Kansas City Chiefs

KC chiefs are keen to emphasize the ‘different level of speed’ in attack

During the final stages of the offseason program before training camp, the Kansas City Chiefs have made one thing abundantly clear. After a season filled with a lack of high-end wide receiver talent, the franchise is focused on making a better comeback in 2024.

Skill is one area that general manager Brett Veach improved, but that’s not all. Finding speed was a focal point for the reigning champions, so much so that two real burners were added to the room.

The offseason acquisitions of Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (free agency) and Xavier Worthy (draft) are a good start. Paired with familiar faces like Mecole Hardman, Kansas City hopes to provide flashbacks to its “Legion of Zoom” offense from before the Patrick Mahomes era.

Justin Watson, not an outlier in his own right, is a fan of upgrades. Speaking to the media Wednesday, the veteran wideout acknowledged how early it is but admitted it’s hard not to be impressed.

“I think we’re still figuring out what everybody’s good at,” Watson said. “Coach Reid and the entire offensive staff are very good at using everyone’s strengths and hiding some weaknesses. The first impression is that these guys are Blazers. They have a different level of speed. Defenses are going to have to copy security”.

In Watson, Hardman and Kadarius Toney, the Chiefs have three receivers with good linear speed and burst. Brown brings dynamic field-stretching ability to the table in addition to proven prowess in man-rushing and zone coverage. Fresh off a record-setting NFL Scouting Combine performance, Worthy has yet to practice in minicamp, but is the fastest member of the group.

Brown is keeping pace with Watson, hoping the speed will translate to the field.

“We’re fast,” Brown said. “We’re definitely fast. We’re going to put a lot of pressure on people, for sure. I just think it’s going to be exciting. I think everybody should be excited for it.”

If the revamped wide receiver room pans out, Kansas City’s offense should be much more potent than it was a year ago. On many occasions during the 2023-24 campaign, Mahomes was frustrated with some of his weapons due to miscommunications, drops and more. There was a glaring deficiency in respect for defenses as well as snap-to-snap consistency and reliability.

With Brown and Worthy in the picture, the supporting cast moves down the depth chart, and 2023 rookie Rashee Rice won’t be the only contributor at the position. The presence of faster athleticism and long speed should keep opponents honest in theory.

Mandatory minicamp ends for the Chiefs on Thursday before the ring ceremony to win Super Bowl LVIII. Once that is over, there will be a significant period of downtime while everyone waits for training camp in St. Joseph, MO. Meanwhile, Watson, Brown and others are focused on continuing to develop an ever-growing relationship with their quarterback.

Now away from impromptu training sessions in Texas, Brown believes everyone is on the same page with Mahomes just in time. That speed will come in handy soon enough.

“It’s been good,” Brown said. “From when we started coming back to Dallas until now, it’s been like that [kept] getting better. He’s trusting me more and more, so that’s good.”