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A fourth pass-rusher for Chiefs?

8/1/2014

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- It doesn't take a passionate Kansas City Chiefs fan to know they have a pair of Pro Bowlers at outside linebacker in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston and that they drafted another pass rusher in the first round this year in Dee Ford.

Hali had plenty of praise for yet another edge pass rusher, this one far more unsung. He's Josh Martin, who joined the Chiefs last year as an undrafted free agent from the Ivy League. Martin spent much of last season on the Chiefs' practice squad and then played in five games, mainly on special teams, after being promoted to the active roster.

The Chiefs kept Martin as a developmental prospect all season because they saw potential in him as a pass rusher. They're still developing their pass rush packages but unveiled one Thursday that featured Martin along with Hali and Houston.

Another had Ford with Hali and Houston. Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton may soon unveil one with all four players in the lineup.

"We've got a fourth guy," Hali said. "Putting all of us in there, we all love rushing. Coach Sutton is the one who's going to call it. We just have to have the will and desire to come off the ball and cause havoc in the backfield."

The addition of Ford certainly doesn't help Martin's chances of making the Chiefs for a second season, but the Chiefs won't relinquish a player they feel is progressing. So a strong preseason showing is important for Martin. The Chiefs play their first exhibition game Aug. 7 against the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium.

"Josh and I worked together this entire offseason," Hali said. "We went to California. We ran the sand dunes. The kid is gifted. He's very fast, very strong, very smart. I mean, he went to Columbia. He can do it all. It's just a matter of opportunity, getting his chance to rush the passer. Then he can prove it."