Fans of the Netflix docu-series “Quarterback” were able to witness the work that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes puts in preparing each week to be the best passer in the NFL.
Following Monday’s practice, Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy ranked three things he sees from the star that make him stand above his peers.
“Number one is competitiveness — there’s no one around that’s as competitive as him,” Nagy declared. “Nobody — it’s as simple as that. I’ve been around a lot of people, and no one’s as competitive as him. So, he’s one — and there’s no 1A. Number two is just his focus. Number three is he doesn’t miss anything. He sees everything.
“Whatever that is — if it’s in a conversation, if it’s watching video or tape. I always joke about it. We can be in the middle of a game on the sideline — I witnessed it last year — we’re going through the tablet and talking through plays and what the defense just did, and all of the sudden out of nowhere, he looks up and sees the score of another game or something. How do you do that? It’s rare; it’s different. Then he goes right back to the blitz that they’re doing, and you’re just like, ‘This is cool.’”
Even more impressive is that Mahomes still appears to have room for improvement.
“He keeps growing,” Nagy observed. “He wants us to coach him hard. He wants us to be tough on him. He doesn’t want us to coach him like the player he is: he wants to be better. I think we’re not doing him justice if we say every play, ‘Hey, great play,’ even though he might have made a poor decision. He wants that. If his feet aren’t great, he wants to know that. I think that’s important. If there’s something in a meeting we have to get on, you’ve got to say it and say it in front of the guys. He can handle that. I think that is what makes him special.”
Mahomes’ best offensive weapon appears to agree with Nagy, adding that he matches his determination on the field with business opportunities, such as endorsements.
“He’s the ultimate leader every single day,” tight end Travis Kelce said of Mahomes on Monday. “The more you’re around him, you realize it’s not just in football, it’s in life. Everything he does, he wants to be the best. We did some State Farm stuff. He’s trying to just be prompt, on time, good comedic timing, just being the best version of him in everything he does.
“That’s just who he is. And when you get him in a comfort zone, like what he is in this building, it just oozes out of him. What it is in terms of leadership, those are the things you really can’t pay for. You’ve got to get a guy that has it in his heart to be able to do it every single day.”
Kelce does not believe Mahomes’ drive comes solely from a desire to rewrite record books but rather a desire to elevate all of his teammates.
“I’m sure he has that kind of motivation,” Kelce stated, “but it’s not a selfish drive to be that. It’s a very unselfish ‘get everybody involved, bring everybody along with him, and let’s have some fun while we do it.’”
This Thursday, the Chiefs will welcome the Detroit Lions to GEHA Field at Arrowhead to kick off the NFL season. Kansas City is 5-0 and has averaged 38 points scored in season openers Mahomes has started. Nagy believes Mahomes has an annual transformation each year when the calendar shifts to the regular season.
“[Mahomes] plays pretty well, Week 1,” Nagy agreed. “He plays pretty well every week, but Week 1 in general when you look at some of the numbers he’s at in winning games and scoring points, you want him on your side. With Pat, you look at somebody that in training camp and OTAs, he’s always locked in, but then you always feel — and I felt it last year and I felt it again yesterday — there’s just that little tick more knowing that you’re now in quote, unquote ‘game week.’
“It becomes a little more real for all of us. Now it’s here. You feel it in the week of practice. I was fortunate enough to feel last year on game day how that is too before the game for him. Players like that go to different places — and he’s fun to have on your side.”