I had a chance to go check out Kansas City Chiefs training camp, and I will say this, I was super impressed. I had a chance to talk with Andy Reid and visited with Patrick Mahomes about life and Xs and Os.
In regards to camp, I think this team is physically and mentally fit and ready for Week 1 already.
Life After Tyreek Hill
Checking out Mahomes from a bird’s eye view, he really understands the system. He understands what Reid is trying to accomplish—particularly in practice. He was in control and pretty much led the practice. He led all the drills, changed plays and called plays. The coach sat back and allowed him to embrace the quarterback position. I think that’s great for a guy going into his sixth season as he is growing as a quarterback. You look at a guy like Mahomes, he can play another 15 years if he follows the right regimen, which I think he will.
I was super curious to see how this team would look without Tyreek Hill, and I was very impressed. Mecole Hardman is going to step up, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling is going to play a crucial role. I didn’t see who was going to be the ‘X’ or the ‘Z,’ because I was all over the place and I was trying to spend as much time with Reid as I could. I was only there for seven or eight hours, so I wanted to get my time in with him.
Now that Hill is gone, I think Hardman is going to take that step. For one, Hardman is a lot bigger than I thought he was. After seeing him in person, I think he can take on that role of being a ‘Z’. He’s capable of playing a similar role to what DeSean Jackson did for us when I was with the Eagles.
He has that type of speed and explosiveness. They’re not the same because Jackson is different, but Hardman is the guy that can change the outlook and framework of that offense. You just have to put the ball in his hands. We’ve seen him line up in the backfield. We’ve seen him lineup at slot and out wide at ‘Z’ or ‘X’. You can move him around, so I think he’s gonna be the guy to step up the ship for the Kansas City Chiefs receiving group.
Offensively, I think this team is ready to go. I think they are going to pick up where they left off last year. Don’t forget they still have Travis Kelce. When you have that type of safety blanket and mismatch weapon, anything is possible, and it opens up the remainder of the guys on offense. I know Reid will use that to his advantage.
The defense looks sharp. They put themselves in a position to make plays on offense and make practice difficult, which I think is a good thing. It’s always good when the offense and defense go back and forth, and the offense doesn’t just dominate the defense or vice versa. It was very competitive, and I thought that made for good practice, and good things to come moving forward. I was excited to see how they looked without Hill, and I was very impressed as I walked away from practice.