Chiefs' Andy Reid wants to get Tyreek Hill more involved in the offense
Hill broke out as a versatile playmaker for Kansas City last season
It took him a few weeks, but eventually Tyreek Hill broke out last season as one of the premier playmakers in the NFL. Hill scored nine touchdowns on only 85 offensive touches, and added three additional scores as a return man. By the end of the season, he was the Chiefs’ most dangerous offensive player, even though he was only playing around half of the team’s snaps.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid wants to make sure that Hill is more involved next season, right from the jump. “Growing Tyreek in the offense will be important,” Reid said this week, per ESPN.com. “We didn’t use him a ton back there (as a running back), [because] he’s not a real big guy. The receiving part, we’re going to focus on that and get him more reps in that area. But he can do that other part.”
Hill finished his rookie season with 61 catches for 593 yards and six scores, while his 24 carries totaled 267 yards and three touchdowns. (He was just the fourth wide receiver to 50-plus catches and 20-plus carries in a season.) He lined up as a receiver more often than not -- 400 of his 432 snaps came as a wideout, per Pro Football Focus. He didn’t even play more than half the team’s snaps in a game until Week 9, as Reid wasn’t yet comfortable with his knowledge of the offense and ability to work in timing patterns.
“He was a running back that they kind of moved around a little bit. His routes when he first came were kind of raw. They weren’t as disciplined as they need to be in this offense.,” Reid said. “So much of this offense is timing and being in a certain spot and knowing defenses, knowing secondaries and all that, how you’re going to make adjustments. That was all new. He is a smart kid. He picked it up so fast, and he was able to play at our level.”
When the Chiefs put Hill in the backfield, it was almost a sure thing that he was getting the ball. He had 24 carries on 32 snaps as a running back. Having him on the field more often, and lining him up in different positions more often, will inject more variety and unpredictability into the offense. The Chiefs may not want to overload him with carries because he is fairly slight (5-10, 185 pounds) and they have a two-man running back tandem they like in Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West, but that doesn’t mean moving Hill into the backfield for more snaps wouldn’t help.
Given Kansas City’s relative difficulties getting explosive plays (Alex Smith almost never throws deep passes), figuring out ways to get the ball into Hill’s hands quickly so he can make moves to evade the defense is going to have to be a priority.
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