Chiefs breakout star still has a massive chip on his shoulder

Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Isiah Pacheco #10 of the Kansas City Chiefs. (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /

Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco still feels he has room to improve heading into Year 2.

The Kansas City Chiefs drafted running back Isiah Pacheco in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL draft, and it did not take long for the rookie to break out.

Last season Pacheco led the Chiefs in rushing yards with 830 yards, averaging 4.88 yards per carry. He also recorded five touchdowns. In the postseason, he added 197 yards and a Super Bowl touchdown.

Amongst fellow rookie running backs, Pacheco was fifth overall for rushing yards and was tied second for rushing touchdowns, along with Jacksonville Jaguar Travis Etienne, in 2022.

In his first eight games, Pacheco rushed for 197 yards on 44 attempts, with one touchdown. The Chiefs’ final nine games of the season were when he started to pick things up, recording 633 rushing yards on 126 carries and four touchdowns. Pacheco took over from Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the middle of the season and became the starting running back. Pacheco out-gained Edwards-Helaire by more than half-yard per carry.

Isiah Pacheco believes there is room for improvement despite the Chiefs’ success

In an interview with ESPN, Pacheco spoke about embracing the new expectations of being the Chiefs’ starting running back.

As Pacheco heads into his second season with the Chiefs, despite his success and winning a Super Bowl, he still has something to prove.

"“As a seventh-round pick, I always had something to prove, for the doubters. If you dream big, you could go get it, go grab it. That’s something I always had in mind of being on this stage, on this level. It feels unreal, but it’s real and it’s here and so I have to embrace it.”"

He also wants to develop aspects of his game, which include becoming a more patient runner, setting up blocks, and being more reliable in the backfield.

"“Being able to extend the things I’m able to do, that comes with work in the offseason. For me, I still feel like there’s more to improve … I’m satisfied with the Super Bowl win on my first appearance, but I’m unsatisfied because I know that there’s more that could’ve been done out there.”"

When drafted in the final round, Pacheco wrote down a few goals: make the team, lead the club in rushing, and help K.C. win a Super Bowl. He was able to check off all three in his first season.

"“It happened so fast and for me, not expecting it but dreaming of it, putting in the work to get here. I’m not surprised that the hard work got me here. I’m just surprised it happened so fast. It means the absolute world to me. Especially when you write down in your notes what your goals are and then you come back to them. For me, I’m going to come back to them, grab that pen and check them off.”"

Pacheco is bound to check off more goals as he heads into his second NFL year, and not letting his quick success stop him from improving is making his future brighter than it already was.

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