The Kansas City Chiefs are set to have Patrick Mahomes as their starting quarterback, but it appears they haven’t yet decided on the player who will back him up in 2020. Jordan Ta’amu signed with the Chiefs earlier this offseason, and back then, most thought he would be facing long odds to make the roster.
Anthony Miller of XFL News Hub wrote on Saturday that since coming to camp, Ta’amu has impressed and drawn rave reviews from coaches and players alike.
Ta’amu was signed to an NFL contract after catching scouts’ eyes in his short, five-game stint in the XFL. Before that league folded for the season due to the coronavirus pandemic, he was in the top three in passing yards with 1,050 yards and threw five touchdowns to two interceptions. He also was top 10 in the league in rushing with 217 yards and one touchdown.
This week, his new head coach Andy Reid talked to the media about how well Ta’amu has performed.
“Tough time to come in as a quarterback, in a year like this,” said Reid.
“Jordan’s worked his tail off. It’s evident to all of us that he has spent the time working. We have a lot of words that are calculated in these plays that you have to be able to spit out in a short period of time and he does that well.”
Reid added that Ta’amu has a strong body and a strong mind and that has led to success so far. He added that because of the fall camp schedule, the XFL import might not get a real shot to make his mark in 2020 but he’s going to get a shot at some point in the future.
One player with whom Ta’amu is competing for the backup spot is Chad Henne, who had similar positive comments about the NFL rookie.
Henne expressed his amazement at how well the young signal-caller has done. He echoed some of his coach’s comments when talking about how quickly Ta’amu has picked up the offense. He added that the young quarterback has been working hard at picking some of the veterans’ minds.
Miller said Ta’amu’s success has raised eyebrows in part because he hasn’t had a ton of seasoning before landing in the NFL. He played two seasons at Ole Miss in 2017 and 2018. He appeared in just seven games his first year at the school but was the full-time starter in 2018. He threw for 3,918 yards and 19 touchdowns while also having just eight interceptions.
Those on the team believe Ta’amu will make the roster as the third-string signal-caller, but there is an outside chance he could be Mahomes’ backup.