Kansas City Chiefs rookie DE George Karlaftis took his first NFL snaps in preseason Week 1 against the Chicago Bears.
Speaking of his debut, Karlaftis relished the chance to finally work against actual opponents. It allowed him to get a greater gauge of where he’s at after a grueling few weeks of coaching camp in St. Joseph, Missouri.
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“Yeah, it was great to go up against another person,” Karlaftis said. “Recent opponents and all that stuff. Type of test where you’re at, see how things are going and that type of stuff. It was an excellent first taste.”
By all accounts, the rookie had an excellent debut. He filled the stat sheet with one sack, two quarterback hits, one tackle for loss and one tackle, plus quite a few pressures in limited motion. Getting the sack was a vital milestone for Karlaftis, but in addition something situationally that helped the team.
“It was good,” Karlaftis said of his first sack. “It was good to get an enormous third down stop and get our offense the ball back.”
Karlaftis felt good concerning the stats he recorded, but he also was already serious about the ways in which he could improve and do higher next time.
“The just about – the inches of the sport – I believe that’s the large difference between the NFL and college,” Karlaftis told reporters. “Getting there versus almost getting there’s an enormous difference. That’s something we’ve got to take back to the drafting board and practice on and work at with a view to get those almosts to being sacks.”
The rookie said his two big takeaways of the sport were, firstly, how much the NFL is a game of inches. Secondly, he simply needed to soak up the speed of the sport. Karlaftis was already anxious to dive into the film and see what things he can work on ahead of preseason Week 2.
“I’ll probably watch (the film) on the method to the airport,” Karlaftis claimed.
The rookie even left an impression on the team’s star quarterback together with his performance. Patrick Mahomes had great things to say about Karlaftis after preseason Week 1, with only one necessary critique.
“He’s going to go hard your entire time,” Mahomes said. “That’s just who he’s. That’s what got him here. I believe he’ll keep crafting his skills each week and keep convalescing and higher. He’s a man that works extremely hard so I do know he’s going to maintain convalescing and higher.
“The one thing we have now to work on is his celebration. Because I don’t know what that was, he did like a double arm flex down. I’ve never seen that one. I used to be like, ‘No less than go up with the flex for those who’re going to do something.’ We’re going to work on that and get back to you.”
Karlaftis agreed together with his quarterback’s assessment.
“Yeah, I’d agree,” Karlaftis said with a smile. “First (sack), you get all excited and also you don’t really know what to think. Running around like a chicken with its head cut off. It’ll include time.”
Rest assured that the defensive position room will likely be helping him with that one too.
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