The most anticipated Chiefs team in decades, and maybe ever, will assemble for training camp in less than two weeks. The success or failure will depend on a million variables.
Some, like Tyreek Hill’s availability, are out of the team’s control. Others, like the health of Patrick Mahomes, are subject to whims of the football gods.
Kansas City Chiefs: LB Damien Wilson
Unlike Hitchens, Wilson doesn’t have a lengthy track record of starts in Dallas, opening with the first unit in 22 out of 64 contests. With that said, he’s shown reliable tackling ability in the open field as a reserve, logging 72 solo takedowns and nine for loss through four seasons.
On Saturday, the “Herd with Colin Cowherd” host reacted to a clip of Patrick Mahomes launching a football out of Arrowhead Stadium by, of course, suggesting such things are beneath Brady. “Meanwhile, Tom Brady was working on timing and precision routes,” Cowherd said of the New England Patriots quarterback.
What will Patrick Mahomes do for an encore, especially if Tyreek Hill isn’t around?
We still have no idea if the NFL will punish Tyreek Hill for the child abuse scandal that has dragged on throughout the offseason. With the NFL, it’s impossible to tell when a decision will be made. But if Hill is suspended or if the Chiefs decide he should no longer represent their organization, that would be a massive loss for Kansas City and the reigning NFL MVP. Yes, the Chiefs drafted Mecole Hardman out of Georgia and still have Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins, but the loss of Kareem Hunt -- who was released toward the end of last season -- and Hill would be hard for Andy Reid and Co. to regroup from.
Unless the murmurs are yet another illusion, any minute now the NFL will rule on the status of Chiefs’ star Tyreek Hill.
Congratulations if you think you know what to think about him and what to expect now. But brace yourself for a trap door ahead falling open into another hall of mirrors.
Mahomes is the most talented quarterback in the NFL. He can make every throw ( whether he’s looking or not), evade pressure using both his athleticism and intelligence and seemingly score at will. All that said, if I had one game I needed to win, the six-time Super Bowl-winning Brady is still my choice over the 2018 MVP. I fully expect 15 years from now to be taking the same uncompromising stance on Mahomes’ behalf against a younger league-changing superstar. With Rob Gronkowski retired, Kelce now becomes the premier size-speed-strength matchup nightmare in the NFL. It was a close call between Kelce and Tyreek Hill for the Chiefs’ top pass-catcher in terms of sheer production, but Kelce is the choice in part due to the uncertainty around Hill’s availability in 2019, pending an ongoing league investigation into recent child abuse allegations. This trio is carried by Mahomes and Kelce, but don’t sleep on Williams. The sixth-year back acquitted himself well in a small sample size last year, scoring six total touchdowns and averaging 5.1 yards per carry. However, it’s difficult to distinguish how much of his 2018 success was the result of the Chiefs’ potent offense vs. his unique ability, especially considering he totaled just 477 rushing yards in 58 games with the Dolphins.
Yelder missed OTAs and June minicamp with a hamstring injury, Brooke Pryor of The Kansas City Star reports. The injury comes at an inopportune time for the 24-year-old, who can compete for the No. 2 tight end spot behind Travis Kelce now that Demetrius Harris is in Cleveland. Yelder’s competition comes in the form of John Lovett, whose versatility is very appealing to the Chiefs’ staff. Yelder caught on with Kansas City as an undrafted rookie last season and only saw eight snaps -- just one of those on offense -- over three games. At Western Kentucky, Yelder found some success in his senior season, racking up 52 receptions for 688 yards and seven touchdowns over 12 games.
Ragland says his hometown gave him everything and now he’s blessed to be able to come home and give something back to his community by doing what he loves most: playing football.
”Just to give them the knowledge that I’ve learned over the years to help them become a better player or even become a better person on and off the field but it all starts off the field for you to be good on the field you’ve gotta have the grades, you’ve gotta be a good person, your coaches and they have to believe in you but it’s fun though seeing the kids out here having a great time,” Ragland said.
Mecole Hardman and Elijah Holyfield are no strangers to the game of football. On Saturday at Savannah Country Day School, the pair of former University of Georgia standouts hosted 140 area children at the Elijah Holyfield & Mecole Hardman ESM Football Camp.
Tomlin, Robinson and Kelly were just a few of the notable athletes on site. There were football players from all over the area: Derrick Nnadi of Ocean Lakes and the Kansas City Chiefs, Andrew Brown of Oscar Smith and the Cincinnati Bengals and Jalyn Holmes of Lake Taylor and the Minnesota Vikings.
Our friends over at Touchdown Wire recently ranked the top QB-receiver combos for each of the 32 NFL teams.
The Kansas City Chiefs have a lot of dynamic weapons on the offensive side of the ball for QB Patrick Mahomes to play with. Touchdown Wire had a hard decision to make between Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce when choosing a QB-receiver combo for the Chiefs, but they ultimately went with Kelce.’
But despite the team having great starters, the change from Damien Wilson to Joe Thomas is a small downgrade. It’s not anything that we’d worry too much about unless the team battles some injury issues at the position, but it’s still worth noting.
It won’t take long for the Indianapolis Colts to get a rematch in what was one of their biggest games in nearly a decade.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams stepped in for the released Kareem Hunt and gained 322 yards from scrimmage and scored four touchdowns in three straight regular-season games as the Chiefs averaged 31.3 points per outing.
After what the Cowboys didn’t do in the offseason, it’s obvious that they are confident that Woods will continue to take steps toward being the free safety they’ve been longing to find since Darren Woodson retired. They felt good enough about Xavier Woods that they opted not to pursue any of the big name free agents in Eart Thomas, Tyrann Mathieu, Landon Collins, or Tre Boston. In the draft, with pre-draft visitors Juan Thornhill and Taylor Rapp staring them in the face, the Cowboys instead drafted Trysten Hill to be their 3-tech defensive tackle for now and the future.
Around the league
This offseason, six players were handed the franchise tag. Of those six, two were traded and signed to extensions by their new teams (Chiefs DE Frank Clark, 49ers LB Dee Ford); one signed his franchise tag (Falcons DT Grady Jarrett); and one got the long-term deal he was looking for (Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence).
That leaves just two footballers who were offered the franchise tag but whose futures remain unknown (Texans edge rusher Jadeveon Clowneyand 49ers kicker Robbie Gould) and one who signed the tag and could still sign a long pact (Jarrett).
The 29-year-old told AL.com this week that he plans to start the process of trying to get reinstated by the league.
”I’m nowhere near satisfied with how my professional career has gone,” McClain said. “That’s for myself. That’s me looking in the mirror and talking to my boys. Nah, that’s not the taste I want to leave in my mouth.”
“If he ever decides [Monday Night Football] is something he wants to do, it’s going to be after Eli has finished his career and he gets a little bit further from his era of playing and maybe some of his teammates have moved on, too,” a source told Yahoo. “It would have been a tough position for him this season, with the Giants [and Broncos] being on the schedule. There is a lot of loyalty there for him and I don’t think he’d ever want to be in a position where he’d be conflicted about his analysis.”
As you get ready for the 2019 NFL season, let’s take a look at some intriguing, under-the-radar fantasy football picks to watch.
5) LB Von Miller, LB Bradley Chubb and CB Chris Harris Jr., Denver Broncos: New Broncos coach Vic Fangio has spent the offseason salivating over the game-planning at his disposal with Miller and Chubb crashing off the edges. The Broncos’ dynamic duo combined for 26.5 sacks and six forced fumbles in the team’s previous scheme, and those numbers should only improve with Fangio’s uncanny ability to create sack opportunities for pass-rush specialists. Harris is a crafty playmaker with the intelligence, versatility and instincts to make plays as a cornerback, nickel or safety in base or sub-packages. Given the impact of the pass rush on the effectiveness of coverage, Denver boasts one of the most feared threesomes in football.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
With Patrick Mahomes at the helm, the Chiefs’ blockers benefit from an ability to elude pressure and make plays even if the protection isn’t great. But the team can’t afford to leave him without able blockers.
In the run game, the Chiefs may not have even one player (like Jamaal Charles) who can make something out of nothing, so they’ll rely on athletic offensive linemen, fullbacks, receivers and tight ends to pave the way to a balanced offense. These guys and Mahomes will make each other better this season, and neither should be taken for granted.
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