How Patrick Mahomes’ style has become an inspiration for young quarterbacks everywhere

How Patrick Mahomes' style has become an inspiration for young quarterbacks everywhere

Jeff Christensen, a former NFL quarterback and Patrick Mahomes’ throwing coach, has witnessed the transformative impact that Mahomes has had on the quarterback position. Christensen is the founder and head coach of Throw it Deep, a Texas-based quarterback and receiver academy. He has been working with Mahomes on form, function, and fun since Mahomes entered the NFL in 2017.

The Mahomes Effect is the wide acceptance by coaches and players at every level of quarterbacks playing the position like Mahomes: free, wild, and even crazy at times. Improvisation is now an accepted part of playing the position. If you can’t throw sidearm, throw no-look, or throw a wrench in the opposition’s plans with a split-second decision, you are not of this era.

“You don’t ever want to coach the maverick out of them,” Christensen said. Bryce Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner and former Alabama quarterback, agrees that Mahomes has changed how the game is played. “I think it’s getting a lot more common, a lot more acceptable, especially at a young age,” Young said.

The entire football mentality has changed to embrace what is called “off schedule” plays. That’s the hip, industry term these days. “On schedule” is taking a three-, five-, or seven-step drop while surveying the field before ripping a throw. Off schedule is entertaining and fun — there’s that word again — basically a football painting by abstractionist Jackson Pollack. Making it up as you go can be brilliant.

He has changed the way quarterbacks play

“I think it’s just being a football player, honestly,” said former Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker. “That comes from playing a lot of football, being creative. I remember going through the draft process, a couple of teams asking me, ‘How are you creative when you play football?’ I was thinking, ‘Creative?’ … [Sometimes] it comes down to playing backyard football.”

Florida’s Anthony Richardson, drafted No. 4 overall by the Indianapolis Colts, might have been last year’s best example in college. “Patrick Mahomes took away the traditional style of quarterback play,” Richardson said. “He kind of adds a backyard element to it. I feel like that’s what the game is about. You shouldn’t be robotic when you’re on the field.”

The Mahomes Effect has changed the way quarterbacks play the game, and kids are imitating him. “I feel like my whole life I’ve been kind of doing [what Mahomes has been doing],” South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler said.

“He’s falling on the ground throwing the ball,” Richardson said of watching Mahomes. “That’s backyard football.” The infusion of athleticism, creativity, and free thinking has moved backyard moves to the field of competition without losing much of the subtlety of the dance.


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