Isiah Pacheco Feeling 'Mobile' During Healthy Offseason Program

A year after missing critical offseason reps, Pacheco is glad to be a bit slimmer and a lot healthier as June rolls on.
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Oren Burks (48) during overtime in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 11, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Oren Burks (48) during overtime in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

For every good thing Isiah Pacheco brings to the Kansas City Chiefs as a running back, it's also abundantly clear that it comes at a cost.

The former seventh-round pick is a violent runner who embraces contact, oftentimes bouncing off defenders and serving as an energy-giver on offense. In his first two seasons on the job, he has 1,765 rushing yards and a pair of Super Bowl rings to show for it. With that said, it's been accompanied by a multitude of injuries.

Last offseason, Pacheco was recovering from a broken hand/wrist bone and a shoulder labrum tear. Surgery put him behind the proverbial eight-ball and forced him into a non-contact jersey for much of the ensuing program. He then had a shoulder cleanup procedure during the regular season and also dealt with concussion protocol late in December.

With all of that now behind him, Pacheco is happy to be on the field with his teammates. Speaking at mandatory minicamp, he emphasized the importance of having a full capacity offseason.

"It was no OTAs, most importantly," Pacheco said. "That's the most important thing in the offseason, is to get better and find ways to get better. For me, it was more so finding ways to get better in the rehab room, not on the field with the guys, having fun and throwing the football around. So now I'm out there excited, hearing music, throwing the football around. It gets me going, just knowing I'm there and having a lot of guys' support."

He also shared that he's a tad bit slimmer than usual. The 25-year-old revealed that he's a small handful of pounds lighter than his ideal playing weight of 208-210, also a good deal lower than the 216 mark he recorded at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"I'm 207, 206, around that area," Pacheco said. "Feeling good. Just mobile and ready to do whatever the coach asks me to do."

In year No. 2 on the job, Pacheco appeared in 14 games during the regular season. Seeing his snap count jump from 351 as a rookie to 568 as a sophomore, he logged 35 more carries on the ground and caught 31 more passes out of the backfield. That uptick in usage was a precursor to the postseason. In four playoff games, Pacheco toted the rock a staggering 81 times and doubled his reception mark from the year prior.

While Clyde Edwards-Helaire is back for another year, the Chiefs don't have much proven depth behind Pacheco. Naturally, that could lead to the team leaning on him more often. He's fine with it, though, especially given how healthy he is. Whatever workload Pacheco is thrust into moving forward, he feels prepared.

"Whatever coach asks me to do, I'm willing to take on the role [or] the task and just be the guy some of the guys look up to [as] a leader."

Read More: Jared Wiley Is Ahead of Travis Kelce’s Rookie Self in One Key Area


Published
Jordan Foote

JORDAN FOOTE

Jordan Foote is the deputy editor of Arrowhead Report on SI.com, covering the Kansas City Chiefs. He also hosts the One Royal Way podcast on Kansas City Sports Network. Jordan is a Baker University alumnus, earning his degree in Mass Media. Follow him on X @footenoted.