Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs’ skill players in Texas for first phase of offseason workouts

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The Kansas City Chiefs started Phase I of their offseason workout program on Monday, but they’re doing things a bit differently for the 2022 NFL offseason.

Players are now allowed to return to team facilities to lift weights and go through injury rehabilitation, but they’re not allowed any instruction from coaches. Players and coaches are, however, permitted to engage in team meetings during this phase of offseason workouts.

Andy Reid is a creature of habit, but he’s seen his habits disrupted in the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the wake of those changes, it appears that the veteran coach has found the benefit of virtual meetings. Instead of going back to in-person meetings, with the NFL having lifted COVID-19 restrictions, Reid is keeping things virtual in Kansas City during the earliest phase of the offseason workout program.

“We’re glad to get this thing rolling here,” Reid told reporters. “We’re in Phase I, so we’re going to do this a little bit differently this year – not in comparison to what we’ve done the last couple years – it will be basically the same. We’re going to do our meetings virtual. So, in Phase I, you’re able to meet with the players and then they can work out. No coaches supervising any football activities, so we’re going to meet with them virtually. There are a number of guys here lifting, but again, these are all voluntary camps, all three phases. They will work out on their own and do that part.”

One of the reasons that Reid feels comfortable moving to this type of format is because of Patrick Mahomes. Reid’s star quarterback has hosted some workouts in Texas with a number of skill position players — he’s basically running his own minicamp, unsupervised and away from the team.

“We’ve had some gatherings with some of the skill players,” Reid continued. “Offensively, Pat (Mahomes) organized some guys that are down in Texas with him. They’re throwing. All the new receivers, well a couple of new receivers that we have, are down there with him, along with the rest of the skill players, new running backs, etc. It’s moving in a positive direction.”

According to Mahomes, they didn’t initially plan for this to happen. After speaking more with the offensive coaches, it made more and more sense to keep things virtual and keep all the offensive guys together, working and building chemistry on and off the field in a central location.

“It kind of started off where I was going to have some guys anyways come run routes and do stuff like that before OTAs started,” Mahomes said. “As I talked to Coach Reid and EB (Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy), they informed me if you want to get everybody down there then we can do things virtual these first few weeks and kind of keep everybody together. You’re off the field, you’re going to lunch with these guys, I’m working out with these guys as well, not just throwing. You can build those relationships that way. Plus, we’re in a little warmer weather than KC is right now. It was a thing where we were going to have to work anyway and get off the field so we decided as long as we were in Texas working together the coaches said we could do it virtually and still get to learn what we need.”

The players will still get a chance to partake in the team’s offseason scheme evaluations in those virtual meetings, so they’re not missing out on any of the fun stuff. Andy Reid just trusts that his players are capable of putting in the work in the weight room and on the football field without supervision. Well, at least without his supervision. They’re working with the best of the best in APEC’s Bobby Stroupe, Mahomes’ longtime personal trainer.

“They’re lifting and they’re conditioning and then they’re running routes and doing that,” Reid continued. “And the defensive guys, they’re doing their thing too. I just think that’s where I have the trust in the guys to be able to do this. I don’t need them right here. We’ve played a lot of games the last four or five years. Maybe more than anyone in the National Football League, so having them with a little more time away able to do the bonding themselves, especially with the influx of new players, I think is important. Then, when they get here, they’ll be revved up and we’ll be in this building for quite a time. These two weeks here that they can be with themselves working and getting to know each other I think is important. It does say a lot about Patrick to answer your question.”

Reid knows that his players are wired the right way. Mahomes certainly isn’t going to be wasting any time when it comes to preparing for the upcoming season, especially so after the disappointing end to the 2021 NFL season.

“It evolved from the trust that they have in us that we’re going to be vets and we’re going to do it the right way like we’ve been doing,” Mahomes said. “Whenever we roll into KC in May, we’ll be ready to go then too.”

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