KANSAS CITY, Mo. – From making plays to the customary celebration dances, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has developed into a player tough to ignore on the football field.
But a potential scary scenario awaits opponents the rest of the season when the Chiefs return from the Week 6 bye.
The 6-5, 260-pound Kelce can only get better after missing the 2013 season with a knee injury.
“He’s kind of in his redshirt year,” tight ends coach Tom Melvin said Tuesday. “He’s progressed real well, stayed healthy. That was a big thing with him, and every week he’s getting a little bit better, sharper on what he’s doing.”
Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson agreed.
“The ceiling is high,” Pederson said, “athletically and as a football player. We just continue to monitor his progress and give him a handful of things each and every week and just allow him to go play.”
It’s far from a secret the tight end position is essential in coach Andy Reid’s version of the West Coast offense. And Kelce has taken a leading role through the first five weeks of regular-season action.
Kelce’s athletic ability and speed affords mismatches, and he has used that to his advantage to currently lead the team in receptions (20), yards receiving (274) and receiving touchdowns (3).
“He’s a dynamic young athlete,” Melvin said.
Pederson said Kelce places high expectations upon himself, and the Chiefs do the same for the talented tight end.
But while Kelce offers a strong option in the passing game, the Chiefs aren’t about to get too cute by tinkering with the offense solely for Kelce.
“There is a fine line with creativity because with creativity becomes new,” Pederson said, “and it becomes something your offense is not.”
Pederson said the Chiefs used training camp and the previous five games to familiarize the players with the plays, and the team won’t alter too much.
Still, that doesn’t mean Kelce isn’t fully integrated in what the Chiefs hope to accomplish offensively on a weekly basis.
“We want to continue to utilize those concepts,” Pederson said, “but just put different guys in those positions to run the same plays and he’s a big part of that. The more we can move him around with schemes and concepts that the guys know, the more efficient we can become as an offense.”