Most fans are well aware the Kansas City Chiefs defense underwent a major overhaul this offseason with coordinator, scheme and personnel changes.
The offensive changes—specifically the losses of wide receiver Chris Conley and center Mitch Morse, who had 802 (76.75%) and 678 (64.88%) of 2018’s offensive snaps for the Chiefs, respectively—have gone a little under the radar.
But not to Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, the man responsible for making sure his No. 1 offense does not skip a beat in 2019.
“We lost some guys, some guys we’ve counted on here for a few years,” Reid said during his opening offseason press conference Monday. “They’re good football players, and we wish them the best, on both sides of the ball, but [Conley and Morse] for sure.”
“They’re going to do a great job,” Reid added. “It was good to see Nick [Foles] and Conley get back together (in Jacksonville) and then Mitch went up with a close friend of mine (Bills head coach Sean McDermott). They’re all in good hands and they’re going to do well.”
But Reid and the Chiefs are now tasked with finding ample replacements.
“We have to fill in those [spots],” Reid said. “We were lucky enough to have Austin [Reiter] here to work some at center and did a nice job when he was in there and we got good competition at that spot, so I’m not worried about that.”
With Morse dealing with a concussion and Jordan Devey on injured reserve (torn pec) during the middle of the 2018 season, the 27-year-old Reiter started four games for the Chiefs and performed well.
2018's highest-graded centers from the AFC West pic.twitter.com/SOWtYDXDGT— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 11, 2019
Whereas you may think finding a receiver to replace Conley could be a different story, Reid sounded especially high on Demarcus Robinson on Monday.
“D-Rob’s grown the last couple of years, and it was important that he took that step up this past [season],” Reid said.
In his limited role (40 percent of offensive snaps), the 24-year-old Robinson caught 22 passes on 33 targets for 288 yards and four touchdowns. Robinson had a touchdown in each of the Chiefs’ final three regular-season games.
“He and the quarterback (Patrick Mahomes) have kind of a unique chemistry that goes on, and they’ve had some big plays there,” Reid added. “The quarterback likes him and has a lot of trust in him... I can’t tell you exactly how it came about, but it came about. The one thing I can tell you—D-Rob will continue the play. There’s no pulling up on a play. Sometimes guys will take a breather on the back end if the play’s going over here (the other side of the field). D-Rob’s 100 miles an hour getting over there. You think about how many plays he made this past year by just that sheer hustle on every play. Our quarterback knows if he gets in trouble, somewhere D-Rob’s going to show up. He’s developed a little of that trust and chemistry I think.”
Reid said Robinson fits right in with the team’s top two receivers.
“Keeping Sammy (Watkins) in there working, I think is good, too. He can play anywhere in there, so I think we’re good inside, outside, and with Tyreek (Hill), also. I think that’s a pretty good corps right there.”
As of now, the third receiver position appears to be Robinson’s job to lose.
That is, like anything this time of year in the NFL, subject to change. The draft begins next Thursday night.