As expected, Brett Veach has publicly expressed that Damien Williams will come into the 2020 season as the Chiefs starting runningback. Williams was excellent in the playoffs and Super Bowl. He was a hair’s breadth from becoming the Super Bowl MVP in Kansas City’s biggest game in fifty years. Moreover, Williams is well versed in the Kansas City offense. Chiefs fans should expect to see a committee approach at runningback to start the 2020 season.
In spite of Veach’s predictable comments, Chiefs’ fans should expect Clyde Edwards-Helaire to take over as the featured back sooner rather than later. Williams has been great for the Chiefs, but there are several reasons to anticipate that Edwards-Helaire will be setting the league on fire in his rookie debut for the world’s most potent offense.
First, Edwards-Helaire was a first round pick. The last time the Chiefs took a first round pick they grabbed the greatest talent to ever spin a football, Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs lost their 2018 first round pick in their trade up for Mahomes. In 2019, the Chiefs surrendered their first round pick to the Seahawks for Frank Clark. Finally, the Chiefs were able to make a first round selection and they used it on a runningback. The team certainly didn’t expend this type of capital for someone to split carries indefinitely.
Second, Edwards-Helaire is a dynamic playmaker. After watching film on Clyde, Reid told Veach that he believed the ball carrier was more talented than one of Reid’s favorite and most productive backs, Brian Westbrook. Brian Westbrook was a monster in the Philly backfield under Coach Reid. If Reid believes this player exceeds Westbrook’s eye-popping ability, don’t expect Williams to be stealing snaps from him for long.
Finally, this is the pick Mahomes wanted. Apparently, before the pick was made, Mahomes was contacted and he specifically requested Clyde Edwards-Helaire. When Mahomes speaks, all of Kansas City listens. Reid may be the mastermind, but when the biggest play of Super Bowl 54 was on the line, Mahomes was the one calling the shots. If Mahomes sees a deficiency in the runningback position, you better believe that the Chiefs brass will ensure that their shiny new toy will be utilized. Edwards-Hilaire has exceptional route running ability, fantastic agility and deceptive balance. He is custom made for the Chiefs’ offensive attack.
It is true, Damien Williams will begin 2020 as the starter in the Chiefs backfield. He knows the playbook. Also, he is a reliable blocker and route runner. However, if Edwards-Helaire is even close to the talent Reid, Veach, and Mahomes believe him to be, he will quickly usurp that role. Do not be surprised if this unique talent receives Rookie of the Year honors prior to the season’s end. Thanks for all you have done Damien, but this kind of talent can’t stay sidelined for long.