There are several teams whose starting quarterbacks will remain on the sidelines during the preseason.
Even though they have arguably the best player in pro football, the Chiefs are not one of them.
Head coach Andy Reid said Mahomes and the rest of the starters will be on the field for about a quarter in Saturday night’s matchup with the 49ers. Part of the reason Kansas City can use some time on task against a live opponent is that the team is integrating an entirely new offensive line.
Per Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star, the Chiefs have been working with Orlando Brown at left tackle, Joe Thuney at left guard, Creed Humphrey at center, Trey Smith at right guard, and Lucas Niang at right tackle.
None of Humphrey, Smith, and Niang have ever played an NFL game. The first two are rookies and Niang is effectively one after opting out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chiefs traded for Brown and signed Thuney in free agency.
So what would Mahomes like to see in the team’s first outing?
“I think just going out there and executing, in and out of the huddle, making the right calls, getting the ball out of my hands, making some plays happen,” Mahomes said in his Thursday press conference. “You always like to score, but at the end of the day I think if the communication, the procedures in and out of the huddle with so many new guys especially on that offensive line, I think that would be a win for me just throughout this first game.”
That and keeping everybody healthy. It’s highly unlikely that Reid would put Mahomes in any kind of high-risk situation, but it would be a real shame if the quarterback suffered an injury in the first quarter of a game that doesn’t count in mid-August.