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Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Heliare has already made an immediate impact in the team’s offense. The former national champion with the LSU Tigers has eclipsed 1,000 all-purpose yards from scrimmage entering this weekend’s matchup with the New Orleans Saints.
Edwards-Helaire recently teamed up with USAA to appear in its Salute to Service Virtual Lounge for an exclusive chalk talk with military members, veterans, and their families. During the chalk talk, Edwards-Helaire will recognize the local military members based at Whiteman Air Force Base and Fort Riley.
Chiefs Wire contributing writer Ed Easton Jr. recently sat down with Edwards-Helaire to talk about his work with the USAA and rookie season so far in Kansas City.
Chiefs Wire: How does it feel to be a speaker during the USAA’s Salute to Service Virtual Lounge?
CEH: “It’s an amazing feeling, and it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. Growing up and seeing that USAA was a partner with the NFL and just knowing that, you know, USAA ultimately has been the insurance during my entire life. You know, since I can remember, that has been an insurance policy that my family has been under since I can remember. So it’s been it’s pretty special for me.”
Chiefs Wire: Teammate Eric Fisher was nominated for the Salute to Service award by the Chiefs. Can you describe his continued support for the military, and has he provided any advice ahead of your chalk talk?
CEH: “We haven’t spoken directly about it; I kind of congratulated him. Our lockers are right by each other. So as soon as I found out, I congratulated him. And we, we’ve always had just stories. As soon as I came, we had some military stories we shared back and forth just between family members of patients that kind of had that bond from the beginning. That was pretty cool from the start. So other than that, Nah, he hasn’t given me any pointers, for the chalk talk tomorrow, so I’ll just go in with as much confidence as possible.”
Chiefs Wire: After 13 games, you’ve gained over 1,000 all-purpose yards from scrimmage. How has the adjustment been from college football to the NFL?
CEH: “All I can say is, for me, it’s been overall pretty smooth. I say the hardest transition was just getting acquainted with just the way the play calling was happening when I first got into camp. I feel like that was the biggest difference in just understanding all the ins and outs of checks and play calls before the plays. That was something that was big on learning for me. But other than that, you know, once the ball is pretty much flying around and going, it’s all back to playing football.”
Chiefs Wire: What have you learned playing alongside All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell?
CEH: “Oh, yeah, being able to just pick his brain here and there just, you know, understanding as many years as Le’Veon has been in the league, he’s seen probably thousands of things that I haven’t seen and probably will see in the future. So just picking his brain, about little things on and off the field of just how to handle situations, on and off the field. And then, most importantly, just how to handle competition between each other, you know, we’re all teammates, but we still have to be competitive. So that’s the best part about it.”
Chiefs Wire: How would you describe Patrick Mahomes’ leadership?
CEH: “Patrick is a person who’s, who dots his I’s and crosses his T’s, every second every step. You know, Pat comes in, he’s the first person in the facility, and he’s the last one out; he’s always prepared to be the best that he possibly can no matter the situation, every time I look back at Pat before the game, you know, in his locker, he sitting there in his playbook still looking at things as you know, right before we go out so just his leadership in a way that he strives to be perfect. You know, it trickles down, and it continues to make everybody want to be that much better.”
Chiefs Wire: Joe Burrow, your former teammate at LSU, suffered a devastating injury two weeks ago, ending his season. Have you been in contact with him recently?
CEH: “Oh, yeah. I’ve talked to him before the surgery. I know he’s been doing some rehab. But other than that, I haven’t talked to him recently. Since after his surgery.”
Chiefs Wire: What is the next part of your game you’d like to improve during this postseason run?
CEH: “Just understanding that it’s something that I can get better each and every day. That’s something that I challenge myself to do; no matter what, I can always find something, some games, some practice to get better. And even if it’s the same things over and over again, being perfect at one thing will make me overall a better back So, I just continue to do the little things.”
Open to anyone in the military community— military members and veterans are encouraged to submit their questions for Clyde Edwards-Helaire in advance and then tune-in live tonight at 8:00 pm CT at SaluteToService.com.