Eric Bieniemy: The rookie wall is real, but it doesn’t seem to impact Isiah Pacheco

Los Angeles Rams v Kansas City Chiefs
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Through 11 games, the Chiefs have gotten a lot of production out of their seventh-round rookie running back Isiah Pacheco.

He currently leads the team with 455 yards rushing, gaining 4.7 yards per carry. He’s also caught four passes for 30 yards.

But as the calendar moves to December and each game gains more meaning, there’s always the risk of the running back hitting the proverbial rookie wall. But so far, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy hasn’t seen any sign of that.

“The rookie wall is a real thing. I know I hit it my rookie year, OK? But it doesn’t seem to impact him,” Bieniemy said in his Thursday press conference. “I mean, obviously all the energy that you see after a play he does the same thing in practice. The kid’s very energized and excited about meetings. He does a good job in the walk throughs. We got to slow him down at times and then when he heads to practice, he has a bunch of energy. I want what he has bottled up so I can lose some of this weight moving forward.

“But he’s a heck of a kid and I knock on wood, I hope the rookie wall does not hit him. He seems to be in a great place right now, mentally as well as physically. And I will add to that, he has some great guys in that room who have helped him understand what it takes to become a professional at this level and how to take care of his body.”

While Clyde Edwards-Helaire is on injured reserve and Jerrick McKinnon is dealing with a hamstring injury, the Chiefs still have veteran Ronald Jones on the 53-man roster and just added veteran Melvin Gordon to the practice squad.

But for this week, the rookie wall may not be as impactful as the Cincinnati defense, which effectively walled off Derrick Henry’s production on the ground last week. We’ll see if the Bengals can do something similar when they play the Chiefs on Sunday.

9 responses to “Eric Bieniemy: The rookie wall is real, but it doesn’t seem to impact Isiah Pacheco

  1. Considering Pacheco has started 2 games and has several games with few or no touches, there should be no wall. But as a RB coach EB should know. Also, I cant wait until EB leaves KC, he’s such a distraction.

  2. Easy to break through the rookie wall when you hardly play during the first half of the season. KC is really full of themselves.

  3. Not sure why so many people are carrying down votes, Pacheco is a great back. But in all fairness, he has more carries in the last 3 games than he did in the previous 8 games.

    Similar to a relief pitcher, they’re using him late in the year. His ‘season’ is during the playoff run. The rookie wall shouldn’t be a factor.

  4. The stage is already set for Andy Reidb and his chiefs to lose yet another AFC Championship at home this time via a Melvin Gordon fumble.

  5. In college football, they play 12 games and an occasional Bowl game your body and mental outlook for 3 to 4 years aren’t geared up for a 17+ game schedule even if you are not a starter taking 20 to 30 snaps per game. If it was just a physical thing they could push through but the mental aspect can determine the physical performance. Integrative medicine and health psychology are beginning to recognize that physical performance is influenced not only by the physical body but also by the spiritual, mental, and emotional bodies.

  6. Me thinks someone is toying with the ballot box, but they are lefties so that’s just par for the course.

  7. Still not sure why CEH slipped behind this kid before getting injured. Isiah may have a .4 better YPC average, but he has 40 more carries at this point than CEH. Even with those 40 extra carries, he has only 6 more 1st down runs, the exact same amount of 20+ yard runs, the exact same number of rushing TD’s, and only has a long run of 28 yards compared to CEH’s 52. He’s also fumbled twice, while CEH has zero. I keep reading and hearing announcers say “This kid brings an explosiveness!”, but I have no idea what they’re watching. I can’t wait until CEH escapes the coach of where RB’s go to die.

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