The Chiefs continue to show what they are about

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“Shag” managed to find his way into the endzone, but overall it wasn’t a great night for the rookie…or any of the other backup TEs.

Backup Tight End:  This spot is a holdover from last week.  I wasn’t impressed by the depth behind Travis Kelce against Arizona, so this was a very important point for me this week.  How did they look?  Well…to be honest, it was a lot more of the same from last week.  Yes, James O’Shaughnessy grabbed himself a touchdown and another decent pass catch, but that was really the highlight of his night.  Shag also showed some timidity on another pass when he clearly heard the footsteps of the defender.  If you want to be a tight end in the NFL, that can never be an issue.  That’s where guys like Greg Olsen, Heath Miller, and Jason Witten have made their names.  Making tough catches when they know they’re going to take a hit.  O’Shaughnessy is not on the level of Kelce or Rob Gronkowski, so he needs to be making those catches.

Richard Gordon remains the veteran blocking tight end.  And, for now, that means he is likely the number two man on the depth chart.  The Chiefs are still a running team, so it will be Gordon that gets the most snaps of all the backups.  He’s not going to bring in many receptions for an offense, and truth be told, I think he would be the first man cut if the Chiefs did bring in another option, or if/when Demetrius Harris comes back.

Speaking of Harris, it seems clear to me that the Chiefs were relying quite a bit on his development.  There were no significant additions to the group in the offseason.  In fact, the Chiefs were even willing to move on from reliable veteran Anthony Fasano.  Yes, the move was done to help clear up some cap space, but there were other moves available.  That shows confidence in the depth they had at the time…which was Demetrius Harris.  On top of that, the Chiefs passed over all of the top tight ends in the draft (though it was a very weak class).  So the best hope we have right now is that Harris gets off the trainer’s table and shows he has continued his development.  Otherwise, there will be an inordinate amount of pressure on Travis Kelce to perform this year.

The last man in this group is undrafted free agent Ryan Taylor.  Last week, AA reader Scott Mahurin told me that I had missed him in my roundup and might want to pay closer attention to him.  I am nothing if not accommodating, and watched Taylor extra close…it did not pay off.  Taylor looked like exactly what I figured he was: a camp guy who looks good against other camp guys.  Taylor struggled as a pass catcher and a blocker.  He looked lost and unsure of himself.  If anything, he is at least a couple years away from contributing on the field.  I would list him as a Practice Squad candidate.

Apart from right guard, I would say this is the weakest spot on the Chiefs offense.  Yes, Travis Kelce is a stud, but the depth behind him is less than awe-inspiring.  Don’t be surprised if John Dorsey makes one of his famous late preseason trades or waiver claims to try and fix things.

Next: Has the WR corps been improved?