Munich / Kansas City – Patrick Mahomes completed his first season as starting quarterback with the Kansas City Chiefs last season. With 5,097 passing yards and 50 touchdowns, he was able to forget about the departure of Alex Smith without further ado.
Whether tight end Travis Kelce, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, or running back Kareem Hunt – Mahome’s arsenal was looking for its equal for a long time.
A few months later everything looks very different. The Chiefs, in 2018 still the third best offense in the league in terms of yards scored per game, have to reinvent themselves in this offseason.
Receiver sorely missed
In addition to the unclear situation about the possible suspension of wide receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Travis Kelce was also out for months due to an ankle injury, but should be fit again for the training camp. In addition, receiver Chris Conley left the franchise in the Free Agency. Accordingly, the receiving corps in the OTAs and in the mini camp was swept empty.
The ability for the remaining players to play in focus.
In the draft, the franchise secured an additional wide receiver with its second round pick as a precaution. Georgia’s Mecole Hardman is seen by the experts as Hill’s legitimate successor. In the Scouting Combine, he ran a strong 4.33 seconds on the 40-yard dash. He is given good employment opportunities both as a receiver and as a returner.
In addition, the development of Sammy Watkins is viewed with eagle eyes. Due to a foot injury, the 26-year-old dropped out from Week 11 of last season and only returned in the playoffs. He recorded 40 trapped passes for 519 yards and three touchdowns.
I will be the best this year mark my word I want it more now than I ever did before in my life im sacrificing everything to get to where I once was the world will now get to witness my greatness again..! # STARSHIP14 #LIMITLESS14
— King me (@sammywatkins) May 18, 2019
Watkins convinced in the offseason
The training impressions of the offseason made those responsible in Kansas positive. Watkins himself finally feels at home in the team, now knows the offense and coaches. As he said on SiriusXM NFL, he feels like he’s back in college right now: “This offseason was just good for getting my body in shape. The Chief’s staff were great and helped me a lot with my body.”
A few weeks ago he announced on Twitter that he had big plans for 2019: “I’ll be the best this year, remember my words. I want it more than ever in my life. I am sacrificing everything to get back to where I am once was. The world will now be able to experience my brilliance again. “
In his five seasons so far in the NFL, Watkins broke the 1,000 receiving yard barrier only once in a season (2015 for the Buffalo Bills), and injuries plagued him frequently. In two of the past three years, he has missed at least six games.
In 2018, he signed a three-year contract for $ 48 million with the Chiefs. Watkins now has an obligation to justify his expensive contract.
Mahomes is working on Pocket Awareness
After his monster season, Mahomes also wants to get even better. The adjusting screws are tightened especially in the offseason. While he was still studying Alex Smith’s Snaps before last season, he can now recapitulate his own moves.
In addition to his great strength of reading the opponent’s defense and then reacting to the respective situation outside of the pocket, the training should now focus on the short moves in particular. Quarterback coach Mike Kafka named the game within the pocket and pocket awareness as central construction sites that the 24-year-old could improve.
According to James Pamer of the “NFL Network”, the MVP is currently training on his “early quarterback reads” in order to increase the consistency in the short passing game and to be less dependent on his “unscripted plays”. The improved chemistry with Watkins also benefits him here.
But the shoe pinches not only in the passing game.
Who will be the Hunt’s successor?
After Kareem Hunt was fired in Week 12 of last season, there was a huge void in the running game. Spencer Ware then took over, but was unable to convince as a starter in two games and immediately lost the position. The separation followed in the Free Agency, Ware will play in the Indianapolis Colts in the future.
The Chiefs, in turn, recruited Carlos Hyde, who had been fired from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The veteran will fight with Darrel Williams and his namesake Damien for the post of starting running back. Damien Williams started in 2018 after the failed experiment with goods for the rest of the season and delivered quite solid performances.
Darrel Williams, Undrafted Free Agent from 2018, showed good approaches and should now take the next step. And then there’s this year’s six-round pick in the draft, Darwin Thompson.
Andy Reid is spoiled for choice when it comes to inventing the new offense.
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