This week, Netflix will debut the new streaming series “Quarterback,” featuring Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings and Marcus Mariota of the Atlanta Falcons.
As we’ve previously reported, the docu-series — which takes an inside look at what it’s like to be an NFL quarterback on the field, in the practice facility and at home — is a joint production of Netflix, NFL Films, Mahomes’ 2PM Productions and Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions.
The former NFL superstar says that having himself and Mahomes involved as producers of the show helped it from interfering in the lives (or the play) of the quarterbacks it is profiling.
“The last thing we wanted to be was a distraction — and that was our promise,” he said in a New York Post interview published on Friday.
In fact, Manning joked, the quarterbacks asked to participate in future seasons should have a strong motivation to agree.
“Our pitch is, ‘If you do this show, we guarantee you’ll win the Super Bowl and the Super Bowl MVP.’”
Still, he revealed that Chiefs head coach Andy Reid drew the line at having his off-field meetings with Mahomes filmed for the show. That was OK with Manning.
“There’s a trust factor,” he said. “I promised all these guys that anything they didn’t want in it wasn’t gonna be in it.
“These guys had to be comfortable with everything. At the same time, we felt like we wanted to tell the story of what it’s like to be a quarterback and all that goes with it.”
That was Mahomes’ goal, too. According to Manning, however, the Kansas City quarterback had a very specific audience in mind: his young children. When they’re older, he wants them to understand what he was doing at this stage of his life.
But he didn’t want to use that desire as a selling point to get Reid’s approval to do the show. In fact, Mahomes insisted that Manning make the pitch to his head coach.
“It was very telling,” marveled Manning. “Here you’ve got the best player in the NFL right now — that could probably say, ‘This is what I’m doing. I don’t care whether you like it or not.’ Instead, he wants me to ask his head coach for permission.”
While this seems to have surprised Manning, Kansas City fans will recognize the respect (and deference) that Mahomes and Reid consistently display toward each other.
By choosing Mahomes, Cousins and Mariota as its first subjects, the show apparently hopes to demonstrate every quarterback’s journey isn’t exactly the same. Mariota even allowed the show to include his meetings with a sports psychologist.
“A lot of it was above and beyond what we asked,” said Manning. “That was not part of the deal at all — but he said, ‘No, it’s OK, I want to have this documented.’
“I thought it was awesome. It was real. It showed that it’s not all fun throwing game-winning touchdowns on Sundays.”
Manning said that the three quarterbacks likely understood that this up-close look at their lives was part of what they agreed to do when they became professionals.
“When you sign up for something like this, it’s probably no different than football itself,” he explained. “You sign up for the good and the wins — but as I remind people, you [also] sign up for the tough losses, getting beat on a last-second field goal and everything else.”
The show will premiere on Netflix this Wednesday, July 12.