Kansas City Chiefs’ Marquez Valdes-Scantling gets off to a great start with Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs Blog
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling said leaving the Green Bay Packers in free agency was tough because it meant losing Aaron Rodgers as a quarterback. However, he had no trouble joining the Kansas City Chiefs to play with Patrick Mahomes.
“Me and Aaron have a great relationship and it was really difficult to leave because I still had this opportunity on the table to play the rest of his career with him,” Valdes-Scantling said. “I walked away from that opportunity and came across one with a very similar quarterback in terms of talent. They’ve both won MVPs. They’ve both won the Super Bowl. …Having that opportunity to build anything long term with Pat is going to be life changing.”
It’s still early days, with the Chiefs not starting training camp until later this month, but Valdes-Scantling’s relationship with Mahomes is off to a good start. Mahomes went to Valdes-Scantling frequently during off-season training, resulting in lots of catches and a few big plays.
“He did a great job learning the offense very quickly and making plays when his number was called,” Mahomes said. “We had a few guys that were a little stoned and he had a lot of reps and made a lot of plays. When you do that, even when all the other guys come back, you have this confidence that he can make those plays.
“You saw a few plays on the sideline where he was one-on-one and I just threw him out and let him make a play and he did it.”
Valdes-Scantling was a deep threat to Rodgers and the Packers. He averaged 17.5 yards per catch in his four seasons with Green Bay and led the league in that category in 2020 with nearly 21 yards per reception.
The Chiefs appreciate this aspect of Valdes-Scantling’s game, especially after trading a deep threat to Tyreek Hill. But they see more ways he can help chefs.
“Marquez can do a lot of different things,” coach Andy Reid said. “He’s got good start and stop abilities. He’s a big target. He can run your oblique plays. He can run your deep throws. He can run the middle lanes. He’s got a good feel in space , so it gives us some flexibility in there.
“He’s able to work some of the major underground routes. He may not have done as much in Green Bay because of who they had there, so I was happy with how he did there. take.”
Valdes-Scantling, who at 27 signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Chiefs in March, agrees he can grow beyond the player he was with the Packers.
“I’m not necessarily saying I was limited to Green Bay, but we had specific roles,” he said. “When I was there we were a pretty good attack during my four years, so it worked and we won a lot of football games. So you can’t really complain. We were winning.
“I’ve been a deep threat over the four years of my career. Obviously those stats speak for themselves. But I don’t limit myself to that. Coach Reid is doing a really good job of giving the ball to his playmakers.”
Among his off-season practice catches was a no-look throw from Mahomes. It wasn’t the first no-look pass he’d caught. His former quarterback also sometimes won him the ball this way.
“Playing with Aaron for four years, he did a lot. I think one of my first passes he threw at me in training camp was a no-look pass. I’m used to it. They “have eyes in the back of their head. They can throw the ball any way they want: behind the head, whatever. Pat’s good at that. He can do that kind of stuff.”
“If you’re open, Pat will find you. He’s the best in the business at doing that, finding open guys and giving them chances.”