10 Jan Undefeated: Chiefs’ Dontari Poe does it big on offense and defense
The crazy versatile defensive lineman is ready for the biggest game of his career against the Steelers.
By Jason Reid
The Kansas City lineman didn’t have nearly enough voicemail space on his phone for all the well-wishers. It’s what happens after you become the heaviest person in NFL history to run for a touchdown and throw a touchdown pass. Dontari Poe, who’s listed at 6-foot-3, 346 pounds, accomplished that just a couple of weeks ago. And it took him about that long to return all the missed calls. He had to put in work to smooth things over. He spent days thanking everyone who celebrated his improbable scoring pass — easily the most fun moment in a regular season mostly devoid of fun. Who wouldn’t get a kick out of watching one of the biggest guys in a sport full of biggest guys show off some quarterbacking skills? After all, football still is just a game.
“And you know what? Sometimes it’s just good to go out there and have some fun,” Poe said after Chiefs practice recently. “Man, just having fun, that’s what got us all playing this game in the first place.”
Some games, however, are more important than others. For the first time since the 2010 playoffs, Kansas City will open the postseason on its home field. The Chiefs play host on Sunday to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC divisional round, with the winner advancing to the conference championship game. The Chiefs, who tied for the AFC’s second-best record, earned a bye in the previous round. They’re hoping that starting out on their turf will be a springboard to the Super Bowl, a game they haven’t played in since winning the Super Bowl championship after the 1969 season. So, yeah, it’s been a minute. Time to end the drought, Poe says. And he intends to do everything he can to make it happen. The most important player on the Chiefs’ defense will have a lot on his shoulders against the Steelers, who embarrassed the Miami Dolphins during their blowout victory in the wild-card round. Kansas City will rely on Poe to control the middle of the line and make it tough on Steelers superstar running back Le’Veon Bell to get going. That’s a big job. But, as we’ve learned from his highlights reel, Poe is a very big man.
His first touchdown came last season on a one-yard run against the San Diego Chargers. This season, in a 26-10, Week 6 road win over the Oakland Raiders, Poe caught a pass from quarterback Alex Smith on a screen play for another one-yard score. The play was ruled a lateral, giving Poe his second career rushing touchdown. Then, in a Week 16 matchup with the Denver Broncos, Kansas City head coach Andy Reid expanded the big fella’s role on offense. Late in the Chiefs’ 33-10 win, Poe lined up at quarterback. From the wildcat formation, he took a direct snap, ran forward a few steps as if he planned to go up the middle, stopped, jumped in the air and connected with tight end Demetrius Harris for a two-yard score. Predictably, Poe’s dope move ignited a party from the stands to the Chiefs’ sideline at Arrowhead Stadium. Poe became the talk of the league after nailing the play Reid dubbed the “Bloated Tebow Pass.” (While in college at Florida, former NFL signal-caller Tim Tebow once completed a touchdown pass on a jump-throw after faking a quarterback sneak.) Poe has been so good with the ball in his hands that his teammates, especially those on defense, get hyped whenever Reid opens the playbook for one of Poe’s special plays, “but it doesn’t just happen as easy as it looks, we put in work on it,” Poe said. “Like the touchdown pass, it was actually up [included in the game plan] for a couple of games. But Reid only usually calls plays like that in certain situations, depending where we are on the field. That week in particular, we got on the spot that we wanted to be. But even then, you still don’t know for sure that he’s gonna call it.” Read Full Article HERE.