You can't fault Tyreek Hill for telling his truth, and this one is a doozy, but one he can laugh about -- given the situation. Hot off of a dismantling of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary that saw Patrick Mahomes connect with Hill for a monstrous 205 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter alone, the four-time Pro Bowl wideout was all smiles as the Kansas City Chiefs move to 10-1 on the season. Once again, the team is dominating the NFL as a whole and in large part due to the continued elite play of Mahomes, the reigning Super Bowl MVP taking matters into his own hands in Week 12 to keep Tom Brady from adding a notch to his list of career fourth-quarter comebacks.
Mahomes has been an absolute dynamo since taking the reins as the full-time starter in Year 2, forced to sit and learn behind Alex Smith as a rookie 10th-overall pick. And as he sat, learning and trying to polish himself to be Andy Reid's next starting quarterback, Hill confesses he didn't see what all the hoopla was about in Mahomes' first training camp -- the former Texas Tech star seemingly not up to snuff at the time, in Hill's opinion.
"I thought he was trash," Hill said, via Showtime's 'Inside the NFL'. "I ain't gonna cap. I ain't even gonna cap, man. When he first got there I was like, 'This is who y'all drafted right here? This is who y'all drafted?'
"Hey, but look, he proved me into a whole complete -- I don't know. That second year, his quarterback mechanics were different. It was like he was spending more time with his QB coach, spending more time with Coach Reid, like learning the offense. Dude was like different."
Different is an understatement. Speaking directly to his alien arm talent that features baseball elements for added potency, Mahomes wrecked the league in his second year to the tune of a league-best 5,097 passing yards and 50 touchdowns. He'd also complete 66 percent of his passes en route to a passer rating of 113.8, and added another 573 passing yards and three passing touchdowns in two playoff games before seeing his Super Bowl hopes dashed that year by an overtime loss at the hands of Brady and future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Still, Mahomes won league MVP honors that year and took the next step in Year 3, delivering the first Super Bowl win to Kansas City in five decades and landing SB MVP honors in the process, then going on to sign a historic 10-year, $503 million contract extension in April 2020.
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And while Hill wasn't sold in Year 1, tight end Travis Kelce certainly was. When asked in 2017 what he thought of the Chiefs first-round pick, the future Hall of Famer broke left from Hill.
"[W]hat Mahomes does in practice is just unbelievable," Kelce told PFT Live in October of Mahomes' rookie year. "I mean what kind of behind-the-scenes stuff that you guys haven't seen on Sundays is Mahomes is getting better, getting more fluent, getting more comfortable just being a professional athlete and understanding the scheme and the timing, how long the seasons are -- stuff like that. He's gauging all this stuff and I think when he gets on the field eventually knowing that he is going to get the keys to the car eventually, everyone knows that, and when he does I can't wait to see just how good he is."
Spoiler: With only three years as a starter under his belt, he's already one of the best to ever play.