A lot of fuss was made this week by some Kansas City Chiefs fans regarding Patrick Mahomes’ interceptions in training camp. Much of that fuss appears to have originated from this tweet and article:
The Chiefs are dealing with something they haven't for awhile: Interceptions from the starting QB. Pat Mahomes threw another 3 on Wednesday: https://t.co/mqBybkquQZ— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) August 1, 2018
And you can see the concern from several Chiefs fans on social media:
Get ready for a lot of interceptions. He needs time and experience in the NFL. I hope for the best but everyone needs to calm down and get back to reality
You guys are way out of line here. He’s played one freakin NFL game.
He will throw 28 tds and 20 ints
The kid is going to throw ints. Everyone better get use to it.
And the comments go on and on and on and on....
Of course, there are many fans who reject the thought Mahomes is going to throw many interceptions, and I happen to be one of them.
Training camp is for experimentation
Every year, Andy Reid is given a new group of players to work with. Each of these players has a different set of skills and attributes. Reid has no idea what the offense can accomplish with these new parameters, so he must test it to find out.
Training camp is the time of the year in which Reid can apply the new concepts he’s created in the playbook and see if they will work in a real game. Mahomes is a part of that process.
Consider training camp to be like a test session, Reid will never know how far he can push his offense if he doesn’t go outside the boundaries. From there, Reid can analyze the successes and failures and see what’s possible and what’s too risky. It’s all part of the development of Reid’s playbook.
With such great talent on the offensive roster, Reid is likely to be doing more experimentation than ever with his offense. Can Mahomes’ arm strength and Watkins’ and Hill’s speed open up new opportunities that weren’t available before?
Can the talent additions to the offense allow some theories Reid has been crafting over his entire career to finally become tangible on the football field? There could be plays Reid has wanted to run since the ‘90s but couldn’t because of the physical limitations of his players.
Long story short, Reid is asking Mahomes to push the offense to see what it can get away with and it’s brilliant coaching philosophy. And yes, interceptions will come from that experimentation.
Reid has the history
I wrote an article on this not too long ago, but I feel the topic may need to be rehashed. I touched upon it again in this tweet:
To all of you freaking out about Mahomes' camp INTs:— Gary McKenzie (@Super_G_Chiefs) August 8, 2018
Andy Reid has been a head coach for 19 seasons, and only during 4 of those seasons did his QBs land outside the top 10 in INT%. Reid is testing the offense now so he can take care of the ball later.
In two of those four seasons, Reid’s starting quarterback was injured. Another of the seasons was Reid’s first year as a head coach and an inexperienced Doug Pederson was tasked to be the starter.
So while Mahomes is throwing camp interceptions, Reid is taking notes and understanding why the offense shouldn’t try and make a specific throw. During the regular season Reid can use his notes to know which plays he can run safely and which ones to avoid.
There’s a reason Reid’s quarterbacks usually do a good job taking care of the ball — it’s because Reid establishes the limits of the offense during training camp.
I am not the least bit concerned about Mahomes’ camp interceptions, and I look forward to watching Mahomes Thursday night.