Mahomes won his lone start last year (in the regular-season finale while Smith and other starters rested for the playoffs), but now the Chiefs have a chance to fully build the offense around him. With his strong arm and ability to extend plays with his legs, Mahomes will be at the center of what could be a scary vertical passing game.
The Chiefs also have talented receiving options, from receivers Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins to tight end Travis Kelce, along with second-year running back Kareem Hunt, who led the NFL in rushing as a rookie.
2. By the end of preseason action, are we going to discover that the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs have suddenly become the NFL’s version of must-see TV?
In any major sport, there’s a difference between a winning team and a captivating coalescence. Kansas City was in the playoff hunt annually with Alex Smith under center, generating one of the league’s winningest records over the past half-decade. But where was the excitement? Where was the buy-in?
What about other offensive positions? While you can go after a superior tight end in those early rounds (read: Rob Gronkowski or Travis Kelce) savvy fantasy players know that most TEs, and all quarterbacks, should be taken later.
I think you can argue that Pederson’s best trait is his humility. He regularly gives credit to his players and assistant coaches. When things go wrong, he takes the blame. That is straight out of the Andy Reid playbook (who got it from Bill Walsh).
Last year, Fantasy Football drafters largely wrote off Chiefs rookie running back Kareem Hunt. In fact, the expert consensus rankings had Hunt well outside of the top 30 running backs. He was unproven in the pros, faced competition from backs like Charcandrick West and ran with a team that finished in the bottom half of the NFL in yards the previous season. The result: 11 total touchdowns and almost 1,800 yards from scrimmage, plus an NFL rushing title with 1,327 yards. His dual-threat ability helped Hunt’s owners win matches week after week.
Around the league
“We got better,” Gruden said of the team’s switch from Cousins to Smith, a claim that the coach sounds confident will show up on the field this season. I believe him.
As ‘Teaching Month’ wrapped up last week at PFF, today we’ll examine how NFL teams like to utilize their safeties in the slot. If the last few NFL seasons has taught us anything, it’s that hybrid defenders have started to find their place in our league with the rise in ’11’ personnel on offense. Teams have widely abandoned the traditional ‘strong safety, free safety’ mold and have instead began asking their safeties to do a variety of things.
The new man in the revolving door is Jeremy Bates, who landed his first job as a quarterbacks coach under -- wait for it -- Heimerdinger in 2005. No team does strange symmetry quite like the Jets. It was a one-year gig, of course, as the entire coaching staff got cleaned out after a disastrous 2005 season. Bates returned last season as the quarterbacks coach, then got bumped up when John Morton was fired in January after one year.
If the Packers have anything to say about it, that deal will be fairly imminent. CEO Mark Murphy, who previously pointed out how enthused he was withthe Packers offseason, told WTMJ at the Packers SummerFest event he hopes a deal is done “soon.”
”He’s healthy. We hope to soon have a contract extension,” Murphy said.
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
As it turns out, Favre already weighed in on the comparison himself last May in an article by old AP friend BJ Kissel of Chiefs dot com.
But fans are tired of the one-and-done, and I get it. That being said, the Chiefs are still probably one year off the loftiest of goals.
2019 is the year to reasonably expect championship results. If a run happens a year early, it will be a cherry on top.
The talk about Andy Reid’s ability to get the most out of his quarterbacks starts with easy completions. Reid has the pulse of players’ abilities better than any coach in football. He is remarkable at truly understanding what a player is and how to best utilize him. You’ll hear him mentioning his desire to have players put their personality into the offense. That’s part of it. The other part of it is his experimentation in OTAs and minicamps to figure out what his players can and can’t get away with.