AVENTURA, Fla. – The conclusion of what Patrick Mahomes’ fact is like took place belatedly to Austin Reiter.
“It is more or less humorous, I feel what numerous guys at the workforce do not notice is how a lot of a star he’s,” Reiter, the beginning heart for the Kansas Town Chiefs, informed USA TODAY Sports activities.
“I requested him just lately, ‘Hiya, you noticed this film but?’ He is like, ‘Nah, I will be able to’t. I gotta look ahead to it to return out (for house viewing).’ That used to be when it hit me: The man can not move to the film theater – even with a hoodie to cover his hair.”
Maximum American sports activities fanatics acknowledge Mahomes, the NFL’s 2018 MVP, as a celebrity.
In addition they determine him with that signature ‘frohawk, his unique voice and an arm that may have extra juice than that of another quarterback within the league.
However teammates discuss him with a definite reverence as a result of, to them, he is a regular, relatable, hard-working man.
“He is only a truly humorous, cool dude. Truthfully, like laid-back. I believe like other folks be expecting to listen to numerous various things about him, however he is truly simply sit back,” stated defensive finish Tanoh Kpassagnon.
“One of the vital guys needless to say.”
Possibly that are supposed to had been obtrusive at Mahomes’ pre-Tremendous Bowl press convention Wednesday morning, when he wore a dismal pullover and basketball shorts emblazoned with the Coca-Cola brand. No longer precisely Versace and UGGs.
It appears it is at all times been that approach, ever since he joined the Chiefs out of Texas Tech because the No. 10 total select of the 2017 draft.
“He hasn’t modified in any respect,” stated veteran punter Dustin Colquitt. “The wild factor is he is nonetheless the similar child seeking to get at the box, seeking to make an influence with Trainer Andy Reid.
“He maintains that stage head. Nonetheless approachable, nonetheless offers everyone the time of day, nonetheless solutions each and every query. He does not get annoyed, simply relishes his alternatives within the limelight and respects everyone that he is available in touch with.”
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It probably helps that Mahomes grew up around pro sports, his father Pat Mahomes Sr. a veteran of 11 Major League Baseball seasons. The younger Mahomes often talks about being a kid in the clubhouse and shagging pregame fly balls at the Mets’ old Shea Stadium.
But his parents also centered him.
“The best advice my dad and mom always gave me was just to be the best you you can be, and that was in everything – sports or class or whatever it was,” said Mahomes, 24.
“Be the best person you can be.”
It’s evidently worked, because Chiefs players routinely land on terms like “humble,” “hard-working,” “down to earth” and “leader” when describing him. To a man, they say Mahomes hasn’t changed one iota since replacing accomplished predecessor Alex Smith in 2018 after essentially redshirting his rookie year while watching Smith lead the club to an AFC West crown.
Reid said the ability to rally older men was just as important a consideration in moving up to draft Mahomes as was the quarterback’s golden right arm.
The decision has panned out beautifully, the Chiefs needing only to beat the 49ers on Sunday to earn their first championship in 50 years. Along the way, Mahomes has won 27 of his 35 professional starts, including playoffs, dialing up 76 TD passes over the past two seasons.
Reiter, now with this third NFL team, also marvels at the mental aspects of Mahomes’ success.
“I think his grasp of the game – the way he sees protections, the way he sees routes and defenses – just blows my mind given how young he is,” he said.
“It’s crazy to see how much knowledge he has of the game.”
There is a fun-loving streak, too. Backup quarterback Chad Henne said Mahomes is “definitely humorous, he’s not strait-laced – good ol’ boy from Texas.”
Kpassagnon recalled the superstar propping water bottles atop doors left ajar in training camp, dousing unsuspecting players and staffers that opened them during the dog days of August.
But it’s the humility that primarily seems to resonate in the locker room, especially from a player who’s joined Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Kurt Warner as the only ones to win league MVP and advance to the Super Bowl in their first three seasons.
“Just a regular guy – who just happens to be the best in the world at what he does,” said left tackle Eric Fisher.
“He’s just so normal … even though he can’t go out to dinner anymore.”
Not that Mahomes seems to mind the celebrity, noting Wednesday that he wants to play his entire career in Kansas City.
“I think I ended up in the perfect place,” he said.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis