Before Patrick Mahomes took over the starting quarterback job for the Kansas City Chiefs, he got to learn behind NFL veteran Alex Smith. Even though Mahomes spent his first season on the bench, Smith knew Mahomes wouldn’t stay there long.
“I knew when the Chiefs drafted Patrick Mahomes my time in Kansas City was running out,” Smith said on the Pat McAfee Show. “At that point anyway, I was on my thirteenth year, you’re not guaranteed anything … I knew I had that year to make the most of it.”
“I knew when the Chiefs drafted Patrick Mahomes my time in Kansas City was running out..
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 27, 2023
Smith also called Mahomes a “rare talent,” and complimented a couple of his underrated traits.
“Nobody talks about his work ethic, and he’s an immense competitor. He’s relentless.”
In his final season quarterbacking the Chiefs, Smith had the best year of his career. Smith set career-highs with 4,042 yards, 26 touchdowns and an average of eight yards per attempt. He also led the NFL with a league-lead 104.7 passer rating. The Chiefs went 10-6, but lost in the Wild Card round in Smith’s final game with Kansas City. After Mahomes replaced him, Smith went on to play for the Washington Football Team, where a severe leg injury virtually ended his career.
Since Mahomes took the starting gig from Smith, he hasn’t looked back. He lit up the NFL in his first season as a starter, posting over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns. He is widely considered the best quarterback in the league, and is already a 2x NFL MVP and 2x Super Bowl champion in just his seventh season.