The first-year starter is having a rough go of it in training camp thus far, but sometimes those mistakes are necessary.
In 2018, the Kansas City Chiefs will have a new quarterback leading the offense after five years with Pro Bowler Alex Smith. Now, they are turning to the youngster – and the guy that is hopefully the future of the team – second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
However, training camp isn’t off to an ideal start for Mahomes. The 22-year-old is struggling to get comfortable as a starter in the NFL, throwing three interceptions during Wednesday’s practice for a total of seven picks over the span of six practice sessions.
One particularly notable interception came with the offense in the red zone. As reported by ESPN’s Adam Teicher, Mahomes had a wide open path to run the ball into the end zone himself, but instead dropped back to pass. That led to his throw being intercepted by reserve defensive back Leon McQuay.
Mahomes instantly realized his mistake.
“That’s the first thing I said when I came to the sideline: I could have run it,” Mahomes said. “(The coaches) said, ‘Then just do it. Don’t train bad habits.’”
Those mistakes are definitely frustrating, but now is the time that Mahomes has to be bad in order to get better. He’s a young quarterback who has never had a chance to start in the NFL, not to mention he’s trying to take over a role that was owned by Smith, a three-time Pro Bowler and last year’s NFL passer rating leader, for the last five years. There are going to be plenty of mistakes. The purpose of training camp is to identify those weaknesses and improve on them.
“He had a few hiccups today,” said offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. “But that’s a part of the process. When you’re young, you need those hiccups because they become valuable lessons.”
As Chiefs fans get hyped up for the 2018 season, it’s important to keep in mind that they can’t expect perfection from Mahomes this year. He has a lot of talent, no doubt, but even the best quarterbacks need time to make those adjustments.