By Howard Balzer
There might be no better situation for Jordan Ta’amu than the one he’s headed to with the Kansas City Chiefs.
After excelling for five games for the BattleHawks during the aborted XFL season, Ta’amu was able to open some NFL eyes. So far, 14 XFL players have joined NFL rosters with the only quarterbacks being Ta’amu and P.J. Walker of the Houston Roughnecks.
Asked about Ta’amu this week during a conference call with reporters, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said, “I sure liked what I saw on tape and on TV from him. He looks like he’s a talented kid. I’m looking forward to getting him on board.”
Reid said the club did scout him last year after he finished his career at Ole Miss.
“(General manager) Brett (Veach) had looked at him and he kind of moved around a little bit, so it was a little bit different situation,” Reid said. “Brett had liked him at that time. I think the kid had more opportunities in the new league, so we were able to bring him in. It gives him an opportunity to get in there and compete and see what he can do. I think it will be interesting to watch him perform here.”
Asked about how players benefit, especially quarterbacks, by getting game experience in the XFL, Reid said, “You saw it with the Temple quarterback (Walker), who was actually on a couple practice squads, but he ended up signing with Carolina. I know it’s his old coach, but still (the XFL) gave him an opportunity to show. And it did the same thing for Jordan. Gave him an opportunity to show with pro coaches coaching them, and how they’d react to those systems that they were put in. I thought it was beneficial, especially for Jordan.”
Ta’amu also talked with reporters:
Q: What did BattleHawks head coach Jonathan Hayes tell you about signing with the Chiefs?
JT: As soon as he heard that I got signed, he reached out to me and said, ‘The Chiefs are going to take care of you, they are a great business, a great team, great coaching staff and my love for them is over the roof. I’m going to make sure that they take care of you too.’ That meant a lot to me, just to hear that comfort level from him. I believe in Coach Hayes 100 percent, so everything he said I’m going to believe. I am just excited to be a part of this team.
Q: What made you pick Kansas City?
JT: After the whole season went down, my agent and I were just waiting to see what kind of teams would try and pick me up or have me sign. I felt like the Chiefs were in my alley just the way the offense is, all the great things I’ve been hearing about Coach Reid and his offense and the quarterback room. Me and my agent figured this would be the best opportunity for me to learn and keep growing as such a young guy. I’m always open to learn and pick the quarterbacks’ brains, pick Patrick’s (Mahomes) and (Chad) Henne’s brains. That’s kind of my deal.
Q: What do you think you showed teams from your time in the XFL that they may not have seen from college?
JT: I think my ability to do a little bit of everything, see the defense, pre-snap reads. Throwing, being accurate all the time, making smart decisions, that was the main key too. Using my feet when I have to, using my legs, that’s another weapon. I worked on a lot of that during the offseason right before the XFL training camp started. It showed in the games and practices.