The path to greatness for many young quarterbacks in the NFL commonly starts with excellent mentorship from a veteran.
The meteoric rise of Patrick Mahomes is very rare but was helped by the support of veteran quarterbacks providing helpful tips to succeed at the game’s top level.
Mahomes famously spent his rookie year as the backup to former Chiefs starter Alex Smith. He has consistently credited Smith for his teachings in the quarterback room and for helping to build the All-Pro player he is today.
After “The Match” concluded on June 1, TNT’s Ernie Johnson hosted a roundtable discussion featuring Mahomes, Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady. The chat revealed that the latter was influential in the growth process for Mahomes.
“I want to piggyback off that similar situation, obviously, with me and Alex (Smith), and I know the mentorship things kind of got brought up this offseason as well. I think he said the biggest thing the young guys gotta want to learn,” said Mahomes.
“I think it’s more on the young guy to learn from these guys it is than it is for them that be teaching us. I think just like when I was talking about Tom (Brady) talking to me, I think the biggest thing he said was ‘You’re doing it the right way.’
It wasn’t a saying thing about how I was playing in the game. It wasn’t about how I was in the pocket; the fundamentals. He just said, ‘Hey, you’re doing the right way. Just keep it up.’ And so that for me showed that the hard work that I’ve been putting in was the right thing. I need to keep doing it. Do more of it.”
Johnson followed up his question to only Mahomes, asking how he felt at that moment being pulled aside by Brady, who is a multiple-time champion.
“Yeah, it was a surreal feeling, obviously, because it’s him,” said Mahomes. “I watched him growing up and he didn’t win a Super Bowl since I can’t remember. Obviously, I’m down, and so I just lost and didn’t make it to the Super Bowl in my first year starting, so this was the end of what I thought was a chance to go out there and get a ring. But then to hear that, I think I— at first— I just kind of took it in. And then a couple of days later kind of hit me it was like, ‘Hey, you need to get back on your you did it the right way. Now you got to keep doing it.’”
Mahomes followed that crushing AFC Championship defeat with a Super Bowl victory the following season. Brady’s simple words of advice appear to have helped propel Mahomes’ mindset to winning the big games — until the two met on opposite sides of the gridiron.