KANSAS City, Mo. — He answers to the nickname Jet, confesses to having “little man” syndrome, and has high blood pressure.-pitched voice — constantly imitated by his teammates and coach — that would make a high school freshman blush.
But Jerick McKinnon, the Chiefs’ diminutive running back, has also made an outsized contribution as something of a quarterback helper. He caught nine touchdown passes during the regular season to tie the Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk’s 2001 mark for scoring receptions by a running back.
“He just finds a way to get in the end zone,’’ Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. “A lot of those things he’s not the first read, he’s not the second read. He’s able to just be in the right spot at the right time whenever I need to hit a check down, I can get it to him and then he makes the most of it by getting into the end zone.”
Perhaps the best example of McKinnon’s savvy came in a December game against the Denver Broncos, when Mahomes was flushed from the pocket and McKinnon shot ahead of a defender who keyed in on the quarterback. Mahomes quickly dished a no-Look at McKinnon’s 56 yard run for the touchdown.
5-Fuß-9 and 216 pounds, McKinnon has also been a shockingly effective blocker, a skill that may help fend off the Bengals’ defense in Sunday’s A.F.C. Mahomes with a broken right ankle.
McKinnon was a thirty-year-old-Year-Because of his professionalism and humor, he was chosen as the playoff captain by his team.
“It’s not like he’s looking for the glory or the praise,” Mahomes said. “He just comes to work every single day with a smile on his face and he brings the energy. You ask anybody in the locker room, and he’s probably one of, if not the favorite guy in the locker room.”
Andy Reid, Kansas City coach said McKinnon fulfilled the role. “big brother” A team with a mix of rookies and experienced players-year pros.
“He’s got the high-pitched voice,” Reid claimed. “Everybody thinks the world of him and loves him.”
McKinnon’s Kevin Hart-High quality-His octave patter won him a turning on a Reddit thread about the least intimidating voices The N.F.L. The Other running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s impersonation McKinnon, the Kansas City’s gold standard in the practice area.
Reid has also added McKinnon-impersonation to his take on Mahomes’s The gravelly foghorn sound has yet to be made public.
McKinnon is on the long road to his breakout season. Third-Round selection by the Minnesota Vikings 2014-An agreement worth $30 million with San Francisco in 2018 McKinnon suffered an anterior cruciate injury in that same year. This injury prevented him from being able to play until 2020. There were few options for him when Kansas City gave McKinnon one.-year deal before last season.
The Injury delay led to him becoming a firm believer in taking good care of his body. McKinnon uses acupuncture, dry needling and cupping every day. McKinnon said that Adrian Peterson (an ex-star running back) impressed on him the importance of staying in top shape.
Reid says McKinnon’s background as a quarterback at Georgia Southern University allows him to see the whole field and use his intuition to feel for where he needs to be as a play unfolds.
“He kind of knows how the game works as a whole,” Reid stated. “I think that helps him in the run game — knowing how gaps are set up, knowing how secondaries fill for the run.”
Reid also added: “He can catch the ball on top of all of that.”
McKinnon was Kansas City’s third-leading pass catcher in the regular season with 54 receptions, but he is perhaps most beloved by Kansas City’s offensive line for his “little man” Rage that manifests itself in his mighty blockingYou should, particularly when your opponents try to blitz Mahomes.
In most personnel packages, McKinnon and Creed Humphrey, the team’s 6-Fuß-4-The Pro Center is responsible for removing blitzes from Mahomes and making necessary adjustments.
The team’s offensive coordinator, Eric Bieniemy, says McKinnon’s blocking prowess gets overlooked because of his stature, explosive running and his pass-catching.
“That’s probably one of the most underrated deals that people don’t think about when they mention his name,” Bieniemy said. “He’s a good football player that happens to play running back.:
McKinnon does not get a lot of carries — he ran the ball 72 times for 291 yards this season. The rookie back Isiah Pacheco led Kansas City this season with 830 yards on 170 carries.
In overtime against the Houston Texans last month, however, McKinnon showed a swagger that tickled his quarterback. With Kansas City on the Texans’ 26-yard line and within field goal range, Mahomes called for a McKinnon run.
“Two hands on the ball,” Mahomes spoke as the group broke up.
“I’m going to score,” McKinnon said it to him. McKinnon made the prediction and he won.-It was a winning touchdown.
Mahomes marveled, “He’s a little old but he still has his speed.”