The Patrick Mahomes hype train hit top speed last week after the rookie's final preseason appearance. The first-round quarter back flashed his unvarnished talent, including uncorking a ridiculous 46-yard bomb on the run while getting drilled by a defender.
The Kansas City Chiefs' brass, however, continues to pump the breaks on the Mahomes hype. General manager Brett Veach noted Saturday that the rookie remains a work in progress and well behind Alex Smith in ability to run an offense.
"Coach made a statement a few days back, there's no gray area. Alex (Smith) is our quarterback," Veach said, via the team's official website. "Alex is so far advanced from the mental side of things in regards to his ability to read coverages, to shift to better plays and really play the chess game. He's so far ahead of what Pat (Mahomes) is.
"I don't think it's even close right now. But going back to Pat, the development he has made and the strides he has taken in those departments has exceeded our expectations to this point. So we're excited where we are and again the longer that Alex and Pat are together, the better we will be."
Smith opens the season as the starting quarterback after leading the Chiefs to the playoffs three of the past four seasons. The veteran signal-caller should remain under center as long as he's healthy and K.C. remains in the playoff hunt.
Smith owns the smarts and veteran savvy, but Mahomes' talent is undeniable. The rookie's arm and athleticism could eventually open a restricted Chiefs offense. While Kansas City hopes it doesn't have to play the rookie at all this season, at some point Mahomes will take over. Veach noted that the first-round pick is already making strides picking up Andy Reid's offense.
"Coach Reid demands a ton at that position, so I would say he's ahead of where we thought he would be given the fact that he didn't have a lot of calls, checks and IDs from the college game," Veach said. "We knew he was smart and we knew he would pick it up. But I would say he's ahead of where he is, but there's still obviously a lot for him to learn. But just like you guys, we're all excited. When the time comes, he'll be ready to rock and roll."
Whenever Mahomes is ready to rock and roll, perhaps the restrictor plate will finally come off the Chiefs' offense.