Travis Kelce took the podium for his first press conference of the regular season Wednesday, as the Kansas City Chiefs began preparing for their Week 1 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Believe it or not, if you include his injured year in 2013, it is the start of Kelce’s sixth campaign with the team.
There is a stark difference in 2018, of course, as it will be his first year working with a quarterback other than Alex Smith, the Chiefs turning the organizational reins over to second-year QB Patrick Mahomes this offseason.
Kelce no doubt has a different manner to him early in 2018—and I find it to be a good thing. His approach to each press opportunity is cool, calm and collected, like that of someone who knows he is a team leader, a role he may need to play this season.
Even at the ripe age of 28, Kelce is one of the eldest Chiefs on the starting offense.
Kelce was asked early on in the press conference about how the Chiefs’ offense may be different with Mahomes than with Smith in previous seasons, and the question gave him pause.
“Um...it’s uh...without saying too much it’s, um...”
Well what is it?
“I can’t really—I don’t want to give away too much of the secret,” Kelce finally said. “It’s going to be fun to get out there. It’s new for everybody, so I think it’s something everyone can really get excited about, even the fans.”
But would he say there are going to be some tangible differences?
“Oh, without a doubt,” he said, this time more sure of himself. “Definitely some differences in a good way.”
At this point, we had to know, right?
So I asked Mahomes—what is the 2018 brand of Chiefs football?
“We want to attack every aspect of the field,” Mahomes said. “I feel like we have the weapons to attack short, we can run the ball, we can stretch the defense deep, we can attack the middle with the guys that we have.
“We just want to make sure that we have to keep the defense honest on every single play. They can't send everybody back and try to cover the deep ball—we’ll run the ball on them. And then if they bring everybody in the box, we want to be able to attack them deep.
“We just want to make sure we can attack everywhere on the field.”
It sounds like it could be a bit for the Chargers to manage.
Four more days until we find out.