Dear Chiefs fans,
I know you’re excited about the Chiefs drafting a quarterback in the first round for the first time since 1983. I, as a fellow Chiefs fan, share your excitement and desire to see Patrick Mahomes II succeed in Kansas City (like I do with every draft pick taken by the Chiefs). This is like getting a new car, you know, the one you cannot wait to show off to your friends. It’s an exciting time to be a Chiefs fan.
However, there is one thing that I ask of you…
Patrick Mahomes II has all the tools to make him a great quarterback in the NFL for a long, long time to come. However, as Coach Reid put it, “he’s not a finished product”.
I know, many of you hate Alex Smith for one reason or another. I do not share your sentiment; however, I know the feeling of not having a quarterback to call your own. Smith has given everything to this franchise. I mean, look at where they were before he got here. They were 2-14 with four seasons of Matt Cassel. When Cassel was inevitably hurt, they had quarterbacks like Brodie Croyle, Tyler Palko, Kyle Orton, and Brady Quinn fill in for him. Now, look at what has happened to the Chiefs since Smith came here:
41-20 record as a starter
92.2 passer rating
76 touchdowns to 28 interceptions
91.6 postseason passer rating
Led Chiefs to first postseason win since 1994
In short, Alex Smith has been one of the better quarterbacks in National Football League. He’s not the guy you want to lead your fantasy team, however, he is a guy you would want to lead your favorite NFL team.
He’s also a guy you would want someone like Mahomes to learn from. Mahomes has a big arm and can make plays on the fly when he has to (which he did quite often at Texas Tech, who had the worst defense in D1). However, his footwork is horrible, to put it nice. He can get away with that slinging the ball around in the Big 12, which is known for high-octane offenses and no defense; however, that will not work in the NFL. Defenses are too big and too fast for that to work. Therefore, as Coach Reid has alluded to, he’s going to need to develop.
Now, here’s the good news. Mahomes can develop here. This is the perfect situation for a kid like him to land. In many ways, it’s like when the Green Bay Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers. They already had a future Hall-of-Famer in Brett Favre, but, Favre was getting into his “will he retire for real this time” phase. The Packers were also a well put together team having made the playoffs in each of the previous four seasons. Rodgers didn’t start right away. In fact, he sat for three seasons behind Favre in Green Bay. He finally got his chance in 2008 and, in 2010, the Packers won the Super Bowl. One of the architects of those Packers teams was a guy by the name of John Dorsey. You may know him as the Chiefs General Manager.
The Chiefs have a coach who also is nicknamed “The Quarterback Whisperer”. His resume includes coaching guys like Brett Favre, Donovan McNabb, and Michael Vick. With Michael Vick, Coach Reid made him not only a pocket passer, but, an accurate one at that. If there is one guy in the NFL who knows how to get the most out of his quarterbacks, it’s Reid.
Finally, the Chiefs are not in need of a Savior to save the franchise. They have made it to the postseason in three of the last four seasons and are coming off an AFC West title for the first time since 2010. Dorsey and Reid have rebuilt a winning culture in Kansas City with shroud talent evaluating and top notch coaching. The Chiefs aren’t asking Mahomes to save the franchise, however, they feel he is the guy to get them over the top.
However, before we’re hoisting any Lombardi trophies and planning any parades down Main Street in Kansas City, let us be patient. Every time Alex Smith throws an interception (which doesn’t happen as often as you may think) remember, Mahomes isn’t ready yet. He will be, but, he’s not as of yet.
Be excited, Chiefs fans. Just also be patient.