Chiefs wide receivers didn’t have many drops during the team’s 4-0 preseason run, but when one happened in Thursday’s game against the Rams, the response was ideal.
Rookie Chris Conley couldn’t hold on to a Chase Daniel pass. On the next snap, Conley hauled in a 16-yarder that gave the Chiefs a first down.
“I wanted that back,” Conley said. “I made sure when I went into the huddle (that) I told Chase that it wouldn’t happen again.”
The connection was among the biggest reveals of the Chiefs’ 24-17 victory in St. Louis. Another: Conley, the Chiefs’ third-round draft selection from Georgia, can be a big-play target.
Conley and Daniel hooked up on a 15-yard touchdown, with Conley running a skinny post from the right side and Daniel split a tight window for the target.
“He’s a big body and knew exactly what to do and exactly what I was thinking,” Daniel said. “I had the easy part. He gobbles up a lot of ground, he’s a super tall guy, and fast.”
Daniel called the play at the line and made eye contact with Conley before the snap.
“As soon as he audibled it, I knew he was going to me, a perfect ball,” Conley said. “Huge props to him for trusting me in that tight situation.”
The Chiefs have given Conley every opportunity to earn trust. After sitting out the first preseason game and about two weeks of training camp recovering from a knee injury, Conley played plenty over the final three weeks, including as a return specialist.
Improved wide receiver play was an offseason priority for the Chiefs, who signed Jeremy Maclin, converted De’Anthony Thomas from running back and drafted Conley and Da’Ron Brown.
The 6-3, 205-pound Conley arrived with high expectations.
“I’ve seen a couple of good things from him these last two weeks,” coach Andy Reid said. “It looks like he’s improving and can help us.”
Getting Conley ready for next week’s regular-season opener at Houston might also be a necessity. Three wide receivers — Thomas, Jason Avant and Albert Wilson — finished the preseason with injuries.
“My goal is just to be ready in any capacity they ask me to help this team, whether it’s special teams or offense,” Conley said. “As I get my legs under me, I feel better.”
Conley, who became the fifth different wide receiver to catch a touchdown pass in the preseason, made certain to grab a keepsake. In his locker after the game was the ball from his first professional score.
“That’s going to mom and dad,” Conley said. “Hopefully, there’s more to come.”