KANSAS CITY, Mo. – New Chiefs defensive lineman Vance Walker, who signed a three-year, $13 million free-agent contract last week, won’t ever be accused of lacking in confidence.
Nov 10, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants guard Kevin Boothe (77) defends against Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Vance Walker (98) at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
And he’s in a good spot to showcase his versatility joining a Chiefs defense that produced six Pro Bowlers in 2013.
“They can’t double team all of us and that’s without blitzing,” Walker told the Chiefs media during Monday’s conference call. “I’m very excited.
“I consistently believe that if you get a one-on-one rush you have to win, there is no doubt about it. I think that’s an opportunity for anybody that doesn’t get double teamed, and even if you’re getting double teamed you push the pocket.”
The fifth-year pro out of Georgia Tech pointed out his ability to play the run and rush the passer as to why he’s a good fit for defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s scheme.
While the Chiefs rotate the defensive line during passing situations, Walker’s pass-rushing skills could allow him to stay on the field, a situation he looks forward to.
“I would hope so,” Walker said. “It’s also on me to prove to those guys what I’m capable of doing, and once I do that I’m sure John Dorsey will do exactly what he feels is necessary to help the team. I know I’m capable of doing both of those things, stopping the run and rushing the passer, easily.”
Walker’s exact role has yet to be determined, but his contract, which included $3.75 million guaranteed, and timing of the signing points to major playing time.
With last year’s starting defensive end Tyson Jackson now with the Atlanta Falcons, the Chiefs have a player who can play defensive end or defensive tackle to allow Dontari Poe a break when necessary.
“Even if he needs a breather or whatever be the case, I can do all of those positions,” Walker said.
In the meantime, the Chiefs still need to address the backend of the secondary at the free safety position, but the front seven appears to be in good shape.
Walker’s enthusiasm to work on a defense with so many proven playmakers was hardly contained during the conference call.
He arrives with plenty of playing experience, having appeared in 73 games with 26 starts split between the Oakland Raiders (2013) and Falcons (2009-12). For his career, Walker has 119 tackles (82 solo), 8 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
So what does a confident Walker predict for the 2014 season with his presence on defense?
“I just think it’s a good opportunity and I really fear for offenses this year,” Walker said. “It’s going to be something terrible for them.”