KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs finished OTAs on Thursday.

It’s early, but the team is starting to bond as the offseason continues.

The Chiefs have several new players on both sides of the ball, from rookies to league veterans.

“It’s gonna take some time. You know, we’ve only been around each other eight weeks, so we’ve got a long way to go,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said.

Mathieu joined the team on March 14, a day after the Chiefs released Eric Berry, during his free agency after his one-year stint with the Houston Texans.

“I’m always fortunate,” Mathieu said. “I think each and every situation I’ve been in always came to a pretty good locker room, great coaching staff, so I think everybody’s really collectively embracing me, trying to get me up to speed and really supporting me in my transition.”

While Mathieu is a 7-year veteran of the NFL, wide receiver Mecole Hardman is new to the Chiefs and the league.

Hardman is one of several young players on the Chiefs’ roster, but 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes said he’s impressed with how the new players are adjusting.

“They’re really competing — they’re going out there,” Mahomes said. “They’ve realized the speed at which we practice — it is different, we do practice fast the whole time. They’ve learned a lot in the short amount of time that they’ve been here. So, I’m excited for them to finish out this week, finish out mini camp and be ready for the training camp ahead.”

As a receiver, Hardman spends most of his time learning and working with Mahomes and the rest of a veteran offense.

“I’m still learning from him, learning how he throws the ball, where he wants me to be, where I need to be, so I would say the chemistry’s growing,” Hardman said. “I’m getting more comfortable everyday with all of my routes, so eventually we’ll get it done, and we’ll get it where we need it to be.”

Mahomes said a big part of building that chemistry on the field is communication.

“As an offense, we talk,” Mahomes said. “We want to make each other better. It’s not about getting on top each other and getting on somebody, it’s about telling them, ‘Hey, this is how it’s done. We practice fast, we run the routes this way.’ And then the next time they’re up, we go right back to them.”

Hardman attested to this, saying other receivers have stepped up and helped him learn the new system.

Mahomes and Mathieu said building that communicative chemistry over the offseason has to happen off the field too if the team wants to find success.

“In the offseason we only have so much time to really spend in the building, and you can only develop so much chemistry in the building,” Mathieu said. “It’s always about X’s and O’s and working out and lifting weights and getting treatment.

“I think any time you can get outside of that and really get to know somebody outside of football, I think that gives you that extra confidence to believe in them, especially on Sundays and Monday nights and the playoffs — and hopefully the Super Bowl this year.”

Amanda Sullivan can be reached

at amanda.sullivan@newspressnow.com

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