“I think Pat will get what he deserves, because guys like that do,” Veach said. He joked about Mahomes’s already robust endorsement portfolio, which has him in a pretty good place at the moment. “He’s like LeBron James. He’s a rock star,” Veach said. “He doesn’t fly commercial anymore.” The key, of course, is that if Mahomes is like LeBron James, Veach has to pair him with some Anthony Davises. “We’ve got a lot of talent. We have the league MVP, we have what we believe is the best player in the NFL, but he can’t do it all by himself,” Veach said.
Chiefs: Mecole Hardman
This offseason has seen the Chiefs’ second-round pick (and their first pick of the draft) draw notice as a potentially dynamic addition to an already-flammable offense. While things are likely to stay vanilla in terms of play-calling, Hardman is slated not just as a receiver, but a returner and to possibly get some carries.
1. Claiborne is coming off the best statistical season of his seven-year career
The 29-year-old Claiborne tallied career-highs in numerous categories last season, including tackles (57), passes defensed (14) and interceptions (2). He also tallied the first touchdown of his career in Week 6, picking off Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck and returning it 17 yards for a score.
Additionally, after injuries hampered the first five years of his career, Claiborne started 30 of 32 possible games with the New York Jets over the past two seasons.
Kansas City Chiefs: Wide receiver Tyreek Hill
Before you @ me about leaving Patrick Mahomes off this list, you should consider No. 10’s impact on the way opponents defend Kansas City’s offense. Hill is a score-from-anywhere type of playmaker who must be accounted for as a runner-receiver in a dynamic offense that features movement and motion on every play. With Hill’s speed and explosiveness mandating double-coverage and split-safety looks on every play, the rest of the Chiefs benefit from seeing more one-on-one coverage on the perimeter. Sure, Mahomes is now a 5,000/50 Club member, but his game is greatly enhanced by Hill’s presence on the field.
One of the biggest problems last season was the back end, where Berry was sidelined nearly the entire season by injuries and his fill-ins weren’t particularly good. The Chiefs addressed the issue by giving a big contract to Tyrann Mathieu and then selecting Thornhill in the draft.
Suddenly, one of their biggest weaknesses has become one of their biggest strengths.
’’I’ve been playing a bunch of safety spots right now,’’ Thornhill said, ‘’but like I said, I will step in and play any position that they need me to play - like, if I need to play nickel, safety, corner, it really doesn’t matter. I’ll just step in and do what I have to do to help the team.’’
Thornhill was listed second behind veteran Daniel Sorensen on the initial depth chart released for Saturday night’s preseason opener against Cincinnati. But what shows up on paper is far different from what has shown up on the practice field: Thornhill has been running with the No. 1 defense just as much, and there are times that all three safeties have been on the field at once.
“Obviously when you are not playing or not dressing you always feel like you could have helped the team in some way, you just kind of feel helpless in that fact that there is nothing you can do to help,” said Hunter in a phone interview Thursday with BayToday.
“That game against the Patriots really stung a lot even for me and I never played a down in the regular season but every loss we had - I felt every win we had and I just kind of use that as a motivator and just try to continue to get better every day.”
Will Travis Kelce still be king despite Tyreek Hill being cleared to play in 2019?
All signs point to yes. Kelce has finished with the highest number of PPR points among tight ends for three consecutive years and has boasted the largest target volume at his position for the past two seasons. Some drafters are taking their foot off the gas when it comes to Kelce at his ADP after Hill’s non-suspension, but the number of balls thrown his way should remain just as elevated.
Last season, Kelce saw 150 targets to Hill’s 137, which he translated to 103 receptions for 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns. Kelce’s target share and production have both increased with each year in the league and there’s no reason to think Patrick Mahomes will look to the 29-year-old any less in 2019.
Kelce is the clear TE1 in both fantasy and fake football in 2019 and should be drafted as such. In best-ball and redraft formats, he’s currently coming off draft boards in the late-first round, with an average ADP of 1.10.
Week 14: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Despite two devastating losses last year, the Kansas City Chiefs seem keen on coming back for more. Patrick Mahomes, this young upstart of a quarterback, will undoubtedly be better than he was last year. He’s been practicing backwards and left-hand passes, for God’s sake, what kind of madness is that? Andy Reid has shown that his offense is not to be trifled with. Damien Williams (who appears to be the real deal), Tyreek Hill (who, at the time of this article, is a free man while Josh Gordon is still suspended), Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce…there’s a lot of speed and a lot of strength on this team.
Around the league
Versatile, young Chargers pose a major challenge for opposing air attacks
There’s a reason the Chargers used six or more defensive backs on 87.6 percent of their snaps in the playoffs last season. This secondary is loaded, with guys like All-Pro safety Derwin James, Adrian Phillips and Casey Hayward. Phillips, a safety who took 63.2 percent of his snaps at inside linebacker last season, is one of the most underrated defensive players. Coordinator Gus Bradley’s D is stacked with talent, so expect this unit to remain a top-three secondary.
But Silver reported Brown took the Raiders by surprise with his sudden hard-line stance. Per Silver, “When he showed up for the 1st OTA, however, Brown requested his old helmet. After being told he’d have to wear an approved model, witnesses say, the WR loudly voiced his displeasure, complaining QBs such as Brady and Rodgers were not being subjected to the same scrutiny.
“Shortly thereafter, Brown stormed out of the facility in protest. Later that day, Raiders officials found video footage of Rodgers, during the Green Bay Packers’ OTA session, wearing an approved-model helmet and texted it to Brown.
“The following day, Brown showed up in Alameda and acted like nothing had happened, accepting the new helmet from an equipment manager without protest and completing the workout. However, sometime in the next couple of weeks, Brown once again tried to take the field with his old helmet, which he had since had repainted with colors approximating – but not completely mimicking – the Raiders’ silver-and-black design.”
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
1. WR Marcus Kemp (No. 19)
Before training camp began, there was reason to believe the Chiefs could move on from wide receiver Marcus Kemp, who the Chiefs signed as an undrafted free agent back in 2017. Kemp finished third on the team in special-teams snaps last season, and Uncle Dave Toub has always liked his tackling ability. While shorthanded, the Chiefs even practiced Kemp as an emergency safety last October. What has been surprising about Kemp this training camp has been his step forward as an offensive player. Kemp only saw 36 snaps on offense last season, but he looks much improved so far, showcasing an ability to catch the football. I’m ready to see if he stands out in this exhibition game.
Follow Arrowhead Pride on Social Media
AP Facebook Page: Click here to like our page
AP Instagram: Follow @ArrowheadPride
AP Twitter: Follow @ArrowheadPride
AP Editor-in-Chief: Pete Sweeney: Follow @pgsween
610 Sports Twitter: Follow @610SportsKC