After months of waiting, we finally have football. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is set to play in the preseason opener and, according to the latest NFL rumors, is looking forward to working on in-game communication with his offensive line. In other news, Bill Belchick had some thoughts on Mac Jones’ first game of live action, while CJ Henderson is earning starting reps in Jacksonville.
NFL Rumors: Patrick Mahomes, Mac Jones, CJ Henderson
Patrick Mahomes Excited To Work With Revamped Offensive Line
The last time we saw Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, he was running for his life in the Super Bowl. Since then, Brett Veach and the front office have made massive moves to improve the blocking. The team started it off by signing Joe Thuney in free agency but also added Orlando Brown and a few depth pieces during the offseason.
The talent is definitely better, but Mahomes understands that it takes time for all these pieces to come together as one. While speaking to the media, Mahomes said that he hopes “the communication…with so many new guys especially on that offensive line” is one of the most important things to work through in the first preseason outing.
While Mahomes will play in the preseason opener, he probably won’t see the field for very long. Most starters hardly see the field during the first week of action, and it’s highly unlikely Andy Reid puts his franchise quarterback in too much danger. For what it’s worth, some teams aren’t even playing their starters at any point in the preseason. Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley, for instance, said that Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, and Keenan Allen won’t see a single snap of preseason action.
Bill Belichick on Mac Jones: Everybody Needs to Play Faster
Perhaps the biggest highlight of Thursday’s games was the NFL debut of quarterback Mac Jones. Jones, a first-round pick in the NFL Draft, didn’t start the game but saw the majority of the action. While he didn’t light the world on fire, he played a smart, safe game and kept the ball out of harms’ way.
While it was an encouraging debut, head coach Bill Belichick noted that the team as a whole needs to get better. “[J]ust in general, we need to play faster and react faster…certainly at the quarterback position, but every other position too”.
While it’s never a good idea to read too much into a Belichick press conference, it’s safe to say that Cam Newton is still the starter in New England. Jones’ heavy workload felt more like getting the young kid acclimated to life in the NFL. Overall, Jones completed 13 of his 19 passing attempts for 87 yards and 4.6 yards per attempt. However, he also had a great throw down the sideline that should have been a 34-yard touchdown.
Highest-graded rookies this preseason:
OT Dan Moore Jr., Steelers (82.1)
OT Sam Cosmi, Washington (81.8)
LB Buddy Johnson, Steelers (81.1)
QB Mac Jones, Patriots (79.5)
DI Isaiahh Loudermilk, Steelers (78.3) pic.twitter.com/CbYOjM7b8a
— PFF (@PFF) August 13, 2021
CJ Henderson Earning Starting Reps
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback CJ Henderson might be on the trading block, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a key piece for the defense. The former first-round pick is reportedly back to working on the first-team defense after battling COVID-19 and sitting out a scrimmage for personal reasons.
Saying that the team is doing “everything possible to help him get back on track”, assistant head coach Charlie Strong and head coach Urban Meyer say that the second-year pro is “fighting through some stuff” but “doing good” overall.
Henderson only played eight games as a rookie and battled through injury even when on the field. This uninspiring start, combined with the trade rumors, made it look like his time in Jacksonville was coming to a close. However, after a solid few workouts, perhaps Henderson has time to turn it around and become a crucial part of Jacksonville’s young core.
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