Texas Tech football alumni: Chiefs expert discuses expectations for Pat Mahomes

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 09: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a pass down field during the first half against the Houston Texans on August 9, 2018 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 09: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a pass down field during the first half against the Houston Texans on August 9, 2018 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /

Texas Tech football fans are excited to see former Red Raider quarterback Pat Mahomes lead the Kansas City Chiefs this season.  But how do Kansas City fans feel?  Our FanSided Chiefs expert gives us his insights.

One of the most discussed NFL storylines this preseason is new Kansas City Chiefs’ starting quarterback, Pat Mahomes.  Perhaps no player in the NFL has spurred more debate this summer as national experts seem to be all over the map when it comes to their expectations for the former Red Raider’s first season.

To get the Kansas City fans’ perspective on their new quarterback, we interviewed Matt Conner (No we are not related.  Seriously, why would one family give two kids the exact same rather generic name?) expert of the FanSided Kansas City Chiefs site Arrowhead Addict. 

WER: Texas Tech fans are more excited about seeing Pat Mahomes in the NFL than any Red Raider I can remember.  What is the attitude of the K.C. fanbase towards replacing a successful known quantity in Alex Smith with a high-risk, high-reward player such as Mahomes?

AA: Pure excitement. I think Chiefs Kingdom, as they call themselves, would be 15-20% sad to see Alex leave with a real appreciation for his help in resurrecting and then sustaining the franchise at a division-leading level of success (and deservedly so). The rest are going bananas in anticipation of what such a legitimate arm can bring to the table. I think they’ll even shrug off the first several turnovers and then some because the hype is so real.

WER: What have you seen from Mahomes thus far in training camp that you like and what have you seen that may worry you or give you cause for concern?

AA: There’s really nothing at all that’s all that concerning. He’s had a couple turnovers in games and even more in practice, but Andy Reid has been quick to note that he never makes the same mistakes twice and the good has always outweighed the bad—and that’s in limited duty. There will be some ways in which the lights are too bright for him and NFL history has very, very few QBs for whom the size, speed and pressure of the starting role wasn’t intimidating at first. That said, Mahomes has been groomed for this for a very, very long time (much more so than most people would realize), and an entire franchise has committed their time, energy and resources to enact this very plan for over a year. He will be fine. 

WER: Andy Reid is a disciple of the old West Coast offense.  How does that offense compare to the spread offenses of the collegiate game like Mahomes ran so successfully in college?  Do you anticipate Reid taboring his offense to incorporate elements of the “Air Raid” style of college offenses in order to maximize what Mahomes can do?  

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AA: Andy Reid is an offensive disciple—period. He’s learned the Air Raid, but he’s also the same coach who hired Chris Ault (the mind behind the Pistol) in 2013 for the Chiefs and turns over his playcalling to his assistants when it’s clear he’s out of ideas in the moment (Doug Pederson, Matt Nagy, who have both went on to be head coaches obviously). He’s always tailoring his offensive schemes to match the talent, which is why Alex Smith went from having a nice first year to MVP candidate for most of his last season. Imagine what he can do with Mahomes.

WER: At Texas Tech, Mahomes played opposite the worst defense in the country.  Many predict the K.C. defense will be a weak spot this year as well.  Do you foresee Mahomes being asked to do even more than most first-time starters because of the weakness of the defense and will that potentially hurt his development? 

AA: That’s very possible. There are a lot of holes here that the Chiefs needed to fill and a single offseason isn’t going to do it (unless they want to sacrifice long-term). That means a lot of young guys will be tasked with significant snaps in 2018. Mahomes himself will be required to win a couple on his own, at least, for sure in 2018.

WER: Finally, what is a reasonable expectation for Mahomes’ first year as a starter?  What does he need to do to cement his status as the starter in K.C. moving forward and what does he need to do to win over an extremely passionate and knowledgeable Chief’s fan base?

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AA: Mahomes has already won over all of the fans with the flashes of his talent so far as well as his demeanor off the field. He’s the de facto starter for the next half decade, even if it all goes south in 2018. No one expects that, of course, but if you said Mahomes would end up 8-8 with 20 and 15 in terms of TDs and INTs, I’d take that bet. It could be much, much more given the talent around him, but I’m trying to stay conservative .