In the digital age, nothing escapes the reach of social media. Do or say some ridiculous and you’ll wind up trending for all the wrong reasons.
That occurred on July 25 when an absurd assessment of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes II was exposed and sent out for all the world to see. It all began with The Athletic’s annual survey ranking NFL QBs.
Senior writer Mike Sando put together the accompanying article but the hot take was from a “veteran defensive play caller.” Fortunately for this coach’s reputation, he remained unnamed within the write-up but his words became infamous in no time.
ALL the latest Chiefs news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Chiefs newsletter here!
Coach Gets Trolled After Sounding off on Mahomes
The Chiefs superstar finished second in this aggregate survey behind Green Bay Packers four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers, but Sando noted that he would have tied the NFC rival for the top spot if not for one “contrarian voter” that labeled him a Tier 2 quarterback. That was the aforementioned defensive play caller and his reasoning read as follows:
We love Mahomes because of his unorthodox throws, not because of his natural pocket presence. And when that disappears, that is when they lose games. I don’t think that is a [Tier] 1 [QB]. I think that is a [Tier] 2 [QB]. Nothing against the guy. I love the kid. But take his first read away and what does he do? He runs, he scrambles and he plays streetball.
Analytics expert Warren Sharp quickly tweeted out the excerpt, joking that “Mahomes is a one-read QB,” and “could never cut it in this league.”
There were over 300 retweets and quote tweets combined including one from Chiefs postgame radio host Joshua Brisco who stated aptly: “This was a bad take in 2018. Imagine saying it in 2022.”
Sharp’s original tweet also had over 1,100 likes and helped allow these comments to make the rounds on the internet as others shared in a domino fashion. Before long, this coach’s quote had gone viral, and Chiefs Kingdom can only hope that it made its way to Mahomes himself.
Bulletin board material is never a bad thing at the start of a new season.
Follow the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest KC-related daily content, analysis, features and more!
Survey Results & Compliments
The way this survey works, The Athletic asks 50 NFL coaches and executives to vote on the talent tier of each quarterback (1-5). This group of experts was made up of “six general managers, eight head coaches, 10 evaluators, 12 coordinators, six quarterback coaches and seven execs whose specialties include analytics, game management and the salary cap,” plus one four-person ballot from one team’s “personnel department.”
Those 50 votes are then averaged together for an overall score. No one put Rodgers in Tier 2 or lower, giving him a perfect score of 1.0. Mahomes was just behind him at 1.02 and Sando made it a point to note that Mahomes “has commanded 149 Tier 1 votes, with just this single vote in Tier 2” over the past three seasons.
Obviously, the Chiefs signal-caller received more praise than criticism and below were some of the compliments he received from the NFL voters.
“This guy, he’s box office,” a quarterbacks coach said. “I mean, anybody would pay to watch Aaron Rodgers and him play. If you had the worst seat in the house, you would still go watch Patrick Mahomes play.”
“It’s like they play NBA iso-ball and just try to get enough space for a matchup on [Travis] Kelce or a matchup on Tyreek [Hill],” said a different defensive play caller. “If Mahomes has a quote-unquote flaw, I do not think he is the greatest at diagnosing, but he is so extremely talented with his arm, his release, and the way that they run their offense.”
One final offensive coach predicted that Mahomes “will complete so many balls this year” now that he’s not focused on Hill and going long.
Tom Brady was next behind Mahomes at an average of 1.16, with AFC rivals Josh Allen and Justin Herbert rounding out the top five. Joe Burrow was the sixth and final NFL quarterback in Tier 1.