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'Gunslinger' Pat Mahomes believes watching his MLB dad prepared him for pro life

INDIANAPOLIS – For the first several years of Patrick Mahomes’ life, some of his play areas were major league baseball clubhouses. HIs father, also named Pat, spent 11 years in the majors as a starting and relief pitcher. Mahomes casually mentions that his godfather is LaTroy Hawkins, a teammate of his father’s with the Minnesota Twins for a couple of seasons.

“It definitely helped me, just seeing professional athletes growing up,” Mahomes said on Friday at the NFL scouting combine. “You saw how hard they worked [and] when they got to the big leagues, how hard they worked to stay there. They really have shown me the way to be a professional athlete and that’s definitely something I feel is an advantage for me.”

QB Patrick Mahomes knows a few things about baseball too. (AP)

With his father and Hawkins both pitchers, it wasn’t just seeing the preparation they put in on scheduled game days, but the in-between time that made an impact.

“Just being a pitcher, they weren’t always on call to pitch, but they were still going up there every single day, working hard to make sure they’re ready,” Mahomes said. “They were ready in case the worst-case scenario happens, especially being a starter. My dad was a starter for a little while. You don’t expect to pitch but you’ve got to be ready. You’ve got to throw your extra bullpens. You’ve got to perfect your game every single day.”

Mahomes naturally played baseball himself, and was on both the football and baseball teams at Texas Tech his first year at the school. He focused on football exclusively after that.

“It’s definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Mahomes said. “It’s really paid off well so far. I’m nowhere near the finish; it’s just the beginning now. I have to go out there and prove I can be a professional quarterback, be an NFL quarterback.”

Mahomes is often called a gunslinger, in large part because in Texas Tech’s air raid offense he averaged 49 pass attempts a game last fall.

“As well as I’ve done a lot of stuff scrambling outside the pocket,” Mahomes said. “But I’ve really worked on fundamentals these last two months, and I expect to have a great day tomorrow” when quarterbacks go through their throwing drills.

He later said that among the improvements he is trying to make with his mechanics are working to hold the ball high and perfecting his footwork and base in the pocket.