When Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes throws a no-look pass, it looks like improvisation. But it’s something he’s practiced, and something that both his NFL head coach and his college head coach have encouraged him to try.
Mahomes said that he started throwing no-look passes at Texas Tech, when he was coached by Kliff Kingsbury, now head coach of the Cardinals. He then kept working on them as a rookie, as Andy Reid encouraged him to throw no-look passes to keep the Chiefs’ defense off-balance when Mahomes was the scout team quarterback.
“It’s stuff that I’ve worked on – that’s the biggest thing. I did no-look stuff when I was in college with Coach Kingsbury, and he would encourage us to do stuff like that. Then, when I got to the NFL with Coach Reid, I started doing it on scout team and he let me do it,” Mahomes said. “He let me go out there, do some of that stuff and just tinker with things. He always says that training camp is the time to throw interceptions and the time to try stuff that you might not try in a game, so he lets us go out there and be who we are and it’s allowed me to have confidence to do those things in games.”
Mahomes is a uniquely talented quarterback, but that doesn’t mean his success was preordained. Some coaches would have tried to force Mahomes into playing a style of football that doesn’t fit his skill set. Mahomes has been fortunate to work for two coaches, Kingsbury and Reid, who encourage quarterbacks to get creative.