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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — After an anonymous defensive coordinator called Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes a “tier 2” quarterback because of his “inability” to throw past his first read, discussions have been raised about the underlying message behind the criticism that other quarterbacks don’t receive.

The unnamed defensive coordinator was quoted by The Athletic’s Mike Sando in an article about quarterback tiers with votes from coaches and executives.

We love Mahomes because of his unorthodox throws, not because of his natural pocket presence. And when that disappears, that is when they lose games. I don’t think that is a 1. I think that is a 2. Nothing against the guy. I love the kid. But take his first read away and what does he do? He runs, he scrambles and he plays streetball.

NFL Quarterback Tiers 2022: Allen, Herbert and Burrow Make Tier 1 Debuts – Mike Sando – The Athletic

According to Pro Football Focus, Mahomes leads the league in:

  • PFF Grade: 91.0
  • Passing Yards: 4,498
  • Passing Touchdowns: 39

The “streetball” comment, along with criticism of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray for an “independent film study” clause in his contract, prompted discussion’s about the types of criticisms Black quarterbacks receive, compared to other quarterbacks.

When asked about those types of critiques, Mahomes said he wouldn’t read that far into it, but knows Black quarterbacks have had to fight to get to where they are.

“It always is weird when you see guys like me, Lamar, Kyler, get that on them and other guys don’t,” Mahomes said. “But at the same time we are gonna go out there and prove ourselves everyday to prove that we can be some of the best quarterbacks in the league.”

Mahomes added that he and other quarterbacks like him prove everyday that they belong behind the line of scrimmage throwing the ball.

“Obviously, the Black quarterback has had a battle to be in this position that we are to have this many guys in the league playing,” Mahomes said. “I think everyday we’re proving that we should have been playing the whole time. We got guys that think just as well as they can use their athleticism.”