The Kansas City Chiefs have made a concerted effort to get the ball into the hands of rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice all preseason long. Rice finished the preseason with 14 catches for 155 yards and has looked electric with the ball in his hands.
That said, holding onto the ball once it touches his hands has been a problem. Rice has had several dropped passes this preseason, including in today's game against the Cleveland Browns.
The Chiefs focused on getting the ball back to Rice after the early drops by playing him well into the third quarter. He finished the day with three catches for 29 yards. When asked about the rookie wide receiver's drops, head coach Andy Reid gave Rice a nod of confidence.
"He's got a lot of talent; he's just got to hang on to the ball," said Reid. "He's got good hands. We just got to focus on squeezing it. Catch it first, and you go do your thing after that. He'll be all right. He's just got to keep working through it."
Four drops in three preseason games. pic.twitter.com/qmLefpmXi0— ️ Red Tribe Cinema (@ClayWendler) August 26, 2023
Overall, it's been a pretty encouraging camp and preseason for Rice.
He's looked explosive after the catch and shown an ability to get open against man and zone coverage. The Chiefs' usage of Rice in the preseason has been interesting. He's frequently led the team in wide receiver snaps and has been a centerpiece of the offensive game plan for several series.
Rice will look to make a rare impact as a rookie in Reid's West Coast offensive scheme. With the Chiefs likely to keep seven wide receivers, getting into a rhythm may prove difficult. Rice will only get so many opportunities before Reid looks elsewhere.