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Arrowheadlines: The Chiefs plan to get faster on defense, too

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Chiefs headlines for Wednesday, May 20.

Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The latest

Draft shows Chiefs want Legion of Zoom to carry over to defense | ESPN

“It’s how those positions are played nowadays,” he said.

Speed is how the whole NFL game is played nowadays. With a set of offensive skill players so speedy they acquired the nickname “Legion of Zoom,” the Chiefs played fast enough last season to win the Super Bowl.

But they weren’t as fast on defense and that was a weakness, particularly at linebacker, where they had trouble matching up in pass coverage. After watching the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos try to imitate them by loading up on fast receivers in the draft, the Chiefs decided they needed to make some defensive moves to keep up.

A Chiefs Chef: The Cooking Of Kansas City’s Mitchell Schwartz Rivals His Blocking | Forbes

“Being able to do the crust from home is really cool,” Schwartz said. “It’s just a fun process.”

Schwartz started messing around in the kitchen as a teenager. He would come home after school — when he didn’t have practice — and make himself a creative snack.

“I was a big, growing kid,” he said, chuckling, “so I couldn’t really make it from lunch all the way to dinner.”

Now the fully grown 6-5, 320-pounder gets his inspiration from Emeril Lagasse, Alton Brown’s Good Eats on the Food Network and the Serious Eats website of J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, whom Schwartz calls a “genius.”

Chiefs’ Travis Kelce reveals how his Super Bowl parade speech came together | Kansas City Star

The man responsible for two of the most memorable speeches in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run — one after the AFC Championship Game and the other in front of Union Station — settled on an identical strategy for each of them.

Just wing it.

“None of that was, like, ever thought of,” Kelce said. “I just went up there blind.”

Seacoast All-Star Sports Awards to Feature NFL Superstar Presenter Patrick Mahomes | WOKQ 97.5

Seacoast Media Group is set to stream their fourth annual Seacoast All-Star Sports Awards show on June 18th this year and they scored Super Bowl LIV MVP Patrick Mahomes to be a featured guest presenter. Mahomes is the superstar quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs and according to fosters.com, he will be presenting the awards for Male and Female Athlete of the Year.

Seacoast Media Group sports editor Ryan O’Leary told fosters.com, “We wanted to make sure that our virtual show, which replaced our live event this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was extra special for the athletes, coaches and schools honored each year as part of the annual Seacoast All-Star Sports Awards.” Patrick Mahomes is the perfect presenter to these young hard-working athletes as he is at the top of his game at the age of only 24. According to fosters.com, the show will premiere at 6 pm on Thursday, June 18, and can be seen streaming on the event website seacoastonline.com/seacoastallstars.

Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs receiver and former OSU standout, living ‘blessed’ life a year after pariah status | The Oklahoman

“My mom, she’s actually a nurse,” Hill explained, “and she always comes home and talks about how some people don’t care about them risking their lives every day. So I was like, ‘Mom, maybe there’s something I can do here in Kansas City for the health care workers, you know?’ It can be small. It can be big.”

So, they came up with the idea of delivering food to St. Luke’s last week. The little boxes of sandwiches were a welcome improvement from their usual fare, but it was the delivery guy behind the white mask that made the moment so special.

It was special for Hill, too.

Ranking 2020 NFL offseasons from worst to first: Barnwell on the Ravens, Chiefs, Eagles, more | ESPN

21. Kansas City Chiefs

What went right: Kansas City mostly stayed put with its Super Bowl-winning roster, sticking to one-year deals and small deals to retain players such as quarterback Chad Henne and corner Bashaud Breeland. The Chiefs were able to convince receiver Sammy Watkins to take a pay cut, and they franchise-tagged star defensive tackle Chris Jones.

What went wrong: Breeland was arrested at gunpoint on May 1. Watkins is still earning nearly $9 million with the chance to earn $6 million more in incentives in 2020, which is a lot for a player who had been ordinary during his first two seasons in Kansas City before breaking out during the postseason. The team also didn’t resolve Jones’ future with a trade or a long-term contract, meaning it’s likely to end up getting one more year out of him before losing him as a free agent in 2021.

Steve Wyche: The one key factor that Lamar Jackson, Pat Mahomes share | Yahoo Sports

Mahomes, 24, and Jackson, 23, are already in the NFL’s elite tier for passers. The scariest part for NFL defenses is that neither quarterback has even reached their peak yet.

“I think it’s a great comparison,” Wyche said. ”They’re both young. they’re both going to continue to evolve. They both have great coaches that are going to nurture them.”

And because of one free agent move, both Mahomes’ and Jackson’s path to the AFC crown has gotten a bit easier.

“They no longer have Tom Brady in the AFC,” Wyche said. ”Even though the Chiefs won the Super Bowl, the path to the championship is going to be a little bit different than what they’ve experienced in their early careers.”

5 best wide receiver groups Saints will face in 2020 | Canal Street Chronicles (New Orleans Saints SB Nation site)

2. Kansas City Chiefs, Week 15

Top WRs: Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Sammy Watkins, and Demarcus Robinson

Should be no surprise here. The fact of the matter is that this unit is bolstered by quarterback play, but even without that, these guys could be a 1, 2, or 3 on many other teams in the NFL. They are that good. This is likely to be the most challenging test for the Saints’ secondary due to the fact that this is not a matchup that happens twice a season. There is an unknown factor or at least an unfamiliarity in this matchup for the Saints than the number one team on this list.

However, while they maybe the most challenging group, the question is which group is the best. For that, Kansas City falls just short of the top grade, although you can make compelling arguments for a few of the teams on and off of this list. What sets them apart? If Tyreek Hill remains healthy in 2020, he will almost certainly put up another 1,000 yard season. Behind thing, though, are a list of very effective receivers that are unlikely to top last year’s production individually as targets will be also be spread about to the likes of Travis Kelce and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The ball can only go to one pass-catcher at a time and the weapons on this offense are likely knock down some of the production by the receivers behind Hill.

Ranking the offensive weapons of AFC West teams | Las Vegas Sun

1. Kansas City Chiefs

Running back: Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Tight end: Travis Kelce

Wide receivers: Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman

The Chiefs are the envy of every team in the NFL when it comes to weapons. Travis Kelce can make a claim as the league’s best receiving tight end, as he’s a lock for 1,100 yards every season. Kelce also never misses a game and he’s heading into his age-31 season, so he figures to have at least one more prime campaign left. Tyreek Hill is the most feared big-play receiver in the league, and Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman have the speed to thrive when secondaries are forced to focus on Kelce and Hill.

Running back was the one weak spot, as Damian Williams was just OK, but the Chiefs thought enough of Clyde Edwards-Helaire as a runner and receiver to use a first-round pick on him. That’s scary to think about. With a generic RB, the Chiefs were the best offense in the league and now they’ve got another dual-threat weapon with which to shred defenses.

Barring injury or suspension (always a possibility with Hill), this is the best set of skill players in the AFC West — and probably the NFL.

Around the NFL

NFL’s Plan for Incentivizing Minority Coaching Hires Goes Well Beyond Draft Picks | SI

Rod Graves, the executive director of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, the independent group that works to advance minority representation in the NFL, heard his own share of the feedback.

“Some people are going to be offended by the fact that these type of programs have to be encouraged on owners to hire black candidates,” Graves says. “But I choose to compliment the league on its efforts and wait for further discussion, because I think this is the beginning of a fruitful conversation for really advancing diversity.”

Sills: No timeline for when players can return to team facilities | NFL.com

The NFL is taking a phased-in approach to returning — Sills said he talks about walking, then jogging, then running — allowing facilities to open this week only if they are in accordance with local rules and only for a limited number of staff members. Only a handful of teams opened on Tuesday, and this is being viewed as a soft opening, an opportunity for everyone to get comfortable with the protocols that have been put in place, including temperature checks and the wearing of masks. Coaches are prohibited from returning in an effort to maintain competitive equity until all facilities are re-opened. Still, there are those in and around the league who believe that if the league hopes to stay on schedule to begin the season in September, it is likely that some inequities might have to be tolerated.

NFL chief medical officer said league expects positive coronavirus tests | YardBarker

Dr. Allen Sills, NFL’s chief medical officer, discussed the league’s reopening plan with reporters on Tuesday. One of the biggest takeaways from the conversation was when Sills said he and NFL executives “fully well expect” positive tests once teams resume practicing and playing games. The key, Sills says, is being able to quickly identify those who are infected.

Michael Thomas, DeVante Parker feud over Instagram poll | NFL.com

“For you yes,” Thomas wrote in a response to Parker. “Go run some numbers up. Then you can talk I lapped you and you been in the league longer then (sic) me first rounder,” closing with a laughing emoji.

The battle had only begun. We’ll summarize to save some screen space, but it was basically Parker asking to “get targeted 300 times a game” which is somewhat of a valid claim, considering Thomas led the league in targets with 185, catching 149 of them. The next closest receiver in that category was Atlanta’s Julio Jones, who was targeted 157 times and caught 99 of them.

In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride

Chiefs say Bashaud Breeland is attending team meetings

During a press briefing on Tuesday, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said he didn’t know when Breeland would again be able to participate in on-field activities — that is, when those are once again permitted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don’t even know game-wise where it is,” said Spagnuolo — referring to the suspension Breeland will likely serve when the season begins. “But listen... Breezy has been in the meetings with us. [He’s] been very engaged — and he’s done a heck of a job. So that’s another player that we have that is has a second year in the system. I’m glad we got him back.”

This, at least, is one benefit the Chiefs (and every NFL other team) has while trying to prepare for the season during a pandemic: even players who are across the country dealing with potential legal problems may still attend meetings virtually.

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