ST. Joseph, Missouri –
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes arrived at training camp on Tuesday and understood that he and his Kansas City Chiefs teammates will need to do better in 2023 if they are to fight for another Super Bowl championship. .
“I think the theme this year is how can we continue to improve,” said Mahomes, who attended camp Tuesday at Missouri Western State University with the team’s quarterbacks and rookies.
Mahomes won the Player of the Year award last season and won his second Lombardi Trophy.
“Obviously we won the Super Bowl last year and it was great, but we still have a lot of young players.
If the Chiefs want to grow, much of the work will fall on Mahomes. After free-agent receivers Juju Smith-Schuster and Mekor Hardman left in the offseason, a group of young receivers including Kadarius Toney, Skye Moore and this year’s second-round pick Lacie Rice. It’s up to Mahomes to build a connection with.
The good news, according to head coach Andy Reed, is how much Mahomes enjoys the challenge.
“With a quarterback, the job never ends,” Reed said. “It’s like a farmer, just keep cranking. We’re always trying to give him new challenges with things, and he loves it, and he’s trying to do those kinds of things.” I love to.”
Mahomes said Reed’s ability to challenge players is what makes him a great coach.
“If you ask Travis[Kelsey]or Chris Jones, they’re all going to say the same thing, because he doesn’t make you happy with where you are.”
In fact, if the Chiefs want to win again as Super Bowl champions, they can’t rest on what they accomplished last season.
Last time, the Chiefs tried to defend their title as Super Bowl champions, but ended up 14-2 in Super Bowl 55, losing 31-9 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Mahomes feels the need to motivate his teammates even more this time around.
“Even if you’re winning soccer games, let’s not be content with just winning, let’s be content with finding ways to get better every week,” he said.
“I’ve said it many times about the AFC, but when you look at the AFC, almost every team has a path to the playoffs,” Mahomes said. “I know you say that every year, but I think this year is a really realistic year, so I know that every week will be a challenge for us. Get better and play as many football games as possible. and stand up for yourself’ in that position. ”
Chris Jones contract
With the team’s veterans only days away from arriving at training camp, Reed was still unsure if All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones would arrive with his teammates.
“I don’t know,” Reed said. “We’ll have to wait and see. Communication is going well. That’s the important part. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Jones will have a base salary of $19.5 million and a cap of over $29.4 million this season. The 29-year-old is seeking a contract extension for him, but the club also want Jones to extend to free up much-needed cap space.
Reed said defensive tackle Tarshaun Wharton, who ended the season on the reserve side with a torn ACL, will begin training camp on the physically disabled list. Running back Isaiah Pacheco, who underwent surgery for shoulder and hand injuries in the offseason, will be evaluated on his readiness to practice at the club during Friday’s Veterans Affairs Report.
Mahomes, who suffered an upper ankle sprain during the team’s postseason run, said he sometimes felt timid when running and cutting during organized team practice activities (OTAs) in the offseason.
But he feels he’s in a good position for camp now.
“As we approached the (veteran’s) mini-camp and then the OTA stage, I regained confidence in my ankle,” Mahomes said. “I don’t think I’ll be running much right now, but I’m going to test it especially with this half gasser, so I’ll make sure it’s ready.”