What we learned about the Kansas City Chiefs this week
Andy Reid says Lucas Niang is in better shape than he was in 2020
As Kansas City Chiefs The rookie minicamp wrapped up on Sunday, with Reid addressing a hot topic of the offseason: the readiness of the rookie tackle who chose not to compete in the 2020 season.
“He’s actually in better shape than he probably was last year,” noted the head coach. “It’s a plus. You know he did stuff. So he went in – and it looked like he had come back right away. For what we asked him to do, he was fine.
Due to the limited number of players in the minicamp – in part because the league had limited each team to just five tryout invitations – there were limits to what players like Niang could do.
“The thing with that [minicamp] was there no attack on the defense with the lines, ”Reid told reporters. “So we didn’t have a tête-à-tête or any of that.”
Chiefs sign defensive back Manny Patterson after minicamp try and make two cuts
During the three-day minicamp, five players tried out with the team. On Monday, we learned of four transactions.
To make room for Patterson and wide receiver Daurice Fountain – whose signing grabbed the headlines earlier today – the Chiefs gave up defensive back Jaylon McClain-Sapp and released wide receiver Tajae Sharpe.
Patterson – who will be 23 at the end of May – played for the Black Bears from 2016 to 2019, starting a total of 39 games before his senior season was cut short by a ripped ACL. During his time there, he was three times selected by the All-CAA, recording 93 tackles (67 solo, 2.5 loss), one interception and 47 breakage passes. As a rookie, he was the school’s defensive rookie of the year, starting nine games.
Chiefs rookie breakdown: Cornell Powell
Also on Monday, Ron Kopp finished his series of failures on recruits drafted by the team.
From what I’ve seen of Powell, he should be in strong competition with Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle for shots as the “X” receiver. It will not be his talent on the pitch that will prevent him from playing; I would trust him above the rest to create a separation from the media coverage. Instead, his biggest drawback will be his inexperience in the offense.
Other than that, the three are similar players – although Powell’s ball-jumping ability may be more impressive than what we’ve seen of the other two. And it’s not crazy to put them together: Robinson was a fourth-round pick, while Pringle was not drafted. It wouldn’t be fair to fire Powell just because he was a fifth round selection.
Being a rookie and not knowing Coach Reid’s complex system will restrict him to some extent, but Powell has the opportunity to contribute in 2021. Even though he doesn’t get a lot of offensive snaps he should be a important special teams player right away.
Report: vast majority of Chiefs players report for OTA phase two
Then we had some good news regarding the next phase of the off-season program.
In a normal offseason, we might consider 90% participation in a voluntary off-season program to be a bad thing. While we might see a few players missing out on volunteer activities because they are in contract negotiations, nine seated players would raise eyebrows.
But in this particular offseason – in which the NFL Players’ Association organized an attempt to boycott such voluntary team activities – it’s a good number. The last one we knew of, players from 19 teams – not counting Chiefs players – had issued statements supporting the boycott, which the players’ union says is to protect its members from potential exposure to the coronavirus.
While Chiefs players – as a group – have not publicly weighed in on the boycott, individual players may decide to back it up by avoiding voluntary offseason games. But based on Herbie Teope report, it seems very few Chiefs players do.
The chefs rank very well in the only offseason score that really matters
Tuesday announced that in their post-draft poll, ESPN’s 32 NFL beat editors voted the Chiefs as the best team in the league.
What’s interesting about this is that power rankings – even those based on a poll – tend to favor the previous one. super bowl winner. In the eyes of most NFL watchers, once you’re the best dog, you are still the best dog – until another dog takes your place.
This could be especially true when the previous league championship was a 31-9 blowout – and the team that won it had (and still have) Tom Brady as quarterback. But as we see here, beaten NFL reporters see the Chiefs solved their biggest problem – and are now the best team in the league.
It’s good to note individual parts of the offseason. But the only thing that really The bottom line is: Did the offseason moves improve the team so they could compete for a championship? And in the eyes of ESPN beat writers, chefs did just that.
Chiefs re-sign Manny Patterson after initial contract disapproval
John Dixon delved into the details of an unusual story about the team’s last defensive back on Wednesday.
Patterson – who was not drafted in 2020 after tearing up an ACL last November – has never received a standard three-year unwritten free agent contract at league minimum wage. After recovering from his ACL injury, he was signed to the Washington football teamthe training team at the end of September. After Washington freed him, the Houston Texans signed him to their training squad in December.
The Chiefs just didn’t realize Patterson never signed a UDFA contract last season. This would not have been an unreasonable assumption, as players who are signed into squad training teams have already been signed with NFL contracts – and once those deals are terminated (in the case of rookie UDFAs, usually on the last day of the reduction), players become free agents who can sign any type of agreement.
But because Patterson had rehabilitated his ACL injury in the spring and summer, he was never offered a three-year UDFA contract – until now.
2 Chiefs players firmly on the 2021 roster bubble
During Wednesday’s Arrowhead Pride Out of Structure podcast, Ron Kopp and Matt Stagner each spoke about which chefs might (or might not) make the final September roster.
Deer: Antonio Callaway
We generally think of players on the bubble as a negative thing – but players on a reserve / future deal are budding be in the bubble because that means they have a chance to be on the list.
In many ways, Callaway feels like a player from afar – but he’s recently received a bit of love from the Chiefs’ coaching staff. In the past, Callaway has had production with other teams – and in Ron’s current roster screening of 53, the sixth wide receiving spot is available. Until proven otherwise, Callaway could be the frontrunner for the job.
WATCH: Mecole Hardman wins 40-yard run against three other NFL speedsters
4.22? Nuff said.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman won his 40-yard virtual run against NFL speedsters Henry Ruggs III, Devin White and Justin Jefferson. All but one recorded faster times than they recorded during their NFL Combination appearances – but Hardman recorded the fastest time: 4.22 seconds.
Hardman’s Time Ties John Ross All-Time Combine Record … and the Chiefs Note.
GMFB lists ‘Craziest, mind-boggling stats in NFL’ including Chiefs
In Thursday’s episode, “Good Morning Football” co-host Kay Adams recalled the 2014 season – in which no Kansas City wide receiver caught a touchdown pass.
“There was a time – I wish I could have shown it to you, but for some reason I can’t – Dwayne Bowe was put on trial for scoring on a pass from Chase Daniel (my guy from Mizzou),” Adams said. “He was seen and called an escapee AT THE HALF-YARD LINE INSTEAD! So I got robbed.
The game described by McAdams took place in the Chiefs’ last game of the season against the San Diego. Chargers. Because she was only interested in Bowe’s fantastic contribution, she left out one important detail: The Chiefs still scored on the play. It was initially thought that Bowe had broken the plane of the goal line to score. Upon review, officials said Bowe dropped the ball – which Kelce recovered in the end zone – and the Chiefs took a 10-0 lead.
But it was not the only near the touchdown by a Kansas City wide receiver this season.
Report: Bashaud Breeland visited the Vikings on Thursday
Then we got news suggesting that Kansas City may not sign the cornerback for his third straight one-year contract.
Over his two seasons at Kansas City, Breeland started 26 games, recording 86 tackles (67 solo, two loss), four interceptions, one sack, one forced fumble and 17 defensive passes.
According to Nate Taylor’s report, Breeland and the Chiefs continued to discuss his return to the squad for 2021. But Kansas City now has two defensive backs who were first-round picks for their former teams – Deandre Baker and new addition Mike Hughes – as well as the returning starter. Charvarius Ward and sophomore L’Jarius Sneed. It may be that the Chiefs simply decided to move on from the 29-year-old turn, who missed the first four games of the 2020 season with a suspension.
So far, it’s unclear whether the Vikings will offer Breeland a contract.