Hello again everyone and welcome to another week of the ArrowChop! This is the column where we look at the positives/negatives of a certain Chiefs/NFL issue and look at both sides of the aisle. Then you, the readers, will come to your conclusions after I lay out the case. So sit back, relax, and enjoy as we break down this week’s hot topic.
With training camp officially kicking off, the headlines will be a bit more interesting following this next few weeks. Just recently, Mecole Hardman stated in an interview that he wants the trust of Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs organization. He stated:
“It’s probably one of my most important seasons,” Hardman said. “I think it’s up to me personally to do what I need to do and take advantage of every opportunity that’s given to me and gain the trust of the coaches, the rest of the staff and Pat and my teammates and just show them I can be a viable asset every Sunday or whatever day we’re playing on. It’s kind of that time to just take those challenges head on and try to prove myself.”
Hardman hasn’t seen a true starter role and in the past two years he’s played, he hasn’t seen at least 50% of offensive snaps for that year (45% in both 2019 and 2020). The coaching staff and organization doesn’t have a lot of trust in him no, which is fair; however, can Mecole Hardman gain the trust of the Chiefs’ organization this year? Let’s break down both sides of the aisle and find out:
Hardman will gain that trust
This side believes so as such:
Firstly, as the years go by, Hardman will get more and more used to Reid’s and Bieniemy scheme they have set up. As he continues to adjust, learn, and make plays while he is in camp, the more likely the whole offense will trust him. Mahomes himself has come out and said:
The maturity I guess you could say of how he practices, how he goes about his business, is completely different,” Mahomes said. “We’ve always seen the talent. We’ve always seen the speed, the way he’s able to make plays happen. But with him being so comfortable with the offense and just how we do things, I think it’s going to take his game to another level.
So, from Mahomes’ perspective, he’s telling us that as soon as Hardman gets used to the Chiefs’ designed system, the more he will revamp his game. Some players thrive in a system, and it looks as though Hardman is progressively used to it.
Secondly and finally, he has the raw skill and talent to gain that trust. We all know how he is one of the speed demons on the Chiefs aside from Tyreek Hill; however, he still has pretty good route running abilities and has shown to be a home run hitter when it comes to big plays. Any offense would kill for a player like that, and with a high-powered offense like the Chiefs’ have, he could thrive. Especially if he earns the role as the WR2 for the Chiefs, seeing more snaps than he usually does.
Hardman won’t gain that trust
This side believes so as such:
Firstly, Hardman has shown to frustrate not only fans but players too. It was prominent in this year’s Super Bowl, where Hardman had two catches on six targets for a measly four yards, giving him a meager 42.4 QB rating when thrown his way. He also had eight dropped passes this year according to Pro Football Focus, which place him among the top five in dropped passes in 2020.
Anyone would be infuriated with that. While he does well in practice, it doesn’t show on the field. This continues on the next point made.
Secondly and finally, while he does well in practice, he rarely shows that skill on the field. We know he has talent and he has shown flashes of that, but he can never stay consistent on the field no matter what. It’s one of the main reasons why the Chiefs never gave him as much playing time as others like Demarcus Robinson (saw 65% of offensive snaps in 2020). If you aren’t a consistent player, you won’t gain the trust of others that are considered consistent. We know what we’ll get out of Kelce, Hill, and Robinson (vital role receiver); however, we can never truly get a read on Hardman due to his consistency issues.
This is Hardman’s most important season, so if the issue isn’t resolved, he’ll likely never gain that trust that Mahomes, Reid, and Bieniemy have for others on that offense.
Do you think Hardman will gain that trust? Leave a comment down below to join the discussion, and be sure to follow me on Twitter @HunterStanton8 and @ArrowheadLive. Thanks for reading, and have a fantastic day.