Gru­den praises Chiefs’ Ma­homes for skill set

The Modesto Bee (Sunday) - - Sports - BY JOSH DUBOW

Jon Gru­den knows he some­times went over the top in his praise of quar­ter­backs in his old job as an an­a­lyst at ESPN.

It seemed like any time a quar­ter­back went to “Gru­den’s QB Camp” or was picked in the draft, Gru­den was al­ways full of com­pli­ments. The praise for Kansas City’s sec­ondyear star Patrick Ma­homes is on an even dif­fer­ent level.

“His over­all skill set is sick­en­ing. It re­ally is,” Gru­den said. “He’s dou­ble-jointed. He can throw the ball from any plat­form pos­si­ble. Run­ning to his left, fad­ing back­ward. He can get out of trou­ble. I com­pli­ment every­body, I’ve been ac­cused of that, but this guy has off-thechart arm tal­ent. Skill level is un­be­liev­able.

“He has a play­ing style that re­minds me of (Brett) Favre. He’s a young Favre. I think that’s why Andy Reid went and got him. He won’t quit on any play. He makes a lot of plays when there’s noth­ing there. I don’t have time to talk about him any­more.”

Gru­den now must de­vise a plan to slow Ma­homes when his Oak­land Raiders (2-9) host the Chiefs (9-2) on Sun­day in what ap­pears to be a ma­jor mis­match.

Led by Ma­homes’ 37 touch­down passes — the third most ever through 11 games — the Chiefs have been a nearly un­stop­pable force on of­fense. Coach Andy Reid’s squad ranks sec­ond in the NFL with 404 points and is on pace to be­come the first team since at least 1960 to av­er­age more than 7.0 yards per play.

But ev­ery­thing hasn’t been per­fect for Ma­homes, who com­mit­ted five turnovers in Kansas City’s last game, a 54-51 loss to the Rams on Nov. 19.

“Ev­ery ex­pe­ri­ence, bad or good, you have to learn from,” Ma­homes said. “You take the pos­i­tives. We had a lot of suc­cess­ful plays and suc­cess­ful things hap­pen in that game, but you have to find ways to win them in the end.” Chiefs cut Hunt: The Chiefs re­leased run­ning back Ka­reem Hunt on Fri­day night af­ter video sur­faced that showed the NFL’s reign­ing rush­ing cham­pion knock­ing over and kick­ing a woman in a Cleve­land ho­tel hall­way in Fe­bru­ary.

The team is­sued a state­ment shortly af­ter the NFL had placed Hunt on its Com­mis­sioner Ex­emp­tion List that said the run­ning back lied when asked about the in­ci­dent by team of­fi­cials. The team said “the video to­day con­firms that fact. We are re­leas­ing Ka­reem im­me­di­ately.”

Hunt was at the Chiefs’ fa­cil­ity Fri­day in prepa­ra­tion for Sun­day’s trip to Oak­land, but he was ex­cused and sent home shortly af­ter TMZ posted the video on­line. It shows Hunt be­ing re­strained sev­eral times by friends be­fore push­ing a woman to the ground, where he pro­ceeds to kick her. EB’s back, maybe: Chiefs safety Eric Berry re­turned to the prac­tice field this week for the first time since the early weeks of train­ing camp, when he be­came side­lined by a heel in­jury. But con­sid­er­ing Berry has not played at all since Au­gust, it is un­likely he will be avail­able for Kansas City’s trip to Oak­land.

“It’s a great thing to see him back healthy,” Reid said. “This is killing him to watch. He loves to play. It tears him up not to be out there, but at the same time we have to do it smart.”

Fast start, slow fin­ish: One thing the Raiders have done well this year is start games fast. Their 34 points on the open­ing drive rank fifth best in the NFL this season. What’s hap­pened af­ter that has been the prob­lem. Oak­land has the third-worst of­fense the rest of the game, av­er­ag­ing just 1.32 points per drive af­ter that.

Streak­ing Jones: Chiefs de­fen­sive tackle Chris Jones was the AFC’s de­fen­sive player of the month, an­other line to a re­sume that could land him a big con­tract ex­ten­sion this off­sea­son. Jones has nine sacks this season, in­clud­ing at least one each of the past seven weeks.

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