With filming done for dating reality show, Chiefs’ Kelce focused on football

ajc.com

Travis Kelce’s whirlwind offseason has come to a close. His focus is on the Chiefs’ workout program.

The 26-year old made his first Pro Bowl and became one of the richest tight ends in the league in January, courtesy of a five-year, $46 million extension he signed that same week.

And oh, yeah: Shortly before he reported to the Chiefs for offseason workouts a month ago, he also wrapped up filming of a “dating competition series” on the E! Network called “Catching Kelce,” in which 50 women — one from each state — vied for his affections in Los Angeles.

“I think it will be a pretty funny show, but I’m more excited for the football season,” said Kelce, who addressed the media for the first time since the show was announced in January. “I’m not even a big TV guy, so for the most part, I was going into it blind and just enjoying the experience.”

The show is expected to air later this year. Kelce does not know exactly when.

“I had some people get my ear about it,” Kelce said, when asked if he needed any prodding to go on the show. “But for the most part, it was my decision.”

Kelce said he hasn’t seen the final cut of the show yet, but he’s happy with what he thinks he put on camera.

“Yeah, people are going to look at me differently,” Kelce said. “You never get to see the intimate side of a football player.”

Asked if he found a woman he really likes via the show, Kelce didn’t offer many hints about the outcome.

“Yes, I did pick a winner,” Kelce said.

The Chiefs’ star tight end — who is set to enter his fourth season in the NFL — was far more interested in talking about his chosen profession on Tuesday.

“Oh yeah,” said Kelce, who went into filming mandating the show be shot around his training schedule. “I’m 100 percent focused on football and ready to rock and roll.”

Kelce has been one of the Chiefs’ primary receiving targets for the last two seasons. He caught 72 passes for 875 yards and five touchdowns in 2015, and helped the Chiefs win a playoff game for the first time in 22 years.

In the last two seasons — he missed almost all of his rookie season because of a knee injury — he has appeared in 33 games, piling up 1,737 yards and 10 touchdowns in 139 catches.

Still, the 6-foot-5, 260-pounder says there’s room for improvement in his game, especially when it comes to mastering the Chiefs’ playbook, which isn’t short on words, or an abundance of concepts.

“Just being more physical, and not letting my mind tie up my feet,” Kelce said of areas in which he’s working to improve. “There were times where I feel like I was just out there thinking too much instead of just playing instinctual football. It’s definitely something I’ve been trying to work on.”

There is pressure to do so, especially because Kelce is now the second-highest paid tight end in the league behind Seattle’s Jimmy Graham.

“The contract puts a lot more on my plate as far as being a leader, being around the office and knowing I have re-signed, so I’m going to be around for a while,” Kelce said. “There’s just more of an understanding for me that I still just have to go out there and play to make (it clear) what I’m worth.”

The key to doing that, Kelce said, is remaining diligent about his craft — which remains his priority, reality show and all.

“I’ve shown that I’ve been able to be the guy just by what I’ve put forth already — it’s just building on that,” Kelce said. “I’m always just going to be a guy that’s in the facility, around the city, so that’s never a question. It’s just whether or not I can help guys develop and help this team grow.”