Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling was one of the players to speak to the media following Thursday's organized team activities (OTAs). Valdes-Scantling joined the Chiefs in free agency this spring following four seasons with the Green Bay Packers.
"It's fun," Valdes-Scantling said of the team practices. "Get out there — new team, new environment. New players, new coaching staff. (I'm) just embracing the opportunity, going out and putting my best foot forward."
Throughout the media looks the past three weeks, Valdes-Scantling has been widely observed to be a favorite target of quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who is spending this offseason learning to work with a heavily revamped receiving room.
I've been raving, and I will continue to rave: No new #Chiefs pass-catcher looks more comfortable with Mahomes than WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The new QB-WR duo is so in sync. MVS is as smooth a receiver as I remember. The two combined for Thursday's play of the day.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) June 9, 2022
"I'm just open," he offered for the reason he seems to be so heavily targeted in practice. "Just get open, and Pat will find you. He's the best in the business at doing that — finding open guys and giving them chances. That's just kind of what it's been."
In the portion of the practice open to media, Valdes-Scantling was observed talking with Mahomes and Chiefs quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy. He addressed the conversation in his remarks, implying it is part of his regular approach to the game.
"We kind of just always talk," he explained. "That was something I did a lot when I was in Green Bay. Kind of just talk about things that they see — and how they see it. Obviously you want to be on the same page as your quarterback. Being able to think how he thinks and hear how he thinks with him and his quarterback coach. So go over there and (ask), 'Hey why did you guys do this?' Those things are super important, so we can always be on the same page."
In practice, Valdes-Scantling was also observed catching a no-look pass from Mahomes. He explained that his is better prepared for that than most receivers, due to playing four seasons with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
"I had the first quarterback that did it," he recalled. "So I got that a lot. You always kind of be aware that the ball could come to you at any given time. Playing with Aaron for four years, he did it a lot. I think one of the first passes he threw me at training camp was a no-look pass. So I'm accustomed to it.
"Just always be prepared because they have eyes in the back of their head and can throw the ball any kind of way. Behind his head or wherever. Pat's gifted like that where he can do those kind of things. I'm just excited to have another quarterback that's that talented."
In Green Bay, Valdes-Scantling was widely perceived as a one-dimensional deep route receiver. Early indications from the Chiefs' offense imply he may have a chance to expand his role this season.
"He's a big kid but he's got real good flexibility [and] hips," observed Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. "He can change direction and he's got that speed — which I think we all knew. He's able to work some of the primary underneath routes that maybe he didn't do as much in Green Bay because of who they had there. Very smart kid. He's done a nice job for us."
Valdes-Scantling agreed his role might have been specialized, but he declined to criticize his usage with his former team.
"Not to say I was limited in Green Bay, but we had specific roles that we did," he acknowledged. "When I was there, we were a pretty good offense for my four years, so it worked. We won a lot of football games. So you can't really complain when you are winning. Got to just be unselfish. That's kind of how we won so many games there. Obviously, whatever I can do here to bring that same kind of winning mentality – obviously they've been for a long time as well — so I just want to step in and do whatever I can to help that."
His contributions to the team's winning mentality have already been noticed.
"Just the way he explains things — you can see his years in the league," said Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire of his new teammate. "He's so wise as far as coverages — man coverage and zones. Just first hand from somebody who comes from Green Bay. It wasn't even a month before he was already dialed into the playbook and understanding what was going on."
Valdes-Scantling also recognizes the rare opportunity he has had with now two likely Hall of Fame quarterbacks throwing to him.
"They're both the best quarterbacks to ever play the game," he declared. "So there's not much difference — one's just a little bit older.
"I'm just super excited to have had the two best quarterbacks throw me the football. I guess I'm living right to have that."