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Chris Conley embraces special-teams role with Chiefs

Chris Conley scored a touchdown at St. Louis in the preseason but is playing more on special teams in the regular season.
Chris Conley scored a touchdown at St. Louis in the preseason but is playing more on special teams in the regular season. skeyser@kcstar.com

During his college career at Georgia, Chiefs receiver Chris Conley had never been a heavy special-teams contributor.

That, however, has changed in the NFL.

In his first regular-season game, Conley appeared on 23 special-teams snaps, tied for the fourth-most among all Chiefs in their 27-20 win Sunday at Houston.

“Your way onto the field — to be a playmaker and a starter — starts with special teams, and I embrace that,” said Conley, who logged five offensive snaps. “I have no problem with it.”

Conley, who tested out as one of the most athletic receivers at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, says special teams are actually a good fit for his skill set.

“I actually enjoy it, because special teams, it’s you on that guy — who’s more athletic? Who has more tenacity?” said Conley, 22, a third-round pick in May. “And the way I like to think, I think I’m more athletic. I think I have more fight than whoever is going to line up across from me. So I enjoy it.”

Conley appeared as a gunner on punt coverage and a corner on punt returns, two things he says he’s never done before. He also appeared on the kick coverage unit and is looking forward to improving in all phases of special teams in coming weeks.

“You take the time to learn, and a lot of it comes down to watching the film,” Conley said. “You make mistakes early on because you’ve got to. It’s full speed, and when you come back, you learn and get better each time.”

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @TerezPaylor. Tap here to download the new Red Zone Extra app for iOS and Android devices.

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