Among all the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coaches, no one has had to deal with as much 2022 turnover as wide receivers coach Joe Bleymaier. Aside from Mecole Hardman — who is now the team’s most-senior wideout — the entire group has changed since last season.
That means there’s plenty of work to be done in order to get the newcomers up to speed.
The greenest of the new faces is rookie Skyy Moore, who was the team’s second-round selection during April’s NFL Draft. He has been lighting up training camp with impressive catches and smooth route running, which can be linked to the focus he displayed upon his arrival.
This has stood out to Bleymaier, who talked to reporters after Tuesday’s training camp practice at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph.
“Skyy has come in — and he wants to be perfect,” said Bleymaier. “He wants to take every rep and learn from it, see the whole picture... There is just so much on his plate, he could start swimming in all of the different things that are going on — [but] he wants to stay right on top of it. He’s the first one to come over and ask [questions or] give hypotheticals about a different situation. He’s just seeing the big picture — not just the specific route or rep that he took.”
Bleymaier had similar thoughts about another newcomer: former Green Bay Packers wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling, whose attention to detail has also stood out during practice.
“MVS is a perfectionist,” Bleymaier revealed. “He comes out, he knows exactly what he’s got [and] he wants to be perfect on every single rep. He’s exactly where he needs to be. We’ve taken a ton of reps all through these camps — sometimes not putting guys in the most optimal position to win — [but] he’s fought right through that, getting to where he needs to be and making all of his routes as good as they can be.”
Valdes-Scantling appeared to start the offseason as a strong contender to be the team’s No. 1 wide receiver. While Moore has stolen many of the camp’s headlines, the most proven of the receivers is Juju Smith-Schuster, a former Pro Bowler with a 1,400-yard season on his resume.
Bleymaier said that thanks to this experience, Smith-Schuster has made a smooth transition into the Kansas City offense.
“He has a natural feel,” said Bleymaier. “It’s very similar to Travis [Kelce]: he just knows the game. His style of route running gets him open. The quarterbacks see it, put it on him and he makes the catch. That’s what we’ve been seeing — [and] that’s what we expected.”
The veterans obviously hold an advantage over Moore in acclimating to another NFL offense — but all of them are starting from square one in the Chiefs’ offense. The assistant coach thinks that has helped Moore towards being ready to contribute right away.
“It’s helped having some other new faces in our room,” he said. “Whereas some rookies may use it as an excuse, [saying], ‘It’s my first year in the NFL [and] this is a lot of stuff to learn;’ they crutch on that. [But] he’s seen all the other guys coming in, learning our offense for the first time. There are no excuses for them; we expect the veteran guys we brought in to know everything... Skyy is taking [the] approach of, ‘If they’re knowing everything — and it’s the first time they’re hearing it — then I should, too.’”
As the group continues to fight through the offense’s learning curve, the players will naturally settle into specific roles based on how comfortable they are with all the aspects of the scheme. Intitially, Bleymaier identified Smith-Schuster as the wide receiver with whom quarterback Pattrick Mahomes will likely have the best chemistry. But the roles that Moore and Valdes-Scantling will settle into will be built around their strengths — and worked to perfection by the players themselves.