Reid said the Chiefs came out of the game “fairly healthy,” and he mentioned a few times that he hopes to get starting cornerback Kendall Fuller back soon. Fuller being out launched a chain of events that led to Charvarius Ward and Tremon Smith having extended playing time.
Here are the big takeaways:
Reid, perhaps hearing the gripes of the fan base and media, wanted to remind everyone what’s still in front of the Chiefs.
“Last time I checked, we were in pretty good position here,” he said. “I know it can become a woe-me thing, and this is how it happens. That can be a negative. I feel like throughout the team, though, the guys understand where they’re at and what they need to do to fix it, and the objective is to win games. We have one game left here in the regular season and it’s important we take care of business. There’s a very small margin between winning and losing in the National Football League. Things can change quickly, so it’s important that the attitude’s right. Kansas City’s had a lot of ups and downs, so our people—coaches, players—are you willing to make a change? So we have an opportunity to do that, and we’re all on board with that.”
Because of the way the chips fell around the league on Sunday, the Chiefs can still clinch the AFC West and the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win over the Oakland Raiders, who are currently 3-11, next week.
Reid was asked about Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and how he thinks he will handle the game Week 17 game. Gruden and the Raiders host the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football.
“They play tonight, too, so he’ll give Denver his best shot, I think he’ll give us his best shot,” Reid said. “I’m not expecting anything less. I’m excited that we’re able to play here at home in front of our crowd and I know they’ll be out there cheering us on. We appreciate that part. I don’t want people to forget we’re actually playing for the number one seed here. We’re not playing for the first pick in the draft. That’s not what we’re doing.
“We’re playing for number one seed in the playoffs. We’ve had a couple rough weeks here, but we’re going to bounce out of that and get ourselves right.”
Reid spoke very highly about the performance of rookie cornerback Charvarius Ward, who started for the first time in his career Sunday night against the Seahawks.
“Our young corner did a decent job at times there,” Reid said of Ward. “There are some things he can learn, but he was in position to make plays. Now we just got to hone that up a little bit. That, I thought was a positive coming out and something where we can continue to get better with more experience. It will be good to potentially get [Kendall Fuller] back in the mix there at the nickel spot and corner. But in particular, during those nickel situations.”
Reid emphasized that he liked Ward’s “position” on plays a few times during the Monday press opportunity.
“I think is just a matter of playing a little bit, but he was in pretty good position on most of the throws and he can learn from that,” Reid said. “Just exactly how you go up and through a guy at the end of the route and get the ball out. And then he had a couple good plays.”
Reid’s comments made me wonder if the Chiefs are considering making Ward the No. 3 cornerback upon Fuller’s return.
“I like what I saw there with Ward.”
Reid doesn’t believe quarterback Patrick Mahomes was overhyped at the start of the game on Sunday Night Football, though he did seem a little off.
“Those things happen,” Reid said. “Those happen to all quarterbacks—young or old. Some of it, I could put him in a better position to make plays, give him better calls there. He’ll take care of the rest of that. He knows. It’s no want-to of not starting fast and all that. I think it’s just kind of the way it’s laid there. I can help him with some of those things.”
Reid sees no issue with Mahomes’ temperament early on in primetime football games, even though there appears to be somewhat of a pattern.
“I don’t think that’s it,” he said. “He just throws a little different. It’s not like he’s throwing them in the dirt or throwing them out of the stadium. That’s not what he’s doing. You take the first throw that he had yesterday, and that thing is two inches away from being a touchdown. The kid doesn’t get a hand on it, Tyreek’s gone. It was a good decision by him to try to shape it around the guy and the guy made a good play. That wasn’t anything with being too hyped or anything else. I can take you through the other ones kind of the same way. It’s just the way they fell and again, I can help him with some of those things.”
Other notes from the Monday press session
Reid was asked if he’s noticed an uptick in downfield penalties this season and how to respond to them: “It is league-wide. I’ve had a chance to kind of go back and look at some things there, but contact is an issue down the field and they’re sticking to it, calling it, where in years past they haven’t been as strict with that, and so they’ve maintained it throughout the year. And so you’ve got to work within that. It’s contact. Contact past that 5-yard mark, they’re hanging with it. The problem that comes in is everybody’s a little different in how they go about it and what they’ll let you get away with and what they won’t. The bottom line is you got to have contact downfield. You have to work with that.”
Reid was asked if he saw something in Tremon Smith and Charvarius Ward to merit more playing time. Reid almost chuckled, before saying: “I’d hope you’d have enough confidence in me to know I just wouldn’t throw them out there for the wolves. That’s not what I was doing. I expected them to do some things there, and so, [Tremon Smith] got thrown into it a little bit more because of the injury. I thought maybe we’d be able to spot him in there instead of having him having to have quite as many [plays]. When Fuller wasn’t able to go, that put him in that position to play the extensive amount that he did. I think it’s great experience for him.”