How a lucky chair, and some whispers, have helped KC Chiefs rookie earn Mahomes’ trust

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·3 min read
Tammy Ljungblad/tljungblad@kcstar.com
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Kansas City Chiefs rookie receiver Skyy Moore has a fortunate seat in the team’s film room: one directly behind quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

“Whenever I got a question, I just go tap him real quick. And he’s always able to whisper the answer to me or how he wants things done,” Moore said with a smile on Thursday. “So I try to stay close to him.”

Consider this the start of a quick-forming bond between quarterback and receiver.

Moore, one of the Chiefs’ second-round draft picks, has leaned upon Mahomes to speed up his football knowledge in an effort to be ready to play early this season.

Part of the challenge, he says, is figuring out the quarterback’s preferences on how he likes his receivers to run routes.

“At the end of the day, he’s got the keys to the car. Just tell me what you want me to do,” Moore said. “That’s how I look at that. He wants it done this way, I’m gonna do it that way.”

Early on, Moore has impressed Mahomes with his ability to think and process information.

“He asks me questions that you don’t expect rookies to ask,” Mahomes told The Star. “It’s just little things.”

Here’s an example: Mahomes says there are times when Moore will ask him if he can change a specific route if the defense is playing a certain way. Following through on those types of in-play adjustments has made Mahomes’ connections with Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill so strong in previous seasons.

“A lot of times rookies are just trying to figure out how can they get to the right spot as fast as possible, but he can recognize the coverage and ask if he has the freedom to do this, this and this,” Mahomes said of Moore. “Those are questions you want to hear from your receivers.”

Moore has been one of the Chiefs’ early camp standouts so far, bringing in another long catch from Mahomes during light drills Thursday.

And though he’s mainly tried to stay off social media during training camp, Moore admits he’s taken some glances.

“When I do look at my phone, I see what’s going on,” he said with a smile. “That I’m getting a lot of praise.”

He still knows there’s much work to do. Moore says comprehending the whole playbook will take some time, but he’s also making progress while beginning to see that each play usually has another play that builds off the previous one.

“It’s gonna be a process, because it is a complex offense,” Moore said. “But it’s starting to click.”

The Chiefs stand to benefit from Moore’s versatility.

On Thursday, for example, Moore motioned back on one play to the backfield, taking a carry while running to the left side. Coach Andy Reid commented earlier in camp that Moore’s strong legs made him resemble many running backs in the league.

Moore said Thursday he wasn’t opposed to getting handoffs or running jet sweeps.

“The faster you can get the ball, the faster you can make something happen with it,” Moore said. “So that’s what I like about those plays.”

Moore, who left practice earlier in the week with a hip injury, says he’s fully recovered after practicing the last two days. He injured it during a one-on-one rep when falling awkwardly to the turf.

“I’m cool now,” Moore said, “but it was just a minor tweak.”

That’s positive news for the Chiefs, who might be looking at a rookie receiver capable of being a significant contributor faster than expected.

With those quick Mahomes film chats working to speed up a vital step.

“Any time I’m on the same page as him, that’s enjoyment,” Moore said. “I feel like it’s definitely going to be beneficial for everybody.”