I’ve been around a few training camps in my day covering the Kansas City Chiefs, from two-a-day practices in pads, the Oklahoma Drill, immense heat, and some testy infighting amongst teammates. However, with the changing rules in the NFL regarding training camp over the last decade, many coaches take an easier time on their players, but that’s not the style of either Andy Reid or Patrick Mahomes.
If there was a common theme at the end of training camp on Thursday, players were glad it was over. When they get up in their own beds this morning, prepare for their flight to Arizona to face the Cardinals Saturday night, they’ll probably feel the rigor of training camp in their bodies, and look back collectively breathing a sigh of relief.
Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach, Andy Reid, does things his way. It’s been that way ever since he arrived. Over the last three weeks, he, and his coaching staff, have pushed his players beyond some of their limits. Granted not even one of them will complain publicly, nor will they not give every ounce of sweat they possess on the practice field.
They do this because as a team, they understand Reid’s methods and why working hard in August pays off in February.
The Chiefs are the presumptive Super Bowl favorite. They are the best team in football with the best head coach in football that happens to have the best quarterback in football. That’s a wicked combination.
Part of Reid’s drive to get his players ready for the regular season stems from his Quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. The force that drives Reid also drives Mahomes. They both understand leading their team from the sideline and in the huddle, is paramount to their success together.
The combo of Reid and Mahomes is setting a blazing trail of success that history will view their partnership as anything but Hall of Fame worthy. The fire inside Mahomes is second to none. Sure, other quarterbacks in the game, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and Aaron Rogers to name a few have that passion, but they don’t have the fuel Mahomes burns day in and day out to be great.
On the sidelines, Reid is as driven as Mahomes. It’s clear over the last three-plus weeks, he set the work ethic tone, and though guys were gassed at times, he demanded they push through any pain or lack of energy.
The combination of practicing hard, and giving the guys time to rest, represented a tricky balance between getting the work done and preserving gas in the tank once the regular season begins in three weeks.
Reid has always been a coach who adapts to his roster and his players, and mostly, he respects the emotional side of the men that make up his team. Though he might be hard on them, demand more of them, they’d go through one brick wall after another for their head coach. That happens because Reid wants their input.
That doesn’t happen in every locker room in the NFL. The fact Reid has adapted his style to his football team, despite roster changes filled with new players, tells me, he’s intent on winning more division titles, Lamar Hunt Trophies, and Super Bowls.
Big Red has achieved the kind of success that very few coaches have in the history of the game. On the flip side, the recent five-year stretch for Patrick Mahomes will never be duplicated by any player, other than himself.
The beauty of this combination, this team can still attain further heights. Though I doubt Reid or Mahomes would beat their chests and say they are the best to the masses, inside we all know they are just that.
Over the next few weeks, with no eyes upon them, Reid and Mahomes will prepare for the season opener against the young and talented, Detroit Lions with a singular determination to the road to Super Bowl LVIII begins now.
In Kansas City, if you are a Chiefs fan, the only goal from this point forward, repeat as Super Bowl Champions. If that happens six months from now, the fans can thank the team for its sacrifices in August, and the two men that would not let them lose sight of the only prize that matters.