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Patrick Mahomes talks Sammy Watkins, his development and his process on day three of OTAs

Mahomes spoke to the local Kansas City media after practice.

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

In a similar fashion to the Kansas City Chiefs fan base, I think it is fair to say the media has been itching for the opportunity to see quarterback Patrick Mahomes in action.

And it did, finally, on day three of Chiefs’ OTAs Thursday afternoon, except something funny happened.

Mahomes wasn’t especially sharp, throwing two interceptions—one in a full-team drill to linebacker Tanoh Kpassagnon, who batted the ball down at the line, and another in seven-on-seven, to cornerback Steve Nelson.

But there is nothing to worry about, per head coach Andy Reid.

Not only is it OK, it being week one. It is also by design.

“I’ve mentioned this to you guys before when Alex (Smith) was here and so on,” Reid said, speaking with the media after practice. “These are camps that you want to test—we’re throwing a lot of new stuff. You want to test what you can get away with in these camps, so you’re going to have interceptions. That doesn’t bother me.

“You repeat it? Now that’s a problem. But you want to test it and see what you can get away with. That’s all part of the way this thing works.”

The interceptions happened, though so did flashes of that golden arm that have made the wait until August so restless for this entire city.

Just as we saw last year, with a flick Mahomes’ wrist, the ball catapults down the field. You get the feeling that once that timing is down with the likes of Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins, the trio will make some dazzling plays.

“The first day was crazy,” Mahomes said of Watkins, specifically. “I think you all might have seen on Twitter or something like that, but the first pass of all OTAs he was running a go route and he just caught it with one hand (it’s this play, probably), and then later on in the practice, I thought I overthrew him and I thought I threw an interception, and you just saw a hand go out of nowhere, and he brought it down.”

This is probably the second play Mahomes is talking about:

“[Watkins] is someone that is going to help this offense tremendously and someone who works hard and you really respect guys who get out here who have that much talent that really get after it every single day.”

That is good (but exceptionally early, keep in mind) news for the Chiefs after Watkins was called “the worst overpay of this year’s free agency season” by ESPN this offseason.

Chiefs general manager Brett Veach gave Watkins a three-year, $48 million deal coming off a 39-catch, 593-yard season with the Los Angeles Rams.

But it is worth noting that Watkins also had eight touchdowns, including seven in the red zone, an area in which the Chiefs struggled mightily last season. Believe it or not, Alex Smith and the Chiefs had just 13 red-zone touchdowns all season.

With Mahomes, the Chiefs think they can get the most out of their playmakers.

“I think he’s done a nice job, working hard, throwing a lot of stuff at him,” Reid said of Mahomes. “He’s loving every minute of it. He’s got plenty of room to grow and he’s going to keep working.”

Asked what he has concentrated on this offseason, Mahomes highlighted getting in and out of the huddle and announcing the correct play-call to his teammates. Reid’s play-calls are notorious for being tough to spit out.

Once that initial step is taken care of, Mahomes explained, he can turn his attention to the details.

“Now that I’m comfortable calling the play, I can focus on snap count,” he said. “I can focus on the man-zone IDs and what would make this offense so good. For me, being in year two, I feel a lot more comfortable with that.”

Another aspect of Mahomes’ game that he has become more comfortable with is taking the ball under center. Mahomes transitioned last season from the Texas Tech Air Raid offense (almost always a shotgun formation) to Reid’s, which obviously isn’t always run out of the shotgun.

“Mitch Morse said it on the first day of OTAs,” Mahomes said. “He was like, ‘It’s night and day from when you first got here to now.’ I don’t have to actually worry about catching the snap. I get to just be under center and take it and then worry about other things on the field.”

Mahomes’ comfort has been noticeable to his teammates, and in particular, running back Kareem Hunt.

“He’s just going in there with confidence, talking to everybody, making the calls,” Hunt said. “You could see he really wants to win and be a good quarterback.”

If there is ever a time for two interceptions, it is the first week of OTAs.

I think we sometimes forget that even a player with the raw talent Mahomes possesses needs the time, the reps and the patience to develop.

Though we no longer necessarily get to see it, the Chiefs are making it sound like that process is taking place every single day.

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