Clyde Edwards-Helaire Has 'Some Special Traits,' Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy Says

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 19, 2020

LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (22) breaks into the open past Northwestern State outside linebacker Landon King (32) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Baton Rouge, La. (AP Photo/Patrick Dennis)
Patrick Dennis/Associated Press

Clyde Edwards-Helaire continues to earn some major praise from his new NFL coaches before they've even been able to get him on the field.  

The latest bit of flattery comes from Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who spoke to local media on Tuesday. 

"I think the kid's got some special traits," Bieniemy said (h/t Pro Football Talk's Charean Williams), "but I also believe our players are going to help him to grow to become even more of a special contributor when it's all said and done with."

Already general manager Brett Veach and head coach Andy Reid have compared Edwards-Helaire to former NFL great Brian Westbrook while quarterback Patrick Mahomes has signaled his excitement over the ex-LSU RB joining his offense. 

Though the signs are quite encouraging for Edwards-Helaire's future, he'll have to put in plenty of work first. Not only will he be sitting behind Damien Williams on the depth chart, but Bieniemy also needs to see improvement in his blocking abilities:

"Well, we've had this discussion with him. You know what? Sometimes you see college kids put some good stuff on top. Sometimes you see them put some poor stuff on tape. The thing that we do know is that he does have the willingness to block. He understands that's a huge asset that's going to help him moving forward to get him on the field and contribute to what we do on our side of the ball. But one thing I will say: He does have the attitude and the mindset to get it done, so I'm not concerned with that."

If he can't help protect Mahomes on the field, Edwards-Helaire won't last long in Kansas City. Fortunately for him, Bieniemy isn't too concerned this is a long term issue:

"I think this is more important than anything, we know one thing that that kid is going to do: He is going to come in and work his tail off. Now, he's just going to be a piece of the puzzle. You've got Damien Williams, who did a hell of a job for us last year. He's also going to have an opportunity to play with one of his former teammates [Darrel Williams]. Then, we have Darwin [Thompson]. Then, we have the young kid, [DeAndre] Washington. So we have a unique situation where he can come in and have an opportunity to learn from a collective group. But also we want to make sure we're utilizing him the right way and making sure he's mentally prepared to go when it's time to go."

Williams is set to hit free agency next offseason, making this year's No. 32 overall pick the lead-runner in waiting. If he proves to his coaches he's ready for that task by the end of 2020, he'll likely get to show off those special traits sooner than later.