While the Kansas City Chiefs starters only had one drive in their 38-17 route of the Bengals, there is much to dissect when it comes to the offense heading into week two of the preseason.
The Chiefs scoring quickly has simply become the normal thing in Kansas City. It only took quarterback Patrick Mahomes II four throws for 66 yards to lead the offense down the field and score on a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Carlos Hyde.
With Saturday’s preseason bout against the Steelers in Pittsburgh looming, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is still focused perfecting things at training camp.
“Just like I just said, I’m looking forward to watching those guys improve upon some of the mistakes that they made last week,” Bieniemy said. “That’s important. All of these guys have a tremendous amount of talent. Talent gives you a chance, but you have to go out there and execute with some consistency. So we want to make sure that these guys are taking the coaching and then applying it on gameday.”
Last Saturday showed the Chiefs certainly do have a lot of talent, and not just on the first-team offense. Rookie running back Darwin Thompson has been a camp favorite and has earned himself first-team reps during practice. His five carries for 22 yards and 29-yard catch-and-run score against the Bengals was a good enough taste for Bieniemy and Chiefs coach Andy Reid, and now they want to see more.
Another Chiefs rookie that impressed the coaching staff last Saturday was rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman. He had two catches for 31 yards and a touchdown, a performance Bieniemy wants to see more of.
“He’s done a good job, but we want him to make sure that he has put consistent behavior on tape,” Bieniemy said. “We need him to play at a high level. It’s not just going to happen on gameday. He has to learn how to practice at a high level on a consistent basis every single day we’re out here.”
One play by seven-year tight end Travis Kelce during the Bengals game was all coaching staff needed to see. After having ankle surgery in the offseason, Kelce showed he is his normal self after a 36-yard reception on the offense’s first play of the game.
After a small glimpse of what the offensive starters can do, Kelce says all they can do against the Steelers is to bring the same energy.
“Just go out there and be us,” Kelce said. “Execute every play the way it’s designed and just play for each other. It’s preseason, so there’s things you wanna work in terms of technique, fundamentals and putting it all together. Keep building this engine so that we’re ready for week one, but the preseason games, you just wanna attack it the way the coaches want you to and the way we talk about it in the offices.”
While Kelce — a four-time Pro Bowl player — has always been known as a playmaker, another tight end has emerged with some highlights of his own. Five-year tight end Blake Bell caught two passes for 37 yards, including a long of 23 yards on a short pass from Mahomes.
Kelce has been impressed with his fellow tight end’s play during training camp.
“He has some explosiveness to him,” Kelce said. “He’s a big body. Kind of a weird athlete like myself where it’s not a traditional break here and there. He has a very unique running style in terms of running routes and stuff like that. In the run game, him throwing his body around, not being shy on contact; that’s something we can really use on this team.”
This Saturday’s matchup will be another small glimpse of what the offense can do.