The Chiefs had their final practice of the week Thursday morning at Missouri Western as they prepare for their first preseason game of the year Saturday night against the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium.
Saturday will be the first time this season the Chiefs will match up against someone other than themselves, something quarterback Patrick Mahomes II is looking forward to.
“It’s always awesome to go against a different opponent,” Mahomes said. “When you’re here playing against our defense the whole time, of course it’s a lot of fun, but whenever you get to go play someone else, you get to fully go and it’s live the whole time. You get to see how guys play under the lights. I’m glad we get to play at Arrowhead, so guys get to feel what it’s like to play at home and go out there and excel on our field.”
With so many players trying to grab a roster spot, playing time is always a concern. Head Coach Andy Reid divvied up playing time among the four quarterbacks.
Mahomes and the ones get the first quarter, Chad Henne and the twos get the second, Kyle Shurmur will play in the third, followed by Chase Litton in the fourth.
“Everybody will play in the game,” Reid said. “The main thing is that we get some of the young guys some playing time and you normally cut down the game plan for this. Just take some of the simpler plays, the easier plays that you’ve run during camp, and let them go out and play. That’s what we are going to do.”
Reid is excited to get a look at his players at game speed. Expectations for the Chiefs are high this year, making every roster spot count.
“We have some young guys that are trying to make their mark with us. So, there’s competition there at a few positions,” Reid said. “That part of the preseason I enjoy, giving young guys the opportunity to play and to show (what they can do). Sometimes guys look better in games than they do in practice, and some guys look better in practice than they do games. Inevitably it’s got to be how you play in the game. I think it’s healthy to take a look at them and give these young guys an opportunity.”
The play calling may be simplistic, and the starters’ time may be short, but that does not change Mahomes’ mindset while he on the field.
“It’s a simplified game plan, of course. We are going to run what we run,” Mahomes said. “My goal is to go out there and have a successful time out there and keep playing and try to score as much as I can.”