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Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs signed receiver Hollywood Brown to a one-year deal in March, adding a much-needed speed element to the team’s offense.

Through several practices, it’s been clear that Kansas City envisions Brown being a deep threat in the offense — likely more than he ever was with Baltimore or Arizona. But the Chiefs’ effort to push the ball downfield will involve more than just Brown, as the club also added the likes of Xavier Worthy.

“We got the guys to do it, coach is putting us in [a] great position to do it, and you know Pat [Mahomes] puts it on the money every time,” Brown said in his Wednesday press conference, “so we’ve been lighting it up and it’s been fun.”

Brown in particular may be utilized differently than he has been in the league. At Oklahoma, Brown averaged 18.3 yards per reception over his 27 games. He’s averaged just 11.6 yards per reception in his 72 career NFL games. His highest season mark was 13.3 yards per catch in 2020 with Baltimore.

“I’m excited,” Brown said. “You know, God willing we all stay healthy, and we just keep building, keep pushing each other. I think the sky’s the limit to what we could do.”

The NFL is unveiling its annual Top 100 players list, in which the players themselves vote on the best players in the league. Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase doesn’t want to say who’s No. 1.

When Chase was interviewed for the TV show where the list is unveiled, he refused to say the name of the No. 1 player. When the interviewer said, “I don’t know who you’re talking about,” Chase said, “Yeah, you do,” and he was clearly talking about Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. But he didn’t want to say it.

“I’m not saying him. I give credit when it’s due, but I’m not saying his name,” Chase said. “I’m not saying his name, brother. I’m sorry.”

Chase said he would vote for Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow if he had to declare someone No. 1, because he wouldn’t say the name of a certain Chiefs quarterback who has won the last two Super Bowl MVPs.

“I’m not saying that guy’s name. He’s good, he’s amazing, he’s good -- I’m not going to lie. I’m salty, though. I’m a little salty. Two years in a row. I’m putting Burrow first,” Chase said.

The Bengals will be at Kansas City in Week Two, where Chase will see the best player in the NFL up close, even if Chase won’t say so.

The Chiefs have an injury concern with one of their key offensive pieces.

Via multiple reporters on the scene, receiver Justin Watson exited practice early on Wednesday. After the session, the team confirmed Watson is dealing with a foot injury.

Watson, 28, is entering his third year with Kansas City. Last year, he was third on the team with 460 yards on 27 receptions with three touchdowns — making him one of the unit’s few reliable pieces.

Cornerback Nazeeh Johnson also had to exit practice early with a knee injury.

Rookie receiver Xavier Worthy did not participate on Wednesday with an illness.

With clips of throws to Xavier Worthy and Hollywood Brown circulating on social media, it seems like Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is throwing more deep passes than he has in the past during training camp.

Reporters on the Kansas City beat have taken note of the trend, so it’s not just an outside perception. During his Tuesday press conference, head coach Andy Reid was asked about Mahomes taking more shots.

“I mean, he’s got to throw to the guy that’s open,” Reid said. “We’re calling kind of the same plays, but he’s got guys that that’s a part of their game — the best part of their game is going downfield.

“So, he’s utilizing that right now and testing it out and seeing how it works, and so far he’s had some good connections there.”

The Chiefs added Brown and Worthy to add more speed to their offense, which stagnated in the 2023 regular season. Though Kansas City won Super Bowl LVIII, the club finished No. 9 in total yards and No. 15 in points scored — the lowest rankings of the Mahomes era.

Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton missed only one game in his first two seasons. He missed nine last season with multiple injuries and played less than 100 percent in others.

“I got a lot true to myself, first and foremost, not necessarily to the outside,” Bolton said, via Ed Easton of USA Today. “I feel I can play a lot better football. I think last year’s kind of the first year where I battled some adversity in terms of injuries in my career period, and so things like toughness with that, learning who I am as a person, learning who I can lean on outside of football.

“Now, I think it means to be a better person, a better leader, be able to learn and sit up from the outside and learn from Spags [Steve Spagnuolo] and why he calls different things, and it helps me play a little bit faster. So yeah, I think I’m excited for this year to get out there and show what I can do.”

Bolton had a wrist injury and to parts of the left side of his body. He totaled only 60 tackles, an interception and three passes defensed.

“Not being able to use my whole left side,” Bolton said. “Man, I had my wrists messed up. I had a cast on it. My elbow, my left ankle [also were injured], so I was trying to get through a little Humpty Dumpty all the way to the Super Bowl.

“So I was trying to find a way to play, get out there, and give my team a chance to win. So that’s kind of what I was going through last year.”

A healthy Bolton will help the Chiefs defense as much as anything as they head toward the 2024 season.

There were no highlight reel plays for Chiefs first-round pick Xavier Worthy in Monday’s practice.

Worthy went viral for hooking up with quarterback Patrick Mahomes for a long touchdown catch in the team’s first 11-on-11 work of the summer, but the wideout was not on the field at all on Monday.

The good news is that it is not a recurrence of the hamstring trouble that sidelined the speedy receiver during OTAs. The Chiefs said that Worthy is dealing with an illness, so the hope is that he’ll be back without missing much time.

Cornerback Kelvin Joseph missed Monday’s session for personal reasons and safety Justin Reid, defensive end BJ Thompson, cornerback Jaylen Watson, defensive end Charles Omenihu, defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi, and guard Joe Thuney remain ineligible to practice after being placed on injury lists to start camp.

The Chiefs signed receiver Hollywood Brown in free agency to add a speed element to their receiving corps.

But there’s a chance Brown could also contribute on special teams as a punt returner.

In his Sunday press conference, head coach Andy Reid was asked about Brown taking some reps at that position during the day’s practice.

“Yeah, he might [play some special teams],” Reid said. “We’re just — we give everybody a chance back there. He’s so talented, but if you can get a couple [or] three guys that can do that and you feel comfortable with them, [then] that’s a pretty good thing.

“We asked him to get back there, and he wants to do that. He wants to play, and he’s got a great attitude.”

Brown has not returned a punt since entering the league as a first-round pick in 2019. In fact, he’s played only two special teams snaps in his pro entire career, one of which was a 30-yard kick return for Baltimore in 2020.

Going further back, Brown didn’t return punts at Oklahoma either — but did perform those duties at junior college while at College of the Canyons.

The Chiefs have several options to return punts currently on their roster, including Mecole Hardman, Kadarius Toney, and rookie first-round pick Xavier Worthy, who averaged 16.9 yards per punt return at Texas last year.

The Chiefs made a change to their safety group on Monday.

They have signed Tyree Gillespie to their 90-man roster. Trey Dean was waived in a corresponding move.

Gillespie was on the Chiefs’ practice squad in December and January last season and re-signed with the team in February before getting cut again when the team signed undrafted rookie free agents. He also spent time with the Texans last summer after playing three games for the Jaguars in 2022 and 11 games for the Raiders in 2021.

Gillespie had eight tackles in those 14 appearances.

Dean spent time on the practice squads of the Chiefs and Jets last season.

The Chiefs had high hopes for Kadarius Toney heading into the 2023 season, but the wideout had a big drop in the season-opening loss to the Lions and it proved to be a sign of things to come.

Toney struggled to make a positive impact on the offense and lined up offsides before catching what would have been a game-winning touchdown against the Bills. He was inactive for the last seven games of the season and the 2024 offseason didn’t feature any of the hype that he carried last year.

Toney remains on the roster, though, and the Chiefs are taking a look at a new way to use him. Toney is working in running back drills in early practices at Chiefs training camp along with taking reps at wide receiver, but head coach Andy Reid didn’t offer much insight into how the Chiefs view him.

“He worked today,” Reid said, via “He did a good job when he was in there, and we’ll see. Just like the other guys, he’s out there competing. We’ll see how he does.”

Toney’s rough 2023 season has made a role on the Chiefs offense in 2024 something far short of a sure thing, so anything he can do this summer to show the Chiefs he’s capable of helping them will be a welcome development.

No team has ever won three consecutive Super Bowls. This year’s Chiefs could be the first. And Chiefs defensive lineman Chris Jones says leaving that as their legacy is a major part of the Chiefs’ focus this season.

“I think chasing history is all part of it,” Jones said, via “When a lot of players retire, they always say that they want to leave the game better than they started. If we can get this three-peat and continue to adding legacy to the Kansas City Chiefs, I think that would be a huge accomplishment, not only for us but for the NFL.”

At the same time, Jones knows every team changes every year, and this year’s Chiefs can’t rest on last year’s laurels.

“I think the core values of the team,” Jones said. “Be humble, stay hungry and I think that’s the core value of every year. Coming in humble and hungry, you know, it’s a new year and new beginning. We have a new team. Last year’s team was successful in accomplishing the overall goal of winning a championship. This year it’s all about new challenges. We have a lot of new guys and a lot of new challenges ahead of us and we are excited for it.”

As training camps open, the Chiefs are the betting favorites to win the Super Bowl, and do something no team has ever done. That’s the legacy Jones wants.