Tyreek Hill · Travis Kelce
Credit Andy Reid for developing a pair of middle-round picks (Kelce: Round 3 in 2013; Hill: Round 5 in 2016) into the most dangerous pass-catching duo in football. Both Hill and Kelce are capable of taking over a game at any time. Hill is a big-play specialist with explosive speed and quickness. He can tally yardage and points in bunches, as evidenced by his three seasons of 1,100-plus yards over the past four years and his 47 career receiving touchdowns. Kelce is arguably the gold standard at the tight end position as a dynamic player with strong hands and polished route-running skills. The ninth-year veteran is the first tight end in NFL history to post five 1,000-yard seasons, including a 1,416-yard campaign in 2020. Considering Kelce has scored at least 10 touchdowns in two of the past three seasons, it is easy to see why the Chiefs put up 30-burgers like they’re a fast-food chain.
When the Washington Football Team retired the use of their “Redskins” nickname, attention naturally turned to Kansas City as well.
In December, the Kansas City Star editorial board challenged the Chiefs to follow the lead of Washington and the Cleveland Indians in rebranding.
However, the team has given no indication they plan to make a change at this point.
In August 2020, the Chiefs released a statement adopting a series of policies based on consultations with the Native American community.
“In 2014, we began a dialogue with a group of local leaders from diverse American Indian backgrounds and experiences,” the team said. “As an organization, our goal was to gain a better understanding of the issues facing American Indian communities in our region and explore opportunities to both raise awareness of American Indian cultures and celebrate the rich traditions of tribes with a historic connection to the Kansas City area.”
The result included prohibiting fans from wearing headdresses and face paint that “references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions.”
Kansas City Chiefs: OL Lucas Niang
Thi is another case in which it feels as though the entire offensive line could be an X-factor. We all saw what happened to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs when the line was in shambles against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV.
But let’s zero in on an intriguing 2020 Day 2 pick who opted out last year but could have a shot at multiple starting spots this offseason.
“He’s done a nice job in this camp,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of Niang in a virtual press conference during the team’s rookie minicamp. “He’s a big man—like really, a big man—that has these beautiful feet. So I look forward to getting him back in the pads in training camp: moving around, doing what offensive linemen do—the real football part of it.”
He’s 6’6”, 315 pounds, and his college tape is eye-popping. In a perfect world for K.C., he easily beats out journeyman Mike Remmers to earn a starting spot opposite incoming Pro Bowler Orlando Brown Jr., but he could also have a shot at the right guard spot opposite steady addition Joe Thuney.
If he can pull off either feat and excel, Mahomes could be golden in 2021.
The Eric Bieniemy hiring circus feels like Grey’s Anatomy. It was exciting when it started. Now, it doesn’t benefit anyone. His head coach in Kansas City, Andy Reid, has a coaching tree with many long branches. Bieniemy deserves a shot to be the next branch.
Sources told PFN’s own Benjamin Allbright that Bieniemy is a “titleholder” that doesn’t really have much true input on the Chiefs’ impressive offense. But that didn’t seem to bother the Bears when they hired Matt Nagy. Nagy was a quarterbacks coach for three seasons, then Reid’s offensive coordinator for two seasons before the Bears snatched him up.
Heck, Zac Taylor spent just a single season as a quarterbacks coach in the NFL before securing the Bengals’ head coaching job.
Bieniemy’s past is well-documented at this point. Incidents from 20 years ago should have little bearing on his employment in 2021, not to mention the fact Vance Joseph was along for that questionable Colorado ride with Bieniemy. So it has to come down to the interviews, right?
1. Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes is still the most talked-about star in football and has done some very amazing things over the last few years, leading the Chiefs to a Super Bowl victory last year on the back of an MVP season. He experienced a heartbreaking loss to the Bucs in this year’s showdown but will be extra motivated to win again next term.
Around the NFL
Denver Broncos trade for Deshaun Watson
Of course, there are two major issues here. One is the Texans’ repeated claims that, despite the quarterback’s unhappiness in Houston, they aren’t trading Watson. The other is the major question surrounding Watson’s off-the-field issues. He’s had 22 civil lawsuits filed against him claiming coercive and lewd behavior. No criminal charges have been filed and his lawyer has denied the accusations. If Watson clears his name, Denver becomes a prime relocation option.
The Broncos are going to be linked to trade talk for a quarterback until one of two things happens: They actually find a reliable starter in the competition between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater or the two superstar quarterbacks who’ve gone sideways with their current teams resolve their own dramas. There was plenty of buzz surrounding a potential draft-day trade between Denver and Green Bay when reports surfaced of the resentment Aaron Rodgers presently holds towards the Packers. Now there are reports that Watson would love to land in Denver. Broncos safety Kareem Jackson recently spoke about this very subject on a podcast with former Denver CB Aqib Talib. When asked about Watson’s future, Jackson said, “I got a great relationship with Deshaun. I’ve been talking to him the last couple weeks. All he’s been telling me is, ‘Look, Jack, just tell them that’s where I want to be.’ He’s like, ‘That’s where I want to be.’ He’s like, ’I want to be in Denver.’ ”
2020 record: 7–9
Major offseason changes: hired head coach Brandon Staley; signed center Corey Linsley, tackle Matt Feiler and tight end Jared Cook; drafted tackle Rashawn Slater No. 13.
Why they’ll make the playoffs: When the story of this Chargers team gets written, Anthony Lynn and Pep Hamilton will largely be edited out. It’s important to point out that Justin Herbert made this job desirable because of the work Lynn was able to do with him, which included having him ready enough on seconds notice to hop into an NFL game when the presumed starter’s lung was punctured by a team medical professional. And play well at that! In a perfect world, Lynn would be running an offense with Staley running a defense, but unfortunately that’s not the way a coaching carousel works.
On Wednesday, two players, Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold and Washington defensive end Montez Sweat, both positioned themselves as being anti-vaccination through either inaction or outwardly disagreeing with the process. Darnold, largely non-commital on receiving the Covid-19 vaccine, said he was “still evaluating the situation.” Meanwhile, Sweat said he “wasn’t a fan” of the vaccine — even after Washington brought an infectious disease expert to speak to players.
“I haven’t caught Covid yet,” Sweat said, “so I don’t see me treating Covid until I actually get COVID.”
Both players used a similar refrain: They needed to know more. At this point, it is a laughable justification for not receiving the Covid-19 vaccine that’s more couched in conspiracy theory and ignorance than science. Scientists and public health experts worldwide have declared the suite of vaccines safe. Clinical trials before the release of vaccines showed their efficacy. We’re now six months into the largest sample of a newly-released vaccine in human history, with a number of side effects so minute in comparison they fall into the range of statistical insignificance.
So, too, was everything Wilson said Thursday as he spoke with reporters for the first time since his public criticism led to a drama-filled start to the offseason as well as calls from other NFL teams about a potential trade.
Not that Wilson, as frustrated as he was at the time, wanted to be anywhere else.
“Obviously I love Seattle, I love playing here,” he said Thursday after the Seahawks’ 10th and final OTA. “I’ve had a great career here so far. I’ve always wanted to play here for my full career, obviously. I think there was some unfortunate frustrations after the season. Obviously you want to win it all and do it all and do everything you can. I think everybody on our team does. You want to win it, and I think, unfortunately, I think it got a little blown out of proportion a little bit.”
“In the summer of 2006, I signed my first NFL contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. Fifteen years later, I can say I accomplished my childhood goal of making it to the NFL. I will never forget as a kid telling my father I wanted to be in the NFL,” he wrote on Twitter.
In a series of tweets, Joseph, 37, went on to thank his family, his agent and his teammates at his four NFL stops — the Bengals, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans and Arizona Cardinals — and the fans, writing that they “made playing the game worth it.”
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“Chris is a great guy,” said Reed in a Zoom conference call on Thursday. “You can tell that this is his team and I’m just following suit. He’s a great guy, great teammate, funny, he’s a real cool dude. His game is immaculate, it’s self-explanatory how he plays. One of the best there is in the league and of course, we all watch each other and he’s everything he’s done, I see why. He puts in the work and he works hard every day.”
Reed addressed the idea that his presence with the team could push Jones to the outside on more downs.
“I’m not surprised,” Reed noted of Jones’ flexibility. “When you’re that caliber of a player, you should be able to move all along on the defensive line and I’m actually liking that side, stay at 3-technique and he stays a D-end.”
A tweet to make you think
Chiefs Patrick Mahomes, Brittany Matthews share family photo with Sterling Mahomeshttps://t.co/VhRtDB2lzp— 41 Action News (@41actionnews) June 11, 2021
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