Pat Mahomes Goes 1-on-1 With ESPN’s Jake Trotter
ESPN.com's Big 12 reporter Jake Trotter went 1-on-1 with Pat Mahomes last week to get some insight on the 2016 Texas Tech football season.
Mahomes and Trotter covered a multitude of topics. Here are some highlights from the conversation.
Trotter and Mahomes discussed how Pat can get better after leading the Big 12 in passing as a Sophomore. Mahomes has some things to work on. "I'm good at a lot of the risky, running around plays, but I have to make the easy ones easier," said Mahomes.
The Texas Tech QB is also aware that he needs to cut down his interceptions.
"One thing else I've got to work on is my interceptions," he said. "I threw 15 last year. That's more than I'd ever thrown in my life. It's something I've got to cut in half at least."
Mahomes also touched on how giving up baseball will help his fall.
"It's definitely going to help with my arm slot. Going from baseball to football it was hard to keep the same slot, because it's a different throw." Mahomes said. "...Having the full spring and the full year is going to really help that accuracy, I feel."
One thing else I've got to work on is my interceptions. I threw 15 last year. That's more than I'd ever thrown in my life. It's something I've got to cut in half at least.
This off-season is different in several ways. Not only is there less baseball for Pat Mahomes, there is also more working out with his teammates.
"(In the past) I'd usually just come up here and work by myself. Now this last semester, I've been getting everybody up here, every Saturday and throwing routes, doing some 7-on-7, doing some one-on-ones, making sure everybody is staying on top of their game and no one is being lazy and not getting better," he said.
This is great news for Texas Tech fans. Route repetition between Mahomes and his young/inexperienced receiving core will be huge this season. One of these receivers that has been enjoying route running with Mahomes all off-season will create a comfort level with Pat that will turn into a go to receiver next fall.
"We have a lot of great receivers, a lot of competition, and I think we'll be better across the board," Mahomes said. "We've got a lot of height now with (Dylan) Cantrell coming back (from a back injury). Reginald Davis had a good season last year. And then Derrick Willies, who came from JUCO, he's a taller guy who can also make plays."
Trotter also asked who would be the next Jakeem Grant. Mahomes answered: "On the inside, to replace Jakeem, Cameron Batson has taken many steps and De'Quan Bowman has also looked good."
Mahomes talked about two freshmen who have made an impact early this spring.
"One young guy that's really impressed me with how hard he's working is Terence Steele, an offensive tackle we have. He's a redshirt freshman, but I truly believe he can be a guy on the starting line that can make an impact."
Steele is penciled in as the starter at one of the tackle spots and it is his job to lose.
The second is true freshman QB Jett Duffey, who is picking up the offense fast.
"He can make a lot of throws you don't expect an incoming freshman to be making." Mahomes elaborated, "The confidence he has in himself to make those throws, that's something that has impressed me."
Mahomes was also highly complimentary of head coach/QB coach Kliff Kingsbury.
"He's so smart, he's really taken my game to the next level. He's a real cool guy, at the same time he'll get on you if you're messing up," said Mahomes. "He's the best quarterback coach in the country, in my opinion." That's some high praise.
Best moment at Texas Tech so far? "Winning at Texas. It was a great feeling."
Most impressive Big 12 returning player NOT from Texas Tech? "Samaje Perine, that guy is a monster."
Favorite uniform combo? "Gotta be the throwback ones. We're 2-0 in them."
Favorite local restaurant? "It would have to be Spanky's. The cheese sticks they have are pretty legendary." (Yes they are Pat, yes they are.)
Pat Mahomes is excited about Texas Tech football. That makes me excited about Texas Tech football.
I'm going to go eat a He-Man Woman Hater and some fried cheese now.