CHICAGO — It didn't take defensive end Terrell Suggs long to announce his presence as the newest member of the Chiefs defense, putting pressure on the quarterback just as he's done for 17 seasons in the NFL.
“I think it went pretty well, 26-3, didn't give up a touchdown,” Suggs said of his Kansas City debut against the Chicago Bears on Sunday night. “It was good to get back out there, feeling good, I think it was a good start.”
The box score shows just one assisted tackle for Suggs in his first game with the Chiefs, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Chicago's first drive came to a halt when Suggs roared past Bears left tackle Charles Leno and chased quarterback Mitchell Trubisky out of the pocket. Suggs couldn't corral Trubisky, but his defensive end companion Frank Clark cleaned up with an 8-yard sack and forcing the Bears to punt.
Head coach Andy Reid said after the game it's great to see Suggs join the club. The coach thought the veteran delivered a nice performance his first time out with his new team.
“The first couple of times he was in he got pressures on the quarterback,” Reid said. “That's a nice mix for a guy that's probably a future Hall of Famer here. We're excited to have him on board.”
The Chiefs claimed Suggs on waivers last Monday, less than 24 hours after the club lost defensive end Alex Okafor for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. The Chiefs needed experienced help at defensive end, and having Suggs fall into their lap after he was waived by Arizona seems like manna from heaven.
Safety Tyrann Mathieu says Suggs has been a great addition.
“There's a lot of experience that he brings,” Mathieu said. “He's going to help out Frank and Chris (Jones) and all those guys a lot. I think it's a perfect time to add a guy like that the team.”
The sudden change in uniforms didn't seem to faze Suggs. He's accustomed to serving in a leadership role on defense, but right now he's saying all the right things about simply pitching in where he's needed.
“Just pretty much help the team win anyway I can and kind of see it from the outside looking in,” Suggs said. “There's not much I can do. They were in the AFC Championship game last year. The only thing I can do is try to help us get back there and help us actually punch the ticket this time.”
Suggs has been with the club for less than a week, but he seems to have already bought in to what the Chiefs are doing defensively.
“At the end of the day it's just football,” Suggs said. “But it is really exciting to kind of join this team. The swagger that they're playing with and the confidence and the energy, that felt really good.”
His Chiefs teammates still appear in a bit of awe of their new teammate. Clark wears No. 55 partly in tribute to Suggs and other NFL players he watched growing up. Clark's defensive coordinator and position coach at Michigan, Greg Mattison, also coached Suggs in Baltimore.
“Coach Mattison, he gave me the game on T-Suggs and I've been watching film on him since college,” Clark said. “It kind of helped me develop some of the things I do in my game. Since he's been here just been thankful and just happy to have a player in our locker room, and specifically in our room, of his caliber.”
Suggs impressed his new teammates on the other side of the ball as well. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes says he saw Suggs always around the play against the Bears.
“That's what you would expect when you get a guy of that caliber, of that talent,” Mahomes said, “no matter if it was a run play, if he was pass rushing or whatever he was doing, he was always in the mix of making plays. So I think as he gets more and more knowledge of this defense and learns it more, I think you'll see him getting more and more involved.”
Suggs wants to get more involved after a successful first week in Kansas City.
“It's been overwhelming,” Suggs said. “It's been very flattering, like I said. I'm very honored to join this team in their role. I'm glad to be a part of it.”