Patrick Mahomes, Alex Smith showed how to deal with the QB transition

NFL Fans have seen this scenario play out many times throughout the league: the team has an established quarterback that progresses over the years, and that team spends early selection in the draft on the young caller.

It happened in Green Bay in 2005, when the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers in the first round when they already had future Hall of Fame member Brett Favre under the center.

This was repeated, nine years later, when the New England Patriots selected Jimmy Garoppol in the second round. Garoppol’s job was to come, learn the system, and serve as a backup to the biggest QB in NFL history, Tom Brady.

So when the Tennessee Titans made a decision to draft Malik Willis this April, of course, questions began to revolve around Ryan Tannehill’s Tennessee QB and what that meant for his future with the organization.

How Ryan Tannehill was supposed to answer the mentoring question

How Ryan Tannehill was supposed to answer the mentoring question

Mark Sanchez joins Colin Cowherd to discuss Ryan Tannehill’s comments on the mentorship of rookie Malik Willis. Sanchez shares how Tannehill should have answered the “funny” question.

When asked by Tannehill if he felt obligated to mentor the young caller from Liberty, he had the following to say:

“We’re competing against each other,” Tannehill said. “I don’t think it’s my job to mentor him, but if he’s learning from me along the way, then that’s a great thing.”

Tannnehill’s response led to some frowning eyebrows across the NFL landscape, as many argued it was a sharp response from a veteran player who did not achieve the same career success as someone like Favre or Brady.

A more recent example of a team drawing a young quarterback when a signal caller had already been established was in Kansas City. It was just five years ago when the Chiefs elected Patrick Mahomes by the 10th election. It happened one season after Alex Smith led KC to an impressive 12-4 in the regular season and the AFC West title.

According to Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, the staff immediately made it clear that Smith’s job was not to prepare Mahomes to be the team’s future starter at the center.

“I told Alex to go out and spend the best year you’ve ever had,” said Reid, who joined Colin Cowherd on The Herd show on Friday. “We told him, ‘You don’t have to teach Pat. We’re here to do that as coaches. You’re here to produce and win games.’

Andy Reid speaks dynamically to Patrick Mahomes-Alex Smith

Andy Reid speaks dynamically to Patrick Mahomes-Alex Smith

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid joins Colin Cowherd to discuss the move from Alex Smith to Patrick Mahomes, including the process of his launch after a solid streak of veteran QB.

That’s exactly what Smith did the following year, leading the Chiefs to a record in the 10-6 regular season and a place in the postseason, all while enjoying a year of career. Smith ended the 2017 campaign with 4,042 yards of passes and 26 touchdowns, both career highs, and was named his third Pro Bowl.

Meanwhile, Mahomes sat behind Smith, learned to attack and continued to take on the starting role the following season when Smith was changed to Washington.

“Alex, by nature, was the biggest thing that happened to Pat [Mahomes]”Reid said.” Alex let Pat into his world and Pat solved it the right way.

“He didn’t stand in the way of what he was supposed to do. He had respect for him and it turned out perfectly.”

Mahomes would continue to enjoy the MVP of the 2018 season and then continue to lead the Chiefs to victory in next year’s Super Bowl.

Reid praised both Smith and Mahomes in how they handled the situation and said their relationship played a big part in the team’s ultimate success.

“There are many different ways to do that, whether you’re playing a new guy now or sitting behind a veteran,” Reid said. “Alex [Smith] was perfect for it. ”


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