Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is excited by the ways in which the team’s offense is going to look different in 2022.
The storyline surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason is much different from what almost anyone outside of Arrowhead could have expected. Instead of coming into another season riding the same horses that have brought them to four consecutive AFC Championship games and two Super Bowls, the Chiefs changed things up considerably this offseason with a bit of a youth movement on both sides of the ball.
No one is accusing the Chiefs of going through any sort of rebuild in 2022. However, there are a considerable amount of new faces and the turnover includes several key players and leaders gone from last year’s team. Given the trade of wide receiver Tyreek Hill, the release of linebacker Anthony Hitchens, and Tyrann Mathieu’s exit in free agency, the Chiefs will have a different feel in 2022.
That’s especially true on the offensive side in which Hill was hardly the only familiar face who left. Byron Pringle is now with the Chicago Bears, while Demarcus Robinson is playing for the rival Raiders. Instead, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are the newest additions to the WR room with Mecole Hardman along with rookie Skyy Moore and a host of exciting fringe prospects competing for a job—including former Clemson star Justyn Ross.
As the primary holdover from years past, Travis Kelce knows that the offense is going to look quite a bit different in 2022, but when talking with reporters this week from OTAs, he sounded quite excited by the possibilities.
“That’s the excitement in my mind. I think it has to be a new offense,” said Kelce. “I think that’s what Coach Reid and the offensive staff does and even Spags on the defensive side. They look at the personnel that they have and don’t get caught up in their specific scheme. They try and build the scheme around the pieces that they’ve got.
“That’s going to be the excitement of what’s new this year is that teams are going to have to see how we come out this year and attack them. With a guy like 1-5 [Mahomes] out there who knows where to go with the ball, I think it can be an advantage for sure.”
That expected evolution as an entire unit serves as a macro example of the sort of annual pressure that Kelce places upon himself to grow each season. Therefore, the idea that the offense must do the same is expected by everyone.
“I feel like I’ve had to evolve week in and week out, year in and year out, that’s just the mentality that I have to always try to find a new way that coach Reid can utilize me,” said Kelce. “That’s where I’m most prideful is being able to move all over the field, in the backfield, out wide, obviously in the traditional tight end situations.
“That’s really this entire offense has evolved into everybody being everywhere, attacking you with all these different routes. That’s why I love being here because you get that opportunity to get the defense to second guess what you’re doing.”