Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid closed out OTAs Thursday morning by speaking with local media members. Reid spoke for about 13 minutes.
Here are 10 takeaways from Reid’s press conference:
1. Here’s why Reid opted to cancel the team’s final practice:
The Chiefs were scheduled to have one final practice on Thursday, but since the team “had great work and a great turnout,” he decided otherwise.
The final day of OTAs is also when Reid runs his conditioning test, which involves a lot of running. Reid wasn’t sure that would have been such a good idea with Kansas City temperatures approaching 100 degrees.
“I wanted to get that run knocked out [because] it was supposed to get close to 100 today,” he said. “I didn’t want to put the guys out there in that kind of heat, running around. Normally, I do the run at the end of practice. We had been fortunate where it just hadn’t been too hot. I just thought we probably need to back off that. Normally [Thursday], we only do a group install period anyway, so it’s a short period. We don’t do much on this day, even when we do ask them, other than the run part.”
2. Reid provided some insight when it came to the offensive line.
There are two question marks along the Chiefs offensive line heading into training camp: at center, with Mitch Morse still rehabbing from foot surgery, and at left guard.
Reid, regarding the center position: “If Mitch doesn’t, Cam (Erving) will be in there. Cam took all those snaps this offseason. I thought he actually did a good job in there. We’ll see how he does. That’s what [Erving] was drafted as.”
Reid, regarding the left guard position: “We’re kind of working through that right now. We’ll see how that goes.”
3. Reid sensed that safety Eric Berry feels good again.
Eric Berry was back on the field as a “full participant” during OTAs, which according to Reid, he used as a means to get himself comfortable again. Berry tore his Achilles tendon Week 1 of last season against the New England Patriots.
“He used this (minicamp) to kind of knock the rust off from his injury and you progressively saw him getting his step back and I thought he did a nice job.”
Minicamp also marked the first time Berry was able to take the field with players such as Xavier Williams, Anthony Hitchens and Kendall Fuller.
“I think he likes what he sees,” Reid said of Berry. ”Those defensive backs—it doesn‘t matter if you‘re a corner or safety—you take a close look at what’s in front of you. They can make your job easier, so he likes some of the additions that we’ve made.”
4. Reid had a glowing review of linebacker Tanoh Kpassagnon.
This season’s Chiefs OTAs marked the first time in his career that Villanova product Tanoh Kpassagnon focused solely on the outside linebacker position, rather than also mixing in along the defensive line.
Reid liked the progress he saw.
“Tanoh did very well,” Reid said. “I really thought he made some big strides.
5. Reid agreed with Chris Conley in that he thinks Sammy Watkins is picking up his offense extremely fast.
Chris Conley had some strong feelings when it came to how quickly Reid’s offense is coming to Sammy Watkins Wednesday after Chiefs mandatory minicamp.
Chris Conley: Sammy Watkins is picking up the Andy Reid West Coast offense way faster than anyone I've seen pick it up.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) June 13, 2018
Conley is entering his fourth year in the playbook.
Reid agreed on Thursday.
“I thought he did a nice job with it,” Reid said of Watkins, a four-year pro. “We were moving him everywhere. He hasn’t had to do that in his career. We had him all over the place, and I thought he handled it very well.”
6. And speaking of Conley, Reid was excited to have him back from his Achilles injury.
“I thought Chris was really coming on last year before he was hurt,” Reid said.
Conley totaled 11 receptions for 175 yards through five games when he suffered the season-ending injury.
“I was surprised by what he did out here—I wasn‘t anticipating that,“ Reid added. “We tried to back him off just a little bit because he was ripping and ready to go. That‘s the kind of person he is. I think that‘s a pretty good (wide receiver) group right there. It‘s important that some of the young guys keep coming up and keep working, which I think we saw D-Rob (Demarcus Robinson) doing a good job there.“
7. Reid felt that the new backup quarterbacks are also picking up the offense rather well.
Patrick Mahomes becoming the Chiefs’ starter isn’t the only change to the quarterback room in 2018.
The Chiefs have new backups in Chad Henne, Matt McGloin and Chase Litton.
“I thought they did a nice job,” Reid said. “Two of them (Henne, McGloin) are veterans that have been around a little bit and been in similar offenses. I thought they did a heck of a job and then our young guy (Litton), he stayed on a top of it and I thought he did a good job. You could tell that he had worked and studied and I was impressed really by all four of them and how they went about their business.”
8. Remember when Reid got agitated at the media for asking about Chiefs not in attendance at voluntary minicamp last year?
One of the bigger offseason stories last season was the fact that Eric Berry, Justin Houston and Marcus Peters were absent from voluntary minicamp. Reid got a little agitated at the media for asking about why they were not in attendance.
I remembered this, and it led to this catching my attention at the press conference Thursday:
Caught something interesting at the Andy Reid presser today.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) June 14, 2018
- If you recall: last year, Reid got agitated when media asked about players skipping voluntary workouts, didn’t say much about it.
- Today he mentioned how great it was that guys were present multiple times.
This is me talking, not Reid, but this fact leads me to believe that yes, he very much noticed in ’17, and no, he wasn’t very pleased about it.— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) June 14, 2018
9. Reid also mentioned pads being needed for proper evaluation multiple times.
When asked about evaluations after OTAs, Reid also mentioned “pads” multiple times. At one point during the presser, Reid was asked if he could see the mindset shift in the defense Veach discussed earlier this offseason:
“You get an idea, a bit, but you still have to put the pads on,” Reid said. “Some of them, I’ve seen — a Reggie Ragland, I’ve seen. Big, physical kid. And then we’ve played against a couple of them, so I’ve seen that. And Hitch (Anthony Hitchens). They’re physical players, they’ve been that in the past. I wouldn’t anticipate that being different. The young guys, I felt very good with Breeland (Speaks) and (Derrick) Nnadi. These guys did a nice job on the front end of it, and I looked forward to seeing them in pads.”
10. Finally, Reid provided injury updates on some of this year’s more important contributors.
The best news we learned is that linebacker Dee Ford should be good to go by camp. You can find the rest of the brief updates here.