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What we learned about the Chiefs this week

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Taking a look at the week of May 11 on Arrowhead Pride...

NFL Playoffs: Seattle at Dallas
Then-Cowboys defensive end Taco Charlton talks to then-Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark before kickoff of a Wild Card playoff game between their teams in January 2019.
Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The film review is in: CB L’Jarius Sneed could be an early contributor

Saturday brought us Matt Lane’s film review of the Kansas City Chiefs’ fourth-round rookie cornerback from Louisiana Tech.

L’Jarius Sneed may have been a Day 3 pick, but he’s not really a developmental player. While there are certainly aspects of his game that need work — even at his best, he wasn’t likely to be a round-one selection — he’s not far from being able to play at the next level.

His elite athleticism (according to Craig Stout’s charting, he’s a Tier 1 cBAT player) paired with his physicality at the line of scrimmage provide a safe floor — and a route to contribute early on. The best part about him is that he’s so much more than just a fast, physical player. His patience and balance are very good — and allow him to play multiple techniques.

Travis Kelce can’t imagine ever playing for a team other than Chiefs

On Sunday, we highlighted some of what the Chiefs tight end had to say when he appeared on Tyrann Mathieu’s COVID-19 benefit on 610Sports.

“I always say I want to play this game as long as I can,” said Kelce. “There’s a whole lot of truth behind that, and I love playing in Kansas City. I can’t even fathom wearing another jersey. I can’t fathom playing under a different coach, under a different organization. Everybody here knows that I love this city for everything that it has given me, it has given the Chiefs since I’ve been here, and I don’t plan on playing anywhere else for the rest of my career. As long as the Hunt family is offering me a check to come back every single year, I feel like I’m going to be here because I love playing for this organization and obviously, coach Reid.”

Nate Burleson calls the Chiefs *defense* most dangerous in AFC

It was just a year ago that Chiefs fans were hoping that in 2019, the defense would just become average. But on Monday, one of NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” hosts took the position that it had accomplished much more than that.

Two takes from Andy Reid about the Chiefs’ schedule

Then we caught up with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s interview with NFL Network’s Steve Mariucci after the NFL schedule release. In his customary fashion, Reid talked about the “great job” Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien has been doing — and how the Chiefs schedule fits nicely with the weather.

“The one positive about the later games is we have Miami and Tampa, and they’re late in the season,” said Reid, who coached with Mariucci with the Packers from 1992-95. “You remember when we had to play Tampa Bay when we were in Green Bay, and we dreaded if you had to play them early because of the heat — we got both Florida teams late in the year, which is a positive, I think, if you look at those kind of things.

“You always kind of look at Buffalo, and you go Buffalo, Green Bay, you want to play early in the season and Florida teams you want to play late in the season, so we’re lucky enough to have that.”

New Chiefs offensive lineman Darryl Williams professes his love for Kansas City

On Tuesday, Ron covered the undrafted free agent’s first press appearance as a member of the defending league champions.

“I think Kansas City is a family atmosphere,” Williams stated. “I really enjoy when you watch games on TV and you can really see the family atmosphere, not just from the players but the fans as well. It’s really truly been a blessing to be able to sit there and watch how Kansas City has grown and how they treat each other like family.”

All this makes up a great fit for the aspiring rookie — and I haven’t even mentioned the fact that they’re the defending Super Bowl champions. He was asked to imagine how he would feel if he knew he’d be on the Chiefs back during February’s game.

“I wouldn’t know what to tell myself. I’m still shocked right now that I even got the opportunity.”

Chiefs rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire named a winner of NFL offseason

In a Tuesday article detailing the winners and losers of the 2020 NFL offseason, ESPN analyst Bill Barnwell put the the whole 2020 rookie class in the Losers column, saying that the unusual circumstances of the offseason would work against them. But he made one exception.

Did any first-round pick end up in a more advantageous landing spot? Andy Reid told general manager Brett Veach that he thought Edwards-Helaire was better than Brian Westbrook before the Chiefs drafted the LSU back with the final pick of the first round. The only running back Reid had drafted before the third round across his career as a head coach and personnel executive before Edwards-Helaire was LeSean McCoy, who was the 53rd pick in the 2009 draft.

Saints assistant GM: Chiefs were probably taking Cesar Ruiz at No. 32 overall

Wednesday brought unexpected news: that Edwards-Helaire might not have been the Chiefs’ original first-round target — at least according to some information the New Orleans Saints had developed from their sources.

NewOrleans.football’s Nick Underhill passed along news from New Orleans Saints assistant general manager Jeff Ireland that the team had “pretty strong intel” the Kansas City Chiefs would have taken Michigan center Cesar Ruiz had he been available at No. 32 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.

The Dolphins, who had the No. 30 pick, were also reportedly interested.

Rather than trading back in the draft, the Saints took Ruiz at No. 24.

Why Taco Charlton believes he can find success in the Chiefs defense

Then John went through the circumstances that brought Chiefs’ new defensive end to Kansas City — and we caught up with the man whom Dallas wags had dubbed “Soft Taco.”

While he was clearly unwilling to go into much detail about the circumstances that led to his departures from Dallas and Miami, he made it clear that for the Chiefs, effort would not be an issue.

“My foot’s on the gas on this one — all [the] effort,” Charlton said. “I gave my full effort everywhere I’ve been. In [those] situations, things came to a head; it was kind of mutual in both situations. So it really wasn’t much of surprise at either [team].

“God led me here,” he continued, “and I feel like this is the best situation for me to succeed. That’s why I wanted to come here. When Frank brought the idea, I was excited — just up-and-at-it — that this was the place I wanted to be.”

How Frank Clark is a source of optimism during an unprecendented time

If you’re worried about Charlton’s work ethic with the Chiefs, we also learned that his buddy Frank Clark will be taking him under his wing.

A recently-acquired Chief has been through plenty of good and bad in his football career. Former Miami Dolphin (and Dallas Cowboys first-round pick) Taco Charlton was a teammate of Clark’s at the University of Michigan — and they have maintained a relationship since then.

“Me and him being close friends, we have a lot of talks and we talk about a lot of things,” Clark said. “[He’s] been my bro since Michigan days... He listens and he does great things. I’m just excited, man. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do. Like I said, I want to turn him into a legend. First, just show him my work ethic — show him how we do things with the Chiefs. There’s a certain standard that Coach Reid has us mounting to, there’s certain things you have to live up to here.”

Bleacher Report’s Ty Dunne talked to Sammy Watkins for five hours

Early in the week, Dunne made national waves with his in-depth article on the beliefs and mentality of the Chiefs wide receiver. On Thursday, Dunne joined the Arrowhead Pride Radio “Editor’s Show” to talk about his interview with Watkins.

“I do think that he was a good solider (in 2019),” Dunne explained, based upon his conversations with Watkins and other Chiefs receivers. “I think that in the moment, he genuinely was a great teammate. I think he — as he put — was the one talking to younger teammates in trying to help them understand selflessness and the fact that it’s about team. He did kind of take a back step from that Jacksonville game, obviously exploded, on through to the playoffs — that two-and-a-half month span, he was what, a third or fourth option? He just wasn’t really getting the ball. I think — at least, in terms of team chemistry — he wasn’t an issue at all. He wasn’t a distraction at all, which speaks to the brilliance of Andy Reid. Andy Reid is talking to him in one-on-one settings about his role, the fact that his time is going to come and, ‘Hang in there. Hang in there.’ And Sammy believed, and low and behold, there he is — the hero of the AFC championship game and the Super Bowl.”

Broncos linebacker Von Miller admits you can’t stop Patrick Mahomes

Finally on Friday, we discovered that out in Denver, it’s finally sunk in: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

The last time Miller spoke about the Chiefs, he sounded defeated after the Broncos had lost to the Chiefs for the ninth straight time. The Broncos are currently 0-5 against reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes.

The Washington Post didn’t help matters this week, as they asked Miller about how to stop Mahomes.

“Can’t,” admitted Miller. “We’ve just got to score points. If we’re able to get off the field — you can hold them to a third down here and there, but that’s on our offense. We’ve got to score on offense because you cannot — it’s not smart to go into the game and say we’re going to hold Patrick Mahomes to no points.”