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Steve Spagnuolo can tell you why the QB is so important to a winning defense - confidence

The Super Bowl winning defensive coordinator knows a thing or two about how a great QB can boost the confidence - and therefore play - of a defense.

Oakland Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs’ defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo joined Al Williams and JoJo Turnbeaugh from the Big Al & JoJo show to gloat talk about KC’s big win over the 49ers in Super Bowl 54 on Sunday.

While he admitted it’s great to have Patrick Mahomes “on our side,” he added that he goes through the same headaches every training camp and preseason and throughout the week as every AFC West rival team trying to dissect how to cover Mahomes.

“He’s something,” Spagnuolo said.

But the real genius of having Mahomes on “their side,” Spagnuolo acknowledged, is the intangible - the confidence boost to the defense that if they’re not playing their best game or they’ve had a few points scored on them, their quarterback can help.

“The effect Patrick has had on us defensively is even if we were struggling in a game, had some points scored on us,” the coordinator said, “we always knew that when you had that kind of quarterback, he could find a way to get you back in the game. So you just never stop grinding.”

While that isn’t such great news going forward for the Broncos’ defense that still has a to figure out a way to stop Mahomes and the offense, it hopefully speaks to some of the intangibles Drew Lock will be bringing to the table as a promising starter next year - a team confident the QB can get them/keep them in the game.

Von Miller certainly keyed in on that aspect of Lock, as he noted at the Pro Bowl recently:

“Man, that was so cool. I think [Lock] brings so much confidence to the team. No task is too big for him, no team is too good,” Miller said of the young gunslinger.

It has been the opposite in Denver the past few seasons, where the defense has had to be confidence booster for one inept offense after another.

But there’s hope Lock will be different, and that the Broncos’ quarterback can be the confidence booster for the defense - and offense.

Offenses have to do their share of scoring points and hanging tough with an opponent while defenses go to work mitigating the damage. But no matter how good a defense is, it still relies on the offense to pull its weight - and that begins with the QB.

“He really is confident. He’s really confident about, you know, playing football; he’s confident in the locker room and I think we all feed off of that,” Miller added. “You know, if you’ve got a confident quarterback, you kind of, you have a confident team as well.”

Bonus Listen

Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright finally got their chance to interview “Hall-of-Famer” Steve Atwater.