” American Football Association.
Speak like a real leader.
You can find the full notes of Arrowhead Pride Pride Analyst Ron Cobb from Saturday’s training over here.
Post practice chat
If you can’t see the above (Apple iTunes), click here. press conferences Also available on Spotify.
- Not exercising (due to injury)CB Rashad Fenton (shoulder), OL Lucas Niang (knee), TE Judy Fortson (quadruple), WR Gary Jennings (concussion), DT Taylor Stallworth (knee)
- leave early WR Daurice (Finger) Fountain
We have John Dixon assembly and production All From Saturday’s tweets here. here it is Tweet today:
Sharp Travis is Back.
Quote from today
Wide receiver Mikkol Hardman on the return of kicks this season: “I don’t mind going back there, at all, and if I need to go back there, I will. But I think (Dave) Top kind of looks at it, for example, if I’m shopping online and it looks like you’ve got Prime and Amazon – There are two different things, honesty. Prime is anything. I think I’m more like Prime. To get there faster, I think I’m already there. When you get into the league, Amazon — it might take a little bit longer to get there.”
The chiefs return to the training ground on Sunday (Day 10) for another lined exercise. The exercise begins at 9:15 a.m. arrowhead time. Here’s the full schedule. The full squad will be available to sign autographs after training as offensive coordinator Eric Benemi addresses the media on the podium. It’s also a day of family fun.