Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy excited to see WR Mecole Hardman perform this season

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The NFL will kick off another season packed with Sunday games to keep us glued on the road to Super Bowl LVI.

The Kansas City Chiefs are on a mission to win back the Lombardi trophy after falling short in February, and they will need to do it with some changes to their personnel on offense. The departure of veteran receiver Sammy Watkins has opened the door for more opportunities for younger players on the roster.

Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is tasked with figuring out the best players to fulfill that spot. Head coach Andy Reid has felt comfortable with the idea of having a committee approach at the position. Bieniemy, however, seems high on third-year receiver Mecole Hardman heading into the season.

“[He’s] just playing with more confidence and exuding more confidence, allowing himself to just run and do the things that we thought he was capable of doing,” Bieniemy said of Hardman during Thursday’s press conference. “We’re fired up about all the things he brings to the table, but the thing I’m excited about as well is that all the other guys are excited about him.”

Whether the Chiefs go with a committee or settle on a player like Hardman to fill the role, Bieniemy praises the players for supporting each other and rooting for group success.

“I’m always going to go back to the group and the room—those guys support one another, and they realize how important they are to each other, so those guys make sure that everybody is being held at a high standard and that they’re doing all the little necessary things that they need to do,” Bieniemy explained. “And I’ll say this again, it’s not always perfect, but the thing that they are doing, they’re being accountable, and they’re making sure they’re doing it the right way to give us the best opportunity to be successful.”

Hardman has been featured primarily as a kick returner since being drafted by the Chiefs before the 2019 season. He earned Pro Bowl honors his rookie season and made sporadic appearances at receiver during the past two seasons. The expectation is that his role will significantly increase in Year 3, with the coaching staff keen on making sure he takes the next step in his career. With the support of his coaches and teammates, the sky is the limit for Hardman in 2021.

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