KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs' quarterbacks had an unscheduled visitor during their regular pre-practice meeting on Wednesday. Tight end Travis Kelce paid a visit for a brief moment to suggest some route adjustments that might allow him to get the ball even more.
Whether or not the Chiefs acted on any of his suggestions, Kelce had a busy day at practice. He caught a large number of passes and had the catch of the day when he went between safeties Husain Abdullah and Ron Parker to make a one-handed grab of an Alex Smith pass.
Smith before practice said he appreciated Kelce’s input. He indicated Kelce, who led the Chiefs with 67 catches for 862 yards last season, isn’t being shy about asking for the ball even on the practice field.
“You’re doing things at the line of scrimmage, changing plays with him, (depending on) how they’re playing him leverage-wise," Smith said. “He wants a different route so he can get the football. Yesterday in practice, I can hear him make calls at the line of scrimmage because he wants the football.
“Things like that are encouraging. Obviously, he’s a tremendous player, but it’s so great to kind of see that confidence there on the field, him calling for when he wants the football. As a quarterback, that’s encouraging. You want a bunch of guys out there that are feeling good about their matchup and want the football."
Kelce hasn’t lacked for self-confidence since joining the Chiefs in 2013 as a third-round draft pick. The vocal Kelce is a change, though.
The result should be a good thing for the Chiefs. If Kelce is again to be the Chiefs' leader in pass receptions and receiving yardage, he'll probably need to up his numbers from last season. Letting Smith know what he feels will work can only help.
“As a young guy, sometimes you’re out there just trying to do your job, so to speak," Smith said. “For him to understand when he’s got the good look and when it’s probably coming to him and to be calling for it, that’s fun.
“He’s ready for adjustments. He knows all the things we’re capable of. When he’s calling for it before I am, that’s for sure a good thing."