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Eric Bieniemy says Damien Williams is the starting running back for the Chiefs

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The Chiefs offensive coordinator made a surprisingly strong statement to the media after Thursday’s OTA session

NFL: AFC Championship Game-New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, the media got a chance to speak to Kansas City Chiefs assistant coaches after Thursday’s OTA session at the Chiefs practice facility.

Chiefs running back Damien Williams had already made news by reportedly being absent on Thursday for personal reasons.

But thanks to Eric Bieniemy, Williams is now part of another Thursday headline.

Williams — now beginning his sixth NFL season after spending four years with the Miami Dolphins and a season with the Chiefs — came out of the 2018 season as the presumed starter at running back after he replaced Kareem Hunt following Hunt’s controversial release from the team last November.

But now that the Chiefs have acquired running back Carlos Hyde in free agency, drafted Utah State running back Darwin Thompson, signed undrafted running backs James Williams and Marcus Marshall — and still have second-year running back Darrel Williams — some fans have been wondering if Damien Williams really has a lock on the starting job.

It might be too early to say — there’s a lot that can happen between now and the start of the season — but that didn’t stop Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy from making a simple, strong statement when asked by our own Pete Sweeney if the Chiefs would be going in the direction of a committee this season.

“Damien Williams is our starter, and we expect him to excel in that role,” he answered.

But Bieniemy then added the usual disclaimer — that every running back always needed to be prepared to “step up.”

There’s still room for a lot of speculation about which running backs will be part of the Chiefs’ plans when the season gets underway in September. But according to Bieniemy, there’s no question about which running back is the top dog right now.

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