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Training camp notebook: Skyy Moore is ‘playing faster’ in Chiefs’ offense

The second-year receiver is much more comfortable with his knowledge of the scheme this year.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

There are a handful of wide receivers who have created excitement for Kansas City Chiefs fans during training camp at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph. Their names may differ from the one that keeps coming from the mouths of the team’s players and coaches.

Now that Skyy Moore is entering his second season, everyone is noticing his growth from last year. The position group’s veteran leader noted it after an early practice in St. Joseph.

“Skyy is doing a great job, man,” Marquez Valdes-Scantling shared with reporters on July 29. “The second year in, knowing the offense, being more comfortable in who he is. They drafted him in the second round for a reason.”

Then, the next day, another veteran wideout expressed admiration for his young teammate.

“Skyy has taken a huge step,” said Justin Watson. “It’s been really cool to see him build on that confidence that we saw at the end of last season. So I think you just see a guy that’s starting to understand defenses [and] really has a good feel for our concepts.”

And also — according to Watson — a good relationship with quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

“So he had an unbelievable spring — and I think he’s done the same thing: [he’s] taken off so far in camp.”

The day after, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo also mentioned Moore.

“I’ll tell you,” he said. “Skyy, he just pops out now — but we expected that, right?”

That’s exactly it: a second-year, second-round wide receiver should be ascending to the top of the offense; that’s the standard in today’s NFL.

Moore is meeting that standard for the Chiefs right now. Offensive coordinator Matt Nagy described the improvements he has seen from Moore in a press conference Wednesday.

“Growth within the system and being able to play fast, because he knows where to go,” Nagy said. “He has had the talent. Last year, he was learning the offense. Now, he’s transitioning to playing faster and getting more opportunities; I think he’ll do well.”

The additional opportunities were going to come either way. The team lost wide receivers Juju Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman this offseason, two players who provided some skills that Moore has too.

He feels ready to have the ball in his hands more because of the ups and downs of his rookie season.

“I’m way more comfortable,” Moore told reporters on Wednesday. “I got that year of experience, so there are certain things I already know; I shouldn’t have to get coached on where to align or anything that happens before the snap. It’s more about how do I beat the guy, instead of what route do I run.”

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

When asked about how that experience can help rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice, Moore had a realistic response.

“You have to go through it to learn it. You can take as many mental reps as you want, but until you go mess that play up, you’re not going to really get it in your head for real.”

“It’s like that for every position, the X, the Zebra and the Z. To learn all three positions, it probably took me until Week 4 or Week 5 to understand everything completely.”

Playing all 20 games in 2023, Moore had plenty of the mess-ups to learn from. He tallied three muffed punts but was also the target on multiple interceptions quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw.

That doesn’t mean each pick was his fault, but there may be less apparent miscommunications in 2023. Moore explained why his inexperience in the offense contributed to those negative plays.

“It’s about when I arrive in certain windows.”

“Last year, what might be an incompletion, this year, I’ll catch it and go for more yards,” Moore further elaborated. “It’s always adjusting the routes; that’s the biggest part of this offense, adjusting the routes to the look.”

Moore’s improved knowledge of the offense is why you will see him on the field more often — but it could also propel him to a breakout season in 2023.

Post-practice press conferences

If you can’t see the above (Apple iTunes) embed, click here. The press conference is also available on Spotify.

Injury report

  • Did not practice (due to injury): TE Jody Fortson (right shoulder injured on 7/28), CB L’Jarius Sneed (knee swelling on 7/31), WR Kadarius Toney (knee injured on 7/23)
  • Limited: RB Isiah Pacheco (hand, labrum)
  • Returned to practice: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (sick)

Quote(s) of the day

Right guard Trey Smith: “I love Keondre... we only disagree about Tennessee and Texas, which one is the real UT. We talk about that every day... Tennessee orange, not that burnt orange stuff.”

Defensive tackle Keondre Coburn, in response: “I ain’t worried about Trey. Texas is the real UT I know, Tennessee. I just found out from him a couple minutes ago.”

What’s next?

The Chiefs have a day off on Thursday before returning to the field for their 16th full-team training camp practice on Friday. The workout begins at 9:15 a.m. Arrowhead Time, and it leads into a day off on Saturday before the first preseason game on Sunday.

Head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes will address the media following the practice as the linebackers sign autographs. Here’s the complete 2023 training camp schedule.

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