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By: Ron Kopp
It has been said that the Chiefs’ star players have telepathic communication, but that also includes the head coach.
When the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense is on the field, there’s an obvious task for the opponent: stop quarterback Patrick Mahomes from completing a pass to tight end Travis Kelce. Every defense knows it, and very few of them actually do it.
The unstoppable nature of the duo has made some speculate that Mahomes and Kelce have a telepathic connection. While there is no proof the two can read each other’s minds, it appears that way because they have spent so much time together.
“There has been a lot of work that has gone in,” Travis Kelce described of the relationship, speaking to the press on Thursday. “There are some things that don’t need to be said, but at the same time, there are little bits of communication that can assure you, make sure that we’re both on the same page… I’ve been fortunate enough to grow with him.”
“We think along the same wavelengths,” Patrick Mahomes said later in the same press conference. “There might be something that we haven’t talked about that he does, and I just know he’s going to do it. It comes with a lot of reps, a lot of time hanging out and learning about football.”
The 2023 season is the seventh year for Mahomes, the 11th for Kelce, and the 25th as a head coach for the Chiefs’ Andy Reid. He played a huge part in this relationship between quarterback and tight end, becoming one of the best connections in NFL history.
He developed their talent into All-Pro players, but he is also part of the mind meld that tortures opposing defenses. Mahomes can anticipate where Kelce is going to go, but he can also predict what Reid is going to call.
“Being with Coach Reid for so long now,” Mahomes began. “I have a good feel for the game plan, good feel for how he calls plays. A lot of the times, he’ll call the play that I want him to call before I even get it in, having a good feel for what he’s thinking.”
It goes further than anticipating the called play. The Chiefs’ signal caller also feels strongly that he knows how coach Reid wants him to attack a given play.
“When he calls a play, I know what he’s thinking and kind of who he thinks the ball should be going to,” Mahomes reflected. “It might be different in practice, it might be different than what we’ve worked on throughout the year, but based off how the defense is playing and the play that he calls, I have a good understanding of what he’s thinking and who he thinks the ball is going to.”
The trio’s collective thinking also extends to leadership. All three are prominent leaders of the team. Reid’s stability is what stands out to Kelce, admiring the ‘constant incline’ the organization has been on since 2013, the first year in Kansas City for both parties.
Kelce also admired his quarterback’s ability to lead from the front, describing how Mahomes can get everyone to focus in, or raise his teammates’ energy level when needed.
Sometimes, though, Mahomes needs to delegate some of that leadership, and that’s where Kelce comes in. CBS reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala asked Kelce about the ‘good cop, bad cop’ mode he and Mahomes go into when Chiefs’ pass catchers need to hear it.
“I’ll play bad cop,” Kelce admitted. “It’s alright, I give the same energy to myself when I drop a pass or I screw up on a route.”
The strategy must have worked because the same Chiefs’ offense that struggled with drops and penalties all season has turned it around to make it to Super Bowl LVIII.
The entire unit improved, but Mahomes, Kelce, and Reid have all risen to another level of performance this postseason. When the Chiefs’ future Hall of Fame trio is working off each other this well, it can feel nearly impossible to stop.
Originally posted on Arrowhead Pride