It truly is amazing that there are still doubters of Patrick Mahomes.
When read out loud, it sounds silly; who actually doubts him? A random Twitter troll? A fan of a rival team?
It may sound like a strawman argument, but then we got a strong quote from an anonymous defensive coach — collected by The Athletic’s Mike Sando in his annual article listing out tiers of NFL quarterbacks.
Mahomes is a one-read QB, he could never cut it in this league pic.twitter.com/Y9qPCrGPvT— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) July 25, 2022
According to Sando, the quote comes from a veteran defensive play caller, meaning the head of an NFL defense believes that Mahomes is a simple-minded quarterback who doesn’t progress past his first read.
The quote is blasphemous, and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid indicated that he agrees. When asked about it on Friday, he looked at the positives.
“A lot of coaches have to teach guys how to roll out and call plays to do that — and we just do it; he just does it,” Reid described of Mahomes. “He’s tremendous. I know you guys look at Pro Football Focus and all of those things, just take a peek at that and see how many times he hits the second receiver.”
The description of Mahomes as a one-read quarterback is so inaccurate that it makes you wonder if it was said in bad faith. Unfortunately, these kinds of descriptors — such as “streetball” — have been mindlessly used to describe Black quarterbacks for too long.
Even in a league where nearly one-third of the starting quarterbacks are Black, these slanderous quotes still exist. During Friday’s media availability, Mahomes talked about the uphill climb he and others face in their position.
“Obviously, the Black quarterback has had a battle to be in the position that we are, to have this many guys in the league playing,” he told reporters. “Every day, we’re proving that we should’ve been playing the whole time. We have guys that can think just as well as they can use their athleticism.
“It always is weird when guys like me, Lamar [Jackson], Kyler [Murray] kind of get that on them when others don’t — but at the same time, we’re going to go out there and prove ourselves every day that we can be some of the best quarterbacks in the league.”
Mahomes has done nothing but establish himself as one of the league’s best every season.
An MVP, a Super Bowl trophy, a streak of four-consecutive AFC championship games at home — Mahomes’ accomplishments speak to how much he has achieved in his career so far. Still, some feel they need to see more. But that’s OK, as Mahomes says he is going to feel the need to prove himself either way.
He recognizes that the greats do that.
“You always feel you have more to prove; I promise Tom Brady’s feeling like he has more to prove,” the quarterback pointed out. “That comes with any sport, any competitor — if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. They build you up to tear you down, and you have to know that. For me, it’s all about ‘how can I make myself better?’ not what other people say.”
As he prepares to prove himself once again, he’ll be doing it with a different-looking supporting cast. For the first time in his career, he has a major overhaul in the skill-position group — and there are a lot of new names on the team in general.
Coach Reid has always been impressed by Mahomes’ leadership skills, but the effort he’s put in with the newcomers has been notable.
“He’s really taken to that and stepped up his game in that role,” Reid said of Mahomes’ leadership. “He’s a great communicator, and he’s using that skill that he has to talk to these new players. That’s different for him, this is a new thing for him, with a number of guys coming in that are new. I think he’s handling all that great; he’s a tremendous leader — he’s always been that — and he’s working hard. He’s going to be here early, he’s going to leave late, the whole deal. He exhausts the game while he has an opportunity to do that.”
Patrick Mahomes walked and talked with Rookie DE George Karlaftis the entire way into Training Camp this AM...mentoring at its finest #ChiefsKingdom #Chiefs #Chiefstrainingcamp pic.twitter.com/yroxF1vPAD— Hayley Lewis (@HayleyLewisKSHB) July 28, 2022
The above tweet is a small-but-great example of Mahomes’ effort with the newcomers — walking down to practice with rookie defensive end George Karlaftis and talking with him.
It’s hard to question anything about Patrick Mahomes, from his play to his off-field actions. Yet, quotes like the aforementioned prove that no matter how well he performs, there will be doubters and naysayers.
Fortunately for Chiefs fans, all that does is keep a chip on his shoulder — fueling Mahomes with plenty of motivation. He may not need to prove anything else for the rest of his career, but he’s going to play as if he does — and that’s what makes him great.