ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Speedster Tyreek Hill established his mark on offense and special teams as a rookie, making plays nearly anywhere the Chiefs lined him up on the field. But to keep the second-year star mentally and physically fresh, the team expects a more focused playbook for Hill in 2017.
Hill put a lot of miles on his cleats as a rookie, expending energy on jet sweep motions, vertical routes and kick returns, said offensive coordinator Matt Nagy.
“We just need to make sure as we go forward here we put him in the right spots so we don’t over use him and mentally you want to kind of stick to that less is more mentality so he can play fast,” Nagy said.
The Chiefs slowly immersed Hill into the playbook as a rookie. By season’s end he carried a full work load at wide receiver as well as sprinkling into the rushing attack. He picked up 178 yards rushing with two touchdowns over the final three regular-season games.
The Chiefs certainly appear ready to maximize Hill’s value in the pass and run game.
“He’s a weapon in so many areas and every defensive coordinator that’s out there is concerned about him because of his speed,” Nagy said.
The second-year receiver demonstrated that dangerous speed in Saturday’s practice, hauling in an other shoulder catch against Marcus Peters on a deep go route.
Hill said new wide receivers coach Greg Lewis stresses to him the need for patience in his route running. He successfully deployed that new-found composure against Peters.
“I’m working on that each and every day,” Hill said. “I was patient at the line, I was able to move him inside and I was able to get open. And Alex threw a tremendous ball down the field.”
The Chiefs may limit Hill on kick return duties as a way to balance his work load. De’Anthony Thomas carries a 25.8-yard average on kick returns for his career. Veteran running back C.J. Spiller and second-year wide receiver Demarcus Robinson may also audition for the role.
Hill said he trusts head coach Andy Reid and special teams coordinator Dave Toub to make the right call on personnel.
“We got De’Anthony, we got Demarcus, we got guys like that who can come in and give the same type of explosive play I can,” Hill said.
He said he’s fine with whatever decision the team makes but he would miss returning kicks.
“Will I miss it?” Hill asked. “Yes, because it’s another chance for me to score.”