The Kansas City Chiefs’ wide receivers continue to be a subject of hot debate.
How many of them will the team keep? Six? Seven? All of them?
We’ve seen a great many highlights to get us excited — but at the end of training camp, the question remains: just how good are Kansas City’s wideouts?
After Wednesday’s practice at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, wide receivers coach Conner Embree sounded hopeful.
“I think we have a good group,” he said. “We have a good vet group of dudes that have done it before that have been in other places... All of them kind of chime in and try to help each other out. I think that’s something special about the group we have.”
Embree specifically likes the playmaking ability of the new veteran Richie James.
“I actually have known Richie for a while,” he noted. “He was out [with the San Francisco 49ers] and I got to work with him for a little [while] out there.
“He’s a true vet. He knows what to do. Ever since Day 1, he’s been in here. He picked up the playbook real fast — and then if you tell him something once, he’s not going to make the same mistake. I like it.”
The Chiefs are also looking for sophomore receiver Skyy Moore to take a leap forward this year — and the vast majority of camp reports about him have been positive.
Embree thinks Moore just needs to trust in his own abilities.
“He just needs to be him,” he said. “I think if he’s just ‘Skyy,’ then that’ll be good for our team.”
But he also wanted to point out that Moore’s bigger role in the offense carries higher expectations, too.
“This year — being Year 2,” he said, “[You can’t be] making rookie mistakes and doing stuff like that. But other than that, I mean, it’s up to him — and I expect a lot from him.”
Embree is also happy to see fan-favorite Justyn Ross back on the field.
“I just wanted to see him play hard, go out and have fun,” he recalled. “It’s his first action in two years. So just exactly that: play hard and have fun — and I thought he did that.”
Embree thinks second-round rookie Rashee Rice has improved since the Chiefs’ rookie minicamp in early May.
“Over the summer, I thought he did a good job of getting in better shape,” he noted. “He came back [to camp] in good shape — and he’s just been working hard all of training camp. [He is] very coachable, so I like where he’s at.”
Embree explained that while the former SMU wideout also worked with quarterback Patrick Mahomes over the summer — giving him a good initial understanding of the offense — fans should still temper their expectations of the young pass-catcher.
“He knew some of our routes — some of how we call some stuff,” he noted. “But other than that? I mean, he was a rookie. So [working with Mahomes] might add a little step up — but not too much.”
Ultimately, Embree believes whatever success his players will achieve will be based on their work ethic — the effort they put into improving their craft.
“There are no days off,” he said. “There are no easy days.”
And under head coach Andy Reid, there is no special treatment.
“It’s not like other places around the league, where you might be a 10-year vet and get a day off,” he added. “If you’re healthy, you’re going — and we’re going hard and long.”