ST JOSEPH, Mo.
Kansas City bosses have been asked to make changes to their coaching staff over the years, a natural byproduct of success, as top assistants like Doug Pederson and Matt Nagy were hired for better jobs elsewhere.
This past season, however, Andy Reid made some changes that seemed unnecessary at first glance.
It started when support coach Deland McCullough left for a job as an associate coach in Indiana, opening up a job once held by current offensive Chief of Staff Eric Bieniemy. Instead of simply hiring someone to replace McCullough, Reid decided to transfer big-receiver coach Greg Lewis to the role — although his work with Tyreek Hill and the rest of the Chiefs’ capture crew has been a big reason for their offensive success.
This started a game with musical chairs, of course.
Joe Bleymaier moved out of the center-back room, where he was helping Patrick Mahomes to become one of the league’s best players, to handle wide receivers. David Girardi was transferred to that role as assistant quarterback coach and was replaced by Connor Embree, who worked on the defensive side.
So why did Reid agree to maneuver so much on a staff returning from AFC titles one after the other relatively intact?
“I want boys to have the opportunity to grow up,” Reid said.
“Greg actually came to me to ask for the defensive training challenge,” he continued, “and as you know how I feel about Greg, he is very, very intelligent, has a great sense of the game, did a phenomenal job and now he is able to learn that other side – the defense side and everything that goes into training the running arms and running game, and still gives them tips in the passing game to do them even better than they are now. “
It’s a position that 41-year-old Lewis, who spent eight years playing as a wide receiver in the NFL, has never coached before, and he is taking on the task of a team that once again has aspirations in the Super Bowl .
No pressure there.
However change can come at the perfect time. Some broad receivers, such as Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman, seem to have stalled in their development in the last two seasons. And with the departure of Sammy Watkins to free agency, Bosses are desperate for someone to establish themselves as the No. 2 wide receiver.
Maybe, Bleymaier will be able to pull something off of them.
“It’s a bit unique with Greg being still here, coach Lewis is just in the gym,” Bleymaier said. “I go to him every day for questions, advice, our boys go to him. I’m the new big receiver coach, but we just got an extra receiver coach because Greg is still there, and the boys feel free to talk. “Even for her. It has been so quiet at least for me.”
As for the back room, Lewis brings a unique ability that can push Clyde Edwards-Helaire and his teammates to a whole new level. The bosses have always required them to be as adept at catching the ball as its direction, and Lewis should be able to help them with concessions, improving their paths and even blocking the bottom field.
Edwards-Helaire had 36 catches for nearly 400 yards last season, although he lost three games due to injury. Darrel Williams and current free agent Le’Veon Bell also had roles in the passing game.
“I do not see it as a challenge. “I see them all as football coaches,” Lewis said as Chiefs finished camp at Missouri State University and eagerly awaited their second pre-season game in Arizona on Friday night.
“For me,” Lewis said, “is to understand the different aspects of the game. … Of course, I did not play playing backwards, but I understand football and I have been around great players, great coaches and I think I will bring you more knowledge to help them develop and help us be better as a group. “
NOTE: Reid said the starters will play most of the first half against the Cardinals, then the second and third teams will handle the second half. … DE Frank Clark (hamstring), DT Derrick Nnadi (hip) and RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (hand) did not work on Wednesday. … Reid said at least one other player got his COVID-19 kicks during the camp, but the Bosses were already near the top of the league in percentage of players vaccinated. “I know these guys talk to their families and tell them, ‘If you come here, you better get vaccinated’ and that kind of thing, which is not always an easy thing to do with family and friends, said Reid. “So the boys have been fine with that.”