Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes isn’t thrilled with the recent shift in the NFL allowing defensive players to choose their jersey numbers.
In the past, the league underwent changes that permitted defensive players to opt for different numbers, leading to a surge in linebackers and defensive backs donning single-digit jerseys.
Mahomes, however, finds this trend less than favorable.
#Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes says the new rule allowing defensive player to wear any jersey number they want makes it harder for him to read a defense.— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 14, 2023
A couple of years ago, the NFL decided to allow players to wear single-digit numbers, and Mahomes said it makes it harder for him… https://t.co/LlOMaruV5i pic.twitter.com/5iuiOJcYDc
“Reading the Defense Just Got Tougher”
Mahomes shares his perspective on the altered jersey number rules, expressing the challenges it presents for quarterbacks like himself in deciphering defensive formations.
The liberty granted to defensive players in selecting single-digit numbers has made it harder for Mahomes to read the defense effectively, complicating his communication with the offensive line.
“It’s even crazier now because everybody can wear the single digits. You get these guys who rotate in, and you’ll get a DB who’s in the 40s and a linebacker in single digits, having to really recognize that quickly.”
“Emphasizing the Numbers”
Mahomes sheds light on the Chiefs’ weekly routine, where they put extra emphasis on recognizing and understanding the numbers associated with defensive players.
The unique challenge arises when a player with a traditionally offensive number, like No. 7, takes on a defensive role, creating confusion for Mahomes and his offensive line.
“We actually go in every week and we really emphasize the numbers because when you’ve got a number like No. 7 playing middle linebacker, that can really mess with your tells for the o-linemen. It looks cool, I’ll give everybody that, but it makes it a little difficult for the QB.”
“A Learning Curve”
Acknowledging the difficulty of this adjustment, Mahomes remains optimistic that he’ll adapt.
While he expresses confidence in his ability to navigate this change, he recognizes that the shift may impact other quarterbacks as well.
Despite the short-term challenges, Mahomes envisions a future where this won’t be a significant issue, especially as college players are already accustomed to such jersey number variations.
“I have confidence that Mahomes will figure this out, but this may affect other quarterbacks quite a bit. I see this as a short-term problem overall. It is a tough adjustment for people in the league right now but in the future, it shouldn’t be an issue.
The college players have to deal with this already so the adjustment won’t be as hard. It is interesting to hear that this is such a problem for Mahomes and probably other quarterbacks too.”
“Connecting the Dots: The Impact of Defensive Number Changes on the Chiefs’ Offense”
Mahomes’ insights into the challenges posed by the new defensive jersey number rules offer a potential explanation for the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive struggles this year.
The adjustments required to adapt to these changes might be a contributing factor to the team’s performance, making it a topic worth watching as the league navigates this evolution.