Coming into training camp, the Kansas City Chiefs have a lot of tough decisions to make on offense for the final 53-man roster — most notably a deep wide receiving corps that has several interesting players in it.
Another position where a tough decision will have to be made is at tight end. Only Travis Kelce is assured a starting spot — and there are six other tight ends on the 90-man roster: Blake Bell, John Lovett, Deon Yelder, Jody Fortson, Nick Keizer and David Wells. There hasn’t been a clear-cut front-runner to play as Kelce’s understudy, and the race is wide-open for that number two spot.
But Bell made a pretty good case for to become the second tight end when he took the podium on Wednesday during Chiefs training camp at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri — noting his willingness to do whatever it takes to help the team win.
“I’m here to work, whatever I can do to help the team,” the Wichita native said. “Special teams, whatever it is the coaches need me to do. I’m a good teammate, I’m [going to] just come to work each and everyday and get better and do whatever I can to help the Chiefs win.”
Bell appreciates the opportunity he has to make the roster and feels like the competition has been good for everyone involved.
“It’s going good... We’ve got the whole group here and we’re all ready to work. It’s a good group because we get into meeting rooms and everything, everyone's learning from each other and trying to grasp the offense and we’re out here trying to learn every day.”
After being sidelined for the majority of the offseason to recover from ankle surgery, Kelce got to take the field Wednesday. After mostly teaching the young guys from the sideline, Kelce said that he preferred to lead by example.
And from the sound of it, Bell prefers that, too.
“It’s great to obviously have Travis out here, and kind of learning from him and him giving his two cents on details, routes, and just the offense,” he said. “It’s awesome... you can actually watch and see how he’s doing things... He’s one of the best tight ends in the league, so it’s great having him out there and seeing everything just route-wise and what he does and just learn from him.”
Bell has a lot of things going from him. On top of learning from possibly the best tight end in the game (and having a cool nickname — The Belldozer), his uncle Mike Bell played for the Chiefs from 1979-91.
Bell says his uncle has given him good advice on playing for the Chiefs — and it’s made him feel fortunate to get an opportunity so close to home.
“He tells me it’s just a great organization and great place to be... and just what a special place it is. He’s had a lot of stories and stuff like that for me, and hopefully through this training camp we’ll see him here and we’ll get to experience a little bit more.
“It’s great to be here, and I’m just glad to be a part of it.”