clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

JuJu Smith-Schuster leading Chiefs’ wide receiver room through 7 games

Chiefs wide receivers coach Joe Bleymaier discusses the improvement he has seen from the team’s revamped receiving corps.

Kansas City Chiefs v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Coming into this season, one of the most significant question marks for the Kansas City Chiefs revolved around the uncertainty at the wide receiver position. After trading away All-Pro wideout Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins, the Chiefs opted to fill the enormous void he left behind through quantity — rebuilding the position group by adding a diverse skill set of experienced veterans and young talent.

The big shake-up to the position had fans (and fantasy football owners) concerned about the Chiefs' offense, especially earlier in the season, as production from the team’s wide receiving corps was inconsistent at best. However, heading into Week 9, it’s beginning to look like the receivers are gaining some momentum as both players and coaches become more familiar with each other’s tendencies.

On Thursday, Chiefs wide receivers coach Joe Bleymaier detailed how he plans to start scheming up plays to complement the group’s diverse skill set.

NFL: JUN 15 Kansas City Chiefs Minicamp Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

He explained to reporters that they should continue to improve since their success through the first seven weeks has mainly come through their own individual talents.

“It is just them winning with their physical abilities,” Bleymaier said of the receiving group to start the season. ”As we go, and defenses start to focus on what we’ve done in the past, those compliments — and I think some of what you’re speaking to what we’ve done in the past — will start to show up even more.

“As of yet, everything we’re doing with the guys and the spots is still a little new — both to us and the rest of the league — but we’ll start to incorporate some compliments and some carryover to where now you’ll see different guys opening up different things for other guys as opposed to just one-on-one.”

One specific area that the offense has excelled in is red-zone scoring. It ranks first in the league in red-zone efficiency, scoring a touchdown on 76.67% of its drives this season.

Bleymaier attributes this success to many things but specifically credits the team’s talented skill players and quarterback, as well as their attention to detail when it comes to execution.

“I think it’s a lot of factors,” Bleymaier said. “We ask a lot of the guys down there in terms of what we do. We got really smart skilled players as well as a really good quarterback, so we’re able to do a lot of different things down there. The guys know that down there, the space is condensed. Things happen faster. You got to be on the details of everything that we’re doing, and they have been which allows us to attack defenses in lots of different ways.”

One player responsible for much of the Chiefs’ wideout production in recent weeks is JuJu Smith-Schuster. Before the bye, Smith-Schuster scored a touchdown and gained over 100 yards in each of the last two games. Bleymaier says he is always happy when the stats match up with what he sees in practice, which — in Smith-Schuster’s case — is a player who approaches the game with consistency every time he is on the field.

NFL: OCT 23 Chiefs at 49ers Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“Sometimes, for whatever reason, the ball finds you, and the stats accumulate, and for the last couple weeks it’s been Juju,” Bleymaier said. “He’s made the most of the opportunities when he’s had those chances, but it hasn’t necessarily been anything over the last month or something that changed or flipped.

“He’s just consistently brought the same mindset and — as well as all the other guys — the same practice habits. That attention to detail and that continuing to grow has led to where we are now, and we got to keep it going because I think there’s still room for improvement.”

Constant improvement is the key theme throughout this Chiefs team. The fact that a high-powered, Patrick Mahomes-led offense can be even better is the reason why Kansas City is a perennial Super Bowl contender.

This year is no different as the receivers do their part to improve every day and put the early season concerns about the position to rest.

“We haven’t even reached our offense’s full potential or each of those individual receivers’ full potential,” Bleymaier said. “That’s still out there to get.”

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Arrowhead Pride Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Kansas City Chiefs news from Arrowhead Pride