Chiefs training camp notebook: Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes ready for first preseason game

11 days of full-team training camp have come and gone. With the final public practice of the week in the books, the Kansas City Chiefs will turn their attention to Saturday night’s preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

“We don’t game plan a lot for this,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of Saturday’s game. “We’ve spent a ton of time doing what we do and trying to make sure we get that right. With our defense, if you take it from an offensive standard, our defense has showed just about every coverage. Defensively, they’ve seen a lot of stuff from the offense. Dave (Toub) does a good job with the special teams of making sure they get a lot of looks.

“I think most teams are that way. Most teams come out and they’re just trying to let their guys play and try to evaluate the young guys so that you don’t miss on a guy, or you at least narrow that possibility of missing on a guy. There’s not a lot of game-planning going on.”

Reid said that he would give Patrick Mahomes and the first team the first quarter, followed by Chad Henne and the second team in the second quarter. Kyle Shurmur and Chase Litton will take the third and fourth quarters, respectively, each working with the third team and the players on the roster bubble.

”I think we have a good QB room, in general,” Mahomes explained. “From coach (Mike) Kafka, David Girardi (quality control) to [Eric Bieniemy] and all of the quarterbacks we have, we’re always trying to make each other better. Just as much as I talk to Kyle and Chase, Chad talks to me. We just try to make sure that we know what each other is thinking every single play with each of those guys behind me. They’re going through the motions, doing exactly what I’m doing to make sure we are all on the same page of what we’re trying to do.”

This will be Mahomes’ first in-game opportunity to work with the Chiefs’ top 2019 NFL Draft pick: wide receiver Mecole Hardman.

“Getting under the lights is going to be big,” Mahomes said of Hardman’s first game in Kansas City. “Being out there at Arrowhead, I know his juices are going to be flowing. All of ours are. Just being able to let him settle in there and go out there and make plays, he’s a guy who has a ton of talent. Like you said, he’s been making plays all of training camp.

“For him to just go out there at Arrowhead, feel what it’s like to sort of be out there in a home game and go out there and play well.”

This time last season, fans and analysts were still figuring Mahomes out — many wondering whether or not the Chiefs made the right move by trading Alex Smith. With Mahomes coming in as the reigning MVP, this year should be a rather different experience, but little will change when it comes to Mahomes’ mentality in exhibition games.

“I’m always going to try to go out there and be successful,” Mahomes said. “Last year, it was a little bit newer to me going out there and trying to figure out what we’re doing with limited plays and still trying to be productive. But now, you have that full understanding of how to have success and how to take what’s there. Knowing that you may not have your full playbook at disposal, but you can go out there and still have success on the field.”

Observations

  • Training camp practice stayed somewhat mild on Thursday, starting in the mid-70s and eventually breaking 80 degrees by practice’s end.
  • Cornerback Bashaud Breeland intercepted Patrick Mahomes in what looked like fourth down of a two-minute period. Mahomes underthrew Tyreek Hill on a deep ball and Breeland came down with it in the end zone. I took this as a good sign for Breeland, who suffered a lacerated right thumb earlier in training camp.
  • Mahomes, in general, seemed a little off at the beginning of Thursday’s practice but found a groove by the end.
  • The play of the day came from tight end Blake Bell, whom I believe (despite the unofficial depth chart) is probably leading in the wide-open battle for the second tight end spot. Watch the play below — courtesy of News Press Now’s Kristen Carver.
  • Linebacker Darron Lee picked off a ball intended for Darrel Williams in one-on-ones. Friend-of-the-site Tom Martin of KCTV5 had a great shot of the Lee interception.
  • Tanoh Kpassagnon continues to look like a player who will have a big defensive role this upcoming season. How he performs this preseason will be critical for him.
  • It was promising to see many Chiefs players back from injury, but I don’t understand what’s happening with Gehrig Dieter.

Injury report

The Chiefs only had two players held back for the entirety of practice on Thursday—wide receiver Gehrig Dieter and defensive lineman Alex Okafor—but a few Chiefs are dealing with minor injuries. Check out our full injury report here.

Tweets of note

Quote of the day

Patrick Mahomes on whether or not he would consider throwing a behind-the-back pass in a game (Mahomes occasionally practices behind-the-back passes in warmups): “We would have to be winning by a lot and it would have to be late in the game (laughter). I’m probably going to try to not do that one until we’re winning by a lot maybe and I’m messing around. It’s something that I would rather not try in the game.”

What’s next?

On Friday, the Chiefs will run a mock game in a closed practice session. The first preseason game is Saturday against the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. Arrowhead Time. There will be no practice on Sunday, but public practices at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph resume Monday at 8:15 a.m. Arrowhead Time.

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Pete Sweeney
DistinctAthlete.com is an entertaining sports site. The site specializes in viral sports content. Content includes controversial and original opinions, news stories, off-beat stories, humorous videos, entertaining photos, exclusive interviews, and witty banter between the writers and commenters. Distinct Athlete was launched in May of 2012 and has been featured and/or cited on several prominent sports sites.

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