Travis Kelce is ready for a significant change to the Kansas City Chiefs’ passing game in the 2018 season.
The standout tight end expects new quarterback Patrick Mahomes to make use of his strong arm and give the Chiefs more of a long-ball threat than they have from his predecessor, Alex Smith, now with the with Washington Redskins.
‘He’s going to sling that thing around a little bit more’
Kelce discussed the differences between Mahomes and Smith at length while speaking with Bruce Murray and Mark Dominick on the SiriusXM Blitz.
“I think, one, he brings confidence,” Kelce said of Mahomes. “He’s going to sling that thing around a little bit more, a little bit different than Alex did. Alex is the guy where if he sees you’re open, he’ll chuck it. But he might not always throw you open. It has to be a certain situation that he feels comfortable in that regard. And I think Pat is a guy, if you’re out there and his eyes are on you, he’s going to either throw you open or he’s going to put it on the money when you are open.
‘It’s definitely a different style of quarterbacking’
“When (Mahomes) gets out of pocket, he’s a little bit more downfield aware, where Alex, he’s got them scooter legs on him; I always call him ‘Scooter.’ He can scoot now, so he has the ability to hurt you with the legs. It’s definitely a different style of quarterbacking, but at the same time, just as Alex was one of the best in the league this year, I think Pat can be the best in the league this year.”
Kelce is looking forward to working with the Chiefs’ new offensive coordinator, Eric Bieniemy. The tight end was highly impressed with what Bieniemy did as the team’s former running backs coach, and can only see greater contributions in his new role.
‘I’m excited for Coach Bieniemy’
“I’m excited, man,” Kelce said. “I’m excited for Coach Bieniemy. EB’s been amazing as a running backs coach. I can only imagine what he’s going to do with this offense and the type of demand that he demands out of his players, the passion that he has to play the game. It’s going to be fun. I know it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be a lot of ups and downs with Coach Bieniemy knowing that it’s not necessarily his first year where he’d like to get in guys’ grills. So it’s going to be a little bit uncomfortable at first, but I think everybody’s going to jump on board and know that Coach is always in it for the right reasons and he just wants to win this game just as bad as anybody else.
With Mahomes at quarterback and the addition of play-making wide receiver Sammy Watkins to go along with existing weapons such as receiver Tyreek Hill and running back Kareem Hunt, does Kelce expect the Chiefs to be more of a down-field throwing team?
‘It’s not just going to go straight through the air’
“I guess you could say that,” Kelce said. “You could say it because of the type of arm that (Mahomes) has, the type of weapons that we have now. But at the same time, we still have the leading rusher back there and we have a guy that’s been a running backs coach the majority of his career, from what I know of; I could be speaking out (of turn). I think he had a kind of shove-it-in-your-face mentality and wants to out-physical guys, so I can see that being a part of the offense as well.
“It’s not just going to go straight through the air. But we have weapons all over the field, so it could be one game with this, one game with that, or whenever we need to do whatever it is that we need to do to win. I think that’s going to be the case.”
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