When Alex Smith’s trade to Washington became official on March 14, second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes found himself in the driver’s seat of the Chiefs’ organization at the age of 22.
With Tyler Bray also leaving for the Chicago Bears after seven years with the Chiefs, Mahomes, the No. 10 overall pick out of Texas Tech in the 2017 NFL Draft, found himself as the longest-tenured quarterback in the organization.
It also left the Chiefs’ front office with the task of finding a new contingency of backup quarterbacks heading into the 2018 season.
“Two of them are veterans that have been around a little bit, and been in similar offenses,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “I thought they did a heck of a job. And our young guy, he stayed on top of it, and I thought he did a good job.”
Former Jacksonville Jaguars backup Chad Henne was the first quarterback to sign on the dotted line for the Chiefs, followed by Matt McGloin, who had been released by the Houston Texans in November 2017.
Joining the two veterans is rookie Chase Litton, who was picked up by the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent. Litton was the starting quarterback at Marshall before declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft.
The offseason organized team activities and subsequent minicamp have given the quartet their first chances to accustom themselves with one another and begin to build a cohesive connection.
“I feel like it’s been awesome," Mahomes said. "Guys that have come in, kind of like everybody else, and have been working hard, competing everywhere. We compete in the way where we’re competing in little competitions, and at the same time, we joke around a lot.”
Mahomes says he has also been able to draw off the experience of both Henne and McGloin. With a balanced offensive approach expected under newly-appointed offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Mahomes can expect to draw off the experience of McGloin, who enjoyed a similar system during his time with the Oakland Raiders from 2013 to 2016.
“It’s been awesome to kind of — I’m learning offense more and more, and they’re also trying to get in and learn,” Mahomes said. “And at the same time, you’ve got guys like Chad Henne and Matt McGloin who have been in other offenses, so they can kind of give a different aspect of how they’re looking at stuff, and how we can get together on what’s the best way to go through plays.”