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Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes identifying biggest NFL hurdles


Under the watchful eye of Andy Reid and the rest of the Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff, Patrick Mahomes embarked upon his first hands-on adjustment from college to the NFL at the Chiefs' rookie minicamp over the weekend.


But when nobody was looking, the former Texas Tech quarterback was putting in overtime with fellow rookie Jehu Chesson in trying to learn the Chiefs offense. The club paired Mahomes, the No. 10 overall pick of the draft, with Chesson as minicamp roommates.

"It probably was not an accident at all," Mahomes said. "We got a good connection going. We studied together. I would tell him things he didn't get to hear from the quarterback perspective, and he got to tell me how he was running his routes from his perspective. That helped me out a ton."

Chesson was the only wide receiver the Chiefs drafted (fourth round), although Mahomes had plenty of other targets in minicamp, including former Alabama WR Gehrig Dieter and former Utah State TE Wyatt Houston, both signed as undrafted free agents. But in Chesson, Mahomes saw something special.

"He's a playmaker. You can throw it up and he'll make plays and that's what you like to see in a receiver. He showed he has a lot of ability," Mahomes said.

As for Mahomes' minicamp performance, the Chiefs' newest quarterback told reporters that running the club's offense was "a lot harder than I thought." The challenge was more about pre-snap recognition than knowing the playbook.

"I had to get used to the process of making the Mike (middle linebacker) ID, and getting people lined up in the right positions. That was something I felt like I got really good at over the weekend. I'll keep getting better and better," Mahomes said. "The playbook wasn't too hard for me; I can call the plays in the huddle. It's more about knowing where the sticks are, knowing where every receiver is supposed to line up in his split, and making the Mike ID right, that's a huge part of it, along with calling the right protection and changing the protection."

Given the vast differences between the Air Raid offense Mahomes commanded at Texas Tech and a pro-style system, it should come as no surprise that his first NFL practices presented some problems for him.

"It was all stuff I worked on before the draft, just trying to build a foundation, but when you get on the field and everybody's moving around and you don't know who is blitzing, it's a little harder than when coaches are telling you things (in a meeting) and you just have to draw it on the board," he said.

In other words, it will take a while before he's comfortable with everyone on the field. But for now, he's gotten pretty comfortable, at least, with Chesson.



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