New Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling is ready for no-look passes from quarterback Patrick Mahomes thanks to the four years he spent with Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.
That much we know.
But less discussed is the time he spent in the wide receiver room with the hardly-arguable best wide receiver in the NFL — now-Las Vegas Raider Davante Adams.
So how much did Valdes-Scantling take away from Adams, exactly?
“A lot,” said Valdes-Scantling, speaking to the media after Day 9 of Chiefs organized team activities (OTAs). “Between [Adams] and Randall Cobb — my four years in Green Bay, I learned so much from those guys. They were the epitome of what you want for a veteran leader on and off the field.”
In a unique-but-not-all-that-surprising twist to the 2022 season, the former Packers teammates who find themselves on opposite ends of one of the NFL’s most historic rivalries are rather close friends.
Yes — a Chief and a Raider... close friends.
“I talk to Davante regularly,” added Valdes-Scantling. “I just talked to him [Wednesday]. We send clips back and forth to each other. Like, ‘Hey, what could I have done here?’ or, ‘Show me something that you did in practice that I liked.’ That’s one of my closest friends. We still talk regularly. I think that he’s going to be great. I get to see him twice a year, so that’s going to be fun as well. He’s one of those guys that you can’t really replicate — he’s a one-of-a-kind talent — but he’ll teach you everything that he can teach you.
“And I think that’s a great thing — and I definitely want to be able to teach the younger guys underneath me the same things that I was taught.”
During Valdes-Scantling’s final year as Adams’ teammate in Green Bay, Adams had 169 targets — leaving Valdes-Scantling with just 55. Even running back Aaron Jones had 10 more targets (65).
His arrival to Kansas City — together with the departure of Tyreek Hill — equates to a greater opportunity to touch the football than he has ever had as a four-year pro. Valdes-Scantling will push to take all that he learned from Adams and translate that to his own game as a potential No. 1.
And of course, that will include the effort to beat his close, Raider friend in a key game twice a year.