There is a young Kansas City Chiefs player that hasn’t quite been able to ever make that jump within the last few years. This guy is by far one of the more athletic guys at his position in the league, the talent just needs to follow.

When you talk about the potential of the Chiefs, Willie Gay Jr’s name will come up a lot. He has tremendous upside. In fact, he has enough upside that there is a possibility he and Nick Bolton could be one of the best duos in the league.

It was always one thing with Gay. Now, he is showing that he is ready to take that next step, and maybe he already is.

Chiefs’ Gay Jr. getting better every year

We have always known about his struggles but always knew Gay Jr. had potential. Now, he is showing that he is close to taking that next big jump with his game.

Gay has always been a good tackler since he came into the league. We have seen flashes of him using his speed to take away big plays in the past, but last Thursday was different.

We saw him utilize his feet and speed against the run and the pass, something we don’t see often. It has been known that Bolton is the better coverage backer of the two, but on Thursday Gay showed what he can do in that part of the defense.

Take a look for yourself. Here, you can see Willie Gay shut down the flat for Justin Herbert, forcing him to throw it away. It’s plays like this we haven’t seen too often by Gay but will start to see more.

On this one, Gay didn’t actually do anything but played mind games with Herbert. He watched Herbert’s eyes and shifted everything to whatever direction he was looking. Then, at the last minute, Gay tries to swat the pass in the air and actually forces an incompletion by using his body. Just watch for yourself.

Gay has also gotten so much better at recognizing plays as they form, and not buying in too much. We know he can stop the run at times, but to see what he did in this play is impressive.

Gay recognizes the play action right away and doesn’t even flinch. Then, he sees the screen start to develop and gets a jump on the play, forcing Ekeler to go nowhere but backward.

It’s pretty clear what we are seeing here. Gay even told the media that his first few years were rough on him, but he feels like he is understanding everything better, and it’s all slowing down for him. In a few of these plays, he showed that.

The best part about breaking down some of his films is that there were so many more great plays, all of which, were just in the first quarter.

The young linebacker has so much potential, as I keep repeating myself. But he really does. It looks like he is starting to unlock some of that. When he does, he and Bolton are going to be a scary duo.

There is only one issue. As of Tuesday, September 20th, Willie Gay Jr. is suspended for four games. So, unfortunately, we won’t get to see him until Week 8, when the Chiefs get their bye week.

Featured Image Via Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports