Chiefs still buzzing over DB Ron Parker’s Week 10 performance

  Print article
Nov 9, 2014; Orchard Park, NY; Chiefs defensive back Ron Parker (38) breaks up a pass intended for Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 9, 2014; Orchard Park, NY; Chiefs defensive back Ron Parker (38) breaks up a pass intended for Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chiefs defensive back Ron Parker’s play against the Buffalo Bills looked just fine from the sidelines to coach Andy Reid.

And nothing has changed after the head coach had an opportunity to review the game.

“Parker I mentioned yesterday (Sunday) after the game, played well,” Reid said Monday. “After looking at the tape, I still felt that way.”

Parker produced what many could argue is the NFL defensive performance of Week 10.

The fourth-year pro played all 73 defensive snaps, recording eight tackles (six solo), three passes defenses and a game-changing forced fumble in the third quarter with the Bills driving to potentially go up 17-3.

Parker also shadowed Bills rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who entered Week 10 with 12 catches for 279 yards and three touchdowns in the past two games.

Watkins finished with four catches for 27 yards despite being targeted a team-high 10 times. Parker came up big on the second to last Buffalo possession, knocking away two passes, one intended for Watkins in the end zone.

“He had a big responsibility on covering the rookie wide receiver, who is a good football player,” Reid said of Parker. “I thought he did a nice job there. Then he had the stripped fumble on (Bills running back) Bryce (Brown) going in for what looked like was going to be a score.”

Parker, of course, began training camp as a cornerback before losing out to Sean Smith.

But he more than proved his value as a versatile defensive back for the Chiefs while filling in for Eric Berry for five straight games at strong safety, and then Sunday as a cornerback.

Parker currently ranks second on the team in tackles with 48 (41 solo), and has a sack and forced fumble on the season.

“We ask him to do quite a little bit,” Reid said. “He’s playing two or three positions and playing well.”

BERRY AT FULL STRENGTH

Strong safety Eric Berry logged 51 snaps (74 percent) of the 69 total defensive plays in Week 9 on his return to the lineup after missing five games with a high ankle sprain.

The Chiefs indicated Berry would be back in the mix, and the team wasn’t kidding after Sunday’s game against the Bills.

Berry was one of six defensive players to play all 73 defensive snaps, and recorded six tackles (four solo).

“It was good to get Eric back out there for his second week in a row,” Reid said, “and it looked like he was feeling better and more adjusted.”

Berry joined defensive back Ron Parker, cornerback Sean Smith, inside linebacker Josh Mauga and outside linebackers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston to participate on every defensive play.

LINEBACKER DILLEMMA

The Chiefs activated inside linebacker Joe Mays (wrist) from injured reserve a day before Sunday’s game against the Bills.

While Mays was active, he didn’t see a defensive snap, instead contributing exclusively on special teams where he recorded an assist.

“I thought it was important that he got in and got used to the speed of the game again,” Reid said. “And he did that on special teams.”

Inside linebackers Josh Mauga and James-Michael Johnson drew the start on defense as they’ve done throughout the season, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

“Those guys are playing well,” Reid said, “so you don’t disrupt that.”

Mauga, who leads the Chiefs in tackles with 62 (55 solo), finished the game with five tackles (four solo).

Johnson, who ranks fifth on the team with 35 tackles (30 solo), finished with six solo tackles.

SNAP COUNT OBSERVATION

Rookie outside linebacker Dee Ford logged two defensive snaps and 14 special teams plays. Ford logged zero defensive snaps in Week 9 after seeing a season-high 16 snaps in Week 8.

Rookie cornerback Phillip Gaines logged no defensive snaps after starting at left cornerback in Week 9 and nickel cornerback in Weeks 7 and 8.

There’s an explanation, however.

“Gaines had an ankle sprain the week before,” Reid said. “So that’s why Chris Owens took over during the game.”

Owens, who returned to action after missing three straight games with a knee injury, logged 56 defensive plays (77 percent).