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Chiefs coaches get up close and personal with NFL Combine stars

The man with his back to the camera is KC Chiefs running backs coach Eric Bieniemy who is putting Washington running back Bishop Sankey though a workout during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.
The man with his back to the camera is KC Chiefs running backs coach Eric Bieniemy who is putting Washington running back Bishop Sankey though a workout during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

For 99% of the population, watching the NFL Combine carries all the intrigue of watching paint dry. However, fans of the Kansas City Chiefs that tuned into watch the NFL Network’s coverage of the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers got a pleasant surprise. Two of Andy Reid’s assistant coaches, David Culley and Eric Bieniemy, were right in the middle of the action, running the on-field drills for the wide receivers and running backs.

Culley, the Chiefs Assistant Head Coach/Receivers Coach, took the field first with the wide receivers and lead the group through several pass catching and route running drills, including “The Gauntlet” a fan favorite.

(The gauntlet is a pass-catching drill designed to test a player's hands, vision and hand-eye coordination. Players start the drill on the edge of one sideline. They stand in place to catch the first pass then pivot 180 degrees to catch the second. From there, the players take off on a sprint across the length of the field. Five quarterbacks are waiting, three on one side of the field and two on the other. The players have to locate each pass in the air, catch it, hold it, then drop it to get ready for the next one – all at full speed.)

After Culley finished his two to three hours of “up close and personal” with the receiving group, Bieniemy took over the running back drills and as a Chiefs fan, your Examiner couldn’t help but smile at the enthusiasm, passion, and positive energy Bieniemy showed the nervous players during their biggest job interview ever. He even had the veteran NFL Network commentators eating out of his hand by the time he was done.

Besides the obvious public relations boost for KC by having someone with an Arrowhead logo on their shirts leading the next crop of offensive superstars through their paces on television, Culley and Bieniemy got a chance to look into the faces of these players to see who was paying attention, who was overwhelmed, and who was feeling confident.

And while that may not matter as much for some of the top players who have been dissected and picked apart by the Chiefs scouting department for the last year or two, there could be that one guy that stands out who might now be on the Chiefs radar.

Kansas City has a screaming need for receivers in 2014 and despite their semi-dubious track record for taking first round busts at wide receiver, this group of college players might make that decision a lot easier for KC to make. (Besides, both Reid and GM John Dorsey come from organizations that seemingly grow Pro Bowl caliber WRs on trees!)

This year’s group of receivers seemingly has just one super-elite candidate, Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, who will undoubtedly go in the top ten draft choices, there were probably a dozen players that improved their stock with a great combine and reaffirmed the scouts opinions that this could be the deepest group of wide receivers in many years.

The presence of All Pro Jamaal Charles on the roster, and the massive improvement shown late in the season by back-up Knile Davis, makes running back a position that the Chiefs can leave for the later rounds of the draft to address. But that doesn’t mean they will ignore it if the solid performances by the running back group on Sunday is any indication.

One of the best moments of the day came when Mizzou running back, Henry Josey, lined up for the 40-yard dash. Most Chiefs fans know Josey came back last season from one of the most gruesome knee injuries in 2011 that cost him his entire 2012 season. Josey ran a blistering 4.43, which put him third at the position.

It was a very nice moment for a hard-working player that put everything he had into coming back from the three knee operations he endured after hurting his knee. Josey is a long shot to even get drafted this May, but he is someone that even jaded Jayhawk and Wildcat fans can root for.

On Monday at the Combine, the defensive players take the field with defensive linemen and linebackers running through their drills.


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