It would have been Kelce’s fourth trip, and after a long season that stretched into the AFC title game he likely wanted a head start on resting up for the 2019 campaign.
That was not the case for Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was voted to his first of what fans hope will be many Pro Bowls to come.
“It was very important for me (to come) because it was my first one—my first Pro Bowl,” Mahomes said. “It’s a tremendous honor ... It was a tough loss, wish we were prepping for the Super Bowl right now but things happen for a reason. You have to learn from those things, and I’m going to enjoy this week with a couple of my teammates out here and try to enjoy just being out at the Pro Bowl.”
Mahomes’ is joined by Chiefs teammates Eric Fisher Dee Ford, Tyreek Hill and Anthony Sherman down in Orlando.
As you’ll recall, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made a point of it to find Mahomes in the locker room after the Chiefs’ AFC title loss, and Bruschi, a former teammate of Brady, asked Mahomes what they discussed.
Brady won Super Bowl XXXVI with Bruschi as a 24-year-old first-year starter back in the 2001-02 season. Bruschi went on to win two more titles with Brady and the Patriots.
“It was such a great game with so many emotions where it was going back and forth at the end that I felt like he just came up to me and was just kind of saying good game and everything like that,” Mahomes said. “[Brady] was in my place. He was young, he got to win the Super Bowl in his first year with [Bruschi] and everybody. He understands that [time] flies by—just make sure to put in the work. I think he saw that I put in the work to be in those situations.”
Nix asked Mahomes about what needs to change about the Chiefs’ defense heading into the 2019 NFL season. As can be expected by now, Mahomes steered the conversation in another direction.
“I think it’s just everybody getting better,” Mahomes explained. “It’s not just the defense—I think as a whole team. You saw in that last game against the Patriots, the offense, we didn’t come out and play well in the first half, and it’s a team game. You have to play off each other and I feel like that set the tempo for the entire game. We battled back at the end—what we did the entire season—we always fought ‘till the end but when you play teams like the Patriots, you can’t put yourself in the hole like that, and that’s stuff, as a whole team, we’ve got to progress and get better.”
Mahomes was later asked about whether he thought the overtime rules should be changed. Mahomes never had an opportunity to touch the football in the Chiefs’ loss to the Patriots.
“That’s way above my pay grade,” he joked. “That’s just how the game is. That’s the rules. We’ve known the rules since we’ve grown up. You go out there. If you go out there and score a touchdown, you win the game. It’s that simple. Guys have to make plays on every aspect of the game. Special teams, defense and offense. That’s why it’s such a great team game. However the rules are, we’ll play it like that.”
Bruschi referenced the MVP announcement set to take place the Saturday before the Super Bowl and how Mahomes led the league with 50 passing touchdowns this season.
Bruschi wanted to know if that was something NFL fans should now expect every year moving forward.
“I always just want to win football games,” Mahomes said, playing down his statistics. “I feel like every single year, if we can keep getting better, we can always be a good team that wins a lot of football [games] and goes to the playoffs. Now it’s about taking that next step and getting to the Super Bowl and winning it. The 50 touchdowns and all that stuff, it’s awesome, but that’s really a credit to the teammates making a lot of plays for me. Stuff like that happens whenever guys around you are making plays. As long as I just kind of do my job, I feel like stuff like that will come a little bit, but at the same time, I just want to win. That’s the biggest thing.”
To that, Bruschi said, “If it takes 50, you’ll do it again.”
“Exactly. You said it just right,” Mahomes said.
Is it September yet?