The Kansas City Chiefs open training camp on July 25 at their practice facility. Here's a closer look at a few storylines:
How will the defending Super Bowl champions handle success?
There's no telling until the Chiefs get into training camp, particularly after an offseason like no other. But there's little doubt that last year's run to a championship was fueled by the previous season's bitter loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. Without that kind of motivation this time, will the Chiefs still be as driven? One factor in the Chiefs' favor: They have a couple of strong locker room voices in quarterback Patrick Mahomes and safety Tyrann Mathieu. It's unlikely they would tolerate any backsliding, so the Chiefs should be OK here. But the situation bears watching.
Now that Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes have a Super Bowl ring, what do they have left to prove?
That they can do it again. Super Bowl history is filled with one-time champion coaches and quarterbacks and the company Reid and Mahomes keep on those respective lists isn't all of Hall of Fame caliber. Reid is accomplished enough, particularly after winning last season's title, that he should eventually get into the Hall of Fame. But there are coaches with two Super Bowl championships who aren't in the Hall, so winning another certainly wouldn't hurt. Mahomes' career is already on an arc that will leave him as perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time. Having a second Super Bowl title by the time he's 25 would carry a lot of weight in that discussion.
What kind of boost will rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire provide?
Until Damien Williams came on late in the season, the Chiefs didn't get much production from their running backs in 2019. There is room for growth and the versatile Edwards-Helaire is a logical place for them to get it. Their first-round draft pick should help as a runner and a receiver. Williams is back and first in line for featured back reps, but Edwards-Helaire is more of a big-play threat. The rookie will get his share of the playing time once he proves he can be a reliable pass-protector. Don't be surprised if Edwards-Helaire winds up the season as the Chiefs' top rusher and leading receiver among their backs.
What position group do the Chiefs need to improve before the season starts?
The Chiefs have little in the way of proven depth at cornerback behind starters Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland and may be without Breeland for awhile during the season. He was facing a possible suspension for a violation of the NFL's policy on substance abuse. Beyond that, the Chiefs have Rashad Fenton, who played some at nickel back last season as a rookie, journeyman Antonio Hamilton, whose best work in the NFL has come on special teams, and Alex Brown, who was promoted last season from their practice squad. They also drafted corners L'Jarius Sneed in the fourth round and BoPete Keyes in the seventh. Unless at least one unheralded player makes a strong move for playing time in camp, look for the Chiefs to sign a veteran cornerback.