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Patrick Mahomes is embracing everything Andy Reid is throwing at him

Reid said the plan was to load Mahomes up with more of the offense on Thursday night.

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

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw a ball about 40 yards down the field and connected with wide receiver Sammy Watkins on Thursday afternoon.

And for the first time since Mahomes arrived in St. Joseph last Sunday, he heard what he hopes will soon become the norm back in Kansas City—cheers from fans in the crowd.

There may be no greater sign of the new era Andy Reid alluded to on Sunday than Mahomes-to-Watkins deep ball, and it was fitting that it came during the first practice on the first day in the first hour.

“I think we’re going to open up everything for each other,” Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce told reporters after practice. “Pat’s got quite an arsenal to throw to, and it’s not just the wide receivers up front. You want to talk about Demarcus Robinson making a stride forward, Chris Conley coming back off of injury looking great and then you have the running backs—guys like Charcandrick West, Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware coming off injury. We got an offense that we’re excited to do some work with.”

According to Chiefs president Mark Donovan, Reid is more excited than he has seen him in a long time. And with Watkins and Kelce and Tyreek Hill and the rest of the supporting cast, how could he not be?

This isn’t just “quite an arsenal” for Mahomes; it is arguably the most firepower Reid has had to work with in his 20-year NFL head coaching history.

Getting Mahomes game-ready as soon as possible is the first step to making the most of it.

“We loaded him up today and are going to load him up again [Thursday night],” Reid said. “The whole offense, and they will work their way through it and keep getting better every day. There are certain things, but right now it’s just absorbing it and going to play.”

Other quarterbacks may hear Reid’s words and recoil, but not Mahomes.

“They are loading me up but I love it,” Mahomes said. “You love learning, you love being tested as an athlete. So for me, I am just going to keep grinding and keep grinding every single day. If I make a mistake on the field, I will fix it and be better the next time.”

When Mahomes talks about football, his eyes light up. As is well known now, that gamesmanship likely comes from his father, Patrick Mahomes I, being a professional athlete himself.

Mahomes I pitched for 11 seasons in the major leagues.

“He grew up in a locker room,” Kelce said, “so I guess he kind of understands that stardom works and how he can take advantage of the opportunities around him and really make an influence to the people that do have their eyes on him.”

Mahomes I has said that he believes his son took a liking to football over baseball because he mastered the latter by being around it so much.

Baseball was old and tired, whereas football offered him a challenge.

“I think it was my first year of college when I really fell in love with the Xs and Os,” Mahomes (II) said. “In high school, it is very generic. At Texas Tech, it is a spread. They put a lot on the quarterback, but it is still not as much as you do now. You get here and the complexity of the offense is something that you really have to get after it and grind through. For me, every single day is a learning experience, every single day I have to push myself to get better and that is something I love to do.”

All offseason, the hype for Mahomes in Kansas City has been overwhelming. And what’s amazing about that is he has yet to buy in.

Under Reid’s tutelage in quiet St. Joe, he is working at it, day by day, keeping his goals simple. This month, it’s efficiency

“I think the biggest thing is taking what the defense gives you,” Mahomes, who could be tempted to do otherwise due to his arm strength, explained. “I feel like with a lot of quarterbacks, you want to make the big play, you want to do those things, but there is a time and place for those plays.

“Being able to take what a defense gives you and then being able to capitalize on those big plays is something that you have to do in this league to have success.”

Mahomes is 22, and he will turn 23 in less than two months, but he is already talking like a seasoned veteran, and by doing so, he’s getting the seasoned veterans to buy in.

“He enjoys playing this game, and it’s not just on the field, but it’s in practice, man,” Kelce said. “Every single day he brings it. That’s what you love. He helps keep the energy, helps make this job fun. You know it’s something that guys feed off of, and it’s cool to see the quarterback bring the energy.”

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