Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes spoke to the media on Wednesday.
Coach Reid said that cornerback Kendall Fuller, wide receiver Sammy Watkins and right tackle Mitchell Schwartz would not practice on Wednesday. Fuller had surgery on his wrist on Friday — and has previously been described as likely to play on Sunday — and Watkins continues to recover from the foot injury he suffered in Week 9. Reid described both players as day to day, and said Schwartz suffered a knee injury on Thursday against the Chargers. Reid also said that left guard Cam Erving — held out of the Chargers game with a knee injury — would be limited in Wednesday’s practice.
Here are the other key takeaways from the press session:
For the press, the first order of business was to get reactions to the six Chiefs players selected for the Pro Bowl — and the ones who weren’t.
“As a coach, you want them all to make it,” said the head coach. “They are all busting their tail for you, and doing a heck of a job. Somewhere, someone doesn’t make it. Who knows why — or the reasons why. The guys you mentioned [Mitchell Schwartz and Chris Jones] were sure well-deserving. I’ve stood here for a couple of years doing this, and have answered those questions at this time, and every year there is someone. I am sure it’s that way around the league.”
But Reid said that the players who were selected — left tackle Eric Fisher, linebacker Dee Ford, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Travis Kelce, quarterback Patrick Mahomes and fullback Anthony Sherman — were all humble about it.
“The guys who are in there are all guys that have said, ‘This guy or that guy could’ve just as easily been in here.’ They are pretty humble guys that way.”
Mahomes reflected the head coach’s assertion.
“First off, you’re thankful [to] all of Chiefs Kingdom for voting, and being supportive of me and my teammates,” he said. “It is truly a special thing. I remember growing up as a little kid, watching the skills challenges and the Pro Bowl and thinking how cool it was. For me to be in this spot... it’s a credit to my teammates for them making me look really, really good out there.”
Mahomes agreed that Schwartz would have been a deserving selection — but if it had been up to him, he wouldn’t have stopped there.
“To me he’s one of — if not the — best right tackles in the league. He’s had a ton of success over a long time. It’s disappointing for him not making it, but there’s a lot of worthy guys. If it was my choice, I’d have the whole [Chiefs] offensive line on there. They’ve been protecting me well this year.”
Mahomes was also happy to give props to fellow nominee Kelce.
“First off, he’s so smart as a player — not just a tight end. He really recognizes coverages, and [recognizes] what’s needed to be done in order to get himself open. Having him, it’s something I can trust that he’s going to be exactly where I want him to be on every single play. He’s made a lot of great plays this year where he has made me look good — where I kind of just throw it up and he’s [gone up] and got it.”
Reid was asked about the team bouncing back from such a disappointing loss.
“We do have a good locker room,” he said. “It is important that you learn from it. That’s most important. You can hang your head and mope and do all those things you want to do, but that doesn’t get anything accomplished. You get in, you learn from it the best you can, and you go do better. That’s the approach I am taking. That is the approach I felt from the guys.
“On the other hand,” Reid continued, “if you are going to learn, then you have to dig in and not be afraid to say ‘I goofed’ here or there — whether you are a coach or a player. I am the one standing in front of you, so I will always go back and analyze myself. And I have told you before, there are things I look at and go, ‘I could have done a better job.’ It is important that everyone does that. And that is where your locker room that you were talking about comes in. We have good guys and good strength there.”
Mahomes said that the loss did hurt.
“Every loss is going to hurt — especially being a last-second loss,” he said. “That definitely hurts a lot — especially in the division. Luckily, we’re still in a position where we control our own destiny. We can still win these last two games and get the No. 1 seed and get to have playoff games at Arrowhead. For us, we’re focused on that — moving ahead and getting better.”
Mahomes was asked if he had a specific message for his team.
“I think the message for the whole team is we’re not satisfied with where we’re at,” he said. “We wanted to put ourselves in this position, but at the same time, we know we still have a long way to go. We’re going to keep in that mentality the rest of this season and into the playoffs — not being satisfied with just being here. We want to make sure we can go and win the big games whenever we need to.”
Reid was asked about the Chiefs’ running back-by-committee approach.
“Yeah, that’s kind of the role that we are doing now,” he admitted. “Although Damien Williams did a good job in that game, obviously. Is it equal all three ways? I don’t know about that. Just see how it shakes down.”
Reid said that it’s always his hope to get everyone involved.
“Again, I’ve told the guys if they are available, we will find ways to use you the best we can, so be ready and alert for it,” he said. “We will just see how it all shakes out there. I would tell you the things that Damien Williams did on game day, he did a nice job there. That was pretty impressive. He has to keep building on it. You have to do it week after week at this level.”
Reid also said that while he is a different kind of player, Darrel Williams has played well in his opportunities.
“He did a nice job. The opportunities he had, he ran hard,” Reid said. “He is a different picture than Damien. It is a couple different looks you are going to get there. Charcandrick West is kind of the same thing. He is a different look. Spencer Ware is a different look. They all have their strengths, and we try to play to our players’ strengths.”
Other notes from the Wednesday press session
Reid was asked if he is satisfied with the way the Chiefs defense has been blitzing: “I think we’ve had a decent blend there. We’ve affected the quarterback in a lot of ways. That’s arguably, number-wise more than anyone in the league. That way he’s had to move, or alter throws, or hit them or sack them. You don’t want to blitz every snap. You pick and choose places to do it — especially if you have good rushers. We do a pretty good job of that. Games are also involved in that. Those guys look at your matchups and what you can do with all of that.”
Reid was asked about what has made Chris Jones so effective this season: “You guys were here. You saw the change in his body — how he really took care of himself physically with diets and workouts and all of that this offseason. His body fat is way down. He works [on] his fundamentals and techniques. That’s what he does. He still has room to grow — which is great. He isn’t tapped out by any means where he is at. I will tell you it all started in the offseason. Now it is paying off for him as the season has gone on.”