“I love football,” he told reporters after Monday’s training camp practice, “and [you] can’t play football without pads. So it’s just another part of the game.”
Rice said it was “pretty cool” to see Chiefs fans lining up for hours to get the best views of the team’s practices at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph. Rice said that Chiefs Kingdom’s reputation is well known.
“I know Arrowhead, they have a huge fan base,” he acknowledged. “So just to get a little glimpse of it right now kind of gives me a little head start to prepare for the games.”
But training camp has also given Rice the confidence to answer when quarterback Patrick Mahomes calls his number.
“When I caught my first touchdown from Pat,” he recalled, “I was kind of like, ‘Yeah I can do this.’”
The second-round draft pick also considers his quarterback to be a “great coach” and “great brother off the field.”
“He’s just gonna let you know exactly what he’s thinking,” he added, “so that you can basically be in his head both on and off the field.”
Still, Mahomes isn’t afraid to point his receivers the right way.
“If I’m not running the route exactly how he wants it,” said Rice, “he’s going to let me know how he wants the route run.”
And according to Rice, Mahomes is very exacting.
“He expects his receivers to be in a specific spot at a specific time — and he’s going to bomb the ball. So [you] don’t look back and run. [You] look up and run.”
Rice says that in the NFL, “every day is hard work.” But there are definitely some rewards.
“My best day — favorite day — is when I have any kind of impact on the field on offense.”