Chiefs WR Rashee Rice honed in on learning new system in Kansas City
The Kansas City Chiefs began their rookie minicamp on Saturday afternoon, getting their first official work in with their draft class. A first look at the new players in the team facility, getting to know their coaches and the system for the first time as professionals.
The Chiefs surprised a few critics when they made SMU receiver Rashee Rice their second-round selection. The pick, however, was no surprise for reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes as Rice worked out with him in Texas.
Rice addressed his budding relationship with his new quarterback last week during his draft night Zoom press conference.
“Man, that’s what I was going to be going to,” said Rice. “I can’t complain about a great quarterback. I’m going to be able to build my relationship with (Patrick Mahomes) and just improve my game on the field with him.”
A week later, Rice is starting the team’s rookie minicamp, taking time to learn the Chiefs’ system. The former SMU standout knows he will need to pick up things quickly to play a significant role in an already deep receivers room.
“Really just learning the playbook and not letting it overwhelm me. For me, in college, it was a lot of not huddling and getting signals,” said Rice. “Here, I’m huddling up and running up to the line of scrimmage and basically having to not overthink but be ready to know my assignment and be ready to adjust to the defense.”
Rice acknowledged that there are some similarities between SMU’s system and the Chiefs’ system, but one of the key differences he’s working to master is the terminology. Despite his eagerness to get up to speed, Mahomes told Rice it’ll serve him best to take his time with things now so that he’s better prepared for the future.
“Honestly, taking ahold of everything and not letting anything overwhelm me,” said Rice, “Taking everything day by day so I can learn the plays and stuff like that.”
Mahomes had a similar story with Skyy Moore only a year ago. This time around, it will be Rice looking to carve a role for himself long-term. The Chiefs receivers are young and have plenty to prove as the team prepares to work with various combinations in the offense.
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