- Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes it’s a little tricky to find potential trade destinations for LB Roquan Smith, as he’s not a fit for every scheme, needs a new deal and likely would cost a premium pick to get Chicago to part ways with him. However, the Broncos are a contending team with a need at linebacker that could make sense.
- The Denver Broncos announced that they have named Damani Leech as their new Team President.
- Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes it’s a little tricky to find potential trade destinations for LB Roquan Smith, as he’s not a fit for every scheme, needs a new deal and likely would cost a premium pick to get Chicago to part ways with him. However, the Chargers are a contending team with a need at linebacker that could make sense.
- Chargers HC Brandon Staley said that they would like to have S Derwin James at training camp but they must work through his contract situation: “Of course would like to have Derwin out there, but at the same time… what’s most important to us is that we get the contract negotiation right.” (Lindsey Thiry)
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has learned a lesson from the first two months of last season when Kansas City was in the middle of its worst slump since he became the starter in 2018. Defenses made it a point to take away the deep ball and it took time for Mahomes to stop bashing his head against the wall and take what they were giving him. That experience and how Mahomes eventually worked through it should be beneficial this season now that WR Tyreek Hill is gone.
“I think it’s going to help just the offense in general, being able to use the short game just as much as we utilize the deep ones like we were throwing today,” Mahomes said via ESPN’s Dan Graziano. “I think it helped me grow as a quarterback, where if that first big shot that we designed wasn’t there and I had to get the ball out of my hands and move the chains. So I think you saw that at the end of last year. I was being more positive, still having the big play, but at the same time taking what was there and moving the chains.”
The other factor of adjusting to life without Hill is Mahomes expects to spread the ball around a little more rather than focusing on Hill and TE Travis Kelce like he has the past few seasons. Kansas City rebuilt their receiving corps, signing JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency and drafting second-rounder Skyy Moore, as well as bringing back Mecole Hardman.
“I think it opens it up to where everybody’s going to have a chance to make plays in this offense this year,” Mahomes said. “Having Tyreek and Kelce, you would kind of see those matchups and you would go through the read, but at the same time you’d know, ‘Hey, I’m probably going to this guy with this matchup.’ And so this year, having JuJu and having Marquez and Mecole and Skyy and all these guys, you’re not going to know where it’s coming from. I’m just going to get through my reads the way it’s called and then get it to the right guy, and not necessarily just look for a matchup on a given play.”
- Graziano notes the Chiefs receivers are falling into pretty defined roles so far. Smith-Schuster is working in the middle of the field a lot, Valdes-Scantling is the deep threat, though they like his size in the red zone too, and Hardman seems primed for a bigger role doing some of the same stuff Hill did.
- Chiefs RB Ronald Jones is having a lot of pressure put on his spot on the team by the emergence of seventh-round RB Isiah Pacheco and could need a strong preseason to make the team. (Nate Taylor)