Andy Reid: Alex Smith’s mentoring was the greatest thing to happen to Patrick Mahomes

NFL: AUG 11 Preseason - 49ers at Chiefs
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Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill took plenty of criticism last week when he said he didn’t see it as his job to mentor rookie quarterback Malik Willis. Chiefs coach Andy Reid says that in 2017, he told Alex Smith the same thing. But Smith mentored then-rookie Patrick Mahomes anyway.

The Chiefs traded up in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft to select Mahomes, even though Smith was coming off a Pro Bowl season and had led the Chiefs to the playoffs. It would have been easy for Smith to say he wasn’t going to help groom Mahomes to take his job, but Reid said Smith proved a perfect mentor for Mahomes.

“I told Alex, ‘Man go out and have the greatest year you’ve ever had and to you don’t have to teach Pat. We’re here to do that as coaches. You’re out there to go produce and win games and do the best you possibly can for your team.’ And so that’s the way we approached it with him,” Reid told Colin Cowherd, via the Kansas City Star. “Now Alex by nature, though, was the greatest thing that ever happened to Patrick Mahomes. There are different ways to do this thing, whether you play the player right now or some behind a veteran player. Alex was perfect for that. Alex did let Patrick into his world without being forced on it or anything and he let Patrick in it. Patrick handled it the right way and didn’t step in the way of Alex and what he needed to produce and had respect for him. So it worked out perfect. I didn’t have to say a whole lot other than, ‘You go play and go win games, let’s go win a championship. and do the best you possibly can do at the quarterback position.’”

Smith had a good final season in Kansas City, but Mahomes has had a great four seasons leading the Chiefs since then — something Smith gets some credit for.

14 responses to “Andy Reid: Alex Smith’s mentoring was the greatest thing to happen to Patrick Mahomes

  1. Patrick Mahomes was going to be a great NFL QB regardless of which team picked him, and which coach coached him. Go watch his tape in college. It was obvious he was going to be a HOF NFL QB. Mahomes’ parents mentored him. His dad was a pro athlete, too.

  2. Oddly, Captain Checkdown’s student did not inherit his propensity for the two yard forward pass.

  3. Tannehill is not obligated to mentor Willis… but the fact that he is afraid to do it tells you a lot about how comfortable he is with his job. Also, being a mentor is all about leadership and team skills… that tells a lot about Tannehill too.

  4. There’s a reason Tannehill has never won anything in the NFL, and never will. The guy is anything but a leader.

  5. charliecharger says:
    May 10, 2022 at 2:44 pm
    Patrick Mahomes was going to be a great NFL QB regardless of which team picked him, and which coach coached him. Go watch his tape in college. It was obvious he was going to be a HOF NFL QB. Mahomes’ parents mentored him. His dad was a pro athlete, too.
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    I’m sure you said the same thing about Tebow, Manziel, Haskins… “Go watch their tape in college.” It’s obvious that they were going to be HoF QBs as well. Right?

  6. heymister24 says:
    May 10, 2022 at 3:17 pm
    …and aaron rodgers was mentored, tom brady was mentored….

    56Rate This
    ——————————
    Rodgers wasn’t mentored. There was a lot of animosity between him and Favre when he was drafted as Favre was unhappy about the situation. Unless you mean Craig Nall mentored him lol.

  7. charliecharger says:
    May 10, 2022 at 2:44 pm
    Patrick Mahomes was going to be a great NFL QB regardless of which team picked him, and which coach coached him. Go watch his tape in college. It was obvious he was going to be a HOF NFL QB. Mahomes’ parents mentored him. His dad was a pro athlete, too
    ——————————————————————————————
    Apparently it wasn’t so obvious to the nine teams that didn’t draft him , lol .

  8. charliecharger says:
    May 10, 2022 at 2:44 pm
    Patrick Mahomes was going to be a great NFL QB regardless of which team picked him, and which coach coached him. Go watch his tape in college.
    ===============

    Mahomes wasn’t even projected to go in the 1st round, he was estimated to be a mid-late 2nd round pick. Maybe it is you that should go watch his tape, he wasn’t great in college as a matter of fact he was just 12-13 in his last 2 seasons at A&M, that’s not the W-L record of a 1st rounder!

  9. But what helped Mahomes more than being mentored by Smith was that he was let to “sit & learn” for a year before he ever started a game, more teams should take that approach and then the bust rate for 1st round QBs wouldn’t be close to 70%. There’s far too much to learn(over 200 play playbooks, intricate defenses they’ve never seen in college and how much faster and better the players in the NFL are) to expect QBs to “GET IT” in a few short weeks of training camp and a few pre-season games!

    In college the talent is spread across over 700 teams, at the next level only the best talent makes it in the NFL and it’s all concentrated between just 32 teams! People call it the next level but in reality it’s like 5 levels above college.

  10. Who mentored Mahomes to give games away…. Sorry, huge Chiefs fan but after the debacle, just giving the game away in the championship game, I’ll never trust him again. How does abut go from playing like Len Dawson to Tyler Palko in just 15 minutes?

  11. Alex Smith may not have HOF stats, but he has HOF toughness and decency. He’s carried himself very well over the years.

    It takes nothing away from Patrick Mahomes to say that.

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