Travis Kelce is Ready to Lead the Chiefs Offense in 2015

The third-year tight end is ready to shoulder more responsibility

There's rarely a dull moment surrounding Kansas City Chiefs third-year tight end Travis Kelce.

Most fans see the entertainer, the guy sporting a new dance move every time he finds the end zone. But the truth is for as much that is made of his ability to entertain, there's much more to his ability to work and dedicate to his craft than is seen by most.

That's the side of him that only his coaches and teammates get to see on a daily basis.

Kelce could have gone anywhere this offseason to spend his time, but he spent much of it training in Kansas City and learning to embrace the city he now calls his home.

"If anybody needed me in terms of community relations, if anybody just needed any help around the city, I wanted to be there," Kelce said. "I've just embraced the city and I'm looking forward to another year."

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Kelce led the Chiefs in most receiving categories in 2014, which was his first season actually playing after missing his rookie year with a knee injury.

Last season, Kelce led all NFL tight ends with 512 yards after the catch, which fits well into coach Andy Reid's offensive system, which ranked No. 2 in the NFL with 59 percent of the total yards receiving coming via yards after the catch.

One of the biggest moves of the offseason was adding veteran receiver Jeremy Maclin, who also fits well into this system as he finished No. 7 in the NFL among receivers in yards after the catch with 522.

As we near the start of training camp and the 2015 season, Kelce has embraced a leadership role among the tight ends. Being in his third season, Kelce now has a full understanding of what is being asked of him within this offense.

"He's doing a nice job," Reid said. "I think he's got a good grasp of things. When we go double tights, we play him in a few different positions and even when we go three tight ends, we plan on moving him around in different spots.

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"He's handling all of that very well."

Part of that comfortability within the offense means a consistent dialogue with quarterback Alex Smith, who has seen a difference in Kelce this offseason.

Smith explained how Kelce came into the quarterbacks meeting during OTAs to talk about the different looks he was getting and what he was thinking against a particular defense.

"He popped his head into the quarterbacks meeting and we're talking about looks," Smith said. "He already wants adjustments to get the ball. You're now doing things at the line of scrimmage, changing plays with him. With how they're playing him leverage-wise, he wants a different route so he can get the football."

That dialogue with Smith translated to the field.

"In practice, I can hear him make calls at the line of scrimmage because he wants the football," Smith said. "It's encouraging because he's obviously a tremendous player, but it's so great to see that confidence there on the field. You want a bunch of guys out there that are feeling good about their matchup.

"For him to understand when he's got the good look and when it's probably coming to him, to be calling for it, it's fun."

For Kelce, this maturation is just part of the process of becoming a better football player.

View the top photos of TE Travis Kelce

"Every single day, every single week, I'm trying to get better at the small things," he said. "No one puts more expectations on me than myself. That's just the heart of a competitor; that's how I was raised. I come out here and put all my effort, all my focus on being the best player I can be.

"As a group, you can just tell that we've been playing together for a while now. It's a fun process to watch right now and we'll keep that process going all the way through training camp."

The Chiefs open up training camp in St. Joseph, Missouri on Saturday, August 1.

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