The Kansas City Chiefs sent shock waves through the NFL when they traded speedster and stalwart wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins. While the move was a complete surprise, it happened and now life for both Hill and the Chiefs will be different.
There’s been all of this speculation about how Hill’s absence will affect Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. K.C. offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy played a huge role in the development of Hill. The straight-shooting offensive coordinator says it’s time to move on and focus on who’s still in K.C.
“If you’re in this business long enough, change is inevitable. It happens,” Bieniemy said in a press conference. “You can always replace the player, but you can’t replace the person. Tyreek was loved. He’ll be missed. But now it’s time for us to make sure we’re developing the people that we have and getting them to do the things we need.”
EB is a hard-nosed, demanding and innovative coach who looks forward to utilizing his new pieces on offense.
“I think these guys have embraced the process. They all bring something different to the table and I think that’s the unique part about it. I think there’s going to be lots of diversity because everybody presents something different. So, it’s going to be new, it’s going to be exciting. And like I said, it’s been fun. And you hear us out there — it’s a lot of fun because these guys are learning something new for the first time.”
Teams Defended Chiefs Differently In 2021: Mahomes And Crew Caught On Midway Thru Season
Trading a player like Tyreek Hill is never easy and usually never happens. He’s probably the most dynamic playmaker in the NFL. Nicknamed the “Cheetah,” for his blazing speed, he brought a dimension to the Chiefs offense that no other team in the league possessed.
But in 2021, when teams began to game plan to take his home run ability away, the Chiefs needed to figure out another way to get Hill loose. Hill isn’t the crispest route runner, so he uses his speed to get open, but when defenses took that away, he became nonexistent some weeks.
Mahomes struggled early in the season before figuring out how teams were so successful defending them. His initial challenges resulted in a career-high 10 interceptions through the first eight weeks of the season as the Chiefs started 3-4. And the NFL world started panicking.
As the 2022 NFL playoffs began, Mahomes told NBC’s Maria Taylor the following.
“You’re the hardest critic on yourself. What I learned is I have to be patient. I wanted to be this high-flying quarterback, throwing all these long touchdowns like I’ve done in the early part of my career. Defenses weren’t letting me do that, and I learned to be patient. Just take what’s there and try to find success in other ways.”
Things changed the second half of the season as the Chiefs finished 12-5 and earned the No.2 seed in the AFC. They blew a 21-3 halftime lead in the AFC title game, resulting in a 27-24 overtime loss to the Bengals and all hopes of playing in three consecutive Super Bowls.
With the receiver market exploding this offseason, Hill wanted to be the game’s highest-paid pass-catcher. K.C. was willing to give up a bag to Hill, but not as much as the wide receiver felt he was worth. The team traded Hill to the Dolphins in March, who immediately made him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL.
Trade Nets Chiefs New Life: Free Agency Was Good As Well
With the Hill trade, the Chiefs upgraded their roster by adding Washington cornerback Trent McDuffie and Purdue edge rusher George Karlaftis in the first round. They added Western Michigan wideout Skyy Moore in the second round. The team also added quality free agents in wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdez-Scantling, plus running back Ronald Jones and safety Justin Reid.
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Bieniemy is right. It is time to move on. While the team had great success with Hill, he wasn’t the most important piece to the offensive puzzle. That title goes to the aforementioned Mahomes, and as long as he’s healthy and in uniform K.C. will be a contender.