Prior to the Chiefs’ daring decision to move up 17 spots and select Patrick Mahomes, it had been 34 years since the club took a quarterback in the first round.
Given that vast stretch of time, fans shouldn’t have a problem waiting a little bit longer to catch their first glimpse of the rookie gunslinger from Texas Tech, as coach Andy Reid announced Tuesday that Mahomes will take the field for the first time in the third quarter of their preseason opener against San Francisco on Friday at Arrowhead Stadium.
“Alex (Smith) has the first quarter, Tyler (Bray) the second, Patrick the third and Joel (Stave) the fourth,” Reid said.
Reid’s recent history dictates he could very well stick to that script. The last time the Chiefs opened the preseason with four healthy quarterbacks on the roster, as they do now, was in 2014, when they opened the preseason at home against Cincinnati, and Reid indeed broke up the snaps the same way, with Alex Smith, Chase Daniel, Bray and Aaron Murray each getting a quarter apiece.
It was a little different a year ago, when the Chiefs had five quarterbacks on the roster after they managed to add veteran Nick Foles to the mix during camp.
After Smith led them to a touchdown on the opening drive of preseason opener against Seattle, Reid yanked Smith in favor of No. 2 quarterback Nick Foles. Foles then played two series before ceding the job to Bray, who played three series before halftime.
Murray then got two series, followed by Kevin Hogan, who got three. Both of them were released at the 53-man cutdown, however.
As a newly-minted first-round pick, Mahomes obviously doesn’t have to worry about that fate. Nevertheless, Reid said Mahomes’ goal on Friday is a simple one.
“I would tell you this for probably everybody — just execute,” Reid said. “Obviously the quarterbacks have a little more responsibility with it, just with all of the calls and so on. Just the main thing is to execute.”
And let it rip, which shouldn’t be a problem for one of the most daring quarterbacks to enter the league in a few years.
“The main thing is as coaches we try to cut it down for them so they can do a little bit less thinking and more playing and get a judgement of their instincts and ability,” Reid said. “(They should) go out and enjoy the moment. Not a lot of people have the opportunity to go out and do what they are doing.”