KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes knows exactly the moment he wanted to play quarterback in Kansas City.
The 21-year-old quarterback visited the Chiefs during his tour of NFL cities leading up to the draft. Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Matt Nagy put Mahomes through a six-hour ringer, challenging him to test his knowledge play calling and his ability to pick up the NFL’s complex terminology. But it was away from the whiteboard that Mahomes learned what he needed to know.
“I went to lunch, and they were just being themselves,’ Mahomes said. “With coach Reid, coach Nagy, coach (general manager John) Dorsey and everybody like that and them just being themselves and seeing the relationships they had, I knew wanted to be a part of this family.”
Sitting alongside Reid and Dorsey at his introductory press conference, Mahomes sung the praises of the entire Chiefs organization.
“You know you’re coming to a spot where you’re going to get coached well to get the best out of you,” Mahomes said.
Reid and Dorsey agree that their young quarterback has work to do to one day win the starting job. Reid pointed toward working on his footwork and drop back as well as learning to line up under center and understanding coverages.
“It takes a little bit of time to get all that down,” Reid said. “Really, he’s not coming from a system that did that too much.”
Mahomes concurs that he has much to learn. He pointed toward refining his mechanics, which may determine whether he sinks or swims at the NFL level.
“You’ve got to really focus on your footwork, getting through your throws,” he said. “You’ve got really drive that and be on time with your throws.”
The team’s new quarterback said he hasn’t seen Reid’s vaunted playbook yet, but explained he’s ready to dive in and learn the entire offense.
“That’s a big part that I have to really take as a thing I have to go at,” Mahomes.
The newest Chief recognizes he has his critics. He knows some people are skeptical of the Air Raid system he ran at Texas Tech. They question his footwork and technique. The criticisms definitely motivate him.
“It kind of gives you that chip on the shoulder to go out and prove people wrong,” Mahomes said. “That’s just another thing I can come to every single day, with the love of the game and just make sure I’m practicing hard, make sure I’m giving it everything I can on every single aspect of the game.”