Chiefs rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice making his mark in preseason – ESPN – Kansas City Chiefs Blog

Chiefs rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice making his mark in preseason – ESPN – Kansas City Chiefs Blog

Adam TeicherESPN Employees AuthorAug 22, 2023, 06:00 AM ET3 Minute Learn

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice began slowly in his two preseason video games for the Kansas City Chiefs. He dropped a primary-quarter go every time.

The second-spherical draft decide bounced again effectively sufficient that Patrick Mahomes is evaluating him to a former Chiefs receiver, at the very least in phrases of fashion of play.

“I say he has a number of what Sammy [Watkins] had when he first received right here,” Mahomes mentioned. “With the ability to catch the ball, be bodily however nonetheless have pace and every thing like that. He’s going to be an awesome participant for us and we’re going to maintain making an attempt to push him to get higher.”

Mahomes’ feedback got here after Rice led the Chiefs with 8 catches and 96 receiving yards in a 38-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday.

Rice had two catches of 25 or extra yards, one when he received open down the left sideline and one other when he took a brief go, made two defenders miss and picked up an additional 20 yards.

It was the latter play that has the Chiefs and Mahomes most intrigued. The Chiefs drafted Rice in half due to his means to choose up yards after the catch. Towards the Cardinals, the Chiefs tried to characteristic Rice in that position on a pair completely different snaps, as soon as on a display screen go and one other on a pop go when he was coming throughout the formation in movement.

Requested about Mahomes evaluating him to Watkins, Rice joked that he agreed with it “if Pat mentioned it.” However his comparability was one other veteran wide receiver.

“I used to attempt to examine my sport after DeAndre Hopkins,” Rice mentioned. “That was my favourite wide receiver for a very long time after which I received to the identical degree as him, so I’ve simply form of set to work on myself and see what I change into.

“I can examine myself to him so far as being aggressive to the ball and being a playmaker as soon as the ball’s in my fingers.”

The Chiefs had been in buying and selling with the Cardinals for Hopkins early in the spring. They misplaced a lot of that curiosity after drafting Rice.

The Chiefs have a crowd at wide receiver even with out Kadarius Toney, who missed all of coaching camp after having surgical procedure for a torn meniscus. However Rice seems to have carved out a job even when Toney is accessible when the common season begins.

The Chiefs have tried to hurry his studying curve, enjoying him greater than any of their different wide receivers thus far in the preseason.

“You search for child steps studying of development studying this offense,” offensive coordinator Matt Nagy mentioned. “You need to discuss consuming via a hearth hydrant for Rashee coming in right here? He comes from a no-huddle offense [in college at SMU] and it’s just a little bit completely different now with tempo right here. There’s a huddle play, attending to the road of scrimmage, working your route [and] being on time, jogging again and doing it once more.

“On daily basis he’s made incremental enhancements and it’s thrilling for us as a result of the sky’s the roof for his expertise.”

Rice’s greatest flaw through the preseason is the dropped passes. He additionally fumbled close to the top of the play on certainly one of his lengthy catches in opposition to the Cardinals, although he recovered.

Coach Andy Reid indicated he wouldn’t be affected person with Rice dropping a grip on the ball for lengthy.

“It’s nice to return again [from dropped passes], however let’s strive to not do it in the beginning,” Reid mentioned. “Should you do then you definately’ve received to return again, however let’s attempt to get rid of the primary a part of the equation.”

For now, at the very least, Mahomes and the opposite Chiefs quarterbacks will preserve firing to Rice. Mahomes and Rice turned acquainted earlier than the draft, when he invited Rice to take part in his throwing classes for Chiefs receivers.

He got here away impressed with Rice even earlier than they had been teammates.

“He has good really feel,” Mahomes mentioned. “We preserve pushing him to be higher and higher. You see the expertise. He makes a number of powerful catches. He had the drop early and he responded effectively. I believe that comes with the jitters of being in your first few NFL video games. However I’ve a number of belief in him to make these catches in powerful areas. There’s simply one other playmaker that we’ve in this offense.”

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