Kansas City Chiefs Offensive Tackle Mitchell Schwartz Explains the Impact Clyde Edwards-Helaire Can Have On Opposing Defenses

Tucker D. Franklin

With the Kansas City Chiefs' first-round selection of LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz said defenses will have to prepare for another wrinkle in the Chiefs' offense this season.

In a video conference with reporters Friday, Schwartz discussed what things he and the offensive line have to keep in mind when blocking for this year’s first-round pick.

“You just kind of want to get the smallest opening you can and trust him to do the rest,” Schwartz said. “From our perspective, we don’t change what we’re doing. The kind of premium is on moving the line of scrimmage, and your run game, as far as the running back can get past the line of scrimmage is going to be the most beneficial.”

Edwards-Helaire was highly productive for LSU during its national championship-winning season. In his final season with the Tigers, Edwards-Helaire carried the ball 215 times, collecting 1,414 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also caught 55 passes for 453 yards and one touchdown.

Schwartz went on to explain how defenses schematically will have to change with Edwards-Helaire in the backfield.

“It’s going to pull the linebackers onto the O-Line,” Schwartz said. “If you look at the running back, if there’s penetration and he’s making a cut three yards in the backfield, it’s the timing of the play. Maybe the center, who is climbing up to the linebacker, he’s probably not going to be there yet because you know the linebacker is going to jump behind based on the cutback early, and then the center can’t get there and the play is completely dead. Whereas if we have a yard or two on the line of scrimmage, the running back can get right back behind there and the linebacker is kind of frozen, he’s stuck, he doesn’t know what to do. Then that brings the linebacker to us.”

In addition to the changes in defense, Schwartz said how Running Backs Coach Deland McCullough and Offensive Coordinator Eric Beienmy instruct the backs helps the offensive line.

“So, that’s always the premium we’re thinking about. When you look at Deland [McCullough] and EB [Eric Bieniemy] and how they coach running backs, they coach them very hard, and that’s because it’s all interconnected,” Schwartz said. “If you have a running back who kind of freelances and does his own things, things don’t mesh too well. It’s a really good harmony and it is nice to know somebody gets cut loose, you throw that devastating spin move and jukes him out of his shoes and maybe he can make us look good.”

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