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JuJu Smith-Schuster: I think I run more routes here than my previous offense

Mike Florio and Chris Simms discuss why the Chiefs didn't lock up many of their other stars despite Patrick Mahomes' comparatively inexpensive contract.

Kansas City’s offense will look different without Tyreek Hill burning defenders down the field. But the early returns from the new-look receiving corps have been positive.

With training camp beginning this week, receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster told reporters that working with quarterback Patrick Mahomes in Texas during the spring has helped him feel more comfortable as camp gets going.

“This offseason, we’ve just been working out every single day,” Smith-Schuster said, via Ron Kopp Jr. of “Pat stays in Dallas. Pat calls and says, ‘We’re throwing these days. If you’re out here, come out and make it out.’ A lot of guys did that this offseason — just building that trust. You can see it out here. Pat’s making throws and I’m making those catches.”

Smith-Schuster also said he’s being utilized differently in Kansas City’s offense, in part because that’s just the way it’s structured.

“I think I run more routes here than my previous offense,” Smith-Schuster said. “Being all over the field, being able to play inside or outside — and that’s for everybody. You see MVS [Marquez Valdes-Scantling] play inside or outside, you see Mecole [Hardman] play inside or outside, Skyy [Moore] ... you have so many guys playing different positions.

“Today is just the first taste of what I’ve got to show.”

Smith-Schuster missed most of last season with the Steelers with a shoulder injury, finishing with 15 catches for 129 yards in five games. In 2020, he caught 97 passes for 831 yards with nine touchdowns. If the early chemistry is any indication, Smith-Schuster may be in line for a season more like 2020 in the coming months.