Chiefs RB Jerick McKinnon’s 'little man syndrome' inspires his pass protection

Broncos Chiefs Football
Posted at 6:08 PM, Jan 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-26 19:08:44-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon has had a positive impact on the team in more ways than one.

Known for his recent receiving prowess, McKinnon also often serves as another protector for quarterback Patrick Mahomes when he’s throwing the ball.

McKinnon is diminutive — listed at 5 feet, 9 inches and 209 pounds — but he clearly put all his strength into Jacksonville linebacker Foye Oluokun, who has led the NFL in tackles the last two seasons and stands five inches taller while also outweighing McKinnon by more than 20 pounds.

“I’ve got little man syndrome,” McKinnon joked.

McKinnon later added that he never did pass protection in college so it was something he had to work at in the pros.

“I accepted the challenge and it’s got me this far,” McKinnon said.

He said he takes pride in that skill and thinks it will increase his longevity as a running back.

Stonewalling Oluokun in the AFC Divisional game wasn’t the first time that McKinnon has laid out a block of that magnitude.

During the season opener, he won his matchup against Arizona Cardinals cornerback Marco Wilson, taking him out of the play.

Even though guys bigger and taller than McKinnon are running toward him at full speed, he’s not fazed by his lack of size.

“You’ve gotta be a little crooked in the mind, for sure,” McKinnon said while pointing to his head.

The keys to good blocking, according to McKinnon: Heart and will.

“You’ve got technique and stuff like that to clean it up, but at the end of the day it’s one-on-one so you’ve just gotta have the will for it,” McKinnon said.