Smith started at quarterback during Mahomes’ rookie season and led the Chiefs to a playoff berth while the rookie watched and learned about life in the NFL. Head coach Andy Reid called it an invaluable experience for Mahomes and the quarterback said on Monday Smith was one of the people to reach out to him in the wake of Sunday’s victory over the 49ers.
Mahomes also said that he doesn’t think the Chiefs would have reached that level of success if not for Smith’s contributions.
“He texted me right after the game, saying he enjoyed it just as much as we did,” Mahomes said, via ESPN.com. “He wasn’t there, but he was part of it — I think that’s the biggest thing. He built the culture that I came into. He was the guy that led the team to all these successful seasons and built that winning culture.”
Mahomes has taken the Chiefs places that weren’t possible with Smith at the helm of the offense, but it was clear throughout their run to a Super Bowl title that he played an integral role in making the team believe that reaching that height was possible.