Tight end Blake Bell, nephew of former Chiefs first round pick Mike Bell, has enjoyed being able to play in Kansas City for the first time.
For at least an offseason, Blake Bell is furthering the family’s influence on the Kansas City Chiefs. With a good training camp, he’s got the odds in his favor to add a regular season to that as well.
This offseason, the Chiefs have been searching for the next tight end or two to play behind All-Pro Travis Kelce after watching previous options depart over the last year or two. Demetrius Harris signed this spring with the Cleveland Browns, and general manager Brett Veach has yet to bring on an obvious developmental talent via the draft. With the Ross Travis experiment over as well, it means the Chiefs could use one or even two new faces, depending on how they want to structure the roster.
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Earlier this offseason, the Chiefs signed Bell, the veteran of the lot, to compete with a core of young players hungry to make an impression on this coaching staff. It’s a group that includes last season’s holdovers Deon Yelder and David Wells along with former Ravens TE Nick Keizer and rookie free agent Jody Fortson, a convert from wide receiver.
For now, Bell is likely the frontrunner of the lot due to his experience and blocking ability for a team with Super Bowl ambitions. From Bell’s perspective, he says the competition is going well and that it’s been an enjoyable process due to the fact that they all get along so well.
“It’s going well. Just kinda getting in and getting a few extra days fo learning the offense an things like that,” he says.
“I feel like the guys, we’ve got the whole group here and we’re ready to work. It’s a good group because when we get into the meetings rooms and everything, everyone’s learning from each other and trying to grasp the offense. We’re out here just trying to get better each and every day.”
Bell came to camp early with the rookies and says the extra time has been helpful, especially because Travis Kelce has been around as he’s recovering from offseason surgery. His presence helps clarify the offense for guys new to Andy Reid‘s schemes.
“It’s great to obviously have Travis out here and kind of learning from him and have him throw his two cents on details and routes and just the offense,” says Bell. “It’s awesome because when he’s out there and doing it, you can see how he’s doing things. He’s one of the best tight ends in the league, so it’s great to have him out there and just seeing everything route-wise and what he does and just learning from it.”
Bell says he has fond memories of coming to Chiefs games when he was a child given that his uncle, Mike, was a staple along the defensive front for an incredible 12 seasons—from 1979 to 1991.
“We used to come to games all the time. I remember having my picture with Tony Gonzalez when I was young and everything,” says Bell.
“It’s awesome being in an organization like this. Obviously my uncle played here, too, and that’s great and family lives close. But I’m here to battle it out with a great group of guys and we’re all friends but wen we come on the field, we’re competing and that makes it fun.”