Mahomes and the Chiefs turning to young receivers in camp – ESPN – Kansas City Chiefs Blog

Mahomes and the Chiefs turning to young receivers in camp – ESPN – Kansas City Chiefs Blog

Adam TeicherESPN Employees AuthorAug 8, 2023, 06:00 AM ET5 Minute Learn

Why Kimberley A. Martin has the Chiefs repeating as Tremendous Bowl champs

Kimberley A. Martin and Damien Woody debate the Chiefs’ possibilities of profitable back-to-back Tremendous Bowls.

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — When the Kansas City Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill final 12 months, the turnover at large receiver occurred so quick that their youthful gamers grew to become the seasoned veterans nearly in a single day.

This phenomenon struck Skyy Moore, a rookie final season who has now been with the Chiefs so long as any of their different large receivers. This 12 months’s rookie large-out, second-spherical draft choose Rashee Rice, was coming to Moore early in coaching camp with questions on the playbook.

“One in every of the occasions, I advised him, ‘I don’t know, bro, you’ve bought to ask the older guys,’ and he was like, ‘You might be one among the older guys,’” stated Moore, who’s 22. “It simply put issues in perspective for me, like I’ve bought to bounce into a special type of function. I’m not the rookie anymore.”

The roster turnover and the emphasis on youth means the Chiefs don’t have any clear No. 1 receiver at camp. That grew to become significantly true after the participant the Chiefs hoped would fill that function, Kadarius Toney, tore a meniscus simply as camp was beginning. He hasn’t practiced but, although coach Andy Reid stated Monday he expects Toney again for Week 1.

In the meantime, the Chiefs have depth. Their high group of large receivers goes six deep, together with Moore, Rice, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Justyn Ross, Richie James and Justin Watson. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been spreading the ball round at camp, and the Chiefs might wind up conserving all of them into the season, even when Toney returns.

“When you might have a whole lot of guys that may rotate in, and I belief to [make the right] choice and make the proper play and make the play once they’re known as upon, that’s when you recognize you’re in the proper spot,” Mahomes stated. “I really feel like that now. You take a look at our depth chart at receiver, I’ve at all times stated all these dudes could make the soccer group.”

The Chiefs have been hopeful Toney could lead on their large receiving group this season since they acquired him in a commerce with the New York Giants halfway via final season. He performed a giant half in their Tremendous Bowl LVII win over the Philadelphia Eagles and the Chiefs resisted making any pricey acquisitions at large receiver in the offseason due to his presence, regardless of dropping JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman — two of their high receivers in 2022 — in free company.

“He’s simply electrical,” tight finish Travis Kelce stated. “He’s a excessive-vitality man.

“We’re going to miss Okay.T., his potential to make a play out of nowhere. He was that piece for us in the Tremendous Bowl. He was that piece for us all through the season final 12 months.”

What the Chiefs have seen from their different receivers at camp has considerably eased the loss. Even with out Toney, the Chiefs have a various group that features quick receivers like Valdes-Scantling and Watson, smaller ones like Moore and James, and larger targets like Rice and Ross.

The Chiefs in current years haven’t had a receiver fairly like the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Ross, who’s a exact route-runner. He missed all of his rookie season final 12 months with a foot damage.

“Whenever you take a look at the gamers we’ve got and what they’ll do, I might say depth is the greatest I can keep in mind,” offensive coordinator Matt Nagy stated. “Once they had Sammy [Watkins] and that they had Tyreek, these have been quick guys. We’ve a pleasant mixture of some smaller guys, some larger guys, some sooner guys, some guys with sturdy palms. It’s a balanced group.”

Valdes-Scantling, Moore, Watson and Ross joined the Chiefs final season. This 12 months they added James as a free agent and Rice, who has overcome a sluggish begin to make an impression.

“Once I caught my first landing move from Pat, I used to be like, ‘Yeah, I can do that,’” Rice stated.

The Chiefs have had a large receiver catch a minimum of 75 passes in a season 5 of the final six years. 4 occasions it was Hill and final 12 months it was Smith-Schuster, who had 78 catches in his solely season with the Chiefs.

They might not have a 75-plus-catch large receiver this 12 months. The very best variety of catches in a season for any of their large receivers is 57, the variety of passes James caught for the Giants final season.

So the Chiefs might have to use extra of the committee strategy to get massive numbers from their large outs this season.

“I need guys to simply be themselves,” Mahomes stated. “I believe you’ve seen in this offense, it may be run in a whole lot of alternative ways so clearly when Kadarius is in there, we run it a sure means due to his expertise and what he can do. When he’s not in there, we are able to run it a special means to actually speed up the different guys’ abilities.

“Guys like Skyy Moore and Rashee Rice will step up, in addition to guys like Marquez and Justin Watson. We’ve a whole lot of tight ends. We’ve a whole lot of depth in this whole group this 12 months so I’m simply excited for guys to go on the market and seize their alternative.”

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