The undesirable drop number for Kansas City Chiefs pass-catchers has been well-publicized the past week or so: 20 for the team on the season (third-most in the league) — including 11 total between wide receiver Tyreek Hill (6) and tight end Travis Kelce (5), two players on track for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“Those guys are always catching footballs — before and after practice, during practice — but I think for me, as a quarterback, I’ve got to throw the ball in better places,” Mahomes insisted during his turn at the podium on Wednesday. “Some of those drops are because the ball is not in the right place. So if I can get the ball in a better place where it’s more catchable — especially when they’re in traffic — it’ll probably cut down on those numbers. It has as much to do with me as it does with them.”
The most recent drop of note is that of Hill into the hands of Denver Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II for Mahomes’ 12th pick of the season.
While he would never make his point directly, the former running back part of Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy shined through when he spoke to the media during his weekly Thursday press conference. It was apparent that he wasn’t blaming the quarterback.
“You go back to what we just said — the fundamentals of it,” said Bieniemy. “You get guys on the JUGS machines before practice and after practice, and then you just let them know, ‘Hey, it’s not like we’re going to stop throwing you the football.’ Things happen in this league and unfortunately, it seems like we’re going through a whirlwind of things that have taken place, but the thing that I appreciate about our guys is that they have found a way to overcome the adversity and stick through it together.”
That includes moments when Bieniemy and the pass-catchers may have to have — let’s call them spirited discussions — on the sideline. It appeared that Bieniemy and Hill may have had one of those on the sideline after the turnover Sunday.
“The thing is these guys understand I coach hard, and I coach fair, and I always tell them, ‘I’m going to be your harshest critic, but I’m also going to be your biggest fan,’” explained Bieniemy. “The reason why I coach that way is because I know what they’re capable of doing. So, when those guys make mistakes, I just want them to understand that obviously we don’t want you to make a mistake, it’s OK that you made the mistake, but now what are we going to do from here on out to amend that mistake?
“So, life happens. It’s just like dealing with anything, and I tell these guys, ‘Hey, throughout the course of life, you’re going to experience a lot, and how you handle it is going to determine what type of person you’re going to become.’
“So, the thing that I love, and you hate to say it this way, is that we’ve been faced with so much adversity, but the thing that I love about it is that our guys have shown the resiliency to overcome it and find a way to get it done. And that’s all that matters, is making sure that we’re getting across the line together. If you’ve got a team of guys doing that, the sky can be the limit this season.”