Now, if defensive back Tremon Smith can perform anything like Tyreek Hill when he steps onto the field for the Chiefs’ preseason opener against Houston on Thursday night, general manager Brett Veach and coach Andy Reid will have hit on something special at a position of tremendous need.
“The best part of my game is my physicality and my separation and my ball skills,” Mack said. “I try to make that an important part. You’re nothing without the ball. I try to take care of the baby.”
Robinson finished last year on a high note, catching the first touchdown pass of his NFL career right before halftime of the wild card loss to Tennessee. He also caught all four targets for 57 yards after tight end Travis Kelce went down with a concussion in the second quarter of that game.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Kansas City traded Alex Smith after his best season (his first-ever passing for 4,000 yards) because of their confidence in Patrick Mahomes. That confidence seems to be warranted. Mahomes posted a 62 percent completion rate in his only start of 2017. His receiving arsenal is loaded with Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and new arrival Sammy Watkins. Plus, all of his running backs can catch. Mahomes is in the best position to stand out in his sophomore season.
There is still a slight fantasy risk with Mahomes. He only played one regular season NFL game last season. He is having a good camp, though. With so many things in his favor, Mahomes is a high-end QB2 that is likely to be a consistent QB1 by season’s end.
Andy Reid doubled down on it after second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw his eighth practice interception, per ESPN.com’s Adam Teicher:
”I told you at the beginning of camp I don’t care about all that stuff. I want him to test the offense. ... If you don’t have the intestinal fortitude to go test it, you’re going to be one of those quarterbacks who checks it down every time. That’s not what it’s all about. The great thing about Pat is that he never makes the same mistake twice.”
Kansas City’s only available starting position has been a battle between Cam Erving and Parker Ehinger. Erving is a former first-round draft pick of the Browns and might be just starting to realize his potential. Ehinger was a starter as a rookie in 2016 before a knee injury knocked him from the lineup. The Chiefs will likely continue to provide each player a long look and might not make a final decision until shortly before the regular season begins. -- Adam Teicher
Projected Starter: Kareem Hunt
Handcuff: Spencer Ware
The Chiefs will get a great rusher back in the backfield this season when Spencer Ware returns. He was their starter in 2016 before a concussion ended his season, but Hunt was a breakout rookie rusher last season. Hunt is going to be the starter in 2018, and while Ware will get some work, Hunt is the man in this backfield. That being said, if you have a spare roster spot, having Hunt’s backup in case of a freak injury is not the worst idea in the world.
Kansas City Chiefs: Not Spending More on a Free-Agent Cornerback | Bleacher Report
The Chiefs went to the bargain bin to patch up the cornerback position, signing David Amerson to a one-year, $2.3 million deal following a down season with the Raiders. The 26-year-old couldn’t stay healthy, suffering multiple concussions in a short time frame before a foot injury kept him on the sideline for a majority of the 2017 campaign.
Between Amerson’s concussion history and on-field inconsistencies, the Chiefs should’ve kicked the tires on cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who put together a productive 2016 season with six interceptions and 21 pass breakups. The 32-year-old can line up on the boundary and in the slot. At 6’2”, 203 pounds, he’s also rangy in coverage.
Bashaud Breeland would also fit as a boundary defender. He started 58 of 60 games with the Washington Redskins and held his own opposite Josh Norman.
The former Raider isn’t an ideal fit. The Chiefs walk a fine line with Amerson, whose track record with head injuries poses an immediate threat to his availability. He also doesn’t provide much in takeaways—half of his eight career picks came during the 2015 term.
Without cornerback Marcus Peters to hunt for interceptions on the boundary, Kansas City needs a playmaker to pair with Kendall Fuller at cornerback. In 36 games, Steven Nelson doesn’t have an interception.
Expectations are high for Mahomes who had a strong showing in his only NFL start, last year in Week 17. He makes special throws, both inside and outside of structure, but the big question will be how many poor decisions he can avoid along the way. In 2016 at Texas Tech, Mahomes ranked second in the nation in big-time throws, but also second in turnover-worthy throws, perhaps an indication of a volatile style that will lead to plenty of fireworks given the explosive playmakers in Kansas City.
Around the league
Mitchell’s release has been weeks in the making. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported before the start of camp that the Patriots attempted to shop him in a trade. The knee issue made trading Mitchell a nonstarter.
The Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints will have male cheerleaders dancing on their squads for the first time.
The league has decided to make protection for long snappers a point of emphasis for the officials this season. The officials are being told to look for any contact to the head or neck area of a snapper on a kicking play.
An amazing stat was passed around the NFL world on Sunday after the Browns traded third-year wide receiver Corey Coleman to the Buffalo Bills, and it shows just how dismal Cleveland has been at rebuilding through the draft — the Browns haven’t had a first-round pick play out their rookie contract in seven years.
But the Bears and Ravens — two teams ranked in the bottom 25 percent of NFL national TV popularity last season — nevertheless proved a bigger draw Thursday than nearly every episode on broadcast TV this summer.
The veteran center’s loss is no minor issue for a head coach whose primarily offseason mantra was, “Everything we do is going to start up front.”
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
“The Chiefs have a great tradition of bringing in guys who are about team,” he said. “They all want to win — don’t get me wrong — we all want the ball, we all want to be able to influence a win. But at the same time, if our brother gets the ball, we’re going to go out there and throw a block to get him in the end zone.”
Injured during practice
WR Sammy Watkins (hip)
While Berry gets ready to take the field again after being out nearly all of last season with an Achilles injury, Sorensen continues to grow into his new role as a starter.
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