The Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff has been praised consistently throughout training camp by players for their preparation for the 2021 season approaches.
One of the many coaches and coordinators taking their best step forward in player development is running back coach Greg Lewis. The former NFL receiver enters the 2021 season with a new role serving as the running backs coach for the first time in his career. To this point in his career, Lewis had only ever coached receivers. Now, Lewis is taking on the new position with intense optimism.
Lewis shared his thoughts with reporters on Tuesday on making the coaching position switch.
”Well, I don’t see it as a challenge,” said Lewis. “I see all of us as football coaches and coaching football. For me, it’s understanding the different aspect of the game to be able to bring the different aspect to the running back room and give them a different outlook. Obviously, I haven’t played running back, but I understand football, and I’ve been around great football players, great coaches, and I think I’m going to bring some more insight to just help them develop and help us be better as a group.”
Lewis spent the last four seasons in Kansas City as the wide receivers coach helping the team earn a Super Bowl title in the process. He detailed the differences between the new role and his previous role.
”Because I’m in it,” said Lewis. “Obviously, I knew what the receivers had to do previously, but understanding the blocking schemes, understanding the reads, the cuts, the footwork that is necessary. It’s been a positive for me. Just growing my game as a coach and being able to adapt to a different setting has been awesome for me, and I’m grateful for the opportunity that Coach Reid and EB (Eric Bieniemy) have blessed me with.”
The project set in front of Lewis during training camp was the evolution of second-year RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. He commented on the task, focusing more on the fundamentals and seeing significant progress, rather than specifically pass-catching.
”I’m not intent on getting him involved in the passing game,” said Lewis. ”I just want him to be a better player, and I want him to grow. Just like when I was with the receivers, I wanted them to grow each and every year. So, whatever we need to work on, we’re going to develop that and get better and hopefully help us have success during the season.”
As good as the play those in the running back room has been, improvement is a priority for the team. Lewis has seen his unit improve throughout training camp, from route-running to the protection of star QB Patrick Mahomes.
“I see improvements with all the guys,” said Lewis. “I think all the guys have really homed in on catching the ball, looking it in, running good routes, and it’s been a positive. But that’s not to take away from their running; they’ve also done a tremendous job with that part of it. And pass protection is very important for us here; we want to keep Pat (Mahomes) clean, and that’s our job to do that too. So, there’s a lot involved in the running back position, not just getting out and running routes. It’s protections; it’s runs, it’s understanding everything that’s going on basically from a quarterback’s perspective.”