The Kansas City Chiefs could become the first team to win three straight championships since Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers in the mid-1960s this season by running back the same playbook that helped them beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII. As the team shuts its doors on mandatory minicamp, though, coach Andy Reid has continued stressing Kansas City's desire for a much different approach in 2024.

Discussing what he's learned facing coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and the Chiefs' vaunted defense in offseason activities, superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes revealed that Reid's been imploring him to drive the ball downfield.

“There's been times where I've lost and blitzes and Spags gets me with a new pressure that he's working on. I think it's just being able to say, ‘Alright, we'll just get the ball out of my hand, give it to the checkdown or wherever that is, and live to play another play.' I think that's just something I've felt more comfortable with,” Mahomes said, per Sports Radio 810. “And I think it's cool that we've been trying, Coach Reid's been—back to my old days—forcing me to push the ball down the field. If I don't, he throws little jabs at me like, ‘Oh, you wanna throw the checkdown here?' And I'm just like, ‘I got ya, Coach. We're gonna push it.'”

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs plan to bring back deep ball in 2024

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass against San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) in the fourth quarter in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The notion that Kansas City plans to bring back the deep ball this season is no surprise. Not only did the team add speedy wide receiver Hollywood Brown in free agency and select Texas wideout Xavier Worthy—who blazed to a record 4.21 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine—in the first round of the draft, but getting back to a vertical passing game has been a focus for the Chiefs throughout the offseason.

“I think this year we’re going to have a team that’s built to throw the ball deep,” Mahomes said in late May during OTAs. “Coach Reid’s been preaching it all off-season, were going to get back to throwing the deep ball. I have to be smart when we do that, but at the same time, I want to be that explosive offense that we’ve seen in the past and it takes pressure off the defense.”

As Kansas City's wide receivers struggled immensely with drops, penalties and timing during the regular season, Reid pared down his playbook to make life easier on the offense and prevent Mahomes from making high-risk throws down the field. The result? Mahomes averaged just 3.5 air yards per attempt, according to Fantasy Pros, a mark well below league-average.

The Chiefs began embracing the intermediate and short passing game after trading Tyreek Hill during the 2022 offseason. While they've won two Super Bowls since then and fielded one of the most efficient offenses ever in 2023, last season made it obvious that Reid needed to make changes to his attack.

Step one for Kansas City was upgrading the speed and overall talent level of its pass-catchers, a chore accomplished by bringing in Brown and Worthy. Step two is getting Mahomes back in the frame of mind needed to consistently pressure the deep portion of the field, a process that's clearly still ongoing.

Don't be surprised if Reid, Mahomes and company develop it in full come training camp, taking the league by storm with a barrage of long throws once 2024 kicks off.