Patrick Mahomes has already achieved more than most quarterbacks can dream up in just six seasons in the NFL. But even after his latest Super Bowl win, the Chiefs' star QB isn't showing any signs of contentment.
With Chiefs QBs and rookies reporting to training camp on Tuesday, Mahomes called upon his team to accelerate their degree as defending champions.
"I think the thing this year is how we can keep building?" Mahomes told reporters Tuesday from Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph. "Obviously, we won the Super Bowl last year and it was amazing, but we still have a lot of young guys, and we want to continue to get better and better. You look around the AFC, everyone has gotten better. So you want to continue to build and build and not be satisfied with what we did last year and see if we can take that next step."
The next step for Kansas City figures to be winning consecutive Super Bowl titles, a feat once tried already by Mahomes and Co. that ended in a blowout loss to Tom Brady's Buccaneers in 2020. Only seven franchises have ever won consecutive Super Bowl titles in NFL history, with Brady's Patriots being the last to do it nearly 19 years ago (Super Bowls XXXVIII, XXXIX); the Steelers did so twice (IX, X; XIII, XIV).
Mahomes' journey toward his second Super Bowl ring in 2022 featured a high ankle sprain he suffered during last season's AFC Championship Game versus Cincinnati. The 27-year-old wunderkind persevered through the injury, sprinting toward a game-clinching first down to help beat the Bengals late, and then again in Super Bowl LVII after aggravating his ankle before leading an epic second-half comeback.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP says the ankle "feels great" with training camp practices set to begin next week.
"I think even going into OTAs a little bit, I was still a little timid about running and cutting and doing stuff like that," Mahomes said of the ankle. "But when I got closer to that minicamp and that later OTA stage, I got the confidence back in my ankle. I'm sure I'm not gonna be running a lot right now, but we'll be testing it a lot, especially in these half-gassers. So, I'll make sure that it's ready to go, and I think I'm in a good spot with it."
Naturally, the rest of the AFC has done its due diligence to keep up with Kansas City's success. From perennial contenders like Buffalo and Cincinnati fortifying their rosters to the Jets going all in to bring aboard Aaron Rodgers and Baltimore revamping its offense for Lamar Jackson this offseason, the Chiefs are preparing for a gauntlet in 2023 and Mahomes is ready for the challenge.
One presenting Mahomes with new challenges during the throes of summer is none other than Andy Reid, who enters his 11th season as Chiefs head coach.
"He has a new way of challenging me, it seems like, every day," Mahomes said of Reid. "I always feel like I kinda have mastered the offense or I've kinda known what he's thinking at all times, and then he'll throw a curveball for me.
"He never lets you be satisfied with where you're at."
Mahomes is well aware of what's at stake in 2023 with the Chiefs on the precipice of becoming the NFL's latest bona fide dynasty. Having won two of the past four Super Bowls (appearing in three), some will say the Chiefs are already worthy of holding that distinction, but going back-to-back would shut down any counter to that argument.
"I'm always confident that we have a chance to get to the Super Bowl, but I understand it's a process, I understand it's not easy," he said. "I think we have a lot of motivated guys that … we want to continue to build this thing. We want to have a special group that kinda can carry out a legacy, and I think we have the right guys and now let's just go out there and do it."