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Chiefs coach hints at open competition at running back

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Deland McCullough spoke to the media on Thursday via Zoom conference call.

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

As soon as the Kansas City Chiefs selected Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, we began wondering how their running back room might look at the start of the 2020 season.

The Chiefs named Damien Williams their starter ahead of the 2019 campaign, but injuries led to them starting three different running backs (and playing five) throughout the course of the year. Williams’ health improved for the playoffs, in which he was extremely productive for the second year in a row.

He accumulated 290 scrimmage yards and six total touchdowns, including the team’s championship-sealing score. It was all shaping up for Williams to be the three-down back for the title defense in 2020, but then the general manager Brett Veach signed DeAndre Washington. And with Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams already coming back, they still drafted Edwards-Helaire.

In a blink, the Chiefs’ training camp battle at the running back position arguably became the team’s best. And it is a battle, as confirmed by Chiefs running backs coach Deland McCullough via Zoom conference call on Thursday.

“You want to get all these guys out there, you want to get going and see what we got,” McCullough said. “One thing we know is — just looking at some guys’ pasts and the snapshots we got of guys — whether it be DeAndre Washington, obviously with Darrel and Damien, and Darwin with us. And then you look at where we draft Clyde and what his body of work was in college, you know that we’ve got some high-end players in our room. I know with the guys that are returning — some guys that we feel comfortable with. But again, you always want to continue to enhance the room and create competition and just raise the level of the room, and I think that’s what we have.”

Unlike last year, it does not sound like the Chiefs will name a starter ahead of workouts.

“How it all shakes out ultimately, we going to let that thing that play out on the football field,” McCullough added. “That’s the beauty of our game. We get a chance to go out and let’s see what’s what. The whole room knows that and these guys are looking forward to it. They get along well, very competitive. However, very supportive. also. And they know at the end of the day, what they do is going to speak to where their role is when the season gets started. So, I’m looking forward to that.”

Poll

Who has the most snaps at running back for the Chiefs by the end of 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Damien Williams
    (438 votes)
  • 73%
    Clyde Edwards-Helaire
    (1314 votes)
  • 1%
    Other
    (25 votes)
1777 votes total Vote Now