Patrick Mahomes: Mike Kafka will turn Arizona Cardinals around if hired
Feb 7, 2023, 6:29 AM | Updated: Feb 8, 2023, 11:18 am
PHOENIX — The Kansas City Chiefs are in town for their third Super Bowl appearance in four years.
However, this will be the first time quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Co. will have to take the field to compete for the Lombardi Trophy without Mike Kafka on the coaching staff.
Kafka, who is currently the New York Giants offensive coordinator and a candidate for the Arizona Cardinals head-coaching job, spent the previous four seasons working his way up from offensive quality control (2017) to QBs coach (2018-19) to passing game coordinator (2020-21) under head coach Andy Reid.
Mahomes spoke highly of Kafka on Monday at Super Bowl LVII opening night (media day).
“Coach Kafka is a special person and a special coach,” Mahomes said. “When he first got here he was quality control — that was my first year as a rookie so I spent a lot of time with Coach Kafka where he was teaching me the playbook and teaching me how to be a quarterback in the NFL.
“That continued for a long time and when he left, I knew he was going to be a head coach soon. I know he’s down (here) in Arizona, so if he gets hired there he’ll get that place turned around. He’s a great coach and a great person as well, so I’m excited for him.”
Chiefs backup quarterback Chad Henne also spent time with Kafka and had the unique opportunity to work with him as both a player and coach.
During Kafka’s playing career (2010-15), he backed up Henne in the 2013 preseason for the Jacksonville Jaguars before becoming the quarterback’s coach from 2018-21.
In Kafka’s six-year coaching career in the NFL, Kafka has never missed the playoffs while coaching the likes of Alex Smith, Mahomes, Henne and Daniel Jones.
“Mike was awesome. Not only did I have him when I was playing in Jacksonville … but I had him as a coach,” Henne said. “He’s a bright young coach who understands what a quarterback goes through daily and I think he’d be a hell of a head coach.
“I think it’d be awesome (if he became a head coach). He can relate to players, he’s obviously been in those situations before. I can’t say enough about him. I love my time with him. I still talk to him every now and then. It’s a great relationship.”
Chiefs backup QB Chad Henne also discussed his time with #AZCardinals head-coaching candidate Mike Kafka, who was Henne’s teammate in Jacksonville in 2013 before becoming his coach in Kansas City. #SuperBowlLVII pic.twitter.com/g4RcbPPkJG
— Jake Anderson (@jwa1994) February 7, 2023