KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs running again Clyde Edwards-Helaire spent his offseason engaged on his receiving abilities. He would run routes and catch passes, all in hopes of getting an even bigger affect in the passing recreation.
“There are things we’re implementing to get the ball to the backs, to spread it out more,” Edwards-Helaire stated final week earlier than the Chiefs concluded offseason apply. “That’s one of the things on why I chose to work on my hands and just be more of a threat. … Just being able to get out not just on routes out of the backfield but also spread out in the slot position and wide out position. Just being able to expand my skill set was my thing.
“I really feel like I used to be a good receiving again in school … we’re simply form of enhancing it.”
The Chiefs have moved on from veteran back Le’Veon Bell, who arrived in the middle of last season to some hype but wound up having little impact. His contract expired at the end of the season and the Chiefs showed no interest in re-signing Bell.
He just lately wrote on social media he had no curiosity in enjoying once more for Chiefs coach Andy Reid.
The Chiefs have an fascinating mixture of backs without him. Edwards-Helaire is the starter, however the Chiefs even have Darrel Williams, the most important of their featured backs at 224 kilos and veteran Jerick McKinnon in addition to returning backup Darwin Thompson.
The Chiefs overhauled their offensive line in the offseason to raised shield quarterback Patrick Mahomes however in addition they anticipate it should enhance their running recreation. They averaged 112 yards per recreation final season, sixteenth in the NFL.
They additionally need extra from their backs in the passing recreation. Chiefs backs mixed for 76 catches (nineteenth in the NFL) and 584 receiving yards (seventeenth).
“We have these backs that catch the ball so well out of the backfield, so why not utilize them?” Mahomes stated. “Clyde, Jerick McKinnon, Darrel, Darwin, all of these guys are really good at running and catching the ball and running routes in space and so using them … I think you’ll see a wide variety of stuff that we’ll come into the season with and that’s where you want to be with a great offense.”
Williams has been a dependable backup for the Chiefs. He was their main rusher with 78 yards in the divisional spherical playoff win over the Cleveland Browns final season.
McKinnon was signed through the offseason. He rushed for 570 yards and caught 51 passes for the Minnesota Vikings in 2017, then missed two seasons with a knee harm earlier than scoring six touchdowns with the San Francisco 49ers in 2020.
“He’s experienced,” Reid stated. “He’s been doing this awhile and he does it well. He sure has a nice feel for the pass game. I look forward to giving him the whole package once we get [to training camp] and let’s see what he can do once we get playing real football.”
As a rookie final season, Edwards-Helaire led the Chiefs in dashing with 803 yards regardless of lacking three video games with accidents. He additionally caught 36 passes, however did not have a lot of an affect as a receiver.
He may benefit because the Chiefs look to make up the catches and yards misplaced from huge receiver Sammy Watkins, who left as a free agent.
“It’s just making sure he has a better understanding of exactly what we’re doing,” offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy stated of Edwards-Helaire, the Chiefs’ first-spherical draft choose final 12 months. “When you come in as a rookie, obviously everything is brand new and every week is a new playbook for you in a sense. So he’s had an opportunity to get a season under his feet.
“Everything is beginning to make extra sense to him. With the knowledge he had obtained in our system, it will assist him to know precisely what we anticipate him to do when positioned in sure conditions.”
To help him become more productive as a receiver, Edwards-Helaire worked on catching passes from different distances and angles.
“Not simply 10 yards out and straight forward,” he said. “Just catching excessive balls, low balls. I’m not the tallest man so simply with the ability to have a wider catch radius for my top was form of my factor, increasing that.
“I wouldn’t say it was a problem last year but just [trying to] understand our offense. We move the ball around, we spread the field. Why not work on something that I feel like I can improve on? So that was one of my steps.”