Chiefs’ Mahomes to buck NFL trend and play preseason opener

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes will start the Kansas City Chiefs’ preseason opener in Chicago on Saturday, bucking a trend across the NFL of coaches sitting their starting quarterbacks for the first of their three games standout.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Thursday he would stick to his usual routine of having each of the four quarterbacks play in camp for one quarter of the preseason opener. And while he acknowledged the number of snaps could change depending on how the game unfolds, Reid thinks it’s important for everyone – stars and backups – to step onto the pitch.

“I think it’s good to have the juice, to get out, even if it’s a limited number of games,” Reid said after the Chiefs wrapped up Thursday’s practice at Missouri Western State University.

“I’m not saying what other people are doing is wrong,” Reid said. “That’s just where I’m at.”

The Raiders sat Derek Carr and the Jaguars played without Trevor Lawrence in last week’s Hall of Fame game, although that’s typical given the game is a week earlier than the rest of the Hall of Fame games. opening of the pre-season. But many teams are also choosing to seat their starting quarterbacks this week, rather than risk injury by subjecting them to unnecessary beatings.

The Patriots planned to seat Mac Jones for their preseason opener against the Giants on Thursday night, while the Ravens were to have Lamar Jackson wearing a helmet instead of a helmet for their game against the Titans.

The Cowboys’ Dak Prescott, Bills starter Josh Allen and Buccaneers’ Tom Brady, who is beginning an 11-day absence to take care of “personal matters”, are also absent. Aaron Rodgers is also unlikely to play for the Packers given that the reigning four-time league MVP hasn’t played in a preseason game for Green Bay since 2018.

“I like to get in there and get hit like, on time,” said Mahomes, who has played the preseason opener every season except 2020, when there was none due to the pandemic. . “Once you get hit once, you see what it is. So you’re ready to go.”

Mahomes threw just two assists in last year’s preseason opener against San Francisco before giving way to backup Chad Henne and the rest of the Kansas City quarterbacks. Mahomes had more time in games two and three.

When there was a four-game pre-season schedule, he usually played the first three before failing to make the final.

“It will be good this time to get in there with the new set of receivers we have, all new running backs, and show how we do it in the game,” Mahomes said. “We do it here in training, but we want to show how we do it in the game.”

Reid said his quarterbacks will come with their respective line on the depth chart, meaning Mahomes will play with the starting offense before Henne takes over with the backups. Shane Buechele and Dustin Crum will finish things off.

“It’s definitely about getting into the rhythm. It’s getting in the game, seeing how the clock is ticking – everything in the game is speeding up,” Mahomes explained. “So the guys have to think, execute, show their talent. It’s going to be important to be in the game and see how all these guys are doing.”

Although Mahomes wants to see how new wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and second-round pick Skyy Moore fare on Saturday, most of the attention will be on the revamped defense.

First-round pick Trent McDuffie is expected to start at cornerback with Justin Reid, who arrived from Houston in free agency. The Chiefs also expect to give a lot of work to another first-round pick, defensive end George Karlaftis, as well as rookie defensive backs Joshua Williams, Jaylen Watson and Bryan Cook.

“It’s stripped down football,” said Justin Reid, when asked what to expect when the playbook is condensed and the game plan is largely non-existent. “We know what you are going to do. You know what we are going to do. Let’s line up and do it. It is a test of will. It’s about giving guys a chance to show what they’ve got.

NOTES: DE Frank Clark missed practice due to illness. DB Zayne Anderson (shoulder), WR Greg Jennings and OT Lucas Niang (knee) also remained absent. WR Omar Bayless left early when his lower back tightened. … TE Jody Fortson returned after injuring the quad earlier in camp. The plan is to slowly bring him up to speed. … Andy Reid said he was looking forward to having DT Danny Shelton in camp after the Chiefs agreed to a contract with him this week. The 345-pound Shelton has yet to be added to the official roster. “I think we’ll get a lot out of him,” Reid said. “He’s a big guy. There will be plenty of him here.

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