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Arrowheadlines: Chiefs defense is young and hungry

Chiefs headlines for Saturday, July 30

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NFL: JUN 02 Kansas City Chiefs OTA Offseason Workouts Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The latest

Five Observations from Friday’s Practice | Chiefs Training Camp 7/29 | The Mothership

2. Wide receiver Skyy Moore hauled in an impressive diving catch during team drills.

Moore recorded perhaps his best play of training camp on Friday, catching up to a pass during team drills before diving to secure the football. The catch took place despite good coverage from rookie cornerback Nazeeh Johnson, demonstrating Moore’s ability to make contested grabs down the field.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was asked about Moore following practice.

“He’s a tough player. He’s smaller in terms of height, but he’s thicker [than most] receivers, and you can see that [out here]. He’s made a lot of tough, contested catches over the middle,” Mahomes said. “He runs some great routes, has some great releasees and I think he can be a big part of our offense moving forward…He’s getting more and more trust with the coaching staff and myself. That just comes with reps.”

2022 NFL Preview: We’re about to find out if the Chiefs are a long-lasting dynasty | Yahoo! Sports

Already, the Chiefs are an anomaly. You’re not supposed to make four conference championship games in a row (including two Super Bowl trips) in the NFL. The league is set up to prevent that from happening. On one hand, the Chiefs’ run can’t continue for decades. Only the Tom Brady-era New England Patriots could pull that off. However, the Chiefs have a special quarterback and a future Hall-of-Fame coach. That can take you a long way. If the Chiefs don’t win a loaded AFC West, it wouldn’t mean the end of this budding dynasty. But I do think either the Broncos or Chargers (I prefer the Chargers) take the division this season while Kansas City retools a bit on offense. Kansas City will make the playoffs and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they’re back in the AFC title game, even from a wild-card spot. It might just be a little bit of a down season, by modern Chiefs standards.

A Young and Hungry Chiefs Defense Spells Good Things for the Future | Arrowhead Report

Five rookies logging serious playing time on the defense is a huge departure from the norm for Spagnuolo and is an outlier in the NFL overall as well. That is an incredibly young defense that has many implications surrounding it. One interesting one is that if these players pan out, the Chiefs’ defense is going to be very cheap, very soon.

Kansas City is currently ranked 19th in spending on defense in 2023 with $87.5 million being currently earmarked for the unit. This spending includes over $57M for two players: $30M for Frank Clark and $27M for Chris Jones. Without those two players — two players who might not be wearing Chiefs red next year — the defense would only cost $30M total. That’s dirt cheap.

What remains to be seen is how many of these young players stick. The odds indicate that it won’t be all of them. If the Chiefs hit on three of the five rookies who could start on defense, though, that’s an incredible boon for the defense. With Clark’s contract coming off the books next year, the defense will have a substantial amount of money set aside to continue bolstering that side of the ball.

The youth movement on the defensive side of the ball for the Chiefs is in full swing. The implications of this movement are monumental. It signals a new era for the defense — and an era with a sky-high ceiling.

Kansas City Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt prefers Arrowhead renovation over new stadium | ESPN

Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt used to tell his son, Clark, that his favorite place on the planet was Arrowhead Stadium.

During his annual trip to training camp, Clark Hunt said Friday that the preference of the Chiefs is to renovate the aging facility east of downtown Kansas City rather than build a new stadium. But that will depend on a number of studies that are examining the structural integrity of a building celebrating its opening 50 years ago this season.

“That would be our No. 1 priority,” Hunt said. “We’re going to evaluate all options, obviously. We have to figure out what’s best for the franchise, what’s best for the fan base. But it starts with evaluating Arrowhead and that’s where we’re at.”

Joe Thuney impressed with Chiefs’ Roderick Johnson filling in at left tackle | Chiefs Wire

After several weeks of working beside him, Chiefs starting LG Joe Thuney has also come away impressed with what he’s seen from Johnson.

“Yeah, for sure, he’s doing really well,” Thuney told reporters on Thursday. “Digging in the playbook and communicating a lot. Just trying to be on the same page every play. You know, he’s a great guy. Yeah, so he’s just trying to get better every day.”

The former fifth-round draft pick, Johnson, has three career starts at left tackle with the Houston Texans in 2020.

Around the NFL

Texans coach Lovie Smith has John Metchie address team following rookie’s leukemia diagnosis | NFL.com

“Well you could imagine. First off, he’s fighting something serious,” Smith said of Metchie’s speech. “What can you do as a teammate? What can you do? You can show support. We’ve tried to get the message to all the players on exactly what John [Metchie] is going through, but it was good for them to hear his voice — talking about being here to support you and but I can’t be with the team right now, eventually I’ll be there. But you can imagine how it was.”

The Texans will have a little more to play for than the rest in 2022. Metchie will begin his treatment knowing they’re thinking about him when they take the field.

Trey Lance, young offensive line struggle vs. red-hot 49ers defense | The Athletic

There’s no such thing as a “good” interception in the NFL, but some are worse than others.

Trey Lance has thrown two in the ugly category in the past two practices. Thursday’s came when he didn’t see Jimmie Ward looming 12 yards in front of him and zipped a pass straight into the free safety’s hands.

Friday’s occurred early in practice when Lance threw well behind tight end George Kittle on a crossing route, creating an easy interception for the other safety, Talanoa Hufanga, who picked up a convoy of blockers and nearly carried the ball into the end zone.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Andy Reid backs up Patrick Mahomes, rejects ‘streetball’ claim

It may sound like a strawman argument, but then we got a strong quote from an anonymous defensive coach — collected by The Athletic’s Mike Sando in his annual article listing out tiers of NFL quarterbacks.

According to Sando, the quote comes from a veteran defensive play caller, meaning the head of an NFL defense believes that Mahomes is a simple-minded quarterback who doesn’t progress past his first read.

The quote is blasphemous, and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid indicated that he agrees. When asked about it on Friday, he looked at the positives.

“A lot of coaches have to teach guys how to roll out and call plays to do that — and we just do it; he just does it,” Reid described of Mahomes. “He’s tremendous. I know you guys look at Pro Football Focus and all of those things, just take a peek at that and see how many times he hits the second receiver.”

The description of Mahomes as a one-read quarterback is so inaccurate that it makes you wonder if it was said in bad faith. Unfortunately, these kinds of descriptors — such as “streetball” — have been mindlessly used to describe Black quarterbacks for too long.

Even in a league where nearly one-third of the starting quarterbacks are Black, these slanderous quotes still exist. During Friday’s media availability, Mahomes talked about the uphill climb he and others face in their position.

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