Chiefs head coach Andy Reid believes in all his players and thinks the sky’s the limit for this particular youngster.
With Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes firmly holding the wheel at the helm, the Kansas City Chiefs will never veer too far off course.
When Tyreek Hill left for Miami last offseason, the Chiefs placed their trust in their scrappy ragtag team of wideouts and went on to win the Super Bowl. So when JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman announced their departures in free agency this past month, the Chiefs weren’t overly concerned with filling their roster gaps.
They did it once before, and they can do it again.
Filling the hole Hill left behind was no easy feat, as the entire Chiefs offensive scheme underwent a seismic change to become more complex in short passing situations and rely less on the deep ball.
Filling Smith-Schuster’s and Hardman’s holes could entail more of a simple plug-and-play solution in which certain targets will step up and assume those players’ versatile roles.
Big Red spoke to reporters in the wake of Smith-Schuster’s and Hardman’s exits and named one wideout he thinks will show up in a big way in 2023.
“We are expecting Skyy Moore to step up. We’ll just see how everything else works. We got the same guys coming back that we had, and we like that group with the exception of JuJu….We’ll work out the thing without JuJu. Somebody will have to step up and take that spot.”
Andy Reid and the Chiefs are backing Skyy Moore to improve in 2023
Reid also touched on the fact that Hardman dealt with injuries throughout the 2022 season and likely didn’t play as much as he would have wanted, leading to his ultimate free agency decision.
Hardman gets his fresh start on the New York Jets, and Smith-Schuster got his sizeable three-year deal from the New England Patriots.
The Chiefs’ receivers depth chart now includes, first and foremost, Travis Kelce, and then a line of stragglers like Moore, Kadarius Toney, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, each of whom were added last year and each of whom could assume a starting role in 2023.
Moore, a 2022 second-round pick, made his biggest impact in the biggest game, recording his lone touchdown of the year in the Super Bowl win against the Philadelphia Eagles. In the regular season, he saw scarce minutes behind a crowded wideout corps but still posted 22 catches for 250 yards. Kansas City will expect much more production out of him in his second year, as Moore has presumably gotten his rookie jitters out of the way.
Who, after all, wouldn’t be slightly intimidated by and mostly ecstatic about playing with the great, one-legged Patrick Mahomes? Mahomes’ generational talents and the Chiefs’ sustainable model of success may yet draw in a few high-profile free agents in 2023, namely Odell Beckham Jr. or DeAndre Hopkins.
On OBJ, Reid merely said Beckham “does a nice job.” No one would be surprised to see the Chiefs secure one or both of the veteran wideouts, but then again, no one would be surprised if Kansas City rolled out with their current wideout corps for next season, either. Here’s look at you, Skyy.