There has to be something to work on for the second-year quarterback, doesn’t there?
Patrick Mahomes continues to fascinate me on a weekly basis.
Mahomes is a quarterback with one, measly professional start to his name (OK, it was a good start at that), yet locally, the general manager has called him “one of the best players” he has ever seen and nationally, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has deemed it “officially time to buy the hype.”
This has to be it, right?
Mahomes is the undefeated, undisputed, no-reason-to-doubt, savior of the franchise. Book those Super Bowl tickets and start packing for Atlanta.
But I’m still trying to dig. He’s 22. He’s a second-year player.
There has to be a red flag, a weakness—somewhere, anywhere.
The closest I’ve seen to the unearthing of such a flaw in Mahomes came via Dan Orlovsky, the former quarterback-turned-analyst on a recent edition of NFL Network’s Good Morning Football.
After the usual gush fest (fast-forward to the 3:12 mark) Orlovsky mentioned two things that Mahomes needs to work on, or other words, current weaknesses:
“One, not everything needs to be a wild throw. Guys who have such good talent like that, they want to make the wild throw all the time. That’s what gets their blood going. Matthew Stafford, I remember having a conversation with him about it—when he really became an elite-level quarterback, he said, ‘I realized I didn’t need to make the wild throw all the time.’
“The second thing is he just needs to get accustomed to the speed of the NFL. Sometimes, those pockets close on him and that ball had to come out a little quicker in [Week 17], and it forced a sail or a dive here and there.”
Last week, Mahomes himself said that he was zoning in on calling plays at the line of scrimmage and taking the ball under center. Keep in mind that most of his plays in the Air Raid offense at Texas Tech were run out of the shotgun.
This week, on Thursday, new quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka came to podium and we gave it another whirl.
“One big point of emphasis (from year one to year two) for Pat was his feet and his footwork,” Kafka said. “He put in a ton of work all of last year and coming up through the offseason right here, so I think that’s right now where I’m the most happy with—where Pat’s at with his footwork.”
But wait. Mike, you’re “happy where he’s at?” Give me a weakness! Anything!
So I asked him directly: What part of the game does Mahomes specifically need to work on?
“In our quarterback room, we’re going to strive to perform at a really high level,” Kafka said. “We’re coaching him hard, he’s put in a ton of work, so it would be doing him a disservice if I told him there was only one thing he needed to work on. We’re working to fine-tune every single aspect of playing the quarterback position.
“He’s been a pleasure to work with, a pleasure to coach and he’s put in a ton of hours, he’s going behind the scenes, working with guys individually. I’m really proud of where he’s at right now.”
Then I gave up forever.