Mahomes, Valdes-Scantling building chemistry in Kansas City

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Kansas City wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who joined the Chiefs in free agency this offseason following four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, is already hitting his stride with his new team.

“It’s fun. Get out there — new team, new environment, new players, new coaching staff. (I’m) just embracing the opportunity, going out and putting my best foot forward,” he said following Thursday’s OTAs.

Through the eyes of the the media over the past three weeks, Valdes-Scantling has reportedly been observed to be a favorite target of quarterback Patrick Mahomes and one of the most heavily targeted players in practice.

“I’m just open,” he offered as the reason why. “Just get open and Pat will find you. He’s the best in the business at doing that — finding open guys and giving them chances. That’s just kind of what it’s been.”

Valdes-Scantling has also been seen regularly talking with Mahomes — who previously said the Chiefs’ offense will involve “everybody” this season — and quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy during OTAs. The 27-year-old receiver revealed that communication is a big part of his unique approach to the game.

“We kind of just always talk. … Talk about things that they see — and how they see it,” he said. “Obviously you want to be on the same page as your quarterback. Being able to think how he thinks and hear how he thinks with him and his quarterback coach. So go over there and (ask), ‘Hey, why did you guys do this?’ Those things are super important, so we can always be on the same page.”

Valdes-Scantling was also observed catching a no-look pass from Mahomes in practice, and he explained that playing four seasons with QB Aaron Rodgers helped prepare him for Mahomes’ signature move.

“I had the first quarterback that did it,” he said. “You always kind of [have to] be aware that the ball could come to you at any given time. Playing with Aaron for four years, he did it a lot. I think one of the first passes he threw me at training camp was a no-look pass. So I’m accustomed to it. … Pat’s gifted like that where he can do those kinds of things. I’m just excited to have another quarterback that’s that talented.

“[Mahomes and Rodgers] are the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. I’m just super excited to have had the two best quarterbacks throw me the football. I guess I’m living right to have that.”

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid also spoke highly about Valdes-Scantling’s impact since arriving in K.C.

“He’s a big kid, but he’s got real good flexibility [and] hips. He can change direction, and he’s got that speed — which I think we all knew. He’s able to work some of the primary underneath routes that maybe he didn’t do as much in Green Bay. … Very smart kid. He’s done a nice job for us.”

M.V.S. comes to K.C. with 123 receptions, 2,153 yards and 13 TDs under his belt since joining the league in 2018. He was tied for the highest yards per reception average (18.4) from 2019 to 2021, and led the league in receiving yards per reception (20.9) in 2020. What’s more, he has caught at least one 70-plus yard pass in each of the last three seasons, a flashy stat that goes right along with the Chiefs’ style of play.

In addition to Valdes-Scantling, the Chiefs also recently signed veteran free agent JuJu Smith-Schuster and undrafted free agent Justyn Ross, and drafted Skyy Moore in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.


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