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Eric Bieniemy comments on effectiveness of Chiefs' RB tandem

USA TODAY Sports Media Group
USA TODAY Sports Media Group
 2021-10-08
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A former NFL running back himself, Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy has some strong opinions on his team’s implementation of the run game through four games. With MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes playing generationally good football every week, the fundamentals of an old-school ground attack are sometimes lost in the mix in the Chiefs’ prolific offense.

Until recent weeks, their ability to run the ball effectively was called into question. In their most recent strategies to move the ball on the ground have worked, leading to a dynamic approach to keeping up with the defense’s lackluster play. In comments to reporters ahead of Thursday’s practice, Bieniemy said that the one-two punch he’s found between Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Darrel Williams has worked well for the Chiefs.

“I think the more the merrier,” He explained of the duo, “The more yards you can put on the ground—this is the former running backs coach talking now—the more pressure that it applies to the defense. It’s been good watching these guys do what they do. More importantly, it’s been fun watching the O-line open up those seams upfront. And that’s the thing that I love, these guys are developing chemistry together. On top of that, you’re seeing the receivers and tight ends getting blocks downfield.”

Both backs are products of Louisiana State University, and they have shown the grit associated with that program’s ground game at the pro level this season. The Chiefs rank eighth in the NFL in team rushing, with 521 yards on the ground this season. Bieniemy stressed the importance of a balanced approach moving forward.

“Then, the only thing that’s doing is helping Clyde (Edwards-Helaire) to grow confidence, and watching young Darrel Williams come along as well,” Bieniemy continued, “So, it’s good that we’re doing this, and we want to continue this, but when it’s all said and done with, we also understand the importance of throwing the football. We’ve got to make sure that we stay efficient and that we’re taking care of the ball. That’s the most important thing”

Only about a quarter of their way through a season in which the expectation is that they’ll reach a third consecutive Super Bowl, the Chiefs’ running back room is moving in the right direction. They seem to be hitting their stride at just the right time ahead of a big matchup against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

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