KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Metropolis Chiefs operating again Clyde Edwards-Helaire spent his offseason engaged on his receiving expertise. He would run routes and catch passes, all in hopes of getting a much bigger influence within the passing recreation.
“There are issues we’re implementing to get the ball to the backs, to unfold it out extra,” Edwards-Helaire stated final week earlier than the Chiefs concluded offseason follow. “That is one of many issues on why I selected to work on my fingers and simply be extra of a risk. … Simply with the ability to get out not simply on routes out of the backfield but additionally unfold out within the slot place and vast out place. Simply with the ability to develop my ability set was my factor.
“I really feel like I used to be a good receiving again in faculty … we’re simply type of enhancing it.”
The Chiefs have moved on from veteran again Le’Veon Bell, who arrived in the course of final season to some hype however wound up having little influence. His contract expired on the finish of the season and the Chiefs confirmed little interest in re-signing Bell.
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He just lately wrote on social media he had little interest in taking part in once more for Chiefs coach Andy Reid.
The Chiefs have an attention-grabbing mixture of backs with out 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 within the offseason to higher defend quarterback Patrick Mahomes however in addition they count on it can enhance their operating recreation. They averaged 112 yards per recreation final season, sixteenth within the NFL.
Additionally they need extra from their backs within the passing recreation. Chiefs backs mixed for 76 catches (nineteenth within the NFL) and 584 receiving yards (seventeenth).
“Now we have these backs that catch the ball so properly out of the backfield, so why not make the most of them?” Mahomes stated. “Clyde, Jerick McKinnon, Darrel, Darwin, all of those guys are actually good at operating and catching the ball and operating routes in house and so utilizing them … I feel you will see all kinds of stuff that we’ll come into the season with and that is the place you wish to be with an awesome offense.”
Williams has been a dependable backup for the Chiefs. He was their main rusher with 78 yards within the divisional spherical playoff win over the Cleveland Browns final season.
McKinnon was signed in the course of 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 is skilled,” Reid stated. “He is been doing this awhile and he does it properly. He certain has a pleasant really feel for the cross recreation. I stay up for giving him the entire package deal as soon as we get [to training camp] and let’s have a look at what he can do as soon as we get taking part in actual soccer.”
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 influence as a receiver.
He may benefit because the Chiefs look to make up the catches and yards misplaced from vast receiver Sammy Watkins, who left as a free agent.
“It is simply ensuring he has a greater understanding of precisely what we’re doing,” offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy stated of Edwards-Helaire, the Chiefs’ first-round draft choose final 12 months. “While you are available as a rookie, clearly every part is model new and each week is a brand new playbook for you in a way. So he is had a possibility to get a season underneath his toes.
“The whole lot 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 count on him to do when positioned in sure conditions.”
To assist him grow to be extra productive as a receiver, Edwards-Helaire labored on catching passes from totally different distances and angles.
“Not simply 10 yards out and straight forward,” he stated. “Simply catching excessive balls, low balls. I am not the tallest man so simply with the ability to have a wider catch radius for my peak was type of my factor, increasing that.
“I would not say it was an issue final 12 months however simply [trying to] perceive our offense. We transfer the ball round, we unfold the sector. Why not work on one thing that I really feel like I can enhance on? In order that was considered one of my steps.”