As the 6-1 Chiefs try for their sixth-straight win over AFC West opponent the Denver Broncos (3-4), head coach Vance Joseph took time to speak with Chiefs media at practice this past week.
Here’s what he had to say:
On Tyreek’s Hill’s abilities and how to stop him:
“He is a freakish athlete, he can run and jump, but just natural ball skills,” Joseph said. “A lot of little guys have a real problem finishing down the field in traffic. Tyreek Hill and Antonio Brown those two guys, as I’ve watched film over the years, are really good at finishing down the field. It’s just his natural, physical ability and his explosiveness to jump and catch the ball at the highest point.”
“When you’re facing a guy like him you have to challenge him and have your safeties overlap to erase some of the deep balls,” Joseph continued when discussing the keys to stopping his “freakish” speed. “When you watch most of his deep balls, he is really outrunning the corner and outrunning the safeties. So, if that happens it’s going to be a long day for us. But our safeties will do a great job of having great angles to him and having enough depth to overlap his speed.”
On difficulty defending the Chiefs offense:
“It’s unique because it looks different with every personnel group,” Joseph said. “It’s really three different offenses to prepare for and once you add coach [Andy] Reid and coach [Eric] Bieniemy’s tricks, the jet motions, the reverses and all of those shuffle passes — all of those elements make it really tough because now it becomes assignment football and not just one-on-one football.”
On defending a versatile Travis Kelce:
“He’s a matchup nightmare. He’s probably too fast for every linebacker in the league and he’s probably too big for most of the safeties. So, what you have to do is when he’s out of the core you treat him as a wide receiver that way you can play top-down coverage because again, if you don’t he’ll make a big play we’ve experience that before in the past leaving him one on one with our safeties and losing down on the field multiple times.”
On preparing for Patrick Mahomes (again):
“Your plan has to be to trap and contain him and keep him where you want him to be but you have no plan for when he breaks the pocket,” Joseph said about Mahomes’ offensive prowess. “He’s outrun most of our big guys and he’s shaken off most of our pass rushers, but [you have] to grind and get him on the ground as quick as possible.
“Most young quarterbacks, when they break the pocket, bad things happen. For him, his eyes are down the field, he’s not looking to run, he’s looking to throw the ball downfield. He understands the pressures of when he breaks the pocket that he can do damage. Most young guys when they break the pocket, they’re looking to run the football and gain four or five yards and then slide, he’s not. He’s trying to stay behind the line and make a big play downfield. And the problem with this guy, he can throw the ball across his body moving left or moving right so how do you combat that? You simply can’t.