Less than two weeks to preseason… Let’s dive a little bit more about what happened last week Chiefs related.
In the usual training camp press conference, Chiefs president Mark Donovan talked to the press announcing the team will be retiring the mascot “Warpaint”, the famous horse entering the field before the games. After the Washington Redskins had to change their name to the Washington football team, everyone in the Kingdom is worried about changing the Chiefs name as well. And the Chiefs organization is trying to maintain the traditions while adapting to this new society.
“We talk a lot about the drum,” Donovan said. “When you talk to the American Indian working group, the drum is a really strong point of pride with them. If you even have the conversation about, should we think about moving the drum or doing something different, they get pretty emotional about what it is. I go back to the story I’ve told before: when we started the drum, I didn’t know — we as an organization didn’t know — what the drum represented in their community, within their culture. And they educated us. And then we took the steps — the right steps, which they guided us on — to bless the drum, to treat it in a respectful way [and] to use that opportunity to educate people on what the drum really means to their culture.”
Regarding the players, there have been a few moves at the beginning of the week. Last Monday, the Chiefs waived wide receiver Chris Finke and signed long snapper Drew Scott. Obviously, given that Chiefs snapper James Winchester was on the Reserve/COVID list, they had to sign an extra snapper and keep working.
On the other hand, Finke was signed early May — apparently after seeing him catch balls at Pro Day workouts for quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Finke cleared waivers on Tuesday and was placed on the Chiefs’ Reserve/Injured list. Scott was waived on Friday after Winchester returned to the active roster.
Another injured player was added to the Chiefs PUP list, Kyle Long, the veteran offensive lineman who suffered a leg injury in June and is currently in rehab. If Long were to remain on the PUP list after the 53-man roster cut on August 31, he would have to miss the first six weeks of the season. Andy Reid has been updating on Kyle Long’s health and has been quite reassuring. Let’s see how they will proceed.
Business-wise, the superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes is getting more and more involved with the city of Kansas City and we just love it! He bought part of another Kansas City sports franchise. After the baseball team the Royals, he also now owns part of the soccer team, Sporting KC.
Moving into on-the-field matters, it is now training camp time, and a few things happened already!
In fact, Trey Smith already made a splash in the first team! When asked about it, Andy Reid said: “It was consistency, he had done a nice job, not that it’s 100% perfect — young guy, but he showed enough to legitimately be in that position for right now, and then he’s got to compete, so we’ll see how all that goes when we get pads on.” Trey Smith, the sixth-round pick was already considered the steal of the 2021 draft, and he is proving it right now!
Chris Jones was ecstatic about his new position in the team. Trying to get more versatile, he talked about getting more snaps at defensive end. He modified his body during the off-season to improve his flexibility, doing pilates and yoga, and began watching the film of the league’s top defensive ends.
On the offensive side of the ball, Hardman explained last week that he is not feeling any pressure. Did he become more mature?
“With Mecole, I don’t know the best way [to put it],” started Mahomes. “The maturity — of how he practices, of how he goes about his business — is completely different. We’ve always seen the talent. We’ve always seen the speed — the way he’s able to make plays happen — but him being so comfortable with the offense and with just how we do things, I think it’s going to take his game to a new level.”
During the training camp, one of the best plays for the offense Friday was a 55-yard pass from Mahomes to Hardman on a very easy touchdown.
On the revamped offensive line, everybody had praise for Lucas Niang, who opted out last year. He actually played for the first team instead of Remmers last Saturday.
“He’s in great shape right now,” said Reid. “He worked his tail off this offseason and came back early. He and Thuney were in there every day working. It’s showing out here. He’s doing a nice job so far.”
On a lighter note, two new Chiefs players had a 99 rating this year, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce received their golden cleats for the EA Sports’ Madden 22.
Going straight into the 2021 NFL season, it should be clear to everyone that the Kansas City Chiefs have arguably the best quarterback in the NFL in Patrick Mahomes. And actually, this offseason has been very fruitful to reinforce the team. Let’s hope for the best!