A lot has happened for the 23-year-old since then—particularly in 2018, when Mahomes did things as a first-year starting quarterback that not many could have ever imagined possible when he picked up that life-changing phone call on April 27, 2017.
Jaw-dropping plays, record numbers, a strong Super Bowl run, the 2018 AP NFL MVP award, sponsorships left and right and — as of Thursday night — the honor of being named the Madden NFL 20 cover athlete.
Right after the announcement Thursday, Patrick Mahomes caught up with an ESPN panel.
Here’s what Mahomes had to say:
On being the face of Madden NFL 20:
“It’s special. It really is,” Mahomes said when asked about being the face of the new ‘Madden 20’ cover. “When you look at the guys that have been on that cover — from Michael Vick to Tom Brady and Drew Brees, to name a few — it really was a special moment when I got to really see that cover and see myself on it.”
...and what he thinks his overall player rating will be:
“I’m thinking 100,” Mahomes said confidently as the panel laughed. “I’m trying to be the first 100 overall rated player.”
On how Texas Tech helped prepare him for the NFL:
“I think coach (Kliff) Kingsbury in general helped me a ton,” Mahomes said of his college coach. “Just putting a lot on me, not babying me, making sure that I go through the stuff, that I make the protection calls, that I go through that spread system and really just air it out and play. You see it on Sundays now, I’m really just seeing green grass, kind of ad-libbing, but at the same time, playing within the system.”
On what makes quarterback Kyler Murray’s style of offense unique:
“I think just the ability to play in space,” Mahomes said of Murray — who was taken first overall in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. “Not everything has to be perfect. You can go out there and just make plays happen when stuff breaks down. I think that’s one thing that I learned at Texas Tech that really translated [to the NFL]. I’ve had coaches that have let me play my game and as more and more college concepts come to the NFL, you can play within the system and make those plays. That’s what coach Reid’s got me really, really good at but at the same time, when stuff breaks down, I go back to that college style of making plays happen.”
On what Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has done for his career:
“Just the way he’s able to teach me and, more than anything, he challenges me every single day,” Mahomes said of Reid. “He’s not letting me be satisfied with just being there and with just going out there and throwing a few touchdowns. He wants me to get better every single day and learning why are we running these routes, why are we trying to exploit this part of the defense...I think that that challenge of every single day getting better have really taken me to the next step of my game.”
On what impact Murray’s height has on his game and in the NFL:
“I think if you just watch that dude throw a football you know that he can play in the NFL,” Mahomes said of Murray’s ability. “I’ve seen him play since he was a high school state champion in Texas and he was playing at the top level, going out there and just competing. When you see guys like that — I mean you saw Baker [Mayfield] this past year, you see Kyler now and you see all these other guys that are in this draft — when they compete and they go out there every single day and they’re trying to get better and they’re trying to win no matter what it takes, those are the guys that go out and succeed on Sundays.”
On what this year’s quarterbacks in the draft should know going into the NFL:
“It’s an every-day, every-hour event,” Mahomes said of what it’s like being an NFL quarterback. “We went out there every single day, and luckily I had Alex Smith in front of me who taught me the ropes. But being a pro quarterback isn’t about playing on Sunday; it’s about what you do during the week. I think that was the biggest thing that i learned my first year there. You have to attack every single day with that mindset that this day, this hour is going to make me better on Sunday.”
Should Patrick Mahomes be rated 100 overall?
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