After a breakout season that served as his true rookie campaign, Travis Kelce remains a fashionable pick to make a major offensive impact next season. Pete Prisco recently named him among his favorite 20 players to breakout in 2015, and the Chiefs are likely to heavily rely on him since they let Anthony Fasano walk this offseason. Fortunately Kelce is ready for the load.
Kelce came to the Chiefs as the team's third round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, but an injured knee kept him out for the entire year. He returned last year and shouldered an already large load for a first-year tight end on the field with 67 catches for 862 yards and five touchdowns. Now Kelce says it's a matter of getting the details down.
"Every single day, every single week, I'm trying to get better at the small things," said Kelce from OTAs yesterday, via quotes from the Chiefs. "Detailed work. I was telling someone that that's probably the biggest thing that I learned from (Anthony) Fasano is that coming out here and detailing my work and just becoming better and better every single thing on the small things."
Kelce seems ready to take on the load as the top tight end on the depth chart. Even with just one year of experience, Kelce is still much more qualified to speak out in team meetings and help others on the roster, since his colleagues are developmental prospects like Demetrius Harris and the newly-drafted James O'Shaughnessy.
"I come in and I take the role. It's as simple as that," he said. "It's not a hidden secret or anything like that. I am probably the most comfortable in the offense for being on the field for an entire year. We have Richard Gordon who is a vet who knows a lot and understands the game very well and we'll go from there. But it's clearly my realm now. I am going to go ahead and take the bull by the horns and lead us to success."
Speaking of the rookie, Kelce already has good things to say about the addition of the Illinois State product.
"James is a hard-worker," said Kelce. "He's a tough kid. He comes out, he puts his nose to the grind and tries to get better. He's got a lot thrown at him right now. I've been in the position, and to be honest, it's even more stressful on him because when I came in, everyone was getting used to the offense. Well everyone is already used to the offense right now. It's kind of like he's the young guy just getting told to do everything and every aspect of the game and it's a lot at once, but he's picking it up really well."
If Kelce bulks up like Andy Reid mentioned earlier this offseason, he would become even more difficult to bring down. Either way, Kelce seems to relish the expectations that both coaches and fans have for him in 2015.