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Patrick Mahomes Explains His Most Exciting Moment at Practice

Posted Jun 15, 2017

It’s not what you’d think

The arm talent is undeniable; that’s been well documented.

But for Kansas City Chiefs rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the process in which he’s learning what it’ll take to be an NFL quarterback is more difficult to articulate for those intending to tell his story.

Most of the development happens between the ears—not the white lines, and there’s only a few people who will truly know where he’s at in that process at any given point.

During practice, Mahomes can be seen talking with coach Andy Reid between each of his reps—telling them what he sees on the play, and vice versa.

Mahomes admitted that coming from college, he knew basic protection principles, but that it’s the area of his development that’s at the forefront right now.

“To me, the most exciting part of practice is when I get a protection right,” Mahomes explained. “Right now, if I switch a protection and it’s right, that’s probably the happiest I am. I’ll go straight to coach [Mike] Kafka or coach [Matt] Nagy and be like, “Hey, did you see that? I got that guy right there.”

It’s not a huge throw down the field or a scramble play that leads to a first down during an 11-on-11 period, and Mahomes is most excited about showing a level of understanding in the offense and the responsibilities that go along with playing the position at this level than anything else.

Most of the teaching moments and the ones that are critical in Mahomes' development don’t even happen on the field, but in the classroom.

And Wednesday after practice, Mahomes shared a story of one of those moments.

“It was with coach Chilly (Brad Childress)—talking about my protections,” Mahomes explained. “He said something I hadn’t thought about in that way.”

Basically, Childress was able to relate, in a basic way, the Chiefs’ offensive protections to what Mahomes did at Texas Tech.

Childress used a language Mahomes could better understand to describe how to identify and think about one of his blockers. It’s not something Childress has done often—speaking the language Mahomes used in college—but he could just tell what Mahomes was trying to say and saw it as a teaching moment.

“I think he just saw how I was describing the plays on the board and how I was thinking about the protections,” Mahomes explained, “but right when he said it, everything just clicked and I understood our protections way better.”

And now that he’s been in the system a little while and repped against NFL defensive schemes, Mahomes knows what he doesn’t know, which is a big step in his development process.

“With our defense and the NFL defenses—compared to college defenses—you see more in college and so you can kind of point it out and get that stuff fixed easily,” he explained. “Where here, it’s like this guy is on the line of scrimmage and he rolls over and another guy comes from the other side.

“So, you have to really see that stuff and be on the film, and that’s probably the biggest difference—guys moving around and disguising stuff.”

Now that he’s had a few weeks in the quarterbacks room with veteran Alex Smith, there’s a certain level of appreciation for what Smith brings to the table.

“He does a lot of things well,” Mahomes explained of Smith. “The thing I admire the most so far is how he understands how everything works—offense and defense—and why we’re doing what we’re doing.

“I mean he can make up plays in his head that fit our offense perfectly just because he knows it so well."

The development process for Mahomes is ongoing and the teachable moments with this coaching staff will continue behind closed doors.

“It’s all about progression, and I’m just trying to get better every single day,” Mahomes concluded.

The Chiefs will have their final minicamp practice Thursday afternoon before getting a few weeks off until they report to training camp in late July.

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