NFL News: Andy Reid Credits Alex Smith's Mentorship For Patrick Mahomes' Rise

Alex Smith
Wikimedia | WikiPedant

Ernesto Cova

The Kansas City Chiefs didn't need to take a QB in the 2017 NFL Draft. They already had Alex Smith, who was a solid, albeit unimpressive option for their offense.

He was coming off one of the best seasons of his career, so it was kind of surprising to see them take Patrick Mahomes with the 10th overall pick. And, while most starting QBs would've taken offense to that, that wasn't the case with Smith.

Smith Was 'The Greatest Thing To Ever Happen To Pat'

Alex Smith
Shutterstock | 486

Andy Reid never asked Smith to mentor Mahomes. Nevertheless, the veteran QB took him under his wing despite knowing that he could take his spot one day:

“I told Alex, ‘Man go out and have the greatest year you’ve ever had and to you don’t have to teach Pat. We’re here to do that as coaches. You’re out there to go produce and win games and do the best you possibly can for your team.’ And so that’s the way we approached it with him,” Reid told The Kansas City Star. “Now Alex by nature, though, was the greatest thing that ever happened to Patrick Mahomes."

Smith Let Mahomes In

Patrick Mahomes
Wikimedia | Icodense99

Smith didn't think like Ryan Tannehill. He didn't see Mahomes as competition. He saw him as his successor and a guy who would lead the team to succeed:

“There are different ways to do this thing, whether you play the player right now or some behind a veteran player. Alex was perfect for that," Reid added. "Alex did let Patrick into his world without being forced on it or anything and he let Patrick in it."

Mahomes Patiently Waited

Patrick Mahomes
Wikimedia | WuTang94

Mahomes, on the other hand, didn't push things. He embraced his role, took a step back, and learned from the veteran until he had the opportunity to play:

"Patrick handled it the right way and didn’t step in the way of Alex and what he needed to produce and had respect for him. So it worked out perfect," Reid said. "I didn’t have to say a whole lot other than, ‘You go play and go win games, let’s go win a championship. and do the best you possibly can do at the quarterback position.’”

The Rest Is History

Patrick Mahomes
Giphy | Kansas City Chiefs

Fast-forward to today and Patrick Mahomes is one of the top-tier quarterbacks in the league, a Super Bowl champion, MVP, and a guy whose career is likely to end in the Hall of Fame.

Mahomes has already topped Smith but none of that would've been possible if it wasn't for his help. That's what you want from your veterans, that's what a true leader does.