KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid met with the media Monday to talk about winning the AFC title and playing in the Super Bowl. Following are his comments.
OPENING STATEMENT: "Good to be back in this room again seeing everybody. I have no injuries to report, which is a plus. Very excited to have the Lamar Hunt Trophy back in Kansas City, where it belongs, with the Hunt Family. That was a special day yesterday. To be a part of that, I was honored. For the city of Kansas City, it was a beautiful thing. The fans were phenomenal. They all stuck around. It was pretty chilly around that time, and they were there keeping all of us warm. It was a great thing. It was good to see (Kansas City Mayor) Quinton Lucas there, our mayor, and likewise here. I appreciated the shout-out off of the stage there. Our players and coaches, I'm so proud of them for the job that they did, getting us ready and getting us to this position. The best part is, we still have another game left. We need to make sure that we take care of business from there. Guys have been in. Coaches have been in and are cranking already on San Francisco. We know that they are a heck of a football team. Through all of the different distractions that present themselves with the Super Bowl, we have to make sure that we focus in and get ourselves ready to play against a good football team. That's where we're at right now. Time's yours."
Q: How did you spend the evening last night after the win in the AFC Championship Game?
REID: "I had a cheeseburger and went to bed (laughter)."
Q: Did you get out of Chris Jones what you anticipated yesterday?
REID: "Yeah, we started him off slow – just on third downs to see how he would do. He was feeling better as we went along, so we gave him a little bit more. I thought (Run Game Coordinator / DL Coach) Brendan Daly did a nice job with managing him throughout it. Chris did a good job of communicating. As a result, I think he came out feeling pretty good. Not that he won't be sore, he hasn't played for a little bit. All in all, I think he came out healthy."
Q: Do you anticipate Jones being able to do more in a couple of weeks?
REID: "Yeah, I'd presume. Yes."
Q: I know it's early, but what do you know about the 49ers?
REID: "I've had a chance to look at them. I spent the morning doing that. I know that they're a good, solid football team. They play hard and aggressive. You saw that last night in playing against a good Green Bay team. They do a variety of things on both sides of the ball. They can run it and they can pass it on the offensive side. On defense, they have a variety of things that they throw at you from a defensive standpoint. Solid on special teams. All in all, it's a good football team. Well-coached, very well-coached."
Q: How do you go about balancing getting the team ready for the Super Bowl game itself and ensuring that they are focused before having to do all of the media commitments next week?
REID: "You try to get as much done as you possibly can right here. That's what we'll do. Get most of the gameplan in while you're in your own environment here. Try to keep it as normal as possible. Once we get down there, within all of the media obligations that you have and all of the other things that go on, try to keep it as normal as you can, practice-wise, there, too."
Q: How will you prepare the team for playing in the environment that you'll see at Super Bowl LIV?
REID: "I've checked on that, now that you've asked about that. The sun sets at like 5:55 (p.m.) and the game is at 6 (p.m.). It's averaging like 73 degrees, and it's supposed to be that the next few weeks with a low in the 60s, right in there. I think we're going to be OK that way. We've been playing in all of this cold weather. I've reminded the guys, throughout the last month or so here, to keep yourselves in warm weather shape. They were probably looking at me crazy for saying that. This is why. Everybody was doing a little bit extra running and conditioning after practice and all of that. I think we'll be OK. You're wearing that (Mexico City) jacket, we had the opportunity to play there, where there was the high altitude and all of that, and the guys pushed themselves through all of that. I think they'll be OK at sea level."
Q: Are there any similar characteristics between the 2004 Philadelphia Eagles team that you coached that went to the Super Bowl and this 2019 Kansas City Chiefs team?
REID: "I had great leaders on that team, future Hall of Famers -- at least one of them is in now. I was fortunate that way and I feel like I have future Hall of Famers on this team here. Hall of Fame leaders, too. There's a difference. We have some real good leaders on this team. Similarities are with some good players. I've been blessed in that way as a head coach."
Q: What has it been like to see General Manager Brett Veach's development over the years, dating back to when he was on your Eagles staff?
REID: "Listen, a lot of the credit goes to him. Look at what he did with our defensive side of the football, as far as personnel goes. My hat goes off to him. I think he has done a phenomenal job. You guys have gotten to know him now over time. You feel that energy that he presents every day. It's not just when he is around you, it's every day. He has a dynamic personality that way. He's relentless. It has shown with the guys that he has brought in here."
Q: With Sammy Watkins, is there something about playoff games that brings out the best in him?
REID: "Sammy has been doing a great job all year. For the majority of the year, he has been healthy, I think for the first time in a long time. He is a Pro Bowl player. He is a first-round draft pick. That's what he is. He is a great player. We just have a few of them around him, so everybody can't get the ball every snap. He is the most unselfish guy you've ever been around that has that caliber. It's great for the other guys to see, being that he was picked that high. He just wants to win. He doesn't care who gets the ball, when or where, he is going to play hard, block, catch, do all of the right things. I tried to give him a chance to throw it last week, he didn't do very good on that one (laughter). But he has a great arm. They just covered it."
Q: In your experience, just how difficult is it to go from one season to another and overturn a unit on one side of the football so successfully like Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has done?
REID: "Spags has done a great job with that group. He has guys with him on the defensive side that he was familiar with. He'll be the first to tell you, that is such a big part of it. He didn't have to teach the coaches; the coaches just hit the ground running and already knew what was expected of them. Therefore, the players go, 'Man, all of these guys believe this, they can teach it, they're all tied in.' With that, there was a confidence that was built in. Even when things start off slow, the guys are going, 'We're this close, we're this close to turning this thing around again to the way we want it.' They just kept at it and kept at it. You have some good leaders there on that side, too."
Q: Patrick was the leading rusher again yesterday, what kind of dimension does that add to your offense?
REID: “It helps, especially with stuff like coverages they’re presenting. They have the ultimate respect for him and they’re doubling our guys. You aren’t just getting one guy doubled but two guys doubled. The defensive line is trying to sack him so if they make one miss on him or get out of their lane a bit, it’s over. He’s got all this running space. We’ve seen that the last couple of weeks now. For him to be able to decipher it, see it and then go and still keep his eyes down field, giving guys a chance to get open. That’s what happened with Sammy (Watkins). He scrambled to the right and throws a 60-yard or whatever it was on a dime. He probably could’ve run that for a little bit too.”
Q: Is that something you have encouraged him to do?
REID: “It’s just part of the game. He knows that. I don’t have to tell him anything on that.”
Q: What have you thought about the offensive line’s pass protection the last two games?
REID: “Listen, I think they’ve done a nice job. They’ll have a big challenge with this game coming up here. That’s a good defensive line but I have confidence they’ll rise up to the challenge. They’re wired the right way and they’ve battled these last couple of weeks. I’m proud of them for that.”
Q: Raheem Mostert had a career day yesterday, what challenges does he present in comparison to a guy like Derrick Henry?
REID: “He did have a career day yesterday. He ran like crazy. We’ll have to get down and study him, get the blocking schemes down and all that. Our guys will do that. They’ll bear down on it. They also have a good quarterback who can throw the ball and good receivers and an All-Pro tight end. There are a lot of variables to that offense that they can use as different weapons. Our guys will spend the time going over it and all that, studying it.”
Q: Stefen Wisniewski has started the last four games, what does he give you over Andrew Wylie?
REID: “They’re both good. They’re both good players. There’s nothing wrong with Wylie, it’s just you get in and get going and it’s working. So you stick to it and roll with it. It doesn’t mean Wylie can’t. We do a good job with him in there also. Wis (Stefen Wisniewski) has experience and his strengths are that. He’s got experience, he’s dirty tough, he brings good energy and he’s brilliant. He’s up there with (Mitchell) Schwartz and Larry (Laurent Duvernay-Tardif). We might have, academically, one of the smartest groups. We got a doctor, I mean come on (laughter). It’s not bad.”
Q: Do you know the impact you have made on people throughout the league and how excited they are for you to get back to the Super Bowl?
REID: “Just before I got here I answered every one of them. I had quite a few texts. I appreciate every one of them. It’s a small fraternity and a great fraternity. We’re all trying to do what’s best for this league because of the way we’re treated. That ends up creating this thing and you all go through a recession and the league was that strong that it could battle through that. We all had jobs, right. We were all there and working and there’s something to be said for that.”
Q: For those who aren’t around Patrick Mahomes all the time, what is his leadership style like and second, how do you process 50 years it’s taken to get back to this point?
REID: “He’s great to be around every day because he brings energy every day. You respect that. Everybody has their ups and downs because there is life outside of football. When he’s in that building it’s all football, it’s all team. He’s never said it’s about me. I’ve never heard that from him. It’s all 100% about the team and how we’re doing and what can we do better, where can I help. Then, he buckles down to get the game plan down and he studies. For the young guys out there, what a great example. He’s not the fastest guy out there but you see him know when to run, when to get down, know when to throw it. For a young guy, he’s a special kid. The city is lucky to have him. It’s a nice match up having great fans and a great quarterback like that.”
Q: How do you process 50 years, were you watching that game back then?
REID: “50 years ago, I was watching the game. I was doing punt, pass and kick (laughter). I have video evidence of that. They’ve worn out.”
Q: After a full year of coaching Frank Clark, is there something you’ve learned about him that you didn’t know when you traded for him?
REID: “He’s a great teammate. I knew this before because we played against him, but he is relentless. I mean absolutely relentless. So, it’s one hundred miles an hour at practice. It’s one hundred miles an hour during the game. He goes. That’s contagious. That ends up being something that effects the other guys in a positive way. He loves to play. If you’re slacking at all, he’ll let you know. He’s not afraid to tell you. It’s all in a very good way. He’s got a good way about him.”
Q: You were talking about the 49ers offensive weapons, they run more 21 personnel than any other team in the league by far, what are the hallmarks of a team like that?
REID: “That’s an old tradition with the Shanahan’s. They know that offense very well. I was fortunate to start with that offense, so I’m familiar with it. There are all kinds of things you can do with it. We’ve all gone different ways, but our roots come back to it. He’s done a very nice job with it. He’s a very smart kid, he’s sharp. Great for this league. This influx of these new coaches with great minds on both sides of the ball. It makes this league strong.”
Q: How much do you think you have evolved since your last Super Bowl appearance?
REID: “It’s different, but I think I try to play to the players strengths the best I can. I think my coaches do the same thing. We’re all trying to exploit your talents if you’re playing for us and we try to get to you playing better at the things you’re not. These kids are coming out of college now that are offensively throwing the ball like crazy. We’re utilizing that from whatever formations might be familiar to them and just try to give them an opportunity. Then, Spags does it the same way. You’re always changing. That’s what is so great about this league, you don’t get stale. There’s always work to be done. Always learning that takes place. Football is in a good place right now, it’s exciting. On both sides of the ball, it’s exciting. You are utilizing the whole field and playing in space which creates some unique looks for the fans.”