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What we learned about the Chiefs this week

Taking a look at the week of April 13 on Arrowhead Pride...

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

23 Days of Draftmas: Trevis Gipson

A relatively quiet weekend began with Saturday’s installment of 23 Days of Draftmas, where Kent profiled a defensive end who fits all of Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s preferred physical attributes.

If they Chiefs wait until day three (if at all) to address defensive end, Gipson is a great target for them in the fifth round. He put together a quality performance at the Senior Bowl — showing improvement throughout the week. He’s an unfinished product but has the potential to be a solid edge, setting in the run game. He has experience kicking inside and has shown the flexibility to slip a gap. He has above-average bend off the edge for a player his size but needs to develop better hand technique to utilize that ability.

Demetrius Harris’ comments led Ricky Seals-Jones to Chiefs

On Sunday, Pete uncovered the story of how the new Chiefs tight end had talked with Harris about the team while both played for the Cleveland Browns — and how Seals-Jones had then cross-checked the former Chiefs’ story.

“I felt like Kansas City was honest,” added Seals-Jones. “Talking with Demetrius all of the things that he had said previously they had said now in the present. It was like what they said and what he said were not two different things. You got a player who left and still shows respect for that organization and loves that organization. So that gives you a little bit of confidence when you’re going in and talking to another team. And they love Demetrius, so it was perfect and that helped. Then the offense and how they use their 12 personnel (two-tight end sets), it kind of all fit in perfect for me.”

Travis Kelce pokes fun at Patrick Mahomes’ one-on-one moves

On Monday, we reported on Chiefs tight end Travis Kelse’s appearace on “The Dan Patrick Show,” where he talked about the big hit his quarterback took in Super Bowl LIV.

“I was like, ‘Jesus, Pat! What are we doing? It’s the second quarter. We’re trying to win this thing, man,’” Kelce told Dan Patrick. “I’ve never seen any football player more uncomfortable in a situation of having to make a one-on-one move on somebody than Patrick Mahomes in space.

“He can move and he did pull the hezzy out against the Titans on the long touchdown run. The Hezzy and then the slow spin into the end zone against the Titans. He pulled that out. You’ve got to respect him in that regard. But when he’s coming downhill and when he has a guy coming at him downhill. Man, it’s like an awkward, confusing, ‘Should I make a move? Should I jump? Should I slide?’ And then he tries to kind of slide at the end, and then just gets smoked.”

Mel Kiper mock draft 4.0: Chiefs go running back in first round, defensive back in second

On Tuesday, draft analyst Mel Kiper became only the latest national voice to predict the Chiefs would take a running back with the 32nd pick — a point of view to which Pete took exception.

Given Andy Reid’s historical success with mid-round players at the position, the Chiefs selecting a running back in the first round already seemed like a stretch. Their signing of DeAndre Washington last week only helped to accentuate that thought. In my opinion, Kiper’s best point was his final one — that the Chiefs need secondary and interior help. If Ruiz — whom he liked for the Chiefs — is taken by the Seattle Seahawks five picks earlier, I think the Chiefs trade down before selecting a running back... even one as talented as Swift.

As they stand Tuesday, the Chiefs have Damien Williams, Washington, Darwin Thompson, Darrel Williams, Elijah McGuire, Mike Weber and Marcus Marshall at the position.

Where the Chiefs roster stands as we approach the NFL Draft

A busy Wednesday began with John’s useful recap of the team’s roster moves since the beginning of the league year.

Especially after the re-signing of cornerback Bashaud Breeland, the team has put itself in an excellent position for the rookie acquisition period; there simply aren’t many glaring holes in the roster. Brett Veach has pulled this off by very carefully managing the limited salary cap space available to him, signing five role players to veteran salary benefit deals that are good for both the team and the players. This is the true Patrick Mahomes Effect: the team’s ability to attract experienced mid-tier players at minimum cost. It’s easy to point to “name” signings the New England Patriots have made during the Belichick/Brady era, but these kinds of less-visible veteran acquisitions might actually be more significant, as they build the quality depth championship teams must have to continue their success. And it allows them to simply sit back on draft day, following their boards to take the best players that become available. It may result in a boring offseason — but if it works as I believe it will, I’ll take it.

Chris Harris Jr. says key to stopping Patrick Mahomes is Chargers’ defensive line

We covered the new Los Angeles Chargers cornerback’s appearance on “Speak For Yourself,” where he weighed on on whether his new team can stop the Chiefs offense.

“I think so,” said Harris. “Man, you could never have enough DBs. And in order to stop a great quarterback, you’ve got to have good pass rush, and I think with our D-line that we got with (Joey) Bosa, (Melvin) Ingram, Linval Joseph — that we just added — and all the other pieces that they got.

“You’ve got to have a D-line, and as long as we’re coordinated as a secondary, we’re definitely going to try to make it hard for him.”

DeAndre Washington called Patrick Mahomes ahead of decision to join Chiefs

We also learned about another new Chiefs player who had reached out to a friend to learn about a team he was considering joining in free agency — this time, a former Raiders running back who knew another former Texas Tech Red Raider.

“I called him and just got some insight and some perspective — what he enjoyed the most and just some things outside of football that we talked about,” said Washington. “Once I told him I was interested, he was definitely on board and trying to get me in. We had a few conversations prior to the decision being made and after talking with him, I felt a lot more comfortable about making that decision.”

Brett Veach provides update on where things stand with defensive tackle Chris Jones

Thursday marked Chiefs general manager Brett Veach’s annual pre-draft press appearance — this time conducted through a videoconference because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Veach reassured fans that Patrick Mahomes isn’t going anywhere and also went into some detail on why the team had signed Antonio Hamilton, Mike Remmers, Ricky Seals-Jones and DeAndré Washington. But he also talked about one of the offseason’s biggest stories: the situation with the team’s star defensive tackle.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion with Chris and the Katz brothers (Jones’ agents), and we continue to have that,” said Veach. “We’ve got a lot of time, certainly these are — it’s a unique environment in which we’re working with, and we were able to kind of navigate the free agency period and retain some guys. We’re going to work through the draft and we’re going to continue dialogue. But we know how talented Chris is, and I think the franchise tag speaks for it, and we also have a lot of time.

“I think the deadline to get a deal done is July 15,” added Veach, “so there’s a lot of time to continue the dialogue and to work on something with Chris. We certainly are going to work to maintain him not just for next year, but for the future.”

How the Chiefs learned average quarterback play just doesn’t get it done

During the week, we featured several stories celebrating SBNation’s theme of the week: “Best Teams to Never Win a Championship.” On Tuesday, John wrote about the 1971 Chiefs team whose chance ended on a botched play. On Wednesday, Stags told the story of the 2003 squad that just couldn’t force a punt in the postseason — and on Friday, Ron wrapped up with how the Andy Reid Chiefs learned (the hard way) how badly they needed a franchise quarterback.

At multiple points over that two-year span, the Chiefs could have been considered one of the best teams in the NFL. Yet during that time, they failed to win a postseason game — and it came down to their quarterback. Smith had proved more than capable of winning regular-season games, making the team competitive for the first time in nearly a decade. But once the Chiefs needed him to be a postseason hero, his performances had simply proved that the team’s failure to invest draft capital in a high-value quarterback had gone on too long.

The Chiefs had learned a hard lesson from their heartbreaking postseason failures. But as it turned out, they already had the quarterback they needed — and that their fans had always wanted.

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