New Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland says energy in Kansas City is tremendous
Cornerback Bashaud Breeland patrolled the sideline at Chiefs training camp eight months ago, prompting applause from fans who hoped his presence was a sign of a new contract agreement with Kansas City.
His actual arrival came about eight months later — he signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs in March. But the vibrancy of that day at Chiefs camp last August stuck with him.
“It was cool the love that everybody showed,” Breeland said Monday in his first meeting with the Kansas City media as the Chiefs opened offseason workouts. “The fans here, the coaches, the energy here — it’s a family atmosphere. The energy is just tremendous. That’s what drew me in. And Coach (Andy) Reid.”
And scheme, too.
Breeland, who signed with Green Bay during Week 4 of last season, says he has found an ideal fit with the Chiefs under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. His reasoning is quite simple — the style of coverage techniques.
“They play a lot of man — press man, bump and run,” Breeland said. “That’s the type of corner that I am. I like to be in your face. They got a young group on defense that’s growing, and I feel like I can come here and help propel us to a top defense.”
As Bashaud and the Chiefs became better acquainted with one another Monday, it provided physical evidence of an offseason filled with defensive changes. Breeland is one of several new players projected to be in the starting lineup, hoping to overhaul a unit that was one of the league’s worst in 2017 and 2018.
Some familiarity remains among the changes. Breeland, 27, has already played with fellow corner Kendall Fuller; the two were teammates in Washington. After he showed up at Chiefs camp last summer, Breeland said Fuller “wanted me to reunite with him.”
Finally, the reunion has materialized. Breeland will likely pair with Fuller as starters in the secondary, replacing Steven Nelson, who departed for Pittsburgh in free agency.
As Breeland sees it, his arrival in Kansas City is an extension of his comeback tour. A foot injury quieted his market last year, and although he said he was fully healthy when joining the Packers, he was forced to play catch-up after missing training camp.
He started five games down the stretch of the season, intercepting two passes and recording 20 tackles.
“I’m very excited. I feel like it’s a new leaf for me after the injuries,” Breeland said. “I’m ready to get back to form.”
At its peak, that form was quite valuable. When healthy, Breeland was considered a borderline No. 1-caliber cornerback, best utilized in press coverage schemes. He has 10 career interceptions.
But his health is a necessary qualifier. The foot injury voided a three year, $24 million deal he had in place with the Carolina Panthers last offseason. And after joining the Packers, he battled leg muscle injuries.
On Monday, he said the laundry list of impairments is behind him.
“I’m ready to go now,” he said. “This is the year.”