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Clyde Edwards-Helaire says he will do whatever Chiefs ask of him

The team’s longest-tenured running back is waiting to see how he’ll be used in 2023.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Over four years, there have been many ideas for how to utilize the Kansas City Chiefs’ first-round pick from the 2020 NFL Draft: running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The team compared him to former Philadelphia Eagles’ great Brian Westbrook right out of the gate, and the possibilities felt endless from there.

Heading into 2023, that same back is looking around at the other players in the room, wondering how he can fit in. He’s not the lead back; that is second-year running back Isiah Pacheco. He won’t be the most dependable pass protector; that’s Jerick McKinnon. He may not even be the best receiver, with rookie Deneric Prince continually impressing in that regard at training camp.

For Edwards-Helaire, he’s not sure what specific spot he’ll fill for the Chiefs, and he shared that note with reporters on Friday after practice at Missouri Western State in St. Joseph, Missouri.

“This offseason, I was really trying to figure out what my role would be,” Edwards-Helaire presented. “Typically, you ask beforehand what I’m going to be going into next season, one time it was more catching and running more routes out of the backfield because that’s what I was told.”

“This offseason, it was just workouts, doing my running-back things, doing the things that were building blocks when I first got in the league, but not really specifying anything.”

NFL: JUL 23 Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With only one year left on his deal, the 24-year-old back has pressure to prove himself to the Chiefs and the rest of the NFL. He may have to do that by filling in where he can, and he is prepared to be adaptable in that way.

“At the end of the day, I know I can catch out of the backfield; I can catch from a receiver standpoint, I can run between the tackles... I do it all.”

He feels strongly about his value to the team, however. He has shown his worth in unique ways, as recently as in the lead-up to Super Bowl LVII. Edwards-Helaire had to fill atypical parts for the starting offense as they prepared, and he named that as one reason head coach Andy Reid may trust him.

“I feel like I tested well when he asked me to play receiver during Super Bowl week to keep the timing up for first-team reps,” Edwards-Helaire reflected. “If I can have a running back come out here and we don’t miss a beat, as far as playing the X, the Z, the Zebra, that’s where the trust should be. I can have my guy go in any position, and he preaches it all the time: being interchangeable as a player and not being one dimensional.”

Even though Edwards-Helaire is confident he can positively impact the team, he is not in the business of determining how that will come about. He has embraced that mindset a month out from the regular season, confirming that when asked about his thoughts on what his role should be.

“That’s not my space to say,” Edwards-Helaire quickly answered. “It’s really whenever they call my number; it doesn’t matter. I’ll run between the tackles. I’ll catch out of the backfield. Even beforehand, going into the Super Bowl, that whole week, I practiced receiver. I can’t sit here and tell you what I feel my role should be, but I can do everything on the field.”

He was once considered a specialized offensive weapon that could elevate the offense’s ceiling, but Clyde Edwards-Helaire may now be the competent veteran that raises the floor of the backfield production. Either way, he’s aiming to have an impact on the Chiefs’ success.

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