Does Chiefs’ DL Bennie Logan have the right stuff?

One of the most important Kansas City Chiefs acquisitions of the off-season was signing Bennie Logan. The loss of Dontari Poe via free agency left a big hole to fill in the center of the defensive line. When the Chiefs gave Logan $8 million on a one-year deal, they hoped they had solved that problem.

“We’re excited to add Bennie to our defensive front,” then-general manager John Dorsey said. “He’s a versatile player whose presence in the middle will allow us flexibility along the line.He’ll be a very good addition to our defensive line.”

The Chiefs were in serious need of a rush defender in the middle of the line, and the 6-2, 315-pound Logan seemed like a possibly less-expensive version of Poe, who ultimately got a very similar contract with Atlanta.

During his four years with the Eagles, Bennie Logan developed a reputation as a reliable run-stopper, becoming one of the league’s best stuffer in 2015 when, in short-yardage, third-down situations, he ranked among the NFL’s top 10 at preventing a first down by rush. Pro Football Focus ranked Logan as the second-best interior defensive lineman against the rush in 2015.

In 2014 and 2015 combined, only J.J. Watt, Michael Bennett, Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh – each All-Pro defensive linemen – had more “stuffs” than Logan. Only eight defensive linemen recorded more combined tackles than Logan’s 57 in 2014 and he again placed in the NFL’s top 15 with 55 combined tackles in 2015.

“That’s my strength, stopping the run or what not,” Logan said. “But I feel I can rush the passer also.My numbers as far as sack-wise haven’t been there, but the past year I did a good job of getting to the quarterback before I got injured during the season.Other than that, I was getting to the quarterback.I think this last year I’ve made some improvements towards rushing the passer.”

Bennie Logan has just 7.5 in his career, including two this year – one against the Broncos and one in Week Two against his former team. He fell off to just 24 tackles last year as he missed three games with a groin strain, and the Eagles also shifted to a 4-3 defense, limiting Logan’s opportunities.

“There are a lot of different ways with (Logan),” defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said.“He has the ability to certainly push the pocket. He is strong in there and he is a little more slippery than people might think.His number one asset is he is so doggone competitive. He is tough mentally and he is competitive and that goes a long way in whatever you are doing out there.”

Coach Andy Reid also is a fan of Logan’s work.

“I like what I’ve seen,” Reid said. “Tough guy, good leader. He’s got a good personality, works his tail off.”

Said Sutton, “Bennie has done a great job in here. He is a pro. He is highly competitive. I think he is real physical.He plays with that grit that you need to have to play defense with and certainly on the defensive line. I think he is going to be a real good addition.”

Bennie Logan was a solid fixture for the Eagles defense, missing just five games in four years, while making 51 starts. He was slowed by a minor knee injury during camp, but recorded five tackles in the 42-27 season-opening upset of the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots.

His stuff on 4th-and-1 at the Chiefs 10-yard-line set up a 90-yard game-tying touchdown drive.

A former LSU teammate of Spencer Ware, Bennie Logan was a third-round pick by the Eagles in 2013. Logan’s decision to come to Kansas City was influenced by Ware, but he also saw an opportunity to become part of a solid defensive unit.

“I know they’ve got a heck of a defense, a playmaker in every position,” he said. “My thing is, I’m just going to try to come in and not be the weak link on the defense, just really work hard and help those guys keep doing the things they’ve been doing.”

Through the first seven weeks of the season, Logan was tied with teammate Allen Bailey for 15thamong the league’s defensive linemen with 25 combined tackles (17 solo). He already has more combined tackles (25) through the first seven weeks than he did all of last season, and is on pace to match his 2014 and 2015 totals.

By comparison, Poe has just 11 combined tackles in six games.

Ultimately, of course, the success or failure of Logan’s signing will be measured by the success of the defense.

The team has sometimes looked good against the run, especially against the Patriots and Eagles, but they have also been gashed. In their first loss of the season, the Steelers Le’Veon Bell ran for 179 yards.

Essentially, very little has changed in the Chiefs’ run defense, which could be a big problem in the post-season. They’ll have to find more success in stopping the ground game if they hope to get to the next level in the playoffs.

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Article by Marc Bowman.

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