The Chiefs’ Joe Mays faces the same quandary as many inside linebackers in today’s NFL.
The better he plays, the sooner he’s taken out of the game.
Mays, in his first season with the Chiefs, fills the role of run-stuffer. If the base 3-4 defense is successful on stopping the run on first or second down, Mays is replaced by an extra defensive back in obvious passing downs.
It’s a good problem to have.
“It’s a good thing, but it’s a bad thing,” Mays said. “I want to play more, and I’m going to do what it takes to get out on the field more. But if I do my job well, I’m off the field. It’s kind of a win-lose kind of thing.”
Mays, 5-11, 244, spent 2013 with Houston after playing three seasons in Denver and two in Philadelphia, where Chiefs coach Andy Reid selected him in the sixth round of the 2008 draft.
He relishes the role of run-stuffer but does not want to be typecast by that description.