Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke to media members on Monday as the team returned from its bye week to begin their preparation for the Oakland Raiders, who come into Arrowhead Stadium to play at 3:25 p.m. on Sunday.
Here were some of the items that stood out:
Reid gave players and coaches the full week off for the bye week.
“I think it was good to get a little break in there — I got the guys out,” said Reid. “We’re far enough along in the year to where I felt comfortable doing that. Just let them decompress there a little bit and get healthy. These are long seasons, and one coming this late isn’t a bad thing with where we were sitting.”
Reid added that because of the team’s statistical analysis coordinator, Mike Frazier, the coaching staff was able to take some time off as well.
“It’s not like it used to be.” said Reid. “I talked to the coaches about this, it’s not quite like how it used to be when you didn’t have that person to do that. You had to go back and kind of crunch all of the numbers yourself. The bye was quite a little bit of work time for you. Now, you can get a couple of days off and get out and decompress as a coach, and get yourself ready to go for the final few games here. That’s what we did, as a staff. It’s different in the fact that you have a Monday night game, and then you played in Mexico City, so like you guys (the media, we didn’t get back until the morning of Tuesday. You are short a day there, but that’s OK, too. There was plenty of time.”
Reid has liked what he has seen from the secondary to this point with five games to go.
“Statistically, we’re pretty good in the pass game part of it,” said Reid. “I’ve seen gradual improvement as we’ve gone on. Better communication and a better feeling for the defense. They’re really playing well together. We’ve got plenty of room to get better, so we’ll keep working at it. But, we’ve got some young guys in there playing that are getting better. That’s kind of the bottom line.”
One of the “young guys” performing well in the secondary has been cornerback Charvarius Ward.
“He is a big physical kid for a corner,” Reid said of Ward. “He’s got good size. He’s a good tackler and he’s long. I just think it’s a matter of, even to this point, just continuing to play. It’s good to see him power through some things. In his short career he’s had some games that weren’t so good. He’s powered through those and gotten himself better which is the primary focus for a young guy as opposed to just going to the tank and collapsing on it, not trusting yourself.
“At that position, there’s no position that you have to do that more than those corners. You’re on an island out there and you have to have the right mindset. I think he’s done a good job at that.”
When asked about how the offense can improve, Reid highlighted taking less penalties.
The Chiefs have taken 78 penalties (16th) for 738 yards against (25th) this season, according to nflpenalites.com.
“We need to take care of those,” said Reid. “They’ve affected us in the field. It’s affected us in the red zone. We need to make sure we clean that up and that’s something we can do. That’s obvious, I think. The other things are smaller and I’m not going to get into those, but if we take care of that we will be better off all the way around. If you get a penalty in this league on a drive then it cuts your percentages of opportunities to score way down. You need to get rid of those.”
Reid made it sound like wide receiver Tyreek Hill (hamstring) will be OK to play against the Raiders on Sunday.
More on that here.