Louis Rees-Zammit reveals ‘mad’ start to life in the NFL after Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce messages

Colin Newboult
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the NFL Super Bowl 58 and Louis Rees-Zammit during USF's pro day at the Morsani Football Practice Facility.

Louis Rees-Zammit alongside Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Wales ace Louis Rees-Zammit has revealed that NFL stars Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce were quick to welcome him to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 23-year-old announced in January that he would be leaving rugby to try his hand at American football and joined the NFL’s international pathway program.

Rees-Zammit spent 10 weeks in an intensive training camp before trying out at a pro day. He then met with a number of franchises, including the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos, but he settled on the Chiefs.

Three-year deal

After agreeing a three-year contract, joining the likes of Mahomes and Kelce at the defending Super Bowl champions, the speedster disclosed to The Rugby Pod the messages he received.

“Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce messaged me, just saying ‘welcome to KC’, and that if I ever needed anything let them know,” he said.

Mahomes is arguably the best player in the sport while Kelce has been one of the leading tight ends over the past few years.

However, the latter’s fame has been elevated following the news that he was dating world famous popstar Taylor Swift.

The revelation that Kelce had already contacted Rees-Zammit prompted Rees-Zammit’s ex-Wales team-mate Dan Biggar, who was also on the podcast, to ask for a favour.

“Zam, my Mrs wants a couple of tickets to Taylor Swift in the summer,” Biggar joked, to which Rees-Zammit replied: “I will try and make that work for you!”

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Rees-Zammit described the last few months as a “whirlwind” and how the news that he is now a Chief has not yet “sunk in.”

“It’s mad. When I left the facility and was coming home on the plane, I was in the airport in Kansas. I was in security and some guy was looking at me weird,” he said.

“He just went, ‘are you a sportsperson?’ I was like, ‘yeah’, and he went, ‘who do you play for?’ Honestly, when I said it, I felt so weird saying it!

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet. I think it’s going to sink in when I meet all the boys and I get to training on the first day. It’s been an absolute whirlwind for three months.”

Getting started

Rees-Zammit starts pre-season training soon as he looks to do enough to get himself on the 53-man roster for the start of the 2024/25 NFL campaign.

It will be a mightily tough ask, particularly in terms of adapting to the amount of information he has to take in, but the Welshman is excited about his new journey.

“I’ve met a couple of players, I haven’t met everyone but even just the staff around the building, you just know they have belief in everything they do,” he added.

“They’re such a professional organisation. That was the kind of feeling I went in there with and they just blew me away.

“You’ve got to learn, over a season, probably 1,000 plays. You’re going into a game with 80 plays. I mean in rugby we’ve got, what, five scrum attacks, five lineout attacks, so it’s a lot of revision time.

“I’m going to go train with Pat and the receivers, and it’s going to be an amazing experience. There’s no one better to learn from than the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and (head coach) Andy Reid.”

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