The Chiefs ran a series of short-yardage drills during Monday’s training camp session, offering a glimpse of what the team hopes will be an area of improvement this season.
Kansas City ranked 22nd in rushing attempts on first down (86) and 26th in first-down completion rate (20.9 percent) last season.
“It’s definitely a point of emphasis for us this year,” Chiefs tackle Mitchell Schwartz said. “Third-and-one, fourth-and-one, end of game … any obvious running situations.”
Scwhartz and fellow lineman Eric Fisher were the only Chiefs to play every offensive snap (1,022) a year ago when Spencer Ware led all rushers last season with 214 carries for 914 yards and three touchdowns.
The Chiefs released four-time Pro Bowler Jamaal Charles in the offseason and drafted rookie Kareem Hunt in the third round. The Chiefs also added veteran C.J. Spiller, who will compete with Charcandrick West for the third-down back slot. West did not practice on Monday because of an ankle injury.
“Our line, we communicated up front with the protection and run game — everything seemed in sync,” Ware said. “We look at it as we’re pushing each other. No one’s looking over their shoulders or anything like that. We’re out here to compete. We’ve got to get the job done no matter who is in the game.”
Added Schwartz: “I think across the board, we want to be better running the ball. Those added emphasis situations are going to be big for us.”