clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What we learned about the Chiefs this week

New, comment

Taking a look at the week of July 20 on Arrowhead Pride...

Baltimore Ravens v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Rookie Rewind: Darwin Thompson

On Saturday, we continued our Rookie Rewind series with a look at the Kansas City Chiefs running back who is beginning his second year in a crowded room.

Thompson is entering a unique situation with the Chiefs running back room in 2020. After spending a first-round pick on Clyde Edwards-Helaire and signing DeAndre Washington in free agency, the Chiefs’ room is looking rather crowded, with guys that have similar skill sets to Thompson. It may be difficult for him to earn significant reps in 2020 without showing major improvement early on.

In my opinion, Thompson needs to show more consistency with his patience and vision as a runner. The comfort the team showed with him on gap runs and inside zone runs is a good start, and that’s where he looked the most comfortable. More defined reads play to Thompson’s advantage.

Lottery Tickets: safety Rodney Clemons

Our Lottery Tickets series continued on Sunday with an examination of an undrafted safety out of SMU .

You may have noticed a trend with most of our Lottery Tickets, as many of them have limited athletic profiles but are good football players. That is the case with Clemons. There are concerns about his athletic profile working in the NFL — namely his 4.71 40-yard dash speed. You’re likely never going to be able to line Clemons up as a single-high safety and expect him to challenge passes from sideline to sideline. In a two-high structure, he’s more than capable — and has shown great instincts and football intelligence from deep.

Clemons is a willing tackler who was asked to operate in the box, the slot and deep at SMU. He’s going to do whatever is asked of him and will pick it up quickly thanks to a strong football IQ. That intelligence led to good ball production his final year with the Mustangs — four interceptions and nine pass break ups. Clemons shows good football character — a necessary characteristic for Lottery Tickets to stick on an NFL roster. Playing on special teams isn’t glamorous, but you have to have the mindset to do it — and Clemons appears to have that.

Patrick Mahomes, Tyrann Mathieu among NFL players concerned about training camp launch

With the Chiefs and Houston Texans set for rookies to report to training camp on Monday, NFL players were taking to social mediaon Sunday, pressing the NFL and their players union to comes to terms on changes needed for teams to get to work during the coronavirus pandemic.

[Texans defensive end] J.J. Watt’s Sunday tweet was retweeted by Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu.

This marked the Watt’s second tweet in four days pertaining to player safety as Houston and Kansas City get ready to launch.

Watt notes that the NFL can (and has) mandated players show up despite no agreement between the league and the players association, and there has been no word on an acclimation period, coronavirus testing, preseason games, a 2020 opt-out clause and more.

Several other players throughout the league echoed Watt’s concerns using the #WeWantToPlay hashtag on Twitter. That included Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Mathieu.

Patrick Mahomes texted Chris Jones, “Let’s get this thing done”

Monday came with some unfinished business from the previous week: the press confeence after the signing of Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones, who revealed that he heard from Mahomes right after the quarterback’s contract was finally signed.

“When Pat’s deal got done, Pat texted me and said, ‘Let’s get this thing done. I left some on the table; let’s get this thing done.’

“And that’s when I had the security that me and the Chiefs were going to work something out.”

Everyone knows how close Chiefs players are on and off the field, but this is a higher-level relationship between teammates. Two summers spent negotiating a long-term contract that he undoubtedly believes he deserves probably wasn’t fun for Jones. A message from another teammate that was paid before him may not have been well-received no matter the contents — but this isn’t a typical NFL locker room.

Reports: Clyde Edwards-Helaire signing rookie contract; other rookies have verbal agreements in place

On account of the ongoing pandemic, few NFL teams had signed many of their draft picks. Some — like the Chiefs — hadn’t signed any. But as rookies reported for training camp on Monday, we learned the team’s signings were all but done.

The Kansas City Chiefs have come to verbal agreements with all six of their draft selections, according to a report from friend-of-the-site Terez Paylor of Yahoo! Sports.

Those players are LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Mississippi State linebacker Willie Gay Jr., TCU offensive lineman Lucas Niang, Louisiana Tech defensive back L’Jarius Sneed, Michigan defensive end Michael Danna and Tulane cornerback BoPete Keyes.

As it turned out, Edwards-Helaire was signed before the day was out.

Andy Reid made sure everybody heard his compliments to Brett Veach

We had noticed that head coach Andy Reid’s remarks during the Jones’ press conference on Monday contained something unusual. We brought it to light on Tuesday.

Before we turn the page on [Chiefs general manager Brett] Veach and focus in on training camp — which should be a full go any day now — there was a moment during the Chris Jones contract extension press conference worth bringing to light.

Zoom press conferences are far from normal. Unlike the typical, in-the-flesh setting we are used to, reporters can’t ask questions whenever they want. They may only be unmuted once, so if they have two questions, it might be worth firing both of them off.

During Jones’ press conference on Monday, friend-of-the-site Matt Derrick of Chiefs Digest had two questions, and one of them pertained to Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s thoughts on the job Veach has done this offseason. After Matt’s first question was answered, Reid made him ask the Veach question again, so that “everybody could hear it one more time.”

2020 Chiefs position preview: wide receivers

On Wednesday, we began film reviews for all Chiefs positions in 2020 — starting with wide receivers. Our Matt Lane concluded that the battle to watch would be for the team’s third wideout.

Hardman should be looking to uproot Robinson as the third receiver on the Chiefs’ roster. Based purely on talent or production, it may seem like he already has, but the Chiefs still opted to play Robinson quite a bit more than Hardman last season.

Robinson puts together some of the prettiest wide receiver reps for the Chiefs. He can run exceptional routes, flashing quick feet and change-of-direction ability and is one of the best broken-play threats on the team. His issue is a lack of consistency with not only his hands but also his route spacing and timing. Despite the lack of reliability, he was able to keep Hardman at bay for the third receiver position all season, and the Chiefs made sure to bring him back for 2020.

Meanwhile, the team’s top receiver — Tyreek Hill — was busy racing 46-year-old Terrell Owens in a viral video.

Brett Veach hints Terrell Owens could be legitimate emergency option

Hill’s race with Owens generated enough buzz that it led to a conversation between Veach and 610Sports’ Bob Fescoe on Thursday morning.

“How about that video? Isn’t that amazing?” Veach asked Fescoe. “Before that video aired, Tyreek — he was dropping some teasers, so in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Well, it’s coming from Tyreek, this must get ugly.’ So when he finally dropped the full thing, I was just expecting basically T.O. to look like he was standing still and everybody kind of poking fun of him. I couldn’t believe the shape he was in and [the way] he looked, what he looked like. Man, at 46 years old, that guy is a complete specimen.

“Who knows? It’s funny you mention that. I was on the phone with coach (Reid) last night and we were talking about that video, and I said, ‘Who knows?’ If we have an emergency, you never know. One thing we do know is he can run, and he’s in great shape. That was really incredible stuff.”

Chiefs training camp could stall on Sunday

While the league and the players union had been making progress in their talks all week, by Friday morning, it looked like a major unresolved issue had the potential to derail training camp before it really even got started.

Currently, Chiefs and Texans rookies are scheduled to begin strength and conditioning training on Sunday, but that might not happen, according to Pelissero. The league and NFLPA have yet to agree upon how to deal with what has been commonly described as a “projected multibillion-dollar” revenue shortfall.

With no schedule agreed upon, the NFL could tell teams to continue virtual work indefinitely, as we saw all offseason.

But by midafternoon, there was good news: the league and the NFLPA came to terms, enabling training camp (and presumably the season) to start on time.