KC native Phillips Brooks aiming to make Chiefs roster

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Phillip Brooks has had the luxury of achieving his dreams close to home throughout his career.

From Lee’s Summit West High to going from return specialist to offensive weapon with Kansas State, Brooks is now on the roster for his favorite team, the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I’m from Kansas City, Lee’s Summit, Missouri. I grew up a Chiefs fan, my family are Chiefs fans so it’s a dream come true for me. I’m really grateful for this opportunity,” Brooks said on Monday.

Brooks had several other offers as an undrafted free agent but thought the Chiefs would be the best fit for him.

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Former Chiefs Dontari Poe and Dwayne Bowe were two of his favorite players as a child since they attended some of his football camps. Brooks was also a college teammate of Lee’s Summit High alum and Chiefs 2023 first-round defensive end Felix Anudike Uzomah who gave him a preview of what he was walking into.

“He just told me, ‘We win championships here so come with that championship mentality, with your work ethic and doing everything right on and off the field.’ The professionalism here is great, the work ethic, all of that. He told me to come in ready to go because they aren’t playing games, they’re trying to get back to the Super Bowl again.”

With the Chiefs drafting first-round wide receiver Xavier Worthy in April, the receiver room is pretty full with Worthy and other veterans returning to the team.

At K-State, Brooks was a three-time All-Big 12 returner. He left the program ranking fourth in career receptions (182), seventh in receiving yards (2,127) and tied for seventh in receiving touchdowns (14).  He also ranked second in punt-return touchdowns (4), tied for third in punt-return attempts (59), fifth in punt-return yards (714), and seventh in all-purpose yards (3,810).

Brooks consistently caught punts well and put on a show on the first day of rookie minicamp by beating cornerbacks to be wide-open in coverage. At 5’7, 175 pounds, being the best returner he can be is likely his best chance to make the final roster in September.

“I learned at K-State special teams is one of the three phases on the field, just like offense and defense,” he said. “We take a lot of pride in special teams and that’s what I intend to do here. I believe that’s how I’m gonna make it here. I believe that’s how I’m gonna get on the field here.”

The NFL changed its kickoff rule this season to where all kicking team players other than the kicker will line up with one foot on the receiving team’s 40-yard line. The 10 kicking team players cannot move until the ball hits the ground or the player in the landing zone or the end zone.

The rule change was made to encourage more kickoff returns, something that Brooks is excited about.

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“I think the kickoff rule is great as far as allowing more returns to happen. Because even in college, I felt like it was a lot of out-of-the-endzone kicks and a lot of fair catches going on. So it brings excitement to the game and as a returner, I’m excited for that. It’s gonna be a lot more action, it’s gonna give me a lot more opportunity. We got great returners here. So I just want to add to the value.”

As Brooks continues in the Chiefs’ offseason training program, he’ll get more acquainted with the playbook and continue his own training as he hopes to stay close to home and play for his favorite NFL team.

“I got a feel for how they run things here, got the jitters out I believe. I’m feeling very comfortable. I’m about to go train with this week off, come back and do my thing.”

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