Kansas City Chiefs fans often talk about the “Patrick Mahomes effect” — the idea that because he is with the Chiefs, free agents around the NFL will be anxious to play in Kansas City.
Listening to safety Will Parks speak to reporters on Monday — right after the team’s training camp practice at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph — you could definitely get a sense that something like that is going on.
“I get to look at the miraculous, amazing throws every day,” said Parks, who is entering his sixth NFL season — most of it with the Denver Broncos. “Seeing those guys practice each and every day — and the way they communicate on that side of the ball through our practices — is exciting for me to see.”
But it isn’t just that. Parks is also impressed with the defensive coaches with whom he is working — particularly coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
“Spags [is] pretty much hands-on,” he declared. “You can see him out on the field, talking to guys — sometimes after plays, whether you did the right thing or not — I mean, he’s pretty hands-on on his details and stuff like that. Very, very detailed kind of coaching. Gets you racing every day. It’s exciting to be with that guy.”
And his position coaches: Dave Merritt and Sam Madison, whom he praised as ex-players.
“The biggest thing with those two guys is that they’re of one accord,” Parks noted. “It makes it easy for you to adjust your playbook — especially in a playbook like this — [and] it makes your job a whole lot easier.”
But most of all, Parks said he is enjoying the chemistry he’s seeing all around him.
“I think the best thing about being here is the camaraderie of the locker room,” he said. “It’s a lot of togetherness in there — a lot of guys with smiling faces every day. Guys come in and work. Being around Tyrann Mathieu [is] one of those things that’s kind of a joy to me. He’s one of my favorite guys in the league.”
In fact, Parks said that he’s been keeping a close eye on Mathieu for quite a while.
“I always watched his game — and quite frankly, he watched me play, too,” he said proudly. “So that’s exciting, having a guy like that say, ‘Yo, you can play football.’ We’ve been pretty much close ever since I came here through OTAs. I almost slept in his room two nights ago before curfew, too — so that’s just how much we’ve been bonding here. So I’m excited.”
So... “Patrick Mahomes effect”? Sure. The superstar quarterback is obviously part of the equation. But we’re also talking about an excellent staff led by one of the league’s premier coaches — and a team that’s largely been built with a consistent vision over eight seasons. To players like Parks, it might better be described as the “Kansas City Chiefs effect.”