Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid disagrees with recent anonymous criticisms from an unnamed NFL defensive coordinator that quarterback Patrick Mahomes resorts to playing "streetball" when defenses take away his first read.
Aaron Ladd of KSHB 41 News provided Reid's remarks from Chiefs' training camp on Friday. Of note, Reid called the 2018 NFL MVP "tremendous" among other compliments:
Aaron Ladd @aaronladd0
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Chiefs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Chiefs</a> Andy Reid on Mahomes 'streetball' comparisons: "Just take a peek at [the film], see how many times he hits the second receiver." <a href="https://t.co/zWRauWeAT8">pic.twitter.com/zWRauWeAT8</a>
The remarks in question were part of The Athletic's annual quarterback tier rankings, which were compiled by Mike Sando. Many coaches were interviewed for the piece, and one DC provided some blunt criticism:
"We love Mahomes because of his unorthodox throws, not because of his natural pocket presence. And when that disappears, that is when they lose games. I don’t think that is a 1. I think that is a 2. Nothing against the guy. I love the kid. But take his first read away and what does he do? He runs, he scrambles and he plays streetball."
Mahomes still ranked highly on this year's list, finishing second to the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers.
Mahomes had a bit of a down year in 2021 by his tremendous standards, but he still accounted for 37 touchdowns (13 interceptions) and 284.6 passing yards per game. He also finished fifth in the league in ESPN's QBR metric.
The difference between 2021 and previous years was the defense's ability to take away some of the Chiefs' explosive pass game. Sando provided more information on that front.
"Last season, defenses for the first time curtailed Mahomes' ability to strike for explosive plays," Sando wrote. "The Chiefs gained more than 15 yards on 14.6% of Mahomes' pass attempts where gains that long were possible. That ranked 19th among qualifying quarterbacks. Mahomes ranked first during the previous three seasons at 20.3%."
Despite all that, Mahomes was able to lead the Chiefs to a 12-5 record and an AFC Championship Game appearance.
Like Reid, Mahomes addressed the recent criticisms about his game, noting that he, Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray have all had to weather negative comments of late.
In the same article, Jackson was harshly criticized by a defensive coordinator, who said:
"If he has to pass to win the game, they ain't winning the game. He's so unique as an athlete and he's really a good football player, but I don't [care] if he wins the league MVP 12 times, I don’t think he'll ever be a 1 as a quarterback. He'll be a 1 as a football player, but not as a quarterback..."
Murray recently received flak after it was revealed the Cardinals input a four-hour independent study clause for game weeks in his recently signed five-year, $230.5 million extension.
As for Mahomes, he truly doesn't have much to prove. He's led Kansas City to the AFC Championship Game in all four of his seasons, the AFC title twice and the Lombardi Trophy once. Perhaps last year showed some things that Mahomes has to work on, but he's still one of the game's all-time great talents.
His 2022 campaign will begin on Sept. 11 with a matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.