Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke to the press on Monday following Sunday night’s 45-10 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Let’s round up some of what he said:
Reid said all three phases of the game contributed to the victory, and that it was the team’s best effort of the season.
Reid praised the Arrowhead fans for making noise while the Bengals were on offense, and said that Bob Sutton and Eric Bieniemy had both drawn up good game plans to defeat the Bengals, which he described as a team with a good offense “that came in hot” to Kansas City. He also praised special teams coordinator Dave Toub for calling the right play against the Bengals’ fake punt — “or whatever that was” — in the second quarter of the game.
It was a good-natured session with the writers — as you might expect after such a lopsided victory — and Reid was asked if the defense had “turned a corner” in the game.
“I didn’t say we were turning a corner. You said that. I’m saying we took a step in the right direction. That’s important as you go through the year -- that you keep taking steps forward. It’s the same way offensively. We’ve got some things we’ve got to iron out offensively — things to keep getting better at — and defensively as well.”
Reid spoke about Dorian O’Daniel’s contributions to the win.
In his opening remarks, Reid specifically mentioned O’Daniel as a contributor to the win. O’Daniel had four tackles — including a tackle for loss — in roughly half of the defensive snaps in the game.
Reid was asked how he envisioned the rookie linebacker’s future, and said that he felt O’Daniel was best-suited to a nickel linebacker role.
“We’ve been kind of increasing [O’Daniel] as we go,” he said. “We’ve given him more practice reps. One of his strengths is [his ability to cover receivers out of the backfield]. As we go, he’ll continue to get more play. He can run. You see that he’s a violent tackler.”
Reid made a point of saying that Spencer Ware had a big game.
“I think this was a big game for Spencer Ware,” Reid said. “He had the injury — one of those where you’re sitting there going, ‘Is this going to be career-ending? Where are we at here?’ It was a pretty significant injury. And then he comes back and works like crazy. We’ve given him play time, but nothing [like he got on Sunday]. And then the yards. We forget the catch he had earlier, going the opposite direction.”
Ware had 59 yards rushing — almost all in the late drive that took almost half of the fourth quarter — plus another 30 yards on three receptions. Reid said that the rehab from Ware’s injury was tough.
“Those legs got heavy. And he’s tired,” Reid explained. “And he had to push himself past that wall. You can go run the hill, and do all those things the guys do, but until you’re getting banged on a little bit, and you’ve got to go back in and collect your breath and your thoughts and go back out there and do it again. He’s really had to do that. So this was a big game for him to work through that.”
Reid talked about the importance of keeping players like Demetrius Harris as viable receivers in the offense.
Harris had only one catch on Sunday night — but it was for a touchdown when the Bengals lost track of him in the end zone. Harris has only five catches on the season — but two have been for touchdowns.
“One of the things with this offense is to spread it around, and make the defense cover the whole field at all times — and make sure that everybody’s a viable receiver,” Reid said. “We joke with him about it, but when The Sausage (Anthony Sherman) gets in there, you’ve gotta cover him. He’s not just out there, and can’t catch the football. He’s there, we can shoot him the ball, and he’s able to make productive plays. Everybody that we put out there, we expect to be a viable receiver.”
Reid said that as long as they are able to make receptions and score touchdowns, defenses have to regard players like Harris and Sherman as threats, and have to cover them.
Other notes from Reid’s Monday remarks
Reid said the team came out of the game without significant injury — except for linebacker Terrance Smith. Smith left the game in the second quarter, and after the game, Reid characterized it as a knee sprain. He had no other information on the injury at the press conference.
Reid said that Tyreek Hill worked hard in the offseason to be an “all-around receiver.” The head coach said that Hill had spent “hour after hour” on learning the intermediate routes and techniques he needed to master to be a receiving threat outside of vertical routes.
Reid was asked about how he would decide whether the Chiefs had enough of a lead to bench players to protect them from injury. Reid chose to have a little fun with the press with his answer. “Well, you guys have sat here and asked me about being up by a lot of points and then teams come back and get us,” he said. “I don’t like those questions. Now I’m getting the other end of it.” After the laughter died down, he said, “Listen, I just go off of my gut. And I have a pretty big gut.”