Patrick Mahomes is still learning his craft. The Chiefs brought him in and traded Alex Smith away in part because of his high ceiling, but we’re seeing early in training camp that his floor is much lower than his predecessor.
“He had a few hiccups today,” offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said (via ESPN). “But that’s a part of the process. When you’re young you need those hiccups because they become valuable lessons. … Would we like for him to be perfect? Yes. We’d like for him to have the highest quarterback rating ever. … He just needs to be poised under pressure.”
We shouldn’t make too much of training camp interceptions, but it’s a reminder that Mahomes will be more volatile than the man he’s replacing. The Chiefs are expected to take a slight step back this season and if Mahomes can’t protect the ball, the team won’t be able to overcompensate for its lackluster defense.
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Smith, who spent the last five seasons as Kansas City’s starter, threw just five interceptions during the 2017 season and just 33 over his 75 starts with the club. His ability to avoid turnover keep his offense on the field and the team’s defense off of it.