When you think of Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson many things probably come to mind but a leader isn't one of them. That said, Josh Allen, who knows Chaisson better than most people, recently talked about how much of a positive influence he is on younger players.
Allen met with the local media after Day 6 of training camp and praised Chaisson for his leadership skills, noting that teammates reached out to him for guidance during his absence in offseason workouts.
"I'm seeing K'Lavon being a leader on this defense. I'm seeing take a lot of the young guys since I wasn't here in OTAs", Allen said. "He's a guy that the young guys, the rookies go to if they need questions, and for him to get all that knowledge, it's funny because K'Lavon is a really smart player. He knows to do things in and out, he tries to cheat himself to put himself in a better position to be successful. He's a guy that you can talk to him about formations. 'How would you align right here? I see a little bit different, tell me what you see."
"He's really smart, and I think playing a little bit faster, being comfortable working moves going throughout the whole process. Get off steps, knowing when you're going against in one of your rushes. As in one-on-one, he had a good rush in Cam today. That was a thought-out plan and he executed it really well. If he continues to grow on that, he's going to get lots of opportunities," Allen said.
Chaisson has been a non-factor the last three years, appearing in 40 games with 11 starts and registering three sacks. While he's flashed at times, you expect significantly more from a first-round pick, and the former LSU Tiger has simply failed to deliver. This has made him a trade candidate dating back to the 2021 season. Here's a clip of Allen talking about what Chaisson brings to the table.
OLB K'Lavon Chaisson has a chance to make an impression in Jaguars training camp
The Jaguars opted not to exercise Chaisson's fifth-year option on his rookie deal, so he's set to become a free agent after the 2023 season. However, the team's brass isn't just ready to give up on him. As defensive line coach Brentson Buckner noted, some players need more time than others to develop. Similarly, defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell thinks the tools and the talent are there. It's up to "Swiper" to use them.
Doug Pederson told the media on Day 1 of training camp that Chaisson is currently the No. 3 behind Josh Allen and Travon Walker but if he makes progress, he'll see an uptick in playing time in the regular season.
Working in Chaisson's favor is that this is the first time in his career that he'll play in the same system for more than a season. He played with his hand in the ground in Todd Wash's system as a rookie and switched to strong linebacker under Joe Cullen in 2021. The Texas native had to learn yet another defense last year when Mike Caldwell took over.
Maybe this is the year Chaisson puts it all together, maybe not. But he's it's clear that teammates and coaches believe he's capable of doing so.