Friday, August 19, 2022

Chiefs’ Mecole Hardman: ‘A lot of targets to go around’ after Tyreek Hill trade, offense ‘gonna be explosive’

Ever since Patrick Mahomes took over under center, the Kansas City Chiefs have annually sported one of the NFL‘s best offenses. Their passing game production has been unmatched around the league, with Mahomes routinely keeping the offense among the league leaders in explosive plays. 

It will be a challenge to match that explosive production this coming season, because the primary target on the end of the plurality of Mahomes’ big plays — Tyreek Hill — now plays for another team after being traded to the Miami Dolphins earlier this offseason. One of the receivers still on the squad after Hill’s departure, though, thinks the Chiefs will be just fine. The primary reasons: The guy under center, and the guy at tight end. 

“The offense, they’re gonna be explosive,” Mecole Hardman said, per NFL.com. “You got Patrick Mahomes at the helm; he’s got the keys to the car. Then you’ve got the best tight end in the league in Travis Kelce. When you’ve got those two guys and our offensive line that’s revamped that’s going to be pretty good again this year, I think you can lean on those guys to have a successful offense. I think, just with Pat and Trav alone, the offense is going to be great regardless. With the pieces of me, JuJu (Smith-Schuster), Marquez (Valdes-Scantling), I think we’re gonna have a significant role in the offense to boost it up a bit. I think you’re gonna see a more overall play of the offense.”

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Still, with Hill no longer in town, Hardman knows there is a vacuum to be filled in the offense. But in that vacuum, he sees an opening for players like him to step up. 

“Definitely opportunity, for sure,” he said. “A guy like Tyreek with a lot of targets, I think it’s a lot of targets to go around. Obviously, we’ve got a good group of guys, receivers-wise, so it’s definitely going to be a good year to come up a little bit and just have fun with it and just take advantage of the opportunity.”

Kansas City’s offense will surely look different without Hill. There may be more running, more short and intermediate passes, more play-action concepts. But the Chiefs will still need to generate explosives, and they’ll be counting on guys with deep speed like Hardman to do it. 

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