Countdown to Chiefs Camp: Primetime Playmaker

If the Kansas City Chiefs want to become an offensive force in 2015, third year Tight End, Travis Kelce must take the kind of step that brings comparisons of future Hall of Fame Tight End, Tony Gonzalez.

Perhaps it’s unfair to compare Travis Kelce to Tony Gonzalez. Yet on the flip side of this coin, the Kansas City Chiefs are at their best offensively if they’re productive at the tight end position.

With two years of NFL experience in the books, Kelce has shown both the sensational and the lackluster in his professional career. At times, he’s an unstoppable beast on the field. Yet, he’s had a propensity for putting the ball on the ground that has been a staple of his game.

Fumbling in the NFL is the games biggest cardinal sin. Kelce, to his credit, generally finds himself in those positions when he tries to extend the ball or fight for extra yards. That’s fine, but giving your opponent the ball after you make a catch, especially if your catch involves moving the chains, simply can’t happen if you want to become one of the games greats.

Kansas City has had a long history of outstanding Tight End play throughout franchise history. Kelce, has a chance to be one of the very best.

The good news for Kelce the young man has the skill set, mindset and more than enough swagger to take on all comers defensively in 2015. The hard part will be to learn to control the urge to fight for an extra yard and take what the defense concedes.

I’m all for fighting for every inch of turf on the football field that one can gain. However, Kelce has to learn that it’s best to get down to the ground with the ball securely cradled in his arms, then search for another yard or two.

This season Quarterback, Alex Smith, has a plethora of options including Kelce, Wide Receiver, Jeremy Maclin and Running Back, Jamaal Charles. If Kansas City intends to dethrone the Denver Broncos as division champs, the four amigos need to become an elite force in the NFL this season.

The good news is that together, they could be unstoppable. Yet the chink in this armor is Kelce. Smith, Maclin and Charles have decades of combined NFL experience. Kelce has just two seasons, and one of those he missed with an injury.

I guess you could say I’m dogging the guy a bit. In reality, that’s not the case. For me, it’s setting the bar at the highest level possible because the kid has serious NFL game.

In fact, you could make an argument that behind Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski, Kelce might be a fantasy juggernaut in 2015. However, reality and on the field productivity is what the Chiefs need from their young tight end.

Head Coach, Andy Reid, certainly has the pulse of his offense geared toward a breakout season. This will be the first time he’ll open the season with a solid offensive line and a trio of playmakers that could finally bring the consistency that has eluded his offense to this point in Kansas City.

That’s why there’s so much pressure on Kelce to climb into the ranks of a superstar. In the Chiefs hey day of offensive supremacy, Gonzalez was the measuring stick that guided KC’s offense. Since his departure years ago, Kansas City hasn’t done enough at the position to worry opposing defenses.

But in drafting Kelce two years ago, the team felt he might become a solid tight end. What the team discovered a year ago was that he could become a solid player in Reid’s offense. However, solid might not be good enough to balance out the talents of Maclin and Charles.

Thus if Kelce, can play with that superstar flair, and avoid the turnovers in the process, KC’s offense has a chance to succeed all expectations in 2015.


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