Obviously I want to ask about Patrick Mahomes, but first I’m curious what draft weekend is like for you?
I’m always excited for our players. I’m always texting our operations guys saying, “Hey, what’s it looking like? Who is going where? What are our free agent deals?” It’s all a culmination of a lot of years of hard work and preparation. When you get to that point as a player, you’ve done a lot of things right, so I’m always proud of those guys who are able to reach that goal.
How interested did the Chiefs seem throughout the entire process?
I knew that the Chiefs were very interested early on in the season. One of my good friends, Mike Smith, coaches there and so I had a feel for their liking of Pat. Even through the process, I knew they were very high on him and I was hoping, knowing the kind of great quarterback coach that Andy Reid is, that Pat would get a chance to work with him and a great organization like the Chiefs and behind a great quarterback like Alex Smith where he could maybe learn for a year or two and get comfortable in a system.
It all worked out perfectly. I told Pat, “It’s the start of the line for you.” Now it’s about him going and handling business. But yeah, to see the Chiefs make a move like they did, to get their guy that they’d targeted a long time ago in the process, that says a lot.
It wasn’t only the Chiefs. You have the Saints and Giants and others admitting they were interested as well. That has to feel good, but is it hard to keep a player focused on what’s in front of him versus his pro dreams?
We knew what he was capable of. We’d addressed it before the season and said, “Hey, if you play at the level that we know you can play, you’re going to have a decision to make after this year.” That was our goal and he obviously played well enough through a bunch of injuries. You know, his talent is through the roof. It’s very rewarding to see quarterback guys like Ben McAdoo, Sean Payton, Andy Reid and even Jon Gruden who said on his show that he’d take him first. You have the talking heads who have Pat ranked where they had him ranked, but the guys who have developed Pro Bowl or Hall of Fame quarterbacks saying, “This is the guy”… I know that meant a lot to me and a lot to Patrick.