Here’s how rookie RB Isiah Pacheco earned the Chiefs’ confidence

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Kansas City Chiefs rookie RB Isiah Pacheco has instilled a lot of confidence in the coaching staff and front office throughout training camp and the preseason.

It’s not always a guarantee that seventh-round draft picks make the 53-man roster, but this year the Chiefs had two of three make it. Pacheco is one of those two who made it and he figures to have a sizeable role within the offense early on.

What exactly did the rookie show to earn that opportunity where others hadn’t? According to Chiefs GM Brett Veach, it’s a few different things.

“Well as you guys know, we’re certainly a pass-heavy offense, so I think when these young guys come in here, they certainly have to have the running skillset,” Veach explained. “But I think the ability to pick up pass protections and have reliable hands out of the backfield is certainly something that those guys have to show and demonstrate on a consistent basis, and he’s been one of those guys.”

Pacheco isn’t just willing to do the dirty work like blocking, but he has also picked up on the team’s protection calls very quickly. He’s proven to be a consistent pass-catcher out of the backfield in a pass-heavy offense. Those are things that you need to do to get on the field as a rookie running back in the NFL, but especially so if you’re one who was drafted late.

“Again, (we’re looking for) all these rookies, to come in here and show that they’re going to know how to run the ball when given the opportunity,” Veach continued. “But the blitz pickups, the protection checks and then just being consistent with their hands out of the backfield is something from day one that I think that Isiah has shown and we’re excited.”

This isn’t to say that Pacheco doesn’t have room for improvement, but the team likes where he’s at as the regular season approaches. Veach, in particular, thinks that he’ll contribute to this team’s ability to win games this season and in the future.

“Like all these young guys, we’re excited where (Isiah Pacheco) is now and (think) that he has a great future ahead of him,” Veach concluded.

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Story originally appeared on Chiefs Wire