Mahomes will get chance to start 2nd half of opener
1st-round pick from Texas Tech is part of rotation at QB.
It’s only been a few years since Johnny Manziel was on a college football side- line, but he could be back sooner rather than later — this time, as a coach.
Manziel said at the International Football Betting Conference in Puerto Rico that he would consider coaching college football if his playing career is indeed over. The former Texas A&M star hasn’t played since the Cleveland Browns released him
It has been years since the Kansas City Chiefs gave their fans any reason to stick around after halftime of their preseason opener, when the starters and backups generally take a seat.
That will change Friday night.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid plans to give each of his quar- terbacks a full quarter against the San Francisco 49ers. That means Alex Smith will start and veteran backup Tyler Bray will get the second quarter, while first-round draft pick Patrick Mahomes II will start the second half.
It’s arguably the most anticipated preseason debut by a Chiefs rookie since 1983, which also was the last time Kansas City spent a first-round draft pick on a quarterback.
Asked what he wants to see out of his young signal caller, Reid replied: “I’d tell you this with everyone: execute. Obvi- ously the quarterbacks have a little more responsibility with all the calls and so on, but the main thing is to execute.”
Reid said most of the starters would play the first quar- ter alongside Smith, while the backups on the depth chart this week will have Bray under after the 2015 season amid a host of off-field problems.
“I’d do something involved with sports. I can’t get away from it,” Manziel said. “I’ve had to ask myself that a little bit as of late over the past year, but at the same time I’d want to be involved in sports in some way, whether it’s coaching, whether it’s doing something like that. So I think that’d be my route.”
Asked which level he’d like to coach, Manziel said, “Probably college.”
The 24-year-old coached at an Elite 11 quarterbacks center. So whatever the outcome for Mahomes is Friday night, it must be examined through the prism of work- ing with third-team players.
Likewise, it will almost certainly come against the sec- ond- and third-team 49ers defense.
That’s one reason Reid was reticent Tuesday following the Chiefs’ final open practice of the week to put too much stock in a single preseason game. He instead will lump the performances in a game setting along with what he’s seen out of practice and the meeting rooms, and begin deliberating with his coaching staff on what will ultimately comprise his 53-man roster.
With changes to the cut- down rules, he’ll also have camp in Miami in February.
The former Heisman Trophy winner also said he’s weighing his options with the Canadian Football League.
In two seasons with the Browns, Manziel posted a 57.8 percent completion per- centage to go with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He started eight games in those seasons, going 2-6. He played in seven other games for the Browns. three more games to examine.
“The first preseason game, everyone has an opportunity to play. After that, it’s not guar- anteed,” Reid said. “That kind of stuff has never changed. The thing you don’t want to do is give another team, if possi- ble, a good player. You want to make sure you do as thorough evaluation as you can.”
Several starters are also unlikely to play because of injuries, and at least one of them could force the Chiefs to make a roster move ahead of their preseason opener.
Reid indicated kicker Cairo Santos could be out while nurs- ing a groin injury.
Most of the other injury woes have occurred on defense.
Rookie lineman Tanoh Kpas- sagnon was the latest to go down with what Reid called shin splints. Defensive Bennie Logan has already been out with a knee injury, while second-year pro Chris Jones remains on the physically unable to perform list following offseason knee surgery.
Defensive tackle Roy Miller, signed last week, continues to work his way back from a torn Achilles tendon sustained last October. He ha s yet to practice.
In the secondary, star safety Eric Berry (heel) and cornerbacks De’Vante Bausby (ankle) and Jacoby Glenn (concussion) are out, as are linebackers Tamba Hali and Dadi Nicolas with knee injuries. looking forward to getting back on the field against an opponent.”
Foreman, a third-round pick from Texas City, figures he’ll have a lot of relatives and friends watching the nationally televised game on the NFL Network.
“I’m pretty sure everybody in Texas City (and) every fan of mine from UT,” he said. “Everybody wants to see me play and see the Texans play, so I want to give a good show.
“I want to make sure I’m good with all my assignments. The biggest thing I want to do is to protect the ball. I’m going to play hard and put everything I can on the film. Run hard and make some explosive plays for my team, and have fun with it.”
Foreman wants to soak up the atmosphere in Char- lotte and take advantage of his opportunity.
“I always do,” he said. “That’s one of my things. I’m going to go out there, look around and soak it in and compete as best I can.”
Foreman has worked hard in camp and has made remarkable progress since he reported for the offseason program. Against the Pan- thers, he wants to see how he measures up against NFL competition.
Foreman was asked what he hopes to learn about him- self at Carolina.
“I guess how good I am in the NFL, playing against NFL talent,” he said.
As a junior at Texas, Fore- man joined Ricky Williams as the only Longhorns to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. Now he’s caught in a traffic jam at running back, and preseason games are essential to earning playing time in the regular season.
“I’m learning the offense, learning how to be a pro,” he said. “I played in a shotgun offense in college, and getting back in the I-formation, I’m getting the feel of it again and getting comfortable with it.
“I think my game is starting to grow a little as far as me getting more comfort- able with the offense, getting my reps and playing faster.”
During the early part of camp, Foreman struggled in blitz pickup and catch- ing the ball. He’s improved in both areas, especially as a receiver. He didn’t have to do much blocking and catching for the Longhorns because he was so dominant as a runner.
“We work on it every day, and I’ve gotten a lot bet- ter,” he said. “I feel like my coaches know I’m growing and getting better. That’s the biggest thing: I never settle, and I want to get better every day.
“It feels great. I want them to be confident in me when I’m the field. I want them to know I’m going to work hard and give them everything I’ve got.”
Lamar Miller, the starting running back, has become a mentor to Foreman. Miller has been impressed with Foreman’s improvement. What stands out to Miller is how decisive Foreman is when he gets the ball. He sees a hole and takes off, with no wasted motion.
“It’s instinctive,” Foreman said of that knack, which all the best backs have. “I’m ver y appreciative of the praise I’ve gotten.
“Honestly, I watch film every day and try to find out where I made my mistakes and try to do better the next day. I listen to my coaches and watch players like Lamar and (Alfred) Blue and the other guys when they’re on the field, and I learn from them.
“I’m never going to stop working hard and learning.”
Notes: Coach Bill O’Brien disclosed what he expects from his three quarterbacks — Tom Savage, Deshaun Watson and Brandon Weeden — in the first preseason game.
“Tom’s go i ng to start the game,” O’Brien said. “Deshaun a nd Brandon will play.”
As for how much the quarterbacks will play, O’Brien said, “You have no ideahow the game’s going to play out. How long is this drive? How long is that drive? You have to play it by ear relative to how the game goes.”
Savage, who has taken every snap with the first team during training camp, needs all the repetitions he can get because he’s started only two games in his first three seasons.
“Good operation of the offense,” O’Brien said of what he wants to see. “Take care of the football. Getting in and out of the huddle quickly. From all threeof them, just a clean game, a clean operation. Everybody on the same page, and see if we can score some points.”
O’Brien said having Savage and Weeden has been good for Watson’s development.
“Absolutely,” he said. “When Deshaun has a question, (they) can help him, not just the coach. That’s what these guys do. Tom and Brandon have done a really good job with Deshaun of kind of giving him their own insight into the offense, which is good to see.”