Chiefs’ Jones fins new ways to stay healthy

Kansas City's Chris Jones has added yoga and pilates to his offseason conditioning regimen in an effort to stay healthy.

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Sports

August 6, 2021 - 1:47 PM

Chris Jones

In late March, a couple of weeks into the offseason, the Chiefs telegraphed plans for one of their most drastic changes. They reached an agreement with free agent Jarran Reed, though the consequence of the signing required a core player to switch positions.

When they ultimately approached Pro Bowler Chris Jones about moving from the interior of the defensive line — which Reed occupies — to the edge, Jones had a one-word reply.

“Finally,” he said.

In truth, Jones has always wanted to play defensive end, even as he racked up 38 1/2 sacks over the past four seasons. Finally provided the opportunity, his preparation began almost immediately.

With film. With workouts.

And yoga?

Yes, yoga — in addition to his normal pilates routine — became a regular part of Jones’ summer. A very regular part of his summer, actually. He found himself completing a yoga or pilates workout about three times each week.

But how does that relate to his position change?

“I usually do the pilates during the offseason, but I started a little earlier this year for my flexibility,” Jones said. “Bending (around) the edge is a little different than taking the turn on a three-tech. I’m gonna be a little more flexible, a little more lean bending on the edge.”

A lot more lean.

Jones estimated he dropped 15-20 pounds this offseason, purely in preparation for the move. He played around 310 pounds last season and sits at 292 entering camp — despite a trip to Popeye’s on arrival day that included a chicken sandwich, three chicken strips, a biscuit, fries and 12 chicken nuggets.

That’s how his first day went.

His second? He would’ve recorded a sack during Thursday’s practice had he been permitted to take down quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who of course is wearing a yellow no-contact jersey. Jones rushed around the edge and got there before Mahomes had released the football.

“Listen, I feel good rushing off the edge, OK?” Jones said. “I know it’s Year Six.; I’m a little old; I’m a veteran in the room. But I feel so good rushing off the edge.”

He’s played defensive end before, though that was in former coordinator Bob Sutton’s 3-4 base. This will be an adjustment, Jones said. He’s watched film of some of the league’s top edge rushers.

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