Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes earned an additional level of trust from Andy Reid

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Just by virtue of being healthy, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said he had a better offseason than last year, when he was rehabbing from surgery for turf toe and spent time in a walking boot.

"Whenever you come off an injury, you try to stay in shape," Mahomes said. "You try to ride the bike or do whatever you can, especially with a foot injury but it's hard to get that running in, that sprinting in. Now I'm at a better point than I was last year as far as explosiveness and conditioning-wise.

"The no-surgery thing and being able to train right out of the gate was huge for me. I feel like I'm in a way better spot physically."

A lot has already gone into a productive offseason for Mahomes, one that has seen him earn an additional level of trust from coach Andy Reid.

It started earlier than he had hoped when the Chiefs wasted a 21-3 first half lead in the AFC Championship Game and lost in overtime to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mahomes, after throwing for 220 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, was 5-of-15 for 55 yards and two interceptions in the second half and overtime. Mahomes called that stretch "probably my worst playoff football I've ever played."

Mahomes got back into things in the spring by leading four weeks of conditioning and passing workouts near his offseason home in Texas. He threw to players, including new additions in wide receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back Ronald Jones.

"We got some chemistry in just working with the guys for almost a month," Mahomes said. "Working out with them, throwing with them. We go to lunch, go to dinner, stuff like that. You kind of build that chemistry and I think a big part of especially our offense is having that chemistry on the field. Being able to know what the guy is doing without needing to talk about it. I think it's translated. So far in the practices that we've had, we think we're on the same page and kind of having chemistry and we're going to keep building on that."

Jones, who played the past four years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said he appreciated the opportunity to get the extra work with his new quarterback.

"It definitely helped." Jones said. "For him to see my speed on routes, my timing coming out of breaks and things like that, it just helps when you actually hit the field."

Reid was comfortable enough with the arrangement that he allowed the Mahomes-led workouts to substitute for the conditioning workouts the Chiefs otherwise would have held in Kansas City in the early weeks of the offseason program.

"We talked about it and he had the trust in me to get the guys there," Mahomes said. "I thought it was cool because when you're in the building you see each other, but you're still with different coaches. You have certain meetings together. You have certain meetings you don't have together and getting down there and being able to be with those guys at all times, talk through how I see routes, and then them going to the virtual meetings and listening to how the coaches explain routes, it helped to get a better understanding of each other.

"That was the biggest thing, him trusting us to get our work outs in, get our bodies right, run the routes, get a head start."

Mahomes' offseason also included some personal milestones. He married his long-time girlfriend in Hawaii and he and wife Brittany are expecting their second child. They already have a daughter, Sterling.

"He knows that this is another step in life," Reid said. "He understands that that baby is going to cry every once in a while and he's got to get up and let mom relax. He gets all that. But he's handling that with good graces. And the energy that he brought to bring the guys down to Texas was a real positive. That's all part of the maturation process as you go forward."