Here's the transcript of Patrick Mahomes' Wednesday press conference with local media.
Q: Now that you are in Week 17 and Travis Kelce has had the best season any Chiefs tight end has ever had, what does that say about his leadership and your connection with him throughout the year?
MAHOMES: “He stepped in since day one and has been attacking every single day. He has been a guy who has had a lot of success in this league, but he’s never satisfied. Him, like a lot of my teammates, want to get better every single day and so it’s exciting to be with those guys who really love the game and want to get better.”
Q: When you have a game like Sunday night and start out one-and-seven, is there anything you go through mentally to get back on track?
MAHOMES: “No, I mean it’s all about the next play. The next play you always get an opportunity to do better. For me, that’s my mentality. It doesn’t matter how the entire game has gone, as long as you go out there and execute that next play and do the best of your ability then that’s the best you can do in that moment.”
Q: With so much on the line this Sunday, what are some things you are telling teammates? What is it like in the locker room this week?
MAHOMES: “I think everyone is excited for the opportunity to get to play a division opponent and a rival in our division and to get to play it at Arrowhead. We want to make sure we get to stay here the rest of the way out. We know that if we can come together and play like we know we can then we can make a run at this thing.”
Q: Did you see the Chiefs promo video for your MVP campaign?
MAHOMES: “Yes, I did. My mom is in town, so she for sure showed me as quick as she could. It’s awesome. Those guys did a great job with the video. I thought it was really cool. For me, it’s all about these next few games, play by play of this next game against the Raiders and then the chance to hopefully keep it going.”
Q: Does it remind you of how schools promote the Heisman candidates? What does it say that in year one the team and fans are behind you for such a lofty award?
MAHOMES: “It speaks to this community and organization. They really truly care about the players. They care about the Chiefs and we care about them. This community is special like that and I am glad to be a part of it.”
Q: How do you balance getting ready for this game with Christmas and Christmas Eve this week?
MAHOMES: “My family understands what this season is and what I need to do in order to be ready. I got to wake up at like six in the morning with my little sister there, then I came in for a couple of hours and got to watch film and stuff like I would usually do on any other Tuesday. I made sure I got my film study in and then when I went home I hung out with them a little bit and then they went to sleep, and I studied a little bit more.”
Q: You seem pretty cool in big situations when it comes to needing a score against the Ravens or the Seahawks, where does that confidence come from?
MAHOMES: “I think the trust in each other and the process. In those moments you trust your teammates are going to make the plays they’ve made all year. You trust Coach Reid is going to call the great plays he’s been calling all year and I just trust in my ability and not try to do too much. That’s the biggest thing is you don’t try to do too much in those situations, you just try to keep playing the same game you have played the entire year.”
Q: How do you guys go about managing the clock when you are down multiple scores?
MAHOMES: “We set ourselves up and prepare ourselves for every situation. We have different types of situational football we take place in. In the last game we got in that two-minute mode early. You have to know the rules of the clock and how you save time, if yards are more important than going out of bounds and vice versa. We have prepared ourselves for those types of situations and we try to execute those to the best of our abilities.”
Q: When you look back at the last time you played the Raiders, what is the biggest takeaway do you think in terms of getting Tyreek Hill more involved?
MAHOMES: “They had a good game plan for him (Tyreek Hill). There were a lot of times they were double covering him, had guys on top of him, but there were also opportunities I missed him on where he could’ve had a big game. I know I had the shot down the middle where I overthrew him for a touchdown. There were several other ones we could’ve connected on. I think we just stay within our game plan. If they’re going to devote more players to Tyreek, then more guys will go off like (Travis) Kelce did last time we played them. That’s the good thing about this team is that no one cares about who’s getting the shine or who’s getting the ball, they just care about winning football games.”
Q: Do you notice a difference when he is being taken out of the equation because of his speed and the big plays he makes when he’s not as involved?
MAHOMES: “Yeah, you always want to get him involved. You always want to make sure that he’s getting opportunities to make the big plays he seems to make every single week almost. At the same time, I think him being there is such a threat that he opens up other guys. He knows how to get himself open but also how to help other guys get open as well. That’s a vital part of our offense.”
Q: A couple games you have come out a little slow, have you seen a pattern or common denominator in that that’s something to learn from?
MAHOMES: “Not necessarily. You want to come out and play fast and score on the first drive and on every single drive, but you have to kind of get into the flow of the game and see where the game takes you. Sometimes you don’t get that fast start you want, but you have to find a way to bounce back as quickly as possible.”
Q: What do you think it means to be a MVP?
MAHOMES: “It is special for anyone to get that award or even be mentioned in that award. At the same time, it’s a team game. It’s about the team and everyone around you. You can’t do it by yourself. I am grateful I’m on a great team that I can go out and play every single week and try to win as many football games as possible.”
Q: With Laurent Duvernay-Tardif practicing today and the possibility of coming off IR, what does that mean for you and the rest of the offense?
MAHOMES: “Having Larry back would be awesome. We have had guys who’ve stepped up and played that position well as the season has gone on. He’s a great player and a smart player, he’s a doctor, so I mean he is a smart guy. He also has an element of toughness that’s really special about him, so it would be amazing to have him back as another weapon in our offense.”
Q: Are you doing anything additional to stay conditioned when it comes to playing more games than you did in college in a season?
MAHOMES: “Not necessarily. It’s a process. You set up the schedule for a reason and follow it no matter if you’re tired one day or if you are as energized as you’ve ever been. You just stay on that same schedule, game plan, watch the film, practice and do the same things you’ve been doing in order to have success.”
Q: How about the holiday pajamas you wore yesterday?
MAHOMES: “It wasn’t my choice. I didn’t know the picture was going to go on social media, but it somehow did. I am in the Christmas spirit whenever.”