Once again, Patrick Mahomes began another year of his NFL career in Texas, his home state, with a collection of his teammates, inviting fellow members of the Chiefs’ passing game to work out and elevate their already impressive on-field chemistry.
Similar to when he watches and studies previous games in his career, the superstar quarterback entered this month with a better, more detailed plan for his skill-position teammates to maintain or even increase the group’s productivity. Unlike last year, when he conducted players-only passing sessions for the first time in his seven-year career,Mahomes designed for the sessions to occur on grass and turf fields. He helped arrange rental lodging for his teammates in and around Fort Worth, Texas, for as many days as they wanted to stay in a three-week period that started two weeks ago. The Chiefs’ voluntary offseason program began Monday, and those in Fort Worth are taking part in meetings via video conference. And yes, Mahomes had a list of routes he wanted to go through with his receivers, tight ends and running backs.
Two months after leading the Chiefs to a comeback victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII, earning his second championship ring and a second Super Bowl MVP Award in the process, Mahomes has once again relished the chance to energize his teammates through his first passes and completions of the spring in preparation for the 2023 campaign.
“To me, it makes you even more motivated,” Mahomes, the league’s reigning MVP, said of winning on the NFL’s grandest stage. “You can see where you can get to. Winning a Super Bowl is so hard to do. But once you’re able to do it multiple times, you see that it’s obtainable to go out there and get more. It’s going to be a challenge every year. You have to keep getting better and better.”
After the Chiefs’ celebratory parade in Kansas City, Mahomes continued celebrating with his family and close friends, including superstar tight end Travis Kelce in Las Vegas, for nearly two weeks. Then he returned to his hometown of Tyler, Texas, to work out at his offseason training facility, Athlete Performance Enhancement Center, with trainer Bobby Stroupe, the founder and president of the company.
This season, Mahomes figures to play a key role in the improvement of the Chiefs’ young receivers. Despite being just 27, Mahomes is older than his current crop of receivers — and he has more NFL experience than all of them.
Throwing sessions earlier this month featured Mahomes’ sharing his perspective on how he wants his receivers to run certain routes, the post-snap adjustments that can be made when anticipating and facing specific coverages from the opposing defense. A sizable number of the passes Mahomes threw to his receivers included the ball’s traveling more than 30 yards in the air.
“I felt there were a couple of the deep throws (last season) that I didn’t hit that I usually do, just being able to hit those opportunities whenever I get them,” Mahomes said. “We don’t get a lot of them. We get a lot of two-high (safeties) coverage.”
Two receivers Mahomes wants to work closely with in the hope they can each have a breakout second season in the Chiefs’ offense are Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney. In the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, Mahomes completed easy touchdown passes in the flat to both players. The Chiefs are expecting Moore and Toney to thrive in their roles with expanded snaps after veterans JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman left this offseason via free agency.
“He’ll continue to take those steps and be even better this next year when he’s more comfortable and we can utilize his talents even more,” Mahomes said of Moore. He said of Toney: “You saw the upside last year with how special of a talent he can be. To have him working with coach (Andy) Reid and how we practice in training camp, I think he’ll have his body in the best shape he can possibly be in to be healthy all season long.
“We’re excited for those guys to take those next steps within the offense.”